INFORMATION ABOUT SERIFOS ISLAND
Serifos, is one of the most traditional islands of Cyclades with graphical sceneries that can impress even the most demanding visitors. The island in the late years shows a significant increase of tourism and is one of the most ideal destinations in Cyclades.
The area reaches 75 square kilometres of which 10 are covered with beaches.
Chora is the capital of the island. It is considered among the most graphic Cycladic areas with white windmills and paved alleys. Visitors enjoy the magnificent view from the north side of the island towards Kythnos. You can see Syros in the Northeast, East Paros, Sifnos in the southeast and Milos in the South side.
You can travel to the island from the port of Piraeus by boat in 4 hours and 15 minutes. If you choose to travel with a speedboat, the journey will last only 2 hours and 15 minutes. The departures are mainly in the morning except Fridays at 16.00, while your return from the island is always in the afternoon. The island has a heliport.
SERIFOS ISLAND HISTORY
In the years of mythology Serifos, was known for her metal deposits. The island was colonized by the Boeotians and ruled by kings Diktys and Polydeuces. The island gained its own currency since the beginning of the 6 th century B.C.
The mythical son of Zeus and Danae, Perseus grew on the island and in his early age chop off the head the Medusa, the legendary monster, in order to protect his mother from the amorous overtures of Polydeuces.
On his journey home to Ithaca, Odysseus landed at Serifos where he encountered the Cyclops Polyphemus; the site is marked by a rock at the entrance to Koutalas bay where ruins of Cyclopean walls are visible.
The island was inhabited by Minoans who came from Crete and Mycenaean which began the exploitation of the mines in the areas of Moutoyla and Galanis. Serifos did not take part in the Greek expedition against Troy, although the island did indirectly participate in the campaigns of Alexander the Great, a fact evidenced by the use of Serifos metals to forge their swords. In the 7th century B.C., the island was settled by the Ionians. There’s little evidence of the island’s activities in Hellenistic times.
After the Hellenistic times, the island started to eclipse. The morphological division of the island with the main settlement of Chora, created a perfect closed-cycle protection from the Turkish attacks. The fortification of Chora, including the thick gates or loggias with battlements along its perimeter, attests to the island’s need to fortify itself against the Turkish attacks.
In the middle of the 19th century, Serifos returns to prominence with the exploitation of its metal deposits by foreign entrepreneurs. The Governor’s Mansion at Mega Livadi is one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in the Aegean today. There, in August 1916, the first labor law instituted an eight-hour work day was signed following clashes between miners and police. Around the same time, the miners form a union under Konstantinos Speras.
After the Second World War, the mines faced stiff competition from European competitors and mining is no longer lucrative. Production is gradually reduced, leading to the mines’ closure in 1963. Thousands of miners abandon the island, which turns its economy towards tourism.