The Cyclades are a jewel in the Mediterranean sea. I have visited seven and loved each of them.
The hidden gem of the cyclades to me is Sifnos..
Sifnos is wonderful: small, very beautiful and simple, with whitewashed houses, olive trees and churches.
The best location for accommodation is East of the island somewhere around Artemonas with a view on the sea. Windmill Bellavista hotel is quite simple but the view from the dining terrace is stunning and the owner margherita can provide good tips. Astra Verina is a new luxury boutique hotel on the road between Artemonas and Poulati. You can also rent nice modern flats next door with spectacular views on Castro and the deep blue sea.
The nicest accommodations are Selena Suites for its location right above Chrysopigi church and creek, and Kamaroti Suites in Poulati.
Apollonia is nice for a stroll after the beach. There are nice clothing and jewellery shops. If you want to get a souvenir, I suggest the lucky bracelet withe the eye that keeps bad vibes away from you. At xxx, the owner is lovely and will customize your bracelet according to your preferences of colours, eyes, bids.
The terrace of Argo bar and Okyalos restaurant are perfect for an aperitif watching the sunset and listening to the classic music from the bar across the street.
Kastro is good for sunset drinks and a walk to the stunning church.
Beaches and swimming spots
The most amazing coves, meaning rocks / no beach, are Chrisopigi and Poulati.
Chrisopigi is the name of the beautiful pristine white church sitting on a small peninsula looking out the sea. On the right side of the church, the rocks are the best spot to enjoy swimming in fresh blue sea and jumping from the rocks. To the left is a small sandy beach with a lovely tavern for lunch.
Poulati is the cove down from Artemonas, East of Sifnos. It is quite a steep walk so I only recommend it for fit swim lovers. Once there, it is a little peace of heaven with cristal clear water, rocks and birds, nothing else.
Vroulidia is the cove North West of the island. The last part of the drive can be a bit scary as the road is very narrow and steep. Better park your car ahead and walk. This is quite a special place that feels like the end of the world. The sea is fresh and clear. The best spot is on the left side of the cove where you can rent sunloungers and enjoy lunch at the lovely tavern.
Close to Chrisopigi is Faros. It is a nice spot if you have kids. I prefer the side of the beach that is on the other side of the taverna. There is nothing but the sand, the sea and a few skinny trees to give you some shade.
Best food spots
In Artemonas go for aperitif at the Yellow Bicycle. The red wine is surprisingly good and this is also a pastry shop where the locals seem to enjoy the loukoumades (small round donuts) with hot chocolate sauce. You can also take home some sweet things from oriental delicacies to proper entremets (French cream based cakes)
Cafe Mosaic is my favorite in the village. The owners are very friendly. Don't miss the meatballs, great with a tomato salad. Tarama is also great but quite rich. The house red wine is smooth and round. Other local cheese based dishes are good. You can easily eat a nice meal there for 15€ a head.
Omega 3 in Platis Yalos is the most high end restaurant on the island, and to my opinion, one of the best fish restaurants in the world. Most of the A la carte menu is based on raw fish, as sashimi, ceviche or marinated. Don't miss the salmon tartare smoked 'at the minute' and the seabass ceviche with courgette.
The fish tavern in Cherronisos, north of Sifnos, is simple and good but service is not great. The little village very is so cute and picturesque that it is worth a visit.
Baragas is a restaurant with a garden. I haven't tried it but it looked nice.
I would only recommend Vathi beach off season as it is too crowded and too hot in July and August but Manolis Tavern there is a nice spot for lunch.
Artemonas : Windmill Bellavista hotel / Kamaroti Suites / flats
Apollonia : Argo / Okyalos / jewellery
Beaches and swimming spots
Poulati / Chrisopigi / Faros / Vroulidia
Best food spots
Omega 3 / Cafe Mosaic / Yellow Bicycle / Cherronisos tavern / Chrisopigi tavern / Maolis Tavern/ Baragas
Ferry boats can be very flaky so make sure you plan your trips carefully to catch your flight back.
Rent a car and book ahead as there are limited availability.