Quintessential Cyclades: A Fast Guide to Serifos Island

Many of the most pristine beaches on this blissfully laid-back Cycladic island, like Kalo Ambeli, are hard to reach, but are totally worth the hike.


Serifos’ locals spent a busy spring whitewashing their homes and businesses so they’d be ready and sparkling under the strong Cycladic sun to welcome visitors for the summer season, which starts around late May to early June.

With around 70 beaches and a good chunk of the island – mainly in the north – still undeveloped, this is a great destination for some peace and solitude, away from the madding crowds. It also has a wealth of walking trails crisscrossing the hinterland.

 

The main town, Hora, is built on a hill and looks out onto the port town of Livadi down below.

Breakfast

Greek coffee made properly, fresh fruit juices, omelets, eggs with apaki ham, yoghurt with honey, fruits and walnut, but also a selection waffles are on the menu at Stratos’ (tel. (+30) 22810.525.66) on the main square in Hora. The space is quite big, so finding an out-of-the-way table should not be a problem. Come back in the afternoon for a glass of Cretan raki and a selection of meze, or for its famous chocolate cake.

One of the best brunches on the island is served at Compasso in Livadi, and include sweet and savory pancakes, croque madame, waffles and smoothie bowls. Back in Hora, Halida bakery (tel. (+30) 22810.514.29) also makes a variety of crispy pies, croissants and sweet tsoureki, apart from the usual breads and dunking biscuits.

Time for action

One of the most interesting stories on the island is centered on Kalo Livadi and its former quarries. Rusty wagons and rails, pits and a small museum are there to acquaint visitors with an underground community that also gave birth to one of the first big industrial actions in Greece, back in 1916.

Swimming

Serifos is famed for its sandy beaches and most are devoid of shade – with the exception of a few tamarisks here and there – so make sure to pack an umbrella. Psili Ammos is among the easiest to reach and has a couple of tavernas, and therefore tends to get crowded.

The same is the case at Livadakia, which is particularly good for families with young children thanks to its shallow waters.

 

It takes some footwork to get to Karavi, Kalo Ambeli and Malliadiko, but you will be rewarded with peace and calm, and a wonderful bathing waters.

Food & drink

Aloni (tel. (+30) 22810.526.03), near the bottom of Hora, is popular for its view and well-grilled meat dishes, like the good kontosouvli spit-roasted port or the beef steak.

At Kalis (Livadi, tel. (+30) 22810.533.01) you will enjoy fish and seafood that has come fresh of the fishing boat that morning; if you have a hankering for pasta with lobster, this is where to get it.

 

Located just above a lovely small bay, Nikoulias (Platys Gialos, tel. (+30) 22810.521.74) is a family run taverna serving fresh fish, grilled meat and home-style roasts and casseroles, with many of the ingredients produced the family itself.

For an evening out with a view, a young crowd and fancy cocktails, try the rooftop of Gaidaros in Hora. If you’d rather be by the water, then head to the Yacht Club (tel. (+30) 22810.518.88) in Livadi.

Where to stay

For apartments that can accommodate couples and families, try Indigo Studios (Livadi, tel. (+30) 22810.525.48, indigostudios.gr, starting at 52 euros for 2 people, without breakfast) or splash out and treat yourself to a suite at Coco-mat Eco Residences (Vagia, tel. (+30) 694.83031.64, coco-matserifos.com, starting at 315 euros for 2 people, with breakfast).



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