Oozing easygoing charm and mellow living, Serifos is a sleepy island with an unexpectedly dramatic landscape and surprising level of luxury on offer. Discover a Greece that seemed to have stood still since the 1960s and enjoy an authentic, slow- paced Cycladic experience.
Serifos’ lack of an airport deters the crowds found on Mykonos and Santorini, although the island is just two hours from Athens. Home to some of the most beautiful houses in Greece, it is no surprise that a plethora of artists, writers and architects have chosen the island as their permanent summer retreat. Chora, the main town, tumbles down the hillside like a lava flow of white and blue, hiding unique boutiques and upmarket cafes in its maze of narrow streets. Perched high up in order to deter pirates, the town is the perfect place to spend an afternoon drinking ouzo with the locals.
Alternatively, explore the coastline, which winds around 72 turquoise bays, pebbled coves and sandy beaches, perfect for soaking up some vitamin D. Even in June and July visitors are likely to have the beaches to themselves, particularly as most have been left wild and are uncluttered of loungers, sun-beds and umbrellas. For example, the tiny coves of Kalo Ambeli and Vagia on the southern coast require a bumpy drive followed by a 20 minute walk, rewarding dedicated beach-goers with a unique feeling of discovery and solitude.
The waters around Serifos are perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling – of particular interest is Kalogeros Beach, where the shipwreck of a Spanish cargo steamship lies on the seabed. Serifos is also one of the best Cycladic islands for walking, with a network of well-signposted trails offering stunning panoramic views across the island. Adventurers may enjoy the 4 hour track from Chora to the Monastery of Taxiarkhon, built into the cliff 300ft above the northernmost tip of the island.