Serifos

Serifos, known as the poorer brother to its wealthy neighbour Sifnos, was our home for 2 days. The island population numbers just over 1,000, and we felt very conspicuous as the only two foreigners on the island. We were staying at the port town of Livadi, the largest town on the island.

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The bay and port of Livadi

While it is beautiful in its own right, with a large beach, sheltered bay, and rugged mountains all around, all eyes are drawn upwards to the hill-top town of Hora a few hundred metres above.

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The dramatically positioned Hora, above Livadi

Livadi has a real Wild-west feel with battered 4×4 trucks cruising its dusty unpaved roads, and strolling around town on our first morning there we felt over dressed for the first time in years. This coming from a pair who have been rotating the same couple of fleeces and jeans for the past year tells a lot about the clientele in Serifos!

There is a walking track up to Hora, 250m above, and we headed up there on our first morning, eager to see both the town and the views from on high.

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A church on a high point of Hora
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The view down to Livadi
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Hora’s run-down town hall. Surprisingly it seems to be in use; someone was working in there as we walked by.

After wandering around the tiny lane ways and stepped streets, we went in search of a coffee. Incredibly, we found the best coffee we have had on the Greek islands so far, served in a tiny cafe/bar that felt more like the kitchen of the owner. The other clients were a couple of ancient men with their walking sticks, and a handful of young bucks, all sitting in what seemed like their regular spots. As mentioned already, we stuck out like sore thumbs, but as we walked in and called out Kaliméra (Good morning), they all responded and we felt welcome to join them.

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Surprisingly good coffee. As Daniel took the picture the old fellas behind me kept up a running commentary of what was going on. (Note the Halloween masks: it is the 2 weeks of Greek Halloween now, leading up to Lent which begins next Monday.)
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Donkeys at work in Serifos. As the handler walked past the cafe and saw his buddies inside, he tied up the donkeys and came in for a shot. Everything done in its own good time!

The exceptional Greek kindness we have experienced continued on Serifos. As our boat docked the first evening sometime after 8pm, we saw a super market open. Highly unusual, as it was a Sunday, when supermarkets tend to be closed. As we reached the entrance, we saw that they were indeed closed, just stocking the shop for the next day, and we turned to leave. But on seeing us, they invited us in to pick up whatever we needed. They even offered that we pay the following day – an incredible offer to two people they had never seen before. On our last morning in Serifos, we ordered coffee in a cafe by the beach, which came served with 2 slices of cake. As we paid, I complimented the waiter on the delicious cake, and he packed up two more slices for us to take with us. Incredibly generous people!

Apart from its beautiful mountains and lovely towns, Serifos is famous for its sandy beaches and walking tracks. But with only 2 days there, we didn’t have time to venture far and will have to save these for another trip.

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One more look at Hora: what a stunning setting!

Serifos completes our tour of the Cyclades islands, and following a 5 hour ferry ride, we arrived back in Piraeus, one month after our initial sailing, all those islands ago. And what a memorable and fantastic month we have had. We have rarely enjoyed any month as much as this, and are completely in love with Greece, its people, its landscape, its culture. Syros, Paros, Naxos, Santorini, Milos, Sifnos and Serifos. Each so different, so beautiful and charming in its own way. We can’t agree which are our favourites, but we can agree that we definitely want to come back!

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