Tuesday 15th September 2020
Plans for the Day
Today was my last day on Serifos. I needed to check out of the hotel by 11 a.m., but my ferry to Syros wasn’t until 5:45 p.m., so I planned to pack my luggage into the car and spend the day seeing the northern half of Serifos before dropping the car back at the ferry port in time to catch my boat.
I returned to Gran’s for more coffee and a pastry for breakfast. Having woken quite early, I was back at the hotel by 8 a.m., so I decided to grab a couple more hours at the beach while I still had access to a shower. I didn’t expect to need the entire day for sightseeing anyway, so catching a few extra rays of sun felt like a good choice.
After checking out of the hotel and packing all my belongings in the car, I drove north through Livadi and around the bay of Livadi Beach on the way to my first stop: Psili Ammos Beach.
I skipped Agios Ioannis beach (slightly north of Psili Ammos) for reasons that have since escaped me and continued on to the northernmost beach of the island called Platis Gialos.
Accessing the beach was a bit of an effort as it’s about 3km off the main road, although most of the track is relatively smooth, so it can be done by car without difficulty, providing you take it slowly.
I’m not sure the detour was worth the effort. The beach is fairly small and quite rocky at the shoreline, but it is sandy and very secluded, so if you want peace and quiet, it could be a good option.
I only stayed long enough to stroll around, taking photos and video clips.
Back in the car, I got on the main road again and soon reached my next stop: a rather unusual-looking monastery called Moni Taxiarchon. From the outside, it somewhat resembles a prison. Before trying to get a closer look at the monastery, I visited the little church opposite, which is quite pretty and has a quaint little graveyard outside:
I wasn’t sure whether the monastery was open to visitors, but a workman outside waved me in, where the priest approached me. It turned out that it was closing in a few minutes, but he allowed me a quick look at the church inside the outer wall. I couldn’t take any photos inside as he was watching the entire time, and I wasn’t sure if it was considered rude, so I erred on the side of caution. I did manage to take one photo of the outside of the church before the priest came over:
From One Beach to Another
My final stop was Sikamia Beach, right on the northwesternmost corner of Serifos. Accessible via a reasonably long side road with some quite steep switch-backs, it took a little while to reach and was again mostly deserted when I arrived.
Despite looking quite sandy from a distance, the beach has quite a lot of stone/shingle, so, given its remoteness, it would be hard to recommend a visit when better beaches are closer to Livadi.
Having now visited all the main beaches on the island, I would say my favourite is probably Ganema, closely followed by Vagia. Livadakia Beach, near my hotel, is also pretty reasonable and the most accessible if you stay near the port.
More Time to Sunbathe
I didn’t fancy stopping at Sikamia, but as it was still early afternoon and I had time to spare, I headed back across the island via Chora to Livadakia Beach, driving as close to the beach as possible. This was a car park for Coralli Camping campsite, which was ideal as it was only metres from the sand.
I spent 90 minutes on the beach, then decided I should probably head back to Livadi for a late lunch/early dinner before the ferry arrived. I got changed out of my beach gear in the car (well, actually standing beside the car, but there was nobody around, so who cares!!) and drove back into the town centre.
Lunch/early dinner consisted of a beer and burger at Tootsie’s, probably the best food I had on the island, which, sadly, wasn’t saying much. Although I’ve enjoyed ticking off another Greek island from my list, I don’t think I will return to Serifos: it’s just a little too quiet for my liking and, compared to Sifnos, the food and beaches just don’t cut it.
The Slightly Less Cheap Car Hire
I took my time eating; then, as 5 p.m. arrived, I drove the distance from the restaurant back to Pegasus to drop the car back. Having been quoted (or so I thought) €13, I had decided to give him €20 as a tip due to the cheap rental. Upon handing him the €20 note, he looked at me, slightly confused, and said, “€10?”. At first, I didn’t get what he wanted, so he took me to the counter and showed me his booking sheet where he had written €30 against my rental. Ah! So I had misheard him; he meant “thirty” and not “thirteen“… doh!
Oh well, €30 was still pretty decent for almost two full days of hire, so I was happy to hand over the missing €10, thanked him for his help and wandered over to a bench opposite to wait for my ferry to arrive.
My two previous ferry crossings had been short, coming in under an hour. Unfortunately, the best/only route to Syros involved an indirect ferry via Paros. In total, the journey would take 3 hours 45 minutes.
The ferry was about 20 minutes late arriving, too, so by the time we reached Syros, it was close to 10 p.m. The journey had been fine, but I was glad to get off at Syros Harbour.
I should also mention that, although I was supposed to be meeting my friend Ed on this island, sadly, due to the UK government revising its travel corridor (quarantine-exempt) islands shortly before his arrival, he had to change his plans and would no longer be visiting Syros at all. Instead, I would meet him on Andros on Friday morning.
This was unfortunate as I didn’t have an awful lot planned for Syros, expecting that Ed and I would do some hiking and not fancying it by myself, but that’s a story for tomorrow’s update.
In the meantime, my accommodation in Syros was at the Aktaion Hotel. This was supposed to be a short walk from the ferry, but boats now dock south in Syros harbour, so it was a little further than expected. It didn’t take long, though, and I was soon checked in and unpacking a few essentials before retiring to bed.