Been to Santorini, Ios, Folegandros, Sikinos, Milos, Kimolos, Sifnos and Serifos so far: all unique, all lovely, all spectacular, all with their different character. But it’s easy to fall in love with just one Greek island and mine may well be Serifos. Some of the pictures below will show you why, but there are other factors, too.
The island is excellent value for money. Hotels where in other islands would quote €100 for a double room, ask for €60 on Serifos. That, along with the cheaper rates in restaurants and tavernas make the island surprisingly affordable in an age of belt-tightening. At the same time, the number and quality of the beaches is dizzying; they include Psili Ammos declared European Beach of the Year 2003, by the Sunday Times.
In short: you get more beach for your buck.
The capital, Chora – perched high above the port, Livadi, and its beautiful beach – is in the top five of the Cyclades in terms of sheer cutsiness. Just bumming around its winding alleys and climbing its stony stairs is a pleasure in itself.
The birdlife was an extra treat for a twitcher like me. Finches sang outside my balcony all day; a pair of swallows had made their nest by my bathroom window; and, for the first time in a decade, I heard a nightingale sing at night.
Surprisingly, the island has some quite good nightlife, always a plus in my book. There are three clubs and five late night bars in the two main settlements, while the last bus from Chora to Livadi leaves at midnight (and later during high season). Not that it helps for clubs like Alter Ego that opens at 11pm and shuts at 6am, but it’s indicative of Serifos by night.
Finally, I got to know people; my host, Babis, owner of Hotel Maïstrali; Roman the German beach bum from Nurenberg, manager of beach hut Sail In who speaks better Greek than English; his chef from Salonika, who gave me recipes; Nikos the Russian Greek from Tashkent..
I worked hard here, and I may have had a better time on other islands, but it is to Serifos I made a promise to return.