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Serifos Travel Guide
Serifos Mythology

Serifos is an integral part of Greek mythology, since its name is associated with two of the most famous mythical heroes; Ulysses and Perseas. It was also thought that Cyclopes were living in the island’s numerous caves, while there are still remnants of the cyclopean walls. According to the legends, Serifos has mazy, interconnected mines underneath its wild, barren topsoil.

The most important myth is related to Perseas. Perseas was the son of Zeus and Danae’s, daughter of Akrissios, the king of Argos. After an unfavorable oracle, Akrissios put his daughter and her son in a wooden boat and left them drifting in the Aegean Sea. The boat reached Serifos and fishermen took Danae and Perseas to one of the island’s kings, Dyktis. The second king of Serifos, vicious Polydektis, fell in love with Danae. Aiming to get rid of Perseas, he send him to bring the head of mermaid Medusa, as a wedding gift (he was supposedly marrying Ippodameia, daughter of Inomaos). The horrible Medusa was notorious for one thing: whoever was staring at her would be petrified. 

This is how Perseas’ long journey started. Initially, he was accompanied by Athena and Ermis, who gave him two important weapons: a copper shield and a sword. Perseas reached his first destination; the house of Enyo, Pefrido and Deino. The three sisters, who looked like old women, were sharing one tooth and one eye and were the only ones who knew where the Mermaids –their sisters- were living. Perseas had to find a way to make them share this information with him and this is why he stole their eye and tooth and basically blackmailed them. The three old women agreed to take Perseas to the island Gorgoni, where the three Mermaids were living: Medusa, Stheno and Evriali.

According to the myth, Perseas –before his visit to the island of Gorgoni- went through the forest where the Nymphs were living. They gave him three valuable tools: Pluto’s helmet, which made him invisible, winged sandals, which would allow him to fly, and a back pack, which changed sizes according to its content. So, Perseas flew above the ocean, reached Gorgoni, where he used the shield to get a reflection of Medusa’s image so he can behead her without actually looking at her and put her head in his backpack. It’s said that from the blood drops that fell on the ground, Pegasus – Greek Mythology’s winged horse- was born.  

Perseas then came back to Serifos and showed Polydektis Medusa’s head. Polydektis got petrified and this is how Diktys became the island’s king. Then he took his wife, Andromeda and his mother Danae and returned to Argos, where he became the king. However, according to ancient testimonies, the Serifians were worshiping Perseas. Also,  as it is commonly said, Hora resembles Medusa’s head.  

According to the myth, Ulysses on his way back to Ithaca stopped in Serifos, where he faced Cyclop Polyfemos. Ulysses had to blind him with his spear, so that he and his companion would get away from his frenzy.

Finally, it was believed that there was a particular species of frogs in Serifos that made absolutely no sound at all. This species is mentioned in the documents of many ancient writers. Ancient coins found in Serifos, dated back in the 6th century BC, show Perseas, Medusa’s head and the Serifian frog. 

Serifos History

Serifos has always been known for its natural resources. Due to the large production of metals and the organized foundries, the island was the manufacturer of the swords Alexander the Great was using in his campaign. Remnants of these foundries still exist in the village of Avessalos.

The peculiar topogeography of the island and Hora’s location on top of the hill created a defense barrier against the Turkish attacks. Fortification was complemented with 6 heavy gates -loggias- that had embrasures all around. After the 1800s Serifos was incorporated in the Greek State and the habitants started immigrating in Egypt and other provinces of the Ottoman Empire. In 1941 the island was under the Italian Administration and in 1943 under the German one, until its liberation in 1944. 

Serifos’ history, however, is mainly connected with its mines and the famous 1916 workers’ strike. The island got its first official mineral extraction license in 1867 and in 1884 the renowned French company “Spiliaeza” assigned to the German Mineralogist Emil Groman the management of the island’s mines. The Gromans took control of the entire island and carried out extensive infrastructure works for extracting and loading ore on ships, which was then exported to the US, England, Sweden and Belgium. Due to this vast development, workers from Mykonos, Paros, Karpathos, Evia, Amorgos and other islands migrated to Serifos in order to work in the mines. In 1912, approximately half of the population was mine-workers.

August 21st 1916 was a red letter day, not just for Serifos, but also for Greece. The miners went on a mass strike, complaining about the working conditions and the lack of safety in the mines. It was also the first time ever workers were demanding the establishment of the 40 hour workweek. During the strike, there were violent incidents between the workers and the police, which resulted in the death of 4 workers and 2 police officers in the location of Megalo Livadi. After the end of the strike, the 40 hour workweek pact was officially agreed and signed in the Commanding Post, a neoclassical building of stunning architecture.  

When WW2 was over, the Gromans were ousted from Serifos after being accused of cooperating with the Germans. In 1951 the company ceased all activities and the mines were shut down in 1965. The mine-workers could no longer find work and left the island. Remnants of these days still exist, reminding us of Serifos’ long history. The loading ramps in Koutalas and Megalo Livadi, the Commanding Post in Megalo Livadi, the miners’ residences and the rest of the works with the equipment preserved (machinery, several objects) were declared as national heritage by the Ministry of Culture.
CATEGORY: Studios,   STYLE: Traditional
Location: Livadi
Starting price per night: 70.00 €

Charming studios with unsurpassed views to the port!

CATEGORY: Studios,   STYLE: Traditional
Location: Livadi
Starting price per night: 65.00 €

Uniquely decorated studios embracing the scenery of Hora and the Aegean Sea

CATEGORY: 3 star,   STYLE: Traditional
Location: Sympotama
Starting price per night: 90.00 €

Breathtaking Aegean view

CATEGORY: 3 star,   STYLE: Traditional
Location: Livadi
Starting price per night: 45.00 €

Elegantly appointed rooms and apartements

CATEGORY: Apartments ,   STYLE: Traditional
Location: Livadakia
Starting price per night: 40.00 €

Just a breath away from the amazing beach of Livadakia

CATEGORY: Apartments ,   STYLE: Traditional
Location: Livadi
Starting price per night: 50.00 €

Direct access to the infinity blue

Serifos Sightseeing

When the boat approaches the idyllic port of Livadi you will somehow get the feeling that this will be a different kind of vacation. This island is different. It has a different atmosphere. Sweet, yet wild. Simple, yet so complex. Serifos has everything you never thought you’d find in such a small island. Old legends, rich history, 72 stunning beaches, the most beautiful Hora in Cyclades, old churches, good food, amazing, warm people.

Livadi (port) is where all the action takes place. This is where the majority of bars, clubs, taverns, grocery stores, car rental agencies and hotels are located. The beach of Livadi (Avlomonas) is very long, sandy and crystal clear. During the summer, tons of sailing boats and yachts are nesting in the calm waters of this naturally protected bay.

Hora is considered as one of the nicest of Cyclades. It lies upon a hill, which overlooks the port. There is a main square, with two cafes, the Town Hall and the elementary school of the island. It follows the typical Cycladic architecture, with the white boxy, little houses, the picturesque front yards, the narrow streets and the old churches scattered all around. On the very top of the hill, there are remnants of the old Venetian castle. There is also a small archeological and folklore museum.

The area of Koutalas and Megalo Livadi are of great interest. Koutalas used to be the island’s mining center. Visitors should check out the entrances of the old mines, the loading ladders, the wagons and other machinery, as well as rails that still hang above the steep cliffs. Megalo Livadi is a historical place. This is where the headquarters of the Spiliaeza were hosted in a beautiful neoclassical building (of Schiller’s school), which is considered as one of the most impressive ones in Cyclades. Near the building there is a monument dedicated to the workers who lost their lives in the 1916 strike.

The monks’ Castle-Monastery of Taxiarhes is located in Galani and it was built in 1572. This monastery -during the Venetian sovereignty- was very powerful and possessed a great deal of wealth. This explains the construction of the high surrounding walls and the fortress-like architecture. It’s dedicated to Archangels Michail and Gabriel, who are also Serifo’s patron saints. The monastery boasts an amazing wooden and golden temple, invaluable manuscripts and the Sacred Code, dated back to 1754.

Last but not least, the historical settlement of Panagia is definitely worth visiting. The homonymous Byzantine church was built around 950-1000 AC. It’s a cruciform basilica with stunning frescoes and an imposing wooden temple. During the Greek Revolution of 1821 the cells of this church were used as hideaways for the refugees from Peloponnesus and the nearby islands of Sifnos, Amorgos, Kythnos, Folegandros etc. If you happen to be in the island around the 15th of August, you should definitely visit the church since its celebration is one of the most widely known in Serifos.

Eat & Drink
TYPE: Bar,   STYLE: Alternative
Location: Livadakia

TYPE: Bar,   STYLE: Alternative
Location: Kentarchos

TYPE: Bar - Restaurant,   STYLE: Contemporary Mediterranean Cuisine
Location: Serifos Hora

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Serifos Hora

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

TYPE: Club,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Livadi

TYPE: Bar,   STYLE: Lounge & Atmospheric
Location: Kentarchos

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Modern Meze & Local Delicacies
Location: Kentarchos

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

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

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Megalo Livadi

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

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Serifos Hora

Practical info
General Info

Serifos shares the typical weather of Cyclades. During the summer, the heat is dry around 30-35 degrees Celsius and usually 3-4 degrees lower than in continental Greece. The famous “meltemia”, which are strong winds, blow all around the Aegean Sea, but especially in Cyclades, during the month of August. Sometimes they are too strong, something that necessitates the prohibition of sea traveling. However, they are also beneficial, since the heat is quite intense in July and August. So the winds are much needed and awaited.

During the winter months there is a lot of rainfall and humidity. Snow rarely makes its appearance and the cold is mild.

National prefix for Greece is +30 if you are calling from abroad.
Area Code for Serifos is 22810 and the local phone numbers have 5 digits. If you wish to call abroad, you have to start by dialing the other country’s national prefix (i.e Germany is 0049, England is 0044 etc.) and then continue with the desired area code and number. 

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: come in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. It is not always easy to receive changes for 200 and 500 euro notes.

Getting there

Serifos has one main port, which is located in Livadi. The island is accessed by conventional and high speed boats, as well as by helicopters. It’s also important to say that the naturally protected port is extremely popular among sailing aficionados. Every year, especially during the month of August, the port is packed by sailing boats from all over the world.

The trip with a conventional boat takes about 5 hours (usually leaves at 7am and reaches the island around noon) and with a high speed boat it takes about 3 hours.
During the summer months, there are ferries that connect Serifos with other nearby islands, such as Sifnos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Kythnos etc.  

Ventouris Sea Lines (conventional boat) – Agios Georgios has been for many years the conventional boat that connects Piraeus with Serifos, especially during the winter months. For accurate timetables and tickets visit the company’s website: www.ventourissealines.gr.

High Speed (high speed boat) - For accurate timetables and tickets visit the Hellenic Seaways website at www.hellenicseaways.gr.  

Local Transportation

The road network of the island is somewhat decent, but keeps getting better. During the summer months there are frequent bus itineraries between Livadi and Hora and between Livadi and several destinations in the island (mainly beaches). Few car and scooter rental agencies are also located in Livadi and Livadakia.

KTEL:    +30 22810 51034

You can also get around the island by taxi. The main taxi stand is in Livadi. You are advised to ask for the fare before getting in to avoid surprises. If you are in Hora, you need to call in advance to book your ride, especially when it’s after midnight (this is when the bus rides stop).

Galanos Th.:    +30 6973 801051
Gounaris G.:     +30 6944 473044
Moustakas V.:     +30 6944908637
Halida P.:     +30 6932431114

There are few car rental agencies on the island, located in Livadi and Livadakia. Make sure you book well ahead, especially if you are planning on visiting the island during the months of July and August (high season). 

Usually you have to be 21 years old to rent a car and you definitely need a valid driving license. Insurance is optional. Make sure you check the condition of the car beforehand. If you sign for its mint condition, this is how you should return it, otherwise you will be charged with damages. Also, you need to return the car with the amount of gas it had when it was delivered to you.

Be careful. No agency should withhold your driving license or ID card. These can only be photocopied, if necessary, and then delivered back to you. You should carry your personal documents at all times.

You should always remember that the streets across the island are small, sometimes dangerous, on steep cliffs and with abrupt turns. You also need to remember that you cannot park anywhere. Buses are bulky, the streets are narrow and if you are on the way, a tow truck might move your car and you will most definitely get a ticket. Remember not to violate the speed limits. Except from dangerous, some streets are often crossed by animals and/or pedestrians in the middle of nowhere.

Same rules apply in case you are interested in renting a motorcycle or a scooter. Only in this case you need to be extra careful and always wear a helmet

Kartsonaki – Livadakia: +30 22810 51534
Coralli – Livadi: +30 22810 51488
Blue Bird – Livadi: +30 22810 51511 & +30 6936 404404
Politis – Livadi: +30 22810 51116
Tomaso - Rent a car – Livadi: +30 22810 52000

Local Services


There is only one bank in the island: Alpha Bank. It’s actually a branch and also has an ATM. There is an additional ATM in front of the main bakery.

Bank’s opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 8.00 - 14.30 Friday: 8.00 - 14.00

Alpha Bank: +30 22810 51739


In Alpha Bank you can exchange most common currencies in cash, travelers’ cheques or Eurocheques. However, since there is only one bank in the island it’s better to have your currency already converted in Euro.  


The Greek post is called ELTA. The main post office is located in Livadi. Post Boxes in Greece are Yellow.

Post office: +30 22810 51239


For any problems related to your hotel, the public services or for general help, do not hesitate to ask for assistance at the local police station.

Tel.: +30 22810 .51300

Tel.: +30 22810 51210

Useful Numbers

•    Port authority: +30 22810 51470

You can find International Press in Livadi, at the Agency located near Serifos Beach Hotel. 

•    Local Clinic: +30 22810 51202

•    It is located in Livadi, next to the Post Office: +30 22810 51205

Voted best beach in Europe in 2004 and 2009
Location:Psili Ammos Serifos

Psili Ammos is probably the most popular beach of the island. It's about 5 minutes by car from Livadi and attracts tons of people from early in the morning, until late in the afternoon. When it's windy, the waves are high! There are few tamarisks that provide the necessary shade and a restaurant. Psili Ammos is quite exotic and was voted best beach in Europe for 2004 and 2009.

A popular secluded paradise

Agios Sostis is actually quite popular among the younger crowds since access is a bit tricky. You can drive up to a point, but then you need to walk for about 10 minutes to reach the beach. It's a nice, secluded, sandy coast, but there is another adjacent bay with a pebbly beach. There are few tamarisks that provide a nice shade.

Admire the amazing view along the way.

Kendarhos is located right under the homonymous traditional settlement, on the eastern part of the island. It has pebbles and sand. Access is tricky, since you can drive up to a point, but then you have to walk for about 20 minutes. However the hike is worth it, since on the way you will see some unique, small waterfalls!

Ideal for those who love the waves

Sikamia is actually the northernmost beach of the island, where it's always windy. The waves are high, especially during August. However, it's a spectacular beach, even though it has pebbles. Access is a bit tricky, especially if you are NOT driving a 4x4 or a motorcycle. It's near the historical village of Galani.

A lovely, convenient beach
Location:Psili Ammos Serifos

Agios Ioannis is located near Psili Ammos, about 5 minutes by car from Livadi. It's a nice sandy and pebbly beach with an easy access. There are tamarisks along the entire beach that provide a nice shade. When the winds are strong there are high waves!

A nice, shady beach with an impressive view of the old mines
Location:Megalo Livadi

Megalo Livadi is easily accessible by car and it's a long sandy beach with crystal clear, shallow waters. There are tamarisks along the entire beach, providing a much needed shade. The view from the beach is amazing, since this is where the Headquarters of the old mines were located. There are remnants of the old ladders, the entrance in the mines, rusty wagons and all sorts of equipment.

A nice, shady beach, with a popular beach bar

Livadakia is a rather small sandy beach, just 3 minutes walking from the port. Actually the bays of Livadi and Livadakia are adjacent. There are few hotels built on the hill, overlooking the serene cove, and a very popular beach bar, called Skipper, which attracts the younger crowds. There are also a couple of taverns and the island's only organized camping.

Included in the NATURA 2000, as a protected area

Vagia is such an amazing beach. It was included in the NATURA 2000, as a protected area. It's a long, sandy beach with colorful pebbles and oddly enough fresh water was found in its subsoil. The waters are of deep emerald color and the steep cliffs around form a protected aquatic heaven!

A convenient emerald heaven

The beach of Avlomonas is in Livadi. Even though it's just 10 minutes from the port, it's crystal clear and quite popular, especially among families, but also among the ones who don’t have a car. There are lots of hotels, taverns and few beach bars along this long, sandy beach, which makes it highly convenient.

Seawater you think you can drink!

Ganema is by far one of the best beaches of the island. The waters have this amazing deep emerald color and the sand, oddly enough, is black and golden. Ganema is very popular among sailing aficionados, who choose to dock in these calm waters. There are few tamarisks at the beginning of the beach, but if you can't handle the sun, you should bring your own umbrella. The heat is quite intense in this secluded paradise!


Local Specialties & Recipes
Serifos Local Specialities

The island’s cuisine is distinctive, yet of a low profile. In almost every restaurant and traditional tavern you will find some of the following local specialties: marathotiganites (with fennel), dried tomatoes, revithada (with chick peas), fava, local sausages, skepastaria, xinomizithra and mizithra (used in the Greek salad).

Except from these, you should definitely try any fresh fish (mullet, swordfish, monkfish, squid) and accompany it with the local wine, which has a distinctive aroma and flavor, or with souma (local raki).

Local Products

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Serifos Events

There are many social events taking place in the island every year. One of the most important religious celebrations is “ktitores”. Back in the old days it was a social, as well as a religious event. Now, in the local feasts, habitants dressed with colorful clothes are ready to serve you in clay pots the food they have been preparing all day: goat, fava, salad, French fries and local wine.

The majority of events are taking place during the summer months, especially in August. Among the most popular ones are: the celebration of the Holy Spirit in Agia Triada, Mavra Voladia and Liomantra. The churches of Agioi Anargyroi in Kalabatsana, Profitis Ilias in Vounia (20th of July) and Xero Horio and Agia Paraskevi (26th of July) in Kato Hora and in Galani annually attract hundreds of guests. During August the following churches organize the most popular celebrations to honor Virgin Mary: Sotira in Pyrgos, of Panagias in Rammos (15th of August) and Pyrgos (16th of August), of Panagia Miliani and of Agios Ioannis Prodromos in location Sklavogiannis.

Cycladia Tips
The island with the 72 beaches

Serifos is a magical, little island. Some say that due to its rare rocks and minerals, weird electromagnetic waves affect those who are prone to them. The island does not have anything distinctively impressive, yet it can dazzle you and sweep you away. Even though it’s rather small, it boasts 72 (yes, seventy two) stunning beaches, several points of interest and many oddly enough secret places which are waiting to be explored!

The island’s beaches can either be accessed by boat, by motorcycle, by foot and of course by car. The beach of Psili Ammos has been voted Best Beach in Europe for 2004 and 2009. This small beach has white sand and shallow turquoise blue waters. Avoid going during weekends, because it’s quite crowded.

Lease a sailing boat with friends and tour around the island. There are numerous amazing, exotic coves, underwater caves, tiny islets and crystal clear waters waiting for you to investigate them!

You definitely need a car to fully discover the island. Even better a scooter, since many beaches can only be accessed by unpaved roads. However, since the road network –even though ameliorated- is quite tricky, if you do happen to drive a motorcycle, you need to be extra careful.

Kitchen secrets

Two restaurants and one traditional ouzo place have the best food and the best service in Serifos. The one is on the way to Hora, behind the Agricultural Cooperative, and it’s called Aloni. Reservations are no longer accepted, so you should either try going early (after 7pm) or after around 11pm. The restaurant enjoys an amazing panoramic view of the entire port, Livadi and Livadakia, which especially after the sunset is quite stunning. However, during full moon the view is equally magical. The food is awesome. No fish is served, however the meat is excellent and so is the service. If you are lucky you can sit in the front veranda and benefit from the unobstructed view.

The other restaurant, which is a must in Serifos for its local cuisine, is called Kyklopas (Cyclop) and it’s located in Megalo Livadi. The tavern is next to the beach, by the waves and under the tamarisks, and it serves the best coq-au-vin in the island. Try the lamb, the pork with the lemon sauce and the beef with pasta. Simply divine. The service is excellent and quite speedy. Every afternoon (after 1pm) hordes of hungry holiday-makers are coming here to enjoy the food and of course the view to the serene cove and the old mine’s iron bridge hanging above the sparkling waters.

Last but not least, we got Stratos. Stratos (a real person) has the best and most renowned ouzo place in Hora (and consequently in Serifos). It’s located in the capital’s main square, where the Town Hall is. You will recognize it immediately from the colorful crowds that take over the entire square…which is considered one of the most beautiful ones in Cyclades. Try the Greek coffee, the local delicacies, ouzo and raki. You won’t regret it!

For tasty dishes and fresh fish you should also try Stamatis’ restaurant in Avlomonas. It’s a simple place, by the water, which is also very cheap!

After hours fun

Even though Serifos has quite few bars in Livadi, one is by far the best. It’s called Aerino and it’s located in Hora. It has the softest music (latin, lounge, jazz, fusion), the best view from the top floor and the most delicious cocktails. Aerino is open until the small hours and attracts many of the island’s celebrity visitors.

The most famous place in the island, however, is the Yacht Club. Celebrities and famous visitors definitely go to this place. It seems like it’s open at 24 of July! It serves delicious breakfasts (omelets, sandwiches and fresh juices) and amazing coffee. However, after 11pm it transforms into the island’s hottest club. During the peak season in August, it’s always full and people are blocking the narrow street in front of the bar, which is located right on the water.

Small tips

Easter is actually the best time to visit the island, because everything is green and the mass in the Monastery of Taxiarhes is quite spiritual.

Try visiting in the beginning of July when the island is less crowded. Just bear in mind that the waters are quite cold!

Most of the hotels/guesthouses have a kitchenette in the room. Prepare your breakfast or lunch and enjoy it from the comfort of your own room while saving money.

Make sure you can withdraw money from your credit or debit card. There is only one bank (Alpha Bank) in the island and two ATMs (Alpha Bank and Eurobank).

Enjoy a drink in one of the bars in Livadi that have lounge chairs by the waves. It’s quite magical, sipping a margarita and lying under the starlit sky.

Try the raki and the local gourmet dishes in Karavomylos in Hora. The real fun starts after 1am…. the Greek way!

Check out the beaches of Ganema and Vagia; long, naturally protected from the strong Aegean winds, with emerald waters and seashells in the bottom.

Shops & Galleries
Shops and Galleries in Serifos

Most of the stores are located in Livadi (port). Apart from 3 super markets and a couple of mini markets, there are two bakeries, many gift shops, jewelry shops and many more. Few shops can also be found in Hora.    

Carmin Art House – Gallery (Livadi) ~ Tel.: +30 22810 51122
Danae – Gift shop (Livadi) ~ Tel.: +30 22810 51245
Dia Heiros (Livadi) ~ Tel.: +30 22810 51885
Epiousion Bakery (Livadi) ~ Tel.: +30 22810 52634
The Hora – Gift Shop (Hora) ~ Tel.: +30 22810 52008
Thidyra – Artwork (Hora) ~ Tel.: +30 22810 51880
Mpixlimpidi – Gift Shop (Livadi) ~ Tel.: +30 22810 52615
Papaki – Gift Shop (Livadi) ~ Tel.: +30 22810 52411