The Greek islands are some of the most sought-after destinations in the world, and iconic tourist spots like Mykonos and Santorini are often at the forefront of people’s minds. With their distinct features, including the gleaming white fishing village of Mykonos and the stunning cerulean domes perched above the caldera of Santorini, these islands are known for their picture-perfect landscapes and vibrant culture. However, they can also be incredibly crowded, reminiscent of Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Tucked away from the touristy crowds, however, is Sifnos, a hidden gem that still manages to attract celebrities like Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Scarlett Johansson, and Margot Robbie. The island has also served as the backdrop for numerous movies and reflects a quiet, understated elegance. Unlike its more popular counterparts, Sifnos does not have an airport, and the only way to reach it is by SeaJet, a regular ferry that leaves from the Athens port of Piraeus, located approximately 80 miles north of the island.
Perched on the edge of a clifftop aerie, Verina Astra is a 16-suite boutique hotel that offers a rustic, yet elegant, atmosphere ideal for visitors who want to bask in the invigorating beauty of the Aegean Sea and surrounding islands. Each suite comes with a private terrace and breathtaking views, offering an ideal setting for relaxing and unwinding. Guests can choose from various accommodations, including the Indus, Norma, Pegasus, and Lyra suites, each reflecting different sizes and amenities.
Delectable meals are always available at Bostani Bar and Restaurant, which is situated inside the Verina Astra hotel. The restaurant prides itself on using locally sourced vegetables and ingredients to create simple, yet flavor-packed, dishes, showcasing the vibrant essence of Greek cuisine. From aged cheese made with goat and mutton milk to traditional dishes like mastelo and revithada, diners can savor a wide range of culinary delights. The restaurant also offers a variety of desserts, including the unique loli, a pumpkin cake enriched with honey, orange, and sesame seeds.
To work off some of the indulgent meals, visitors can opt to join pottery classes that offer a window into the island’s rich cultural heritage. Additionally, the island boasts more than 62 miles of trails for hiking, leading to stunning destinations like Panayia Poulati, a charming church perched on a hill with a picturesque blue dome and bell towers, as well as Kastro, a cliffside village dating back to ancient times.
For those looking to explore beyond the confines of Sifnos, they can partake in day trips to neighboring islands like Serifos, Paros, Milos, or the uninhabited island of Polyaigos. These maritime adventures provide an immersive experience, giving visitors the chance to discover lesser-trodden beaches and hidden coves, all while reveling in the Aegean’s azure beauty.
At the end of a long day, guests can unwind at Bostani Spa, indulging in rejuvenating treatments inspired by traditional Greek remedies. From aromatic massages to calming facials, the spa caters to a range of needs, allowing individuals to establish a sense of tranquility and balance. Furthermore, the Verina Terra hotel, located in Platys Gialos, offers another tranquil retreat with a range of accommodation options and is an ideal location for food enthusiasts and sun worshippers alike.
While other islands may be bracing for more tourist influx in the upcoming years, Sifnos remains committed to preserving its untamed allure. This dedication enables visitors to revel in the island’s authentic charm, where unspoiled beaches, wilderness walks, and mesmerizing evening breezes set the stage for unforgettable experiences under gleaming starlit skies.