Sikinos - A backpackers guide

We Last Visited Sikinos in 2002

With only 300 permanent inhabitants don`t expect Sikinos to be a busy, tourist orientated island. This may well be due to the relatively poor ferry connections. Some ferries sail by from neighbouring Folegandros and Ios without stopping in spite of the fact that the port - Alopronia - has a good town beach with tamerisks and clean sand and a large number of rooms to rent. The enterprising Lucas family meet all the ferries and have rooms all over town as well as running the excellent taverna of the same name. Open until 1:00a.m they serve a varied selection of meals with tables under the trees lit up during the hours of darkness.

Lucas rooms - Sikinos Sikinos has a dry, scrub landscape, very similar to Folegandros but not as harsh and a noticeable omission. There are no churches dotting the hillside so common on other islands. Clergy are however, often seen chatting to parishoners in tavernas, perhaps as a result. The green and cream bus runs frequently between the port and the only other settlement on the island - Kastro-Hora which saddles the mountain on the north coast. Hora to the left is entirely residential with a lot of re-furbishment taking place.

Whilst Kastro on the right is the more commercial side. A pleasant square containing Kastro-Hora - Sikinos a church surrounded by palms and a memorial can be found by the National Bank. Further exploration of the winding alleys reveals a number of mini-markets, very traditional kafenio and the only ferry ticket office. If you haven`t met a grumpy Greek yet you soon will. 2 tavernas, side by side provide the best dining. H Klamateria and To Steki tou Garbi share a tree covered alleyway and both have very friendly service. For drinks the Platia Bar is nicely fitted out and satelite t.v brings you firmly back into the 21st century but is let down by the prices. Crowning the hill is the excellent Kastro containing some interesting ruins and a pretty little chapel complete with bell tower. The engaging curator may show you around and is happy to talk in more simple Greek for you to understand.

Besides the aforementioned town beach there are a number of other good bathing spots on the island. To the south-west of Alopronia, about an hour and a halfs walk after taking the road next to the Lucas taverna, lies Pandelimonas. After 20 minutes the route is little more than a donkey path that heads inland towards the mountains. After a further 30 you should be able to see the church that gives the beach it`s name and from here it is a trailess scramble down the pleasant valley. A pebble affair but with crystal clear water good for snorkling.

A shorter and just as pleasant 45 minute walk Agios Nikolaos - SIKINOS to the east of the port is Agios Nikolaos. Don`t follow the track that runs on the eastern side of Alopronia but follow the road to Kastro-Hora and turn right as if heading to Kamares rooms then left on to the track dug out of the mountain. Follow the electricity pylons to the crest of the hill until you reach the top (with views over to Ios). From here keep left of the pylons towards a solitary house and from the house you can see the church of Agios Nikolaos with the beach below.

Iroon - SIKINOS The only other real excursion on Sikinos is the roman mausoleum come church at Episkopi, 4km to the west of Kastro-Hora. Formally called the Iroon this odd building is reached by rough road (a complete waste of money because a decent path would have sufficed) which is serviced by the bus once a day. If you intend on visiting make sure you tell the bus driver because he will only make the trip if there are sufficient numbers. It is worth the walk though just to see the strange architecture and it is not advised to stand on the stones immediately in front of the building which form the roof of a submerged room. The bus only calls at 7:30pm so you will have to find your own way there if you want to see it in daylight.

Sikinos is a charming island with highly hospitable residents. If you are a lone traveller who is happy with your own company or a like-minded couple happy to while away hours doing nothing then Sikinos could be just the ticket. But it may be too quiet for some.

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