Nature & beaches
The rugged natural beauty of SifNÓS is one of its most compelling and unique assets; having received designation in 1976 as a landscape of outstanding natural beauty, a large area on the west of the island is also part of the European NATURA 2000 Network of protected natural sites. Stretching from the mountain of Profitis Elias to the western island’s coast and covering approximately 20 square kilometres, SifNÓS ’ NATURA area is swathed in cedar, pistacia, herbs and wild olive trees, hosting numerous bird species and rare endemic animals, along with historic chapels and monasteries, ancient beacon towers and a monumental Mycenaean citadel, while endless kilometres of centuries-old dry-stone walls (a paradigm of folk craftsmanship) attest to the laborious efforts to cultivate the land. The combination of such natural and cultural wonders makes this area truly unique and can be easily seen up close from the island’s network of hiking trails.
For those less inclined to hike SifNÓS ’ rugged landscape, the island’s unspoiled beaches offer a more relaxing and refreshing way to experience its beautiful nature. Ranging from organised beaches, to isolated coves, sandy and pebble beaches and rockpools, there’s something for all tastes and moods. Platis Gialos, the largest and most popular beach, combines golden sand, crystal-clear waters and scenic views of the islet of Kitriani with numerous cafés, restaurants and shops; Apokofto Beach boasts crystalline waters, a mixed soft sand and pebbled shoreline and great views of the iconic Monastery of Panagia Chrysopigi, which you can also enjoy from a secluded rocky cove on the other side of the monastery’s peninsula; Kamares Beach is another long golden beach featuring turquoise waters and views of the harbour; more off the beaten track, Vroulidia Beach near Cheronissos village is a secluded pebbled bay with a few umbrellas and a laidback tavern; tree-lined Glyfo (or Vlyсhο) Beach, one of the three beaches in Faros village, stands out for its silky sаnd, shаllоw bluе wаtеrs аnd serene ambience. A short boat trip away from SifNÓS , Polyaigos is a small uninhabited island blessed with pristine beaches and large sea caves.