The terrain may be rough but the rewards are priceless.
The smallish island of Sifnos is surprisingly good for walking. The terrain can be a little rough and pretty steep at certain points, so you won’t have any trouble filling your days with some nice outings. The first thing you’ll want to do when you arrive in Sifnos, is to pick up a copy of a local map which details the entire network of paths on the island. You will need it, because the network is complex and errors are easy to make, and don’t expect much way marking.
Selected walks on Sifnos:
Apollonia to Kastro: A short 45 minute walk one way, but can be very hot during the summer months. Take the cobbled footpath out of Apollonia towards Kato Petali. When the path ends, follow the road from Kato Petali back to the main road. Cross the main road, follow it for a few meters, and then enter what looks like a ditch on your left hand. Surprisingly, you find yourself on the top of one giant stairway taking you almost the whole way down to the Kastro. Walk the last couple of hundred meters along the road. When you have visited Kastro you can take the bus back if you don’t want to return up all those stairs. The bus has regular departures and it might be a good idea to pick up a copy of the timetable at the tourist office in Apollonia.
Faros to the Christopigi Monastery: This is another very short walk. Take the bus to Faros, and then find the path over the headland to the west. After that, just follow the road to the monastery. You pass two nice beaches on this walk.
Apollonia to Vathi: Make your way up towards Profitis Ilias but don’t turn right for the very top of Profitis Ilias. Instead keep straight on. When you come to the top of the saddle below Profitis Ilias, take the left of both of the two forks (as the blue waymarking, and any friendly muleteer on the way will tell you). The path is initially very good, but you may find yourself in a mess of stones and gravel shortly. If you do, do not continue, the real path has probably sneaked away up to your left. Retreat and find where it continues. After this, the path again improves, and you should with no difficulties get down to that big renovated white building you have been seeing below you for some time. Just before you arrive at this building, the continuing path again disappears sharply to your left. You will find it well hidden behind some bushes. After this, the path and the blue paint blobs should take you the rest of the way. But watch your step, the path is difficult at some points, with loose stones and slippery dirt. Towards the end (a steep decent down to Vathi) it is also very narrow.
On this hike you should bring at least two 1 1/2 litre bottles of water. Duration will approach 4 1/2 hours, including the side trip to Profitis Ilias, at least if you have to use the “try every possibility” method!! With the above directions, AND the map I mentioned earlier, you should be better off, and be able to do the whole trek in a shorter time. But do not hurry, take your time and enjoy the ride!