General Information on Sikinos
A small island in the southern Cyclades, Sikinos is located between the islands of Ios and Folegandros. There are many smaller islands surrounding Sikinos, such as Avolada, Agios Georgios and Karavos. The beauty of the island is unique and the inhabitants have managed to keep intact the traditional Cycladic feel.
History of Sikinos
According to Greek mythology, one year before the Argonauts set sail, women in Lemnos started slaughtering their husbands, who were unfaithful. Their thirst for blood also made them kill all male children, for fear of seeking revenge when they grew up. One of them, Ypsipili felt sorry for her old father, Thoas; she put him in a wooden ark and let the water currents carry him away. The ark was washed ashore at the island of Oenoe, and the fishermen saved Thoas, who married nymph Oenoe; they had a son, Sikinos, after whom the island was named.
After the end of the Late Stone Age, inhabitants started appearing on the island of Sikinos, creating the first settlements. They were mainly occupied in farming, however metallurgy and new technologies added many possibilities for progress, and start building ships. The inhabitants also cultivated vines, olive trees, wheat, vegetables, and fig trees. They also had goats, sheep, pigs and chicken. They were also involved in bee-keeping. Before 2500 BC, they managed to cultivate the whole island and changed the landscape dramatically.
Towns & Villages in Sikinos
There are three settlements on the island, Alopronia, Horio and Kastro. Alopronia is the small port of Sikinos and offers a great beach, called Livadi, as well as many taverns next to the sea. There are also supermarkets, accommodation choices, cafes and bars.
Horio is a small maze of narrow streets, old houses, alleys, and blooming yards. The silence of this place is majestic; take a moment or two to really appreciate it.
Kastro is built on the edge of a cliff, 280 meters above sea level, and is an old fortified settlement of the 15th century. Here is the centre of the island; the village square, the town hall, the doctor's office, a few shops and cafes consist the social life of the island. Walk on the streets of the settlement to look at the old mansions and the gold plated temple within the church of Pantanassa.
Beaches in Sikinos
Livadi is the main beach of the island, situated near the port of Alopronia. The other two beaches that are accessible by car are Agios Georgios and Dialiskari. To go to one of the more isolated beaches, you may either walk or take a small boat.
Top Things to Do in Sikinos
Church of Episkopi: It is the most interesting monument of Sikinos, surrounded by nature, Byzantine chapels and ancient ruins. Episkopi was originally considered a temple of Apollo, however its architectural type reminds of Roman mausoleums. In the 17th century AD, it was converted to a domed Christian temple.
Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi: Built in 1690, it was the last refuge of the inhabitants against invading pirates. It was in vain though; the large wooden door, the tall walls, the crypts, the secret passages and the exits down the cliff, were not enough to stop marauding pirates from pillaging the island time after time.
Church of Pantanassa: Located at the Kastro square, it was built in 1787 and includes a gold plated, wooden temple.
Exhibition of post-Byzantine icons: it is housed on the first floor of the town hall, and includes icons of the post-Byzantine era, which belong to the so-called Cretan School.
The Folk Museum is in Horio and is housed in an old olive-press building.
The Black Cave is the largest cave of the island, and one of the largest in the Cyclades. It is located on water level at the north side of the island, right below the monastery of Zoodohos Pigi. It is accessible by sea only.
How to Reach Sikinos
Getting Around in Sikinos
A bus service runs on the island, connecting Alopronia to Hora. A small boat also leaves for the more isolated beaches of the island.
Top 10 Destinations in Sikinos
All Destinations in Sikinos
Map of Sikinos