SIFNOS: ELEGANCE & GASTRONOMY IN CYCLADES
Sifnos Island finds itself in the Cyclades island group, in the Aegean sea.
As it is the home of the father of Greek Gastronomy Nikos Tselementes, Sifnos has a deep food culture with excellent products and magnificent local dishes.
A typical island of the Cyclades on the same blue & white colour motive, but yet not so typical in its atmosphere and essence. This is an elegant island with a high standard range of restaurants, hotels & bars that will definitely please the most demanding of visitors.
Gastronomy & products
Gastronomy is synonymous to Sifnos Island
The Sifnian cuisine is rather famous for its simplicity and character using local products that grow within the island.
Let us not forget that the most famous Greek Chef of Greece, Nikos Tselementes, was Sifnian by origin. He brought a fresh air in the dated Greek cooking techniques of the 20th century and gave a European dimension to the food scene of that era.
Today, the island has several local products that you can taste or purchase just before holiday is over. Thyme honey has a rich & aromatic taste, capers grow in every corner of the island, and Sifnian cheek peas make the most delicious & simple local dish: “Revithada”. Herbs such as oregano, sage and marjoram smell everywhere and are used in many Sifnian recipes.
If you are a cheese lover then you definitely have to taste the variety of local cheeses. Here, feta is no longer the protagonist and manoura & xinomizithra take its place rightfully. In the beginning of summer you can taste fresh manoura, well as the summer evolves you will find xinomizithra and spicy manoura easier. A fresh salad with xinomizithra on top makes a great quick local lunch.
Apart from “revithada” that is slowly cooked in wood fired oven for hours, there are more delicious dishes such as “mastelo” kid or lamb slow cooked with red wine and dill in a traditional ceramic pot. Caper salad, another famous recipe for those who prefer extra salty and intense flavors cooked with a lot of onions in the oven.
“Revithokeftedes”, small fried cheek pea balls come as a starter in order to begin your gastronomical trip in Sifnos island.
However, every lunch or dinner needs something sweet in order to end well and Sifnos has a strong tradition in the art of pastry. Lukumi is a kind of Turkish delight found in most islands of the Cyclades and in many places in Greece in general. “Amigdaloto” the Greek marzipan has three different versions in Sifnos and is always baked in the oven. There are a few old fashioned pastry shops that have mastered the art of marzipan throughout the years and really worth visiting them in order to taste those bites of heaven.
The island has to offer many gastronomical experiences; traditional or not, sweet or savory, simple or sophisticated will finally meet your expectations.
Where to go
Apollonia is situated in the heart of the island and is the capital of Sifnos. It is ideal for strolls around its narrow pedestrian streets and it is rather lively during the night. Many bars, cafes, clubs and restaurants are found in “steno”, the main street of Apollonia.
You will admire the beautiful traditional local architecture and you shall get charmed by the amazing churches with frescos & artistic icon screens.
At the north of Apollonia, just a few minutes away, you will meet an astonishing village. Family oriented since it is less noisy and more spacious – it makes the perfect place for an afternoon walk. The gorgeous mansions, the small traditional pastry shops, the few restaurants and cafes will invite you in for a more relaxed time.
Every year in the beginning of September, the Festival of Cycladic Gastronomy “Nicolaos Tselementes” takes place in the central square of Artemonas. Traditional dances and local recipes are only a few of the things that you can enjoy if you happen to be there.
Situated on a rock right under Apollonia, Kastro is one of the most charming villages of the island. The village has been inhabited from the pre historic era and till today it maintains its medieval character with narrow roads, very little communal areas, small wooden balconies and picturesque architecture.
When you will set your eyes on the sacred rock of Chrissopigi you will understand what makes Sifnos such a great island. The monastery of Chrissopigi is situated right on the very end of the cape since 1650 and is the protector of Sifnos island according to locals. From both sides of the rock you can swim to the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea and taste local dishes on the restaurants across the beach.
This is where time stops and you feel that you have travelled through time to find yourself in another decade, in a fishermen picturesque village. Cheronissos is protected in a small golf and has two restaurants where you can try fresh fish caught by the fishermen of the village.
What to do
To fulfill your gastronomical experience, visit Narlis Farm at Kato Petali, just a stone throw away from Apollonia, the capital of Sifnos. Narlis Farm is a 100% traditional farm of Sifnos where you can taste vegetables, herbs and fruits of aged varieties that have survived throughout the years. At Narlis Farm apart from tasting local products & goods you can also participate in private cooking lessons that end up in great feasts accompanied by local organic wine.
Kato Petali, Sifnos
Tel. +30 6979778283
Definitely visit one of the many ceramic workshops. Sifnos has a great history in the art of ceramics. The climate, the sea, the sun & the element of clay within the Sifnian ground had made it easier for such an art to evolve in this very island.
Cooking pots, jars, jugs, dishes are only a few of the creations that one can meet in ceramic workshop. Try baking with the casserole ceramic pot and make the most delicious dinner.
On the beach of Platis Gialos you will meet Frazeskos Lemonis, a ceramic artist that tries to preserve the old art of Sifnian pottery & the family business.
Frazeskos Lemonis, Platis Gialos, Sifnos.
Tel. + 30 22840 – 71203
Where to eat
At Platis Gialos you will not only enjoy the fantastic beach but you will also have the most refined dining experience during your holiday. A fish & wine bar right on the beach where you can try fresh raw fish with fresh local materials and cooking techniques coming all the way from South America where Chef George Samoilis lives half of the year. «Omega 3» is absolutely the “must” eat of Sifnos.
Platis Gialos, Sifnos.
Tel. +30 2284 072014
For a local food experience, try the café of Drakakis with bites & tapas from Sifnos & Cyclades in general. It is right in the center of Apollonia and you can start in the afternoon with a Greek coffee and finish up with delicious meatballs, eggplant with feta cheese, local cheese selection and a lot of “tsipouro”.
Tel. +30 22840 31233
To eat something different than local cuisine try Mamma Mia Italian restaurant either in Apollonia or in Platis Gialos. The restaurant goes back to 1988 when it first opened its doors. Today Filippo & his son will prepare authentic Italian dishes with style just for you.
Tel. +30 22840 33086
Platis Gialos, Sifnos
Tel. +30 22840 71219
Theodorou Pastry Shop
The Pastry Shop of Theodorou family goes back to 1933. Traditional local sweets made with extra love & care in the most retro pastry shop of the island. Try “Pasteli” a kind of sesame bar which is made with aromatic local honey and don’t miss Chalvadopita the most almondie bite you had ever had.
Theodorou Pastry Shop
Tel. +30 22840 31370
During the afternoon, a stop at “Kitrino Podilato” (yellow bicycle) is ideal to enjoy your coffee along with a delicious cake or sweet made by the hands of George Psaraftis, a Sifnian Pastry Chef influenced by Sifnos & France.
Tel. +30 22840 31244