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Sikinos Travel Guide
Sikinos Name

According to one version the old name of the island was Oinoe and probably it derives from a prehistoric Cretan word which means wine bearer. According to tradition, Sikinos was a Cretan who invented the satiric dance in honour of God Dionysus whom the inhabitants of Oinoe used to worship, as mentioned on ancient scripts found. This could be evidence that viticulture was imported from the island of Crete.
Another version supports that Sikinos was the son of Thoantas, the king of Limnnos Island, and the nymph Oinoe who lived on this island.

Inhabitance History

Approximately at the end of the Neolithic Era (6400 - 3200 B.C) the settlements on the already inhabited Cycladic islands were multiplying and also spreading to the smaller ones like Sikinos. As the inhabitants of Sikinos did not have a big natural port, they turned to the cultivation of vines, olives, wheat, legumes, vegetables and fruit trees (figs, pistachios, plums). They also bred cattle, sheep, goats and poultry and developed the apiculture.

From 2000 B.C Crete with its strong commercial and war fleet was over-reigning the Aegean Sea. Around 1600 B.C Mycenae started rising and commercial activities expanded to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It is possible that Sikinos along with Mylos and Santorini had established a state during the era of the Argonaut Campaign and the Trojan War, which marked the end of the Bronze Era (3200 - 1200 B.C).

According to the findings brought up by excavations, the Ionians reached Sikinos in the 10th century B.C, followed by the Dorians who came from the mainland in the 5th century B.C. Like the rest of the Cyclades Sikinos was a member of the Athenian League and, then it passed to the Macedonians until it came under Roman Rule during which it served as a place of exile.

The Venetians ruled the Cyclades from 13th to 16th century. Sikinos was raided and conquered by Barbarossa in 1537 and the island passed to the Ottomans in 1566. In 1774 a pirate raid brought about severe disasters to the island whose population suffered tremendous losses. Sikinos was united with the Greek State in 1829 but, alike the rest of the Cyclades and the greater part of Greece, it came under Italian and German control during the Second World War.


According to a myth, the women of Limnos killed their men and male children, taking revenge as they used to mate with women from Thrace. Only Ypsipyli helped her father Thoas, king of the island, escape by sea and he was eventually rescued by fishermen from the island of Oinoe. Thoas got married to a local nymph and had a son named Sikinos; thus, the island was named after him. According to a marble script found on the island of Sikinos, the old habitants of the island honoured Thoantas and used to name their sons after him.

Another myth supports that Thoantas was son of Dionysus and Ariadne, the daughter of Minoas. Thoantas was placed on the island as king of Limnos by the Cretan Radamanthys for the benefit of Crete. He married Myrina and got a daughter named Ypsipyli.

The Temple of Episkopi

The Temple of Episkopi, located in the homonymous settlement, is the most strange and interesting, at the same time, monument on Sikinos. It was first considered to be an ancient temple of God Apollo but it has been discovered to bear the signs of Roman mausoleum architecture. The structure was built in the 3rd century A.D. and was modified to a Christian church with a dome and a tower bell in the 17th century A.D.

The monastery of Zoodohos Pigi (Chryssopigi)

The monastery is located on the northern part of Sikinos, built and perched on the rock, 300 metres above sea level. It was constructed around 1690 operating as a nunnery and was "heavy" as a fortress destined to protect the locals from pirates' raids. In 1834 the monastery was deconstructed due to royal order. In 1978 its renovation started and it is now almost finished. A cell of the structure has been formed to a small folk museum with old tools, utensils and the old wooden door of the nunnery.

The Black Cave

This is one of the biggest caves among the Cyclades, located on the northern part of Sikinos below the monastery of Zoodohos Pigi. It lies on sea level and is accessible only by the sea.

Church of Panagia Pantanassa

The church has a characteristic blue dome and is located on the square of Kastro settlement. It was built in 1787 and inside you can observe the gold plated temple, some Cretan School style paintings and votive offerings to the picture of Panagia Pantanassa.

Byzantine Museum of Sikinos

The Museum is housed in a preserved building of the medieval settlement at the southwest corner of Kastro which is called Paraporti. Paintings of the post Byzantine era as well as icons from the byzantine churches of the island are exhibited in the museum.

Chora of Sikinos

The settlements of Kastro, Vouni and Chorio together are forming a wider settlement called Chora. The entire settlement is surrounded by cliffs to the west and southwest and by walls to the east and southeast.
Kastro settlement was formed around the 15th century and was built on the edge of a cliff 280 metres above sea level. Typically this is the centre of the island where the town hall, the health centre, the post office and the majority of shops, cafes and bars are located


Chorio is a picturesque settlement of the 17th century, with alleys, old houses, narrow passages and stone steps. A unique and genuine taste of tradition that will lure you into a trip back to the past. Smells, images and an atmosphere of bygone eras, definitely a must-visit when vacationing on the island.


Alopronia is the small harbour of the island and a nice place to spend the day as it offers the beach of Livadi, a very charming beach, along with various small tavervas, cafes and bars. Of course Alopronia also offers various accommodation choices for those who would like to spend the night too.
From Alopronia you can take the bus to Chora and Episkopi or the small boat if you want to discover all the untouched beaches of Sikinos.

Eat & Drink
TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Modern Meze & Local Delicacies
Location: Alopronia

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Fresh Fish & Seafood
Location: Alopronia

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Modern Meze & Local Delicacies
Location: Kastro Chora

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Chora

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Chora

TYPE: Café & Bar,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Chora

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Kastro Chora

Practical info
General Info

Sikinos Island is located at the south part of the Cyclades between Folegandros to the west and Ios to the east. Generally the island has a dry climate with mild winters and hot summers. Despite the fact that it is a mountainous and arid island like most of the Cyclades, during the ages the inhabitants developed agriculture, apiculture, pasture and of course fishing. It is also the first island in the Cyclades to be nominated a "Habitat of European Importance".

The national prefix for Greece is +30 if you are calling from abroad. All numbers in the capital Athens start with the prefix 210 and are followed by 7 digits (e.g. 210-3227400).
The Area Code for Sikinos is: +30 22860.
If you wish to call abroad, you have to start by dialling the other country's national prefix (i.e. 0049 for Germany, 0044 for England etc.) and continue with the area code and the number where you wish to call.

Euro €
Euro Coins: 1 and 2 euro coins (gold and silver colour), 10, 20 and 50 cents (gold colour) 1, 2 and 5 cents (copper colour)
1 euro = 100 cents / centimes.
Euro Bank Notes: Are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. It is not always easy to receive change for 200 and 500 Euro Notes.

Getting There
There is no airport on Sikinos but visitors can fly to Santorini and take a boat from Santorini's port to Sikinos.

For more information on flights, please visit:

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos: www.aia.gr

Olympic Airways: For accurate timetables and ticket costs visit Olympic Air website www.olympicair.com
Athens Office: +30 210 355 0500, 8018010101

Aegean Air: For accurate timetables and ticket costs visit Aegean Air website www.aegeanair.com
Tel.: 801 112 0000/+30 210 6261000


Sikinos is connected to the port of Piraeus with frequent itineraries during summer. It is just 3,5 hours away if you take the speed boat or 7,5 hours with the regular boat.
Sikinos is directly connected by boat with the islands of Folegandros. Ios, Santorini, Serifos, and Sifnos.

Aegean Speed Lines
For accurate timetables and ticket costs visit: www.aegeanspeedlines.gr
Tel.: +30 210 9690950

Ventouris Sea Lines
For accurate timetables and ticket costs visit: www. ventourissealines.gr
Tel.: 210 4114911

Anek Lines: For accurate timetables and ticket costs visit Anek Lines website www.anek.gr
Tel.: +30 210 4197470
E-mail: [email protected]

Sikinos Port Authority Tel.: +30 22860 51238
Piraeus Port Authority Tel.: +030 210 4226000, 210 4114005

Sikinos Travel Agency Tel.: +30 22860 51168

Local Transportation
There is a bus on the island which operates frequent routes from the port of Alopronia to Chora and Episkopi settlement.

Tel.: +30 6937 865866

Sikinos is a pretty small island with an 8 km long road network, therefore renting a motorbike may be a convenient option but you should also consider that there is only one gas station on the island and only three of the beaches can be accessed by road.

Tel.: +30 22860 51205

From the port of Alopronia local boats are operating routes to the beaches not accessible by road.

Tel.: +30 6937 261800

Local Services

On the island there is only one ATM of the National Bank of Greece located in Chora (Kastro).

Post offices exchange cash, but not traveller's cheques, and usually charge lower commissions than banks. Travel agencies and larger hotels exchange cash and traveller's cheques but usually charge a higher commission. Credit cards are accepted in some shops and restaurants, however, in local cafes, especially in villages you will probably have to pay in cash.

The Greek post office is called ELTA. Post Boxes in Greece are YELLOW for normal post, usually with 2 slots for INTERNAL POST (meaning inside Greece) and post for ABROAD. RED Post Boxes are rarer and they are used for URGENT mail. REGISTERED mail is always handled and given a receipt for at the POST OFFICE. The local postal code is 84010.

Sikinos Post Office Tel.: +30 22860 51239

Sikinos Police Station Tel.: +30 22860 51222

Municipality of Sikinos
Tel.: +30 22860 51238

Useful Numbers
• Tourist Police: 171
• Hellenic National Meteorological service: +30 210 9699101-3
• Elpa (Car breakdown tourist information service): 174
• Sikinos Port Authority: +30 22860 51238

As international press is not to be found on Sikinos, travellers should buy their papers or magazines from Piraeus.

• Police: 100
• Fire Department: 199
• Ambulance: 166

Sikinos Health Centre Tel.: +30 22860 51211

Visitors should take any medicine with them from home or Piraeus (Athens) as there are no pharmacies on Sikinos. For any emergency, there is the health centre of the island too.

A beautiful coast right in the heart of Sikinos

The largest beach of Sikinos is located next to the port of Alopronia at the east coast. It is a large, sandy beach with shallow waters and natural shade by trees. Slightly organized with umbrellas, Alopronia, apart from being quite easily accssible, it offers various facilities and places of interest nearby, like cafeterias, taverns and rooms to let.

The popular coast of Sikinos
Location:Agios Georgios

Agios Georgios beach is located on the northeastern part of the island and it is the most popular beach on the island of Sikinos. It is a large coast, both sandy and pebbled with beautiful blue waters and trees for natural shade. There is also a tavern close by. Agios Georgios is one of Sikinos beaches that is accessible by road making it even more popular.

A tranquil small coast near the port

Dialiskari beach is placed on the eastern coast of Sikinos, between Alopronoia and Agios Georgios and can be easily accessed by a small path from the port of the island. There is also the option to take a small ferry. Dialiskari is a tranquil sandy beach with crystal clear blue waters, natural shade and a few umbrellas offering relaxing moments by the sea.

Wildly beautiful secluded coves

These are two small pebbled beaches with marvellous blue waters, naturally formed inside two carved rocky bays placed next to each other. They are located on the southern part of Sikinos, secluded and accessed by boat or through a path if you don't mind walking a long distance. santorineika are ideal for people who like adventure and diversified landscapes as they are not the conventional coasts but they are not suggested for families with young children due to the rocky coast and seabed.

Walk or cruise?
Location:Agios Panteleimonas

Agios Panteleimonas is a small secluded sandy beach on the south eastern coast of the island suitable for those who seek seclusion. The beach can be accessed by boat but there is also the option to take the path from Alopronoia. A small, calm bay also featuring a small cave for natural shade.

A small bay at the south accessed only boat
Location:Agios Ioannis

Agios Ioannis is a small beach located on the south eastern part of the island within a bay which provides protection from winds. The beach is pebbled and has crystal clear waters but there is no natural shade around, therefore you should be prepared with supplies and protection from the sun for a joyful day at the beach. Agios Ioannis can be accessed by boat or by the path starting from Episkopi.

Take the long road

Maltas is a tranquil and secluded beach with white sand and pebbles and azure waters. It is located on the north eastern part of Sikinos in the homonymous bay and can be reached by boat or through the long path from Kastro settlement. You must be prepared with supplies and umbrellas because it is not organized and there is also no natural shade to be found anywhere in the area.


Local Specialties & Recipes
Local Specialties

The island of Sikinos does not boast any particular gastronomic tradition but it shares some of the dishes of the Cyclades group in general.

Some of the must dishes when you are vacationing on the island are the stuffed lamb or rabbit baked in the oven with potatoes, the rooster cooked in wine and red sauce with spaghetti and the Greek salad with locally produced capers.

In terms of sweet delights, the "pasteli" is a must (sesame and honey forming a soft bar) and diagkourenia which is a porridge from watermelon juice and dough poured with honey and sesame on top.

Local Products
Local Products
The viniculture has a long tradition on the island of Sikinos once very familiar for its wine production. Nowadays the local grape varieties of Assyrtiko, Aidani, Mavrotragano and Mandilaria are of high quality but of limited production.

Do not leave without trying or even buying some of the ksinogalo, myzithra dry and wet and sikiniotiko cheeses. Of course, the locally produced Arseniko cheese is a pure delighte produced by full fat goat or sheep milk, has a yellowish colour and sweet flavour that turns into sour after some weeks have passed.

Another fine quality traditional product of Sikinos is its thyme honey with its great aroma and intense colour, supported and promoted by the local Beekeeper Association "Ypseli". The honey is not sold in shops but you need to ask the locals in order to get to it...it is definitely worth the trouble as it is a very tasteful honey of exceptional quality.

Various products
The string beans of Sikinos are among the island's landmarks along with the cucumbers, which are distinctively aromatic and round-shaped.


On Sikinos and Folegandros every summer is held the open air "Documentary Days" mobile film festival.
Also, every summer the "Sikinos Festivities" are held with exhibitions, music concerts, and performances.


Four copies of the holy icon of Panagia Pantanassa, the Holy Cross, The Zoodochos Pegi and Isodia are hosted in houses for one year while the hosts, the “panigirades” meaning the people who create the “feast” (panigiri), are obliged to keep the fire burning day and night in the holy candle. They should also pray to her grace Holy Mary at least 3 times within this year.

When the day of the celebration of Holy Mayr is approaching, they start painting the church in fresh white paint, will create candles for the feast, make bread traditionally and organize the entire feast! It is their obligation and honour till the day of the celebration  when they pass the holy icons to their  successors, the next “panigirades”.

Religious feasts

All religious feasts and celebrations share common activities but they are not always the same as each one of them boasts its own customs and tradition. Generally the locals are gathered to attend the church service and then they celebrate with food, drink, music and dance. Of course, visitors all always welcome to participate and have fun!

Some of the most important religious feasts are:
• The celebration of Virgin Mary on the 15th of August
• The Holy Cross on the 14th of September
• The celebration of Agioi Anargyroi on the 1st of July
• The celebration of Agios Panteleimonas on the 27th of July
• The Metamorphosis of Jesus on the 6th of August
• The birth of Virgin Mary on the 9th of September

Cycladia Tips
Useful tips for a Pleasant Stay
The sun is very strong in summer and especially in August. Try to avoid the direct exposure for extended periods of time, especially from 11.00 to 16.00. Additionally, you should use a high factor sun cream or oil during your stay on the beach while a hat and sunglasses are also very helpful.

You should be very careful when you drive a car or a motorbike because the road network on Sikinos is very short and, as it is a very small island, they may not be well maintained with proper signs. Mind that there is only one gas station on the island in case you would like to bring your own vehicle and also only one ATM available for cash.

Since there are a lot of beaches accessible only by boat or through paths, you should be prepared with suitable clothing and shoes.

Shops & Galleries
Shopping on Sikinos

As Sikinos is a small island, most shops are gathered around its main settlements and of course Chora.