Sifnos, Greece

Sep 14, 2018 - Sea Cloud

Early in the morning we arrived at the island of Sifnos, one of the western Cyclades. We took the Zodiacs to the hospitable bay of Kamares, then headed to tour Kastro (the castle), one of the island’s most important, fascinating, and beautiful sites. On the short drive, we enjoyed scenes of the Sifnian countryside featuring characteristic stone walls, olive trees, and a number of charming Orthodox chapels in the most unexpected places. It is said that there are more than 235 churches on the island, and many feature typical Cycladic dovecotes.

When we arrived in Castro, we started our walking tour exploring the citadel. Along the narrow, windy paths sat cubic, whitewashed houses, one next to the other. The layout was designed for defensive purposes but today makes us wonder how people managed to organize their lives within such small spaces. We walked under the low vaulted openings and saw some of the castle’s gates wide open. In early times, the wooden doors, reinforced with metal bars, were closed, keeping the population safe.

Then we found ourselves on the castle’s upper plateau from which the views where breathtaking! The deep blue of the Aegean was beautiful. At the foot of the steep hillside, on top of a rock, the small Church of the Seven Martyrs with its blue dome stood surrounded by the sea, exposed to the winds.

When we returned to Kamares, some of us visited the local pottery workshops for which Sifnos is famous. Others went down to the sandy beach and enjoyed a swim in the calm water. It was a beautiful day. There is no doubt why Sifnos is one of the most charming islands under the sun.

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About the Author

Gemma Economopoulou

Cultural Specialist

Gemma is a native Greek, born in Athens. She completed three years of study in the Licensed Lecturer Guides School of Athens, and for the last 19 years has been working as a licensed guide in English and Spanish, conducting various types of land tours and cruises all over Greece.

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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