In Sifnos we find the main features that generally distinguish the Cycladic landscape, as we know it today. Its dominant elements are the scrubby vegetation, where the land is used as pasture, and the terraces (terraces), in order to retain the soil. Grains, vineyards or a few olives were planted there. There were times when Sifnos and the neighboring islands could feed a significant population of inhabitants from the harvest. Today, however, most of the terraces remain empty, as the residents are mainly engaged in tourism.
The terrain of Sifnos hides many types of crystalline to macrocrystalline marble and other rocks. Iron and manganese ores are found today mainly in the places of Agios Sostis, Agios Silvestros, Voreini, Kapsalo, etc. The mines of Sifnos were known since ancient times and had provided a source of wealth to the island. They are mentioned by Pausanias, Herodotus, Strabo and Pliny.
It is said that Sifnos was rich in iron, lead, gold and silver and because the Sifnians once broke the promise they had made to the god Apollo, according to which they had to send as a tribute of servitude a golden egg to the sanctuary of Delphi (they sent a gilded instead of gold), the sea rose, flooded and wiped out the mines. The most famous mines in antiquity were those of Agios Sostis and the mine of Kapsalos or Schismades.
On his tour of Sifnos, the visitor encounters forests of bushy cypresses, oleanders and tamarisks, while colonies of the well-known sea plant poseidonia oceanica, which is protected by European legislation, form on the seabed. Sifnos is a good passage for migratory birds, such as the heron, the wader, the grebe (oriolus oriolus), the bee-eater, the starling and many waterfowl. Of course, there are also birds that come to Sifnos to spend the summer, among them the red-headed, the swallow, the grebe, etc.
In addition, birds of prey live on the island, such as the woodcock, the artemis (calonectris diomedea), the bald eagle (hieraaetus fasciatus), the peregrine falcon (falco peregrinus), the black petrel (falco eleonorae), etc. For these species of animals and birds that are under protection status, western Sifnos has joined the NATURA 2000 network of the European Union.
The whole of Sifnos is full of small paths waiting for would-be travelers to enjoy. Many of them, around the perimeter of the island, lead to many enchanting coves, beautiful havens for adventure lovers or those who wish to get to know the island bit by bit. Many coves are only accessible by small boats or private boats.
Route 1 (1.5km): Apollonia-Artemona
Route 2 (2km): Artemonas-Agios Loukas-Agios Sostis-Mainas-Panagia Poulati
Route 3 (4km): Agios Vasilios-Faros-Glyfo-Metalelia-Akopofto
Route Route 4 (5km): Platys Gialos-Fikiada
Route 5 (5km): Katavati-Skafi-Mavro Chorio
Information, Municipality of Sifnos, tel. 22840 31345
In Sifnos, for those who love walking and exploring, there are scenic paths that lead to places that cannot be accessed in any other way. If you want to visit Panagia Poulatis, Agios Sostis in the ancient gold mines, Foinikidi, the ancient acropolis of Agios Nikitas in Seladi, the Prophet Ilias the Most High, the Acropolis of Agios Andreas and various other notable and picturesque sights of Sifnos, you can go by walking through the paths. We suggest some routes that you can do on your own or through a travel agency that organizes hiking routes and provides you with a companion.
One option is to visit the Ancient Acropolis of Agios Andreas. The climb to the top takes about 25 minutes, is not at all tiring and is via a narrow, winding path. The view from the highest point of the hill is magnificent and rewards anyone who decides to visit.
You can also walk on the path that starts from the small church, Agia Marina tou Kade, on the way to Vathi, and reaches "Agios Ioannis the Black Village".
Another beautiful path is the one that leads to the highest monastery of Sifnos, the monastery of Prophet Ilias, located at an altitude of 695 meters with a wonderful view. The path that leads to the Prophet Elias starts from the side of the "Monastery of Panagia of Firogion".
Another recommended route is to follow the path that leads to the monastery of Agios Sostis, near the ancient gold mines. This path starts from the settlement of Agios Minas, on the road to Herronisos. The view of the endless blue from the monastery is beautiful!
Another idea for a walk you can do is to start from Artemonas, heading towards the Monastery of Panagia tis Poulati, where the wild beauty of the rocks will fill you with awe. Another path starts from there, along the coast, which leads to Kastro, the ancient capital of the island. This route is relaxing. It is also worth walking the path that crosses picturesque rural areas and finally reach the fishing village of Pharos, where the foundations of an ancient friktoria are preserved.
If you feel like exploring more of the island, from there there is a small path that starts from the "Glyph" of Faros and reaches the tongue of the rock where the monastery of Panagia Chrysopigi, the patron saint of Sifnos, is built.