Kastro is a traditional village on the island of Sifnos. It is located on a cliff only 5 kilometers away from today’s capital Apollonia. Kastro was the island’s old capital; today, you can visit it and explore the breathtaking views and monuments. It is a famous tourist destination and has been inhabited for over 3000 years.
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Visiting the Traditional Village of Kastro in Sifnos
Things to do in Kastro
In this unique village, you can only enter it on foot, and vehicles are not allowed. So, if you have your car, you can park it at the village entrance. Entering the town, you go through tunnels into a labyrinth made of small streets.
You can find small cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops. Continuing to the main road, you will end up at sea, which offers a stunning coast view. You can continue walking around the village above the Aegean sea. The best time to go is before sunset so that you can capture the unique colors in the sky. Make sure to arrive early and choose the best spot.
The port of Kastro is named Saralia and has fish taverns, where you can taste fresh fish and ouzo. There is a small rocky beach called Poulati, where only locals go swimming and is not crowded. So, if you want a quiet place, you can try it. On the other side of the village, you will find a small church, and beneath is a beautiful beach to swim with a natural spring, also used by locals.
How to get to Kastro
You can get a bus from Apollonia or Kamares to Kastro. It should take around 20-30 minutes. Buses are every 2 hours, but the schedule can change in low seasons.
You can take a taxi, which will take you around 10 minutes. The cost of the ride might be something between 10-20 euros. Again depends on the season.
Another option is to hire a car. Again with a car, you will get to Kastro in about 10 minutes, and prices vary for different car rentals.
As it is close to the island’s capital, you can hike or ride a bike. Try to do it early in the morning or evening, as the sun can be extreme.
History of Kastro
Kastro in English means castle. The name comes from the fortress formed by its buildings. It has a medieval Venetian formation to protect the town’s inner part from pirate invasions.
Herodotus referred to this ancient city in the 6th century BC. Also, it has a temple and a theatre dedicated to the God of Dionysus. The ruins of the ancient acropolis stand on the top of the hill, and columns are set in the newer buildings.
There are six gateways around the village. At the highest point of the town is a cathedral church, and you can find a column bearing an inscription by Knight Da Corona from the 14th century (a Spanish knight who served Saint Johann). The 16th and 17th-century chapels are making Kastro a live museum.
In the middle of the village, you can find an Archaeological Museum with exhibits from the prehistoric era up to the Roman period. The first school opened in this village in the early 17th century, and later the School of Panagia Tafou was established.
Next to it stands the twin churches of Agios Stefanos and Agios Ioannis Kalyvitis. Lots of teachers and priests graduated from this place.
Where to stay in Kastro
Agnanti Traditional is only 400 meters from the center of Kastro. The building has stone-paved floors, and the rooms are traditionally decorated and have iron beds. You can have breakfast with local delicacies.
Motivo Sea View is only 100 meters from the center of the village and a 1-minute walk from the beach. The rooms offer astonishing sea views and traditional Aegean decoration.
What to do near Kastro
Near Kastro, you can visit several beaches. Also, only 15 minutes drive away is Kamares, the largest coastal village and the port of Sifnos. Also, it is worth visiting the Church of the Seven Martyrs, do go down the stairs as it is worth the walk.
The island of Sifnos is small, so getting around is easy and quick. But make sure that you first explore this unique settlement. You can visit many places not very far from Kastro. The best time to go is April-October; during these months, the weather is warm, and you shouldn’t experience any ferry delays due to weather conditions.