Serifos is a very dry island, even by Cycladic standards. As you approach Serifos, you see the white, sugar-lump like houses of Hora, the islands’ main town, covering the hillside like spilled milk. According to the myth, Serifos was first inhabited by the Cyclops, the mythical one-eyed monsters that opened and worked the local iron mines, producing wealth for the island, which they later passed on to humans. On a more realistic note, archaeological evidence shows the island was inhabited in turn by the Cretans, Phoenicians and the Mycenaeans.
What to do
There’s a fairly organised bus service connecting the port, Livadi, to Hora, but the best idea is to rent a car so that you can discover the many beaches scattered around the island. Right next to Livadi is the crescent-shaped Avlomonas beach, one of the busiest on the island. Livadakia beach is only a short walk away from the port and further south is the wide, sandy Karavi beach, preferred by nudists. North of the port is Lia beach, the popular and noisy Psili Ammos and the sandy, long Agios Ioannis. On the south-western coast is Megalo Livadi, a seafront village next to the abandoned iron mines. Close to Megalo Livadi is another secluded cove called Malliathiko. North of Megalo Livadi is the quiet and pebbled Avessalos beach. South of Psili Ammos is Agios Sostis beach located on one side of a small rocky peninsula. On the south coast is the pebbled and secluded Ganema beach and right next to it is the sandy Vaya, where you have to bring an umbrella as there is not one green leaf in site. On the south-eastern tip of the coast is Kalo Ambeli, a small cove formed by two jutting rock formations, where you will probably be alone. Bring water and food. Driving to the north-east is the small Kendarhos beach (follow the path from Kallitsos village) with its few tamarisks providing much-needed shade. Last but not least, Sykamia beach on the north-west is a popular place dotted with the colourful umbrellas of tourists. For those who seek a little action on the beach, try Serifos Scuba Divers (Livadi, Tel: +30 22810 522005, www.serifosscubadivers.gr), who organise diving trips, walks into the old mines of Megalo Livadi and all water sports, including the newest craze, Flyboard.
Hora is a beautiful, quiet village with archetypical Cycladic architecture and friendly locals. The ruined 15th century Venetian castle towering the village offers a great opportunity for a walk and panoramic views of the island and beyond. Right on the top of the steep hill is the church of Agios Constantinos. Back in the village, the neoclassical town hall and the small Archaeological Museum (Tel: +30 22810 31022) are worth a visit. A nearby neoclassical house houses the folk Art Museum (open from 18:00-21:00), where local costumes and tolls are exhibited. Behind the building there’s an open-air theatre with 300 seats, which houses the annual music festival. In 2013, the festival will be held from 26/7 until 20/8 and will host concerts by famous Greek artists like Christos Thiveos, Gerasimos Andreatos, Manolis Famellos and Fivos Delivorias. Walking around the alleys of Hora, you will find the small concept store Thidira (Tel: +20 22810 51880), which sells handmade ceramic objects, jewellery, clothes and accessories. At the north of Hora is the deserted settlement of Pyrgos which comes to life on the festival (panigiri) held on Assumption day (August 15). In the village of Megalo Livadi, the old buildings and rails are a testament to the once lively community of the miners who lived and worked in the area. You can still visit the abandoned mines which closed in 1963 and see the old loading bridge rusting under the hot sun.
The food served around the island is very decent but lacks variation. In Livadi, O Perseas (Tel: +30 22810 51273) has excellent Greek classics, while Metalleio (Tel: +30 22810 51755, restaurant open 20:30-24:00) opens in the evening with modern cuisine and after midnight turns into a bar and concert venue. Karnaya bar on the port plays mainly hits from the 70s and 80s. In Hora, the small Stou Stratou café (Tel: +30 22810 52566) is the island’s meeting place. For a drink and a sunset view, head to Cafe bar Sunrise (still in Hora). Good drinks and funk music can be found at the lovely Aerino bar (Hora, Tel: +30 22810 52592) where you should seek a seat at the terrace. The island’s main nightlife scene is centred in the port where a few bars line the seafront. Serifos Yacht Club (Tel: +30 22810 51888) in Livadi is a popular café which doubles as a bar in the evening, and Captain Hook bar is more of a dance venue with Greek music in the wee hours.
Coralli Camping (Livadakia beach, Tel: +30 22810 51500) is a fully organised beachside site with tents, bungalows, a mini market and a small restaurant. Indigo studios (Livadi, Tel: +30 22810 52548) offer clean, reasonably priced rooms and apartments. SFor understated luxury which respects the environment, book at Coco-Mat Eco Residences (Vaya beach, Tel: +30 211 7709305) which are houses in the renovated houses of the miners.
There are many direct, daily ferry services connecting Piraeus port with Serifos. Check the “Getting to and from the islands” section for ferry websites.
Serifos Scuba Divers
Livadi, Tel: +30 22810 52005, 6932570552, www.serifosscubadivers.gr
The modern equipment and experienced staff of Serifos’s diving centre will help you discover the hidden underwater wonders of the island. Among the services offered are diving lessons for beginners and experienced divers, water sports, canoe and taxi rentals, and one-day boat trips.
Tel: +30 6974828715, +30 22810 52390
At the centre of Serifos’s market is a store offering everything you need for the beach and your fun, as well as international brands, accessories and tasteful souvenirs of the island in very reasonable prices.
Livadi, Tel: +30 22810 52670
The owners focus on quality Italian products to create amazing delicacies. Visit the store throughout the day to try delicious sandwiches, meats selection, bruschettas, fresh salads, tasty ice cream and of course Italian aperitifs, like Aperol Spritz and you will definitely visit again and again.
Livadi, Tel: +30 2281051888
A traditional Greek coffee shop with a fabulous view of the sea and excellent traditional and local delicacies like spoon sweats, biscuits and of course good coffee.
Livadi, Tel: +30 22810 52328
A new, modern venue in Serifos with a relaxed atmosphere. It is located over Livadi beach and has sun loungers and tables where you can enjoy yourself eating good breakfast and drinking coffee. In early afternoon, Calma operates as a restaurant offering seafood while in the evening the atmosphere becomes mellower and more romantic.
Livadi, Tel: +30 22810 51000
Modern, comfortable and fully equipped rooms with a tasteful decoration. They are located just 50 metres from Livadi beach and offer views over the town of Serifos.
Livadi, Tel: +30 6932411657, facebook.com/SharkClubSerifos
A cute bar opening to a small balcony overlooking the entire bay of Livadi. The bar opens early with easy listening and lounge music while later in the evening it turns louder and the fun reaches new heights.
Serifos Beach Hotel
Livadi, Tel: +30 22810 51209, www.serifosbeach.gr
A hotel which focuses on good service and the utmost comfort of its guests, offering tasteful, quiet and clean rooms in an area close to Serifos’s nightlife.
Livadi, Tel: +30 22810 51956
A well-known, all day café bar exactly over the beach of Livadi. Apart from light snacks and cold dishes you will also find delicious crepes, waffles and fresh homemade desserts. Sit either at the small green yard, or on the comfy sofas outside, right on the sand.
Indingo pano piazza
Hora, Tel: +30 22810 52566
A new arrival in Serifos, located on the central square of Hora, right across the neoclassical city hall of Serifos. It opens in the morning with coffee, light snacks and offers relaxed drinks in the evening.
Livadakia, Tel: +30 22810 51500
A fully equipped camping area located in a spot which combines both the sea breeze and the lush vegetation of the island. The camping includes a restaurant, a bar, a mini market, a coffee shop, a grill etc. The toilets and showers are squeaky clean and there are also washing machines and dryers and cooking areas.
Livadakia, Tel: +30 22810 51500
Just 100 metres from the sea (and 5 minutes from the port) stand these beautiful apartments which have room for up to 6 people, with all available amenities. Some of them include a living room, kitchen, personal toilet, safes, air condition, TV, fridge. You can enjoy a view over the beautiful garden and sea.
Livadakia, Tel: +30 22810 51500
Located at the centre of the island, just 5 minutes from the port, these bungalows have either one or two rooms and can host 2 to 4 people. They are fully equipped with air condition, TV and safes and offer a view over the garden.
Krinas Rent A Car
Livadakia, Tel: +30 2281051488
Here you can choose your preferred transport vehicle through a comprehensive list of cars and motorcycles. You may pick up and return the car from your preferred location.