We said good bye to Sifnos, and headed out on the ferry to Serifos.
Here I am watching for the ferry to come in 🙂
This was a very short ride. I’m not sure how long, but it seemed like we just left and then suddenly we had arrived!
Serifos is even more relaxed than Sifnos. I think the population of the whole island is around 1500 people. It was originally an exile island during Roman times, but more recently was a mining island. The mines are closed now, and the island depends on tourism. That being said, this is the place to come if you like places without a lot of tourists. They have a modest tourism industry, but it never felt crowded or “touristy”.
Our hotel was quite basic, but on the plus side only 50 Euros a night! It had a beautiful view out over the water 🙂
Our hotel was quite close to Livadakia Beach, where you could always find a tree to give you some shade. The water was quite nice for swimming and there seemed to be a lot of local people at this beach. As a matter of fact, one night when we went to a restaurant for dinner, the waiter recognized us from the beach!
Also close to our hotel was the port of Livadi. You could walk down in a few minutes and be at plenty of bakeries, restaurants and shops. This appeared to be one of the main areas of the island, with the other being Chora up on the hilltop (more about that in a minute!).
The main port town was called Livadi. As we walked into town and approached the port you came through some stores and bakeries. The next area was a row of restaurants with tables along the waterfront.
We had some delicious meals here that often involved animals. There were lots of cats hanging around to be fed, and even a friendly dog hoping to share your dinner 🙂
There were also these two ducks that hung around at dinner time, because one of the favourite things to do from the restaurant was throw bread in the water and watch the fish fight over it. You might think this was just an activity to keep kids amused, but it seemed everyone did it, including the waiters sometimes! Anyway, the ducks are significant because they were the only two we saw on the whole island. I’m not sure why there are only two!
After you passed the restaurants, there was a nice beach in town. I always had my bathing suit on, just in case some impromptu swimming to cool off was necessary… and it was necessary several times a day 🙂
Each morning in Livadi we ate at a bakery. There were two excellent ones to choose from. We alternated because one had a better seating area, but the other one had a better chicken pie 🙂
This is the one with the good chicken pie, you can see me peaking out from beneath the sun shade.
This is the one with the better seating area. I loved sitting here and people watching 🙂
One of the other things that I loved to watch were the ferries coming in. As well as bringing people, they bring supplies for the island. I noticed that on both Sifnos and Serifos that big trucks would meet the ferry and then bring off all the trailers with goods in them, park them at the port, and then deliver them throughout the day. Then when the slow ferry came the next day the same truck would take all the empty trailers back on the boat to send to Athens for more supplies. This is totally different than what we see on our ferries at home. Each trailer travels with its own truck at home.
Here is a truck in Serifos going off and on to collect the trailers.
This was a great island for people watching. You could often spot local people going about their business. 🙂 This guy was often sitting in his boat fixing his fishing nets.
We saw this guy a few times using his donkey to carry things right down the road in front of our hotel.
Mostly we just relaxed, wandered and people watched while on Serifos; but, the one thing of note we did do was visit the town of Chora (pronounced Hora) that was built WAY up on the hilltop. One waiter told us they built the town way up on the hill because of a “pirate problem”. It makes sense when you think about it. The pirates would have to work a lot harder to get to them up at the top of the hill 🙂
It is hard to tell from the photo, but it is really far up. You could walk up. There is a nice path that goes all the way up the hill, but it was just too hot… even at night. We decided to take the bus up the hill. It picked you up at the port (on the hour, every hour) and dropped you off at the top for only 1.70 Euros. You will know you are in the right place to pick up the bus because there is a sign with a bus on it right across the street from the bakery 🙂
The bus was a little old… but did the trick!
You don’t need to worry about which stop to get off at. He will stop right at the top and park the bus to wait for the next trip down. If you want to get off before the last stop, you just go stand by the front door and the driver will let you off at the next stop (there is no bell), but it appeared to be only local people that needed to get off at the other stops.
The first building we saw after we got off the bus was this one that is built right under a big cliff!
You head up the hill past this building and then you are in the town. There was one square where we found some restaurants and shops…
… but mostly you are walking through winding streets. This village personified the traditional Greek village I imagined when dreaming about this trip 🙂 (Although I must admit in my dream it wasn’t so hot that I had to keep finding shady spots to rest in 🙂 )
I was amazed at how they just built around the natural rock formations.
There were lots of interesting little things to look at each road you turned down 🙂
Some buildings were in better shape than others. I found this one particularly interesting because you can see how it was built. Check out how the rocks were piled up to build the walls, and then plastered over to hold them in place!
The island is thought to be inhabited as early as the 1800’s BC, but this town was built during the pirate invasions of the Turkish domination in the 1500’s A.D. (Although there is one remaining Venetian building form the 1400’s A.D.).
We decided to walk back down the hill (on the old donkey path). I recommend doing this because the views were quite spectacular (looking down and also back up towards the town!)
Just a little note about how kind people are here. The guy who ran our hotel not only did our laundry for FREE, but gave us a small gift of local candy when we left for the ferry. Jessica, you would have loved it! It was lavendar flavoured 🙂 It’s hard to see it in the photo, but here I am opening up the gift on the ferry back to Piraeus 🙂
We definitely enjoyed Serifos, but have decided we don’t need to return. There are so many more Greek Islands we haven’t visited yet 🙂