HORA, THE BEAUTIFUL MAIN TOWN
Hora – the island’s main town – is without a doubt one of the most charming in the Cyclades, if not the most charming. Typically Cycladic in its whitewashed architecture, it’s studded with many charming churches and little alleys. You can start your tour at Aghios Athanasios square, commonly known as Piatsa tis Ano Horas – a meeting spot for locals – whose features include the neoclassical town hall, Aghios Athanasios church, and quaint, traditional cafes. During the summer, Hora is best explored during sundown, when it gets cooler; sit for a beer or raki (a traditional distilled spirit) to get a feel of an island devoted to quality living.
HOLY MONASTERY OF THE ARCHANGELS AND PANAGHIA VILLAGE
Definitely worth a visit is the Holy Monastery of the Archangels (Moni ton Taxiarhon), in the northern part of the island. Erected in the 16th century, it was built to resemble a castle, in order to protect itself from invading pirates. Another worthy destination (though neither a main attraction, nor particularly trendy) is the village of Panaghia, located roughly 4.5 km southwest of the monastery. It offers a different perspective of Serifos, and is recommended for visitors interested in seeing how life typically is in a small, island village.
Go swimming at cosmopolitan Avlomonas or Livadakia, both conveniently located spots, windless Aghios Sostis, shady Psili Ammo, which also offers tavernas, Vagia, featuring multi-colored pebbles, Karavi, a nudist beach, Aghios Ioannis, Platy Gialo, Ganema, Kentarchos, and the remote Kalo Abeli and Lia beaches.
DOLMADAKIA (MINIATURE STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES) AND SAUSAGES
The food in Serifos is typically Cycladic. The gastronomy, as is the case in this wider sea region, is magical. Vegetables and greens (zarzavatika), and meat and cheese products figure prominently. Try the fennel fritters (marathotiganites), sun-dried (liastes) tomatoes, chickpeas (revithia fournou) baked in a clay pot, fava bean dip, miniature stuffed grape leaves (dolmadakia), fried cod (bakaliaro), stewed broad beans (koukia yiahni), sun-dried octopus (liasto htapodi), sausages, cured meats (louza and syglino), xinomyzithra cheese, pork with string beans (hirino me abelofasoula) and, of course, the island’s superb thyme honey.
Frequent boats leave daily for Serifos from Piraeus port near Athens. The slower ferry boats take 4-5 hours, while faster flying dolphins take 2-2 ½ hours.
In August, 1916, Serifos witnessed a miners’ uprising – a revolt that played a pivotal role in the establishment of the eight-hour working day in Greece. Traces of this historic revolt may be explored at Megalo Livadi, once the island’s metal mining center, 11 km west of Hora. A loading and unloading facility, to the left of the hill at the location, is one of the remaining vestiges of its mining past.