I spent the last two weeks in Cyclades, in Sifnos and Naxos to be exact, and I came home feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, inspired and with lots of wonderful memories. I’d like to start by telling you about my time in Sifnos, where my family and I spent about ten days, driving around the island, discovering beautiful beaches and eating delicious local food.
My daily routine consisted mostly of swimming, reading, wearing as little clothes as possible – I solemnly refused to part from my bikini and denim shorts if not for showers or dinner – and being utterly ridiculous, because if you can’t be goofy around your family, then where? Oh, and playing cards non-stop. Have you ever encountered anyone starting a new round of cards after giving their order at a restaurant? It might be considered completely indecent, but let’s just say that no one complained when our order got to our table a little late.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Sifnos is full of picturesque landscapes; dry, grassy hills that drop into the sea, whose color varies from emerald green to every imagineable shade of blue. It’s a kind of pure, almost severe beauty that wins you over slowly and relaxes the soul. Having missed the sea so much, I couldn’t help but take as many photos of it as possible.
The next two shots were taken in Platys Gialos, which is the longest beach on the island and also the location where we stayed. There’s a little settlement along the beach consisting mainly of small hotels, cafes and family owned taverns with traditional local cuisine. I took the photos at aroung 8.30 in the morning! It sounds crazy, I know, but the feeling of being the first one to hit the beach can not be described. The water is crystal clear and there’s a profound serenity amidst the beach. In addition, a quick swim in the cold water is the best way to wake up and feel energized all day long.
If you take a trip towards the northern part of the island, make sure that you visit Cherronisos, a stony peninsula that, apart from being very picturesque (remember the sun-baked landscapes I mentioned previously?), also forms a little harbor, where you can swim, have lunch, or simply bask in the sun.
Next one in the list is Vathy, which in Greek means “deep”. If you’re kinda afraid of deep, dark, mysterious waters, don’t worry. The person who named it either a) had a very unique sense of humor, or b) was refering to the fact that Vathy is a relatively wide gulf with a very narrow entrance. In case you decide to have lunch there, go to the tavern called “Tsikali”, where you’ll taste local edible awesomeness under the trees’ shadow with your feet buried in the sand.
This is Lazarou beach, a little isolated beach just next to Platys Gialos. This beautiful location is relatively little known, therefore not as crowded as the rest of them. We didn’t visit it until the next to last day of our stay there – a small treasure under our noses.
The emerald green – bluish water definitely deserves a close-up…
I just discovered the perfect spot to sunbathe!
My favorite time at the beach, though, was late afternoon, slightly before the sunset. The beach is almost deserted and relatively quiet, as the last people pack up their belongings after a long day under the sun. The sky is blue-ish and about to turn into a cocktail of pink, orange and purple. In addition, all children have also left the beach, which means that I’m able to run through sand castles without scorching looks by infuriated parents.
However, I left two intact. This one for its impressive minimalistic elements…
… and this one because I sensed some kind of Game of Thrones references.
Last but not least, I’d like to show you my favorite place in Sifnos, a village called Artemonas. It is located next to the “capital” of the island, Apollonia. Even though the two settlements are really close to each other, there are many differences between them. For instance, since most shops, public services, cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs, as well as everything else that is necessary to human survival, is located in Apollonia, Artemonas lacks the bustling day and night life. It is less crowded, more peaceful and has a more distinct style than the neighboring settlement. There one can see the stately residencies of the island’s old upper class, as well as the traditional minimalistic white houses with the blue doors and windows, which are characteristic of the Greek islands.
Bougainvilleas are my favorite kind of flower, therefore I never miss a chance to photograph them or pose in front of them. In summer, they are everywhere – what a joy!
These are strictly decorative miniatures of pigeon cotes, which are usually scattered all over Sifnos (in Tinos, as well!).
That’s my younger brother, who was taking my pictures throughout our vacation in Sifnos.