Greece – Serifos

The island of Serifos is located on the western part of the island cluster, making it a vista of other Cyclades Islands. What astonishes visitors the most is that Serifos has a coastline that stretches for 81.5 km, 12 km of which are sandy beaches and quaint coves. Serifos is also famous for its charming island-style villages and striking landscapes of unusual rocky formations. You will find a number of significant historical sites and monuments, which show its importance throughout history. The castle ruins of the capital town of Hora are impressive, as are the renovated traditional windmills and the Archaeological and Folklore museums. On the eastern coast, you can swim at the wonderful beaches located beneath the capital including popular Livadi Beach and golden Livadakia Beach. To get to Livadakia beach, head down the road from the dock and make a left at the Krinas Travel and Bike/Car rental. Follow the white steps which are located on the right. This sandy beach provides shade thanks to the surrounding trees. There are three tavernas located on this beach. If you are looking for quieter beaches, we recommend the southeastern beaches of Karavi and Kalo Ambeli. Most nightlife venues in Serifos are situated in Livadi. There are a few clubs, bars and cafes where you can relax, kick back and have a couple of drinks.

The Hora of Serifos spills like a snow drift from the summit of a rocky hill above Livadi Port hole at the Livadi ferry quay looking over towards Livadakia beach Palm tree on the foot path linking Livadi's ferry quay to Livadakia Archway entrance to a church nearby Livadakia Beach One of Livadakia Beach's three main tavernas Ann and Bob relaxing at the tamarisk-fringed beach of Livadakia which has fine golden sand, plenty of shady trees, and a cool breeze Ann, Becky and Robby chilling on Livadakia Beach Garden side view of another Livadakia beach taverna Local fisherman in Livadi bay Lots of boats lined up in a row at Livadi Bay A local fisherman sorting out his fishing net Elderly woman walking to the corner mini market Livadi's unpretentious harbor A corner bakery store sign Even the old buildings in Hora appear rustic Just keep wandering through Hora's narrow alleys and steps and you'll eventually find the kastro Hora's handsome town hall Quaint sign; Hora 17th century Church of Agios Athanasios The church of Agios Ioannis Theologos (St John) is carved onto a rock on top of the ruins of the ancient temple of Athina Shadowed effect of the sun against Hora's dazzling white buildings Exploring Hora's back alleyways is a real highlight of Serifos Becky enjoying the spectacular vistas in Hora Check out all those hairpin turns in the road! Livadi is 5 km by road to Hora, or about 2 km by foot/donkey path Bird's eye view of Livadi's horseshoe shaped harbor Robby poses atop the pinnacle of Hora, with a gorgeous background of cube-shaped houses, churches, and steep staircases Hora's cubist style houses are aesthetically appealing Agios Ioannis Theologos Church is one of Hora's highlights. The views from here are simply amazing Hora's Venetian castle is a dazzling and beautiful white washed village on a steep hillside offering breath taking views in all directions Posing next to St John's Church; Hora Old windmills stand guard at the entrance into Hora The Church of Agios Konstantinos Robby straddling a cliff with the village of Hora in the background The church of Agios Konstantinos and the amazing vistas beneath it Bell tower of Agios Konstantinos Church Detail of a plaque outside the entrance to a home in Hora Zorba's taverna spills into Hora's picturesque town square Fruit stand in Hora Stairs leading down from Agios Konstantinos Church to Hora Pleasant walkways through Hora Pretty flowers bloom in nooks and crannies all over Hora A typical alleyway view in Hora Cactus pears are in full bloom at the base of Hora Snapshot of "lower" Hora. We didn't see too many colorful churches in Greece, so this one definitely stood out! Bell tower of the colorful church in Hora A more traditional, white washed church on the foot path from Hora to Livadi Hora is built on a vertical rock creating an amazing picture with its white houses crawling up towards the kastro while its windmills stand guard over the port Scenic view of an old church with Livadi in the background The footpath is super easy to walk down (pretty sure it'd be a challenge to walk up the steep hill though!) Robby walking down the ancient footpath linking Hora to the waterfront port of Livadi Handmade baskets for sale; Livadi Basket weaving, 101 Livadi's port is set in a wide bay with a horse-shoe shaped tree fringed beach. There are plenty of hotels, tavernas and shops nearby Bob, Ann, Dario, Becky and Robby pause for a group shot on the last night of our cruise foto gallery lightboxby VisualLightBox.com v6.1

19 Sep: We pulled into Serifos at around noon, and were able to disembark shortly thereafter. At first glance, Serifos appeared to be the perfect laid back island with a picturesque hora. As LP described it, “The Hora of Serifos spills like a snow drift from the summit of a rocky hill above Livadi and is one of the most striking of Cycladic capitals.” We figured we would have plenty of time to explore the Hora just before sunset, as Serifos’s lovely beaches were calling our names. Our main goal for the day was to soak up the sun’s rays on Livadakia Beach, swim in the crystalline waters, and catch up on our paperback reading.

Prior to our cruise, we had gone onto the Lonely Planet thorn tree website to glean any additional information on the islands’ must see/do items, and the following excerpt is a response to Serifos’s highlights. “The Serifos beach by the quay, Livadi, is dismal and mucky but there is a treasure nearby…facing inland, take the first substantial street heading inland and up a hill…keep following the road and looking down on your left you will see a beautiful bay/beach called Livadakia Beach, no sun beds but golden sand sloped gently to the water, shaded by lovely tamarisk trees. Coralli bungalows and camping is right on the beach and you can get snacks, use facilities etc. There’s also a taverna at the end nearer town, but the food is so-so.” Armed with this information, we decided to forego eating lunch at the taverna, and packed our usual picnic fare. The walk from the cruise to the beach took only a few minutes, as the simple directions provided by Easy Cruise proved to be quite accurate.

Even in late September, Livadakia Beach had quite a few visitors, and the majority of the tamarisk trees had been claimed. But after we strolled down the entire length of the beach, we managed to find our very own tamarisk tree to lie down under. We followed suit with what everyone else was doing, hanging our bags off the tree branches, and settling our beach mats beneath the shadiest spot. Aaaah, paradise! The sun was beating down in the midday heat, but was countered by the shade from the trees and the cool breeze coming off the sea…the combination made for the perfect beach day, and we spent hours here enjoying Livadakia. The water initially felt chilly but after we had been immersed for a while became quite refreshing. In any case, we just had to walk up on the beach, and the sun warmed us up in no time.

It would have been so easy to stay on the beach all day long…with the cool breeze blowing, and the warm sun beating down our backs, we really didn’t feel like getting up and going up to Chora, but felt that we’d be missing out if we didn’t at least take a peak. We had read about how beautiful the town was, as well as the fantastic lookout point from the Chora’s churches down upon the harbor and the rest of Serifos. Bob and Ann refused to budge from their beach spot, so we agreed to link up for dinner, and returned back to the cruise to change out of our beach clothes.

The Livadi bus stop indicated the next bus would depart at 1730 (there was one additional route at 1830, making it the last bus of the day from Livadi to Hora). We weren’t too keen on the steep hike from Livadi to Hora, so we readily paid the 1.10 Euro fare for the 5 km ride. We did read about the ancient steps leading up from Livadi to Hora that are fragmented by the snaking road that links the two cities together…and figured we could explore that path on our walk back downhill (the last bus from Hora to Livadi departed at 1800, which wouldn’t give us any time to explore the city).

The bus deposited us off at the Hora bus terminus, and we stopped by one of the mini-markets to buy some water before climbing up the stairs leading into Hora’s labyrinth maze. Eventually, we found ourselves in the middle of a picturesque town square, flanked on one side by Zorba’s taverna and its tables/chairs spilling out into the courtyard, and on the other side the 17th century church of Agios Athanasios and the aesthetically pleasing town hall. From the square, we kept climbing stairs that eventually led us to the remnants of the ruined 15th century Venetian Kastro and the peak of the village. The church of Agios Konstantinos had a phenomenal view of everything below it, and we were content to just hanging out here and gazing at all the hairpin turns in the road we had traversed to reach this point. Later on Bob and Ann asked us if the trip to Hora was worth it…hell yeah! It was a gorgeous Cycladic town perched on the side of a mountain, with fantastic vistas across the harbor. Quite a spectacular view and we were so glad we dragged ourselves off the beach for a quick look.

The sun was setting when we decided to walk back down from Hora to Livadi. The ancient steps were quite easy to find, and with gravity assisting, we were back in Livadi in less than 25 minutes. It definitely wouldn’t have been that easy going uphill, but we certainly enjoyed the walk going downhill.

Back in Livadi, we strolled around this port city, and scoped out all the restaurants. We were all craving roasted lamb for our last meal in Greece, and we found three restaurants that served exactly what we were looking for. It was still a bit too early for dinner, so we returned back to the cruise to find Bob and Ann and hang out for a while. Ironically, Ann had already found the perfect spot for dinner, Takis Restaurant, which we had just scoped out and agreed looked like a winner. Their logo was “Best in Greek Specialties and Sea Food” and more importantly, they served our roasted lamb that we were craving for.

On our way towards Takis, we ran into Dario (cruise director), and took a group photo with him. Both Bob and Robby made him promise to give them remedial salsa lessons (they def needed it!), and we thanked him for the wonderful time we’d had on Easy Cruise thus far…this two week itinerary far exceeded our expectations, and we can easily see that the Greek islands have proved to be Easy Cruise’s most popular itinerary yet.

At Takis, we were surprised to see the restaurant packed with locals and tourists alike, and there was a massive Italian contingent celebrating some event or another…they occupied four rows of tables and chairs. We were afraid there wouldn’t be enough room for us to dine at Takis, but no fear…the super friendly waiters simply whisked up a table and four chairs, and made us feel comfortable in the crowded restaurant. Our dinner was absolutely delicious, and the perfect recipe for rounding out our trip to the Greek isles. We came to the conclusion that two weeks just isn’t enough time to enjoy all that Greece has to offer, so we’ll definitely be back! Two huge thumbs up for Greece…one of our favorite European countries.

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