Hidden gems

The lighthouse of Serifos. It is one of the hidden gems of the island and it was built in 1901, on the steep rocks of cape Spathi, at the south, 65 meters above the sea level. It is automatic, with luminosity of 18 nautical miles. The stoned finished around the windows and on the corners of the walls make it one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the Cyclades. The old cobblestone path that starts from the lighthouse leads to the sea and this is where the lighthouse keepers, who would arrive here by boat, used to go uphill. To get there, follow the path from Livadi towards the southern beaches. just before the end of the road, turn left to the dirt road towards the dump (follow the sign) and then turn left again in 1.7 km.

Koutalas Cave. Near Koutalas, in Serifos, there is an interesting cave, which was accidentally discovered in 1893, during mining process. Its ground was scattered with oil lamps and vases of the classical, Hellenistic and Roman times. Having been looted repeatedly, it was shouted by the Ephorate of Speleology.

The throne of the Cyclops. This is an amazing secret of Serifos. The cape of the Cyclops is a spectacular site, offering panoramic view of the southwestern side of the island. There you will see the remains of a tower called Psaropyrgos, or “Throne”, or “sofa of the Cyclops”. The dimensions of the construction are 8.80m X 7.20m and make you wonder how the huge chipped boulders, which form the base, got up there. During the sunset it is worth standing over the throne end enjoy the view of cape Vouno, cape Kountoura and Megalo Livadi bay. At the west side of the throne you will see a part of an ancient wall, most probably a part of an old precinct.

Aspros Pyrgos (The White Tower). It dominates over Koutalas bay. You will find it on the way from Hora to Megalo Livadi beach, just before the intersection of Megalo Livadi-Koutalas. It is a small, circular marble building and one of the most well-preserved ancient towers in Serifos island. From the movable archeological findings it was concluded that the tower was built in the 4th century B.C and it was used until the 7th century A.D. As it is an autonomous fortified construction, it is possible that iy use to have many uses, such as an observatory for monitoring the surrounding area, etc. Next to it there is the chapel of Agios Charalambos and opposite there is the nicely painted church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity).

The old Aqueduct. The white building, with the arcades, that you will find at the last hairpin-turn before you reach Kato Hora of Serifos, driving from Livadi, is the old Aqueduct. It is called Mesa Pigadi or Paspario and it is located at the left “torrent-bed” of Petria since 1858. This is the place that used to supply Kato Chora with water and where the housewives used to do their laundry in its basins. In order to get there, follow the subtle traces of the path that starts from the left side of the hairpin turn.

To Kastro tis Grias (Old Woman’s Castle). As you drive from Chora of Serifos towards Megalo Livadi, you will notice the conically shaped rocky hill which remains in sight all the time. According to the evidence -remains of buildings and movable findings that date back to ancient times- there should be a castle at the top of this hill. To date, however, there has been no excavation and as a result no one can speak with certainty.

Serifos gastronomy and traditional flavors. In the the islands’ taverns you can taste revythada (traditionally cooked chickpeas), fried sun-dried tomatoes, Xinomyzithra (local sour cream cheese), marathotiganites (fried fennel pies) and tsigarides (cooked pork in the pot with several herbs). It is worth tasting “souma” (a spirit, like raki, with herbs), louza (a local traditional recipe based on ham) and local sausages.

Text: Natasa Kalogeropoulou-Valy Vaimaki. Photos: Valy Vaimaki/Experience Greece