Serifos, An Escape from Athens

Serifos is located in the Western Cyclades, south of Kythnos and north of Sifnos. Boasting traditional Cycladic architecture and remaining relatively untouched by mass tourism, it’s a stone’s throw away from the Athens port of Piraeus and a favourite for Athenians looking to escape the heat of the capital in summer.

Yet, despite its proximity to Athens, Serifos remains relatively untouched by international holidaymakers outside of France and Italy. Although it is just 80 kilometres from Mykonos and 120 kilometres from Santorini – Serifos remains largely overlooked by tourists. Having escaped the grasp of the flourishing Greek island tourism industry, Serifos is ideal for travellers looking for a Greek island holiday destination without the crowds and overdevelopment.

Serifos covers an area of about 50 square kilometres, and most of its 1,500 inhabitants reside in the port, Livadi, or in Hora, the ancient capital that overlooks the island from atop the high cliffs. The area between the main towns consists of remote chapels, a handful of farms, and barren mountains that have remained untouched by time and development. Over the last two decades, Serifos has enjoyed a subtle revolution whereby the modest bed and breakfasts located around the port and main towns have been complimented by rustic accommodation that expands into the hinterland. This subtle development has reinvigorated local businesses and the economy.

In contrast to some of the neighbouring islands, Serifos does not feature a scavenger hunt of local tourist attractions that must be visited to experience the island. The crowning attraction of Serifos is its collection of more than 70 beaches that remain largely unvisited. One of the most famous beaches is the east-facing Agios Sostis that takes its name from the chapel overlooking the small bay. Agios Sostis has no facilities and has not been inhabited by local stalls looking to capitalise on the traffic in the warm months. Vagia beach, located on the south side of Serifos, features a small beach bar and other refreshments that mean you won’t need to pack a picnic to visit.

On the south coast of the island, the port of Livadi is home to a lively village and generous array of waterfront restaurants, bars, and amenities. In the town of Hora, there are several bars inviting you to join the locals and tourists who are making the most of the long days with cocktails under the endless sun. In peak season, the bars and restaurants open earlier so that tourists can enjoy breakfast or lunch before setting off for a day of activities.