Sifnos- Beaches & the Birthplace of Tselementes

Vathi, on the Greek island of Sifnos in the Cyclades chain. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Sifnos, one of the islands in the Cyclades chain, is a lovely spot to visit for a classic Greek island experience. The sandy beaches, natural beauty, and tasty local delicacies will guarantee an unforgettable vacation. Some of the not to be missed beaches include Kamáres, the port of the island, offering a sandy beach with trees and beach bars. Platís Yialós is the most popular beach, buzzing with activity. Vathí, a sandy beach with shallow water is lined with tavernas where you can enjoy fresh fish by the seashore.

Sifnos is also the birthplace of Nikolaos Tselementes, the legendary Greek chef who published the first complete Greek cooking guide in 1932 and whose name is synonymous with cookbook in Greek. Born in Sifnos, he studied cooking in Vienna, and first began publishing a monthly magazine, Cooking Guide, in 1910. The magazine not only featured recipes, but nutritional information, cooking news, and ideas on how to serve and present food when entertaining. Tselementes moved to the US where he continued his culinary education and established himself as a master chef in some of the finest restaurants of his day. His 1932 Odigos Mageirikis (Cooking Guide) went into fifteen official reprints and was a beloved present for newlyweds for decades. In 1950, he published Greek Cookery, his only book in English. Some local specialties to try while visiting Sifnos, include mastélo- lamb cooked in red wine and spices, amigdalotá- ground almond sweets, and honey pie.

No need to worry about calories, all that time spent at the beach swimming in the crystal-clear blue water will burn off any excess calories. Just three hours from Athens via high speed ferry or five hours with the regular ferry, Sifnos is also connected to the other islands of the Cyclades with regular ferry service all year round to and from Milos and Serifos, and summer service to and from Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, and Santorini.