Waiting until the afternoon so that the winds would die down, we left Kythnos behind and we sailed northern to Livadi of Serifos. Cruising with the wind on our quarter port it didn’t take us long to reach the eastern coast of the island and we covered the distance of the 22 miles that separated us from the island in about an hour.
Passing by the southeast cape of the bay Livadi, it was the almost permanent gusts of wind that blow with great intensity in the largest part of the bay that welcomed us. I cannot recall even once that I entered Livadi without the accompaniment of the deafening downward winds.
In the past I had experienced very difficult moments on the southern coast of Serifos. One summer, suffering by the winds, we passed by the southwestern side of the island hoping we would be protected from the large waves and cruised along the southern coast trying to take a few breaths before reaching Sifnos which was our final destination. It was true that the southern coasts sheltered us from large sea waves, but we were entrapped in the gusts of winds that come downwards fiercely from the high mountains of Serifos. The sight I found myself in was terrifying and was even worse because of the howling gusts. The gusts of the wind were deafening.
There were times when even the low bow was suddenly swept away by fierce bursts of wind and did not respond to the movements of the wheel. The only way to pass through the raging winds unhurt was to sail near the coast cliffs and travel following closely the coastline of the southern bays. In this way we avoided the high waves, which were over one meter near the coast, while at the same time we were protected against the terrible gusts of winds.
Traveling in a really "snowy" landscape, we arrived at the port where we managed to tie up with great difficulty. We were trapped in Livadi for three whole days, while the wind-gauges of the sailing boats reached their limit, showing 45 to 50 knots of wind speed.
In the port of Livadi
Fighting against the wind gusts once again, with the rev counter reaching a top limit, we entered the deep bay of Livadi, which extends for almost 1.5 nautical miles.
Chora from above, built at the foot of the hill seems to follow our entry and welcome us, offering us a spectacular sight.
We cruised to the west side of the bay where there is the port and the small pier for yachts. It is a very small place to accommodate the boats that come so there is no space, and most travelers tie in a row near the long beach.
In the inner part of the bay there is by the sandy beach Avlomonas, which is almost one kilometer long, and this makes it the largest beach on the island. With the sea trees extending across the beach, it attracts many people without being overcrowded.
Around the port there is the beautiful small village of Livadi, at the heart of Serifos. Small shops, cafes, taverns and night clubs along the coastal road, indicate that here is the life of the island. Here are many rooms to let and hotels, as well as all the public services of the island, so the village can attend many visitors.
Chora of Serifos, which is a real gem of Cyclades, is definitely one of the five most beautiful Chores of the islands of the Aegean Sea. Apart from all other things, there are two “charms” that make the place stand out and be immensely attractive: the stunning little square and the magnificent view from the chapel of Ag. Constantinos. Its beauty can only be compared to the Chora of Patmos, since they are similar in many ways.
There are some parts in the Aegean Sea that no matter how many times you visit them you still do not get enough of their charm.
The taxi left us 10 minutes later in the square of Milloi, which is perched on the cliff, only five kilometers off the port. This is where the old stone path starts leading to Livadi, the course of which is often interrupted by the asphalted road. On the left there are the mills in a row, only two of which are renovated, and this makes it one of the most beautiful sights of Chora.
On the right side of the square of Milo Chora actually starts. Its whitewashed houses perched on the ridge of the rough rock reach the top, where the church of Ag. Constantinos rises.
So once again we took the main cobbled path that is in front of the traditional coffee shop the “Miloi” and after climbing several steps we reached the small square. The locals call it “Piazza” and when you set eyes on it, especially on first sight, you can’t help but express spontaneous exclamations of admiration.
It is like a theatre setting and each of us wants to feel he has even a minor part in it. A small neighborhood that remains untouched and unchanged for hundreds of years. Simply having a place in some corner of this completely genuine setting is a unique experience. An experience that never fades and invites you to live it again and again...
Nothing can be simpler and at the same time so magnificent.
Every moment and every hour of the day here, is magical.
A little further away is where the small, steep steps start and we finally reach the highest point of the rock and Chora. Here is the church of Agios Konstantinos, with its small yard which is one of the most magnificent balconies of Cyclades.
One has the chance to gaze endlessly at the horizon from here. The view is breathtaking, as we feel that we are hovering in the void. Below us there is the valley of Livadi that leads to the port, and no matter where we turn our eyes we can clearly discern the neighboring Cycladic islands. In the south, Kimolos, Milos, and at a close distance Sifnos, on the east Antiparos and Paros and further up Syros.
Enchanted and speechless, we sat in the bench and enjoyed the absolute peace and the wonderful view until the sun sank to set. The night found us in the Piazza, along with our refreshing drinks, trying to decipher the magic we experienced.
Circumnavigation of the island
The intense partition of Serifos’ coasts is the reason why many bays were formed, in which there are some of the most beautiful beaches in Cyclades. So, one morning we set off from Livadi heading west, in order to explore all the shores of the island.
We are still in the bay Livadi, and not far from the harbor we find two of the best beaches on the island. First it is the large and well-formed bay Livadakia that extends in front of us.
With green waters, golden sand and dense sea trees covering its full length, it is natural for it to attract most people since it is just below the newly developed village that shares the same name and only ten minutes away the port.
In a very short distance from Livadakia there is the small bay Karavi, which is named after an old shipwreck found at the bottom, along with piles of urns dating back in the 6th century. Its inner part hosts a very beautiful sandy beach of limited length with beautiful crystal clear waters.
Between the cape Halara and Aspros Kavos there is the deep bay Koutalas.
Here are three of the most famous beaches of Serifos. On the west side there is Vaya and Ganema and in the inner part of the bay there is the beach of Koutalas that shares the same name.
We started going up on the west side of the island. In less than half a mile, there is the entrance to the bay of Megalo Livavi. We entered the deep bay, which offers absolute protection from the winds and we tied up to the little pier that is on the west side. A few meters away, the impressive neoclassic building rises, surrounded by palm trees and it reflects its recent history. Megalo Livadi flourished during the mining of iron ore and it was the centre of Serifos. The whole place was full of life, since the number of the mine workers reached 4000 people.
In the magnificent Psilli Ammos and Agios Sostis
Going down the eastern coast of Serifos, we find the beaches of Psili Ammos and Agios Sostis. They are two enchanting beaches, which undoubtedly are included among the most beautiful of Cyclades. Psili Ammos, which is the largest, was nominated the best beach in Europe for 2003. It is an extended golden beach with fantastic shallow green waters that attract and “force” you to anchor. The two taverns on the coast complement the breathtaking scenery. They are hidden among the sea trees and in the shade of the reeds, they provide unique moments of freshness and relaxation.
It is normal that such a beautiful beach would attract many people on the island, since it is on the top of every visitor’s preference.
Next to that, there is the smaller beach of Agios Sostis, which is as spectacular as that of Psili Ammos. However, it matches more to the philosophy of boat holidays, so to speak. It is located in a narrow bay formed by a small island that is connected to the mainland by a wide strip of sand. On the island there is the chapel of Agios Sostis that shares the same name with the beach and a few meters away a small dock, where we can spend a memorable night. In the inner part of the bay a rather limited golden beach is formed, with amazing crystal blue waters and with several sea trees on one end.
Both Psili Ammos and Agios Sostis are beaches that you can hardly stay away from. So, we decided unanimously to spend all of the next day on their golden beaches, so as to enjoy them as much as we could. The next morning, we were moored in a row on the south side of Psili Ammos. There the sharp protrusions of the rocks create beautiful formations, among which there are small beautiful pools with amazing green waters.