Sikinos Island Guide
Nestled between the two popular islands of Folegandros and Ios, it would be easy to overlook Sikinos. You won’t find it mentioned often in discussions of Cycladic destinations. Mass tourism has yet to reach the island, reflected in the lack of official hotels and a handful of tavernas. A few studios and apartments are available to rent in the port of Alopronia, but that’s about it.
Intrigued, I booked three nights here in 2021 as part of an extended Greece trip as it was on my route from Ios to Sifnos, and I wanted to see what the island had to offer. As soon as I stepped off the ferry, I was immediately struck by how peaceful and traditional the island felt: there were no usual crowds at the port and no buzz of tourist activity despite peak season. Just a few fellow adventurers who’d disembarked with me and a spattering of locals going about their daily business.
It’s fair to say that the island doesn’t have a huge amount to offer in terms of beaches, sightseeing or dining options. As a result, it’s a destination suited to a short stay of a few nights, unless that is, you really really like a quiet life. While hiring a car, I was told there are only 18km of roads and as a result, the single petrol station on the island is only open for a couple of hours each day – that’s how undeveloped it is. However, Sikinos offers a glimpse of real Greek island life, and I don’t regret my decision to visit.
The two main tourist attractions in Sikinos are the winery Manalis, which offers food in their restaurant with stunning sunset views, and their local wine, available to consume with your meal and by the bottle to take away at very reasonable prices. Then there is the church of Episkope located just south of the winery, which dates from the 3rd century AD and was originally a Roman tomb monument. It suffered heavy damage over the years and has only recently been renovated, with scaffolding still in place when I visited.
If you’re looking for wide, sandy beaches, this isn’t the island for you. Google shows just five beaches on the island, including the port town of Alopronia. Of the rest, only two, Agios Georgios and Dialiskari, are accessible by car or on foot. You’d need a boat for the others, and judging from the satellite images, I’m not sure they’d be worth the effort.
Agios Georgios is a reasonably sized coarse sand stretch with a small taverna at the southern end. A few large umbrellas are freely available but have no sunloungers, so you’ll need to bring a towel or something more comfortable to lay on.
Dialiskari is even smaller, but I suspect is quieter as a result. It still offers umbrellas and the sand is similar to Agios Georgios, but the sea is more rocky.
The best beach is in Alopronia itself: a wide-ish expanse of moderately soft sand. Although the sea is stony in places, it’s possible to find a smooth path into the water. It’s also the most convenient at the port, with a few shops and tavernas nearby.
To sum up Sikinos, it’s somewhere I’d only recommend if you’re seeking a true off-the-beaten-track destination, and even then, I’d only suggest staying a few nights if you like eating out – there doesn’t seem to be enough tavernas to support tourists for any length of time.
The only island I’ve visited that evokes similar feelings for me is Serifos, and I think that was only due to COVID-19 and the island being much quieter than usual.
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