My Favourite Greek Islands- Best Beaches, Hotels, and Restaurants
Authentic Greek Islands - Here Are My Top Recommendations
After 30 minutes of arriving in Greece on a holiday in Santorini and Naxos in 2014, I knew Greece had stolen my heart. Since then I have returned every year- either twice in one year or spending the whole summer hopping from one beautiful island to another. Having travelled to 25 islands to date, here are my recommendations on my favourite Greek islands. All places have been visited by me, and I haven't received any money for reviewing them.
Serifos - My All-Time Favourite Greek Island
Its rugged beauty, stunning beaches, lovely locals, and fantastic taverns are some of the many reasons why Serifos has become my favourite Greek islands right from my first visit. Here are my tips on where to stay, where to eat, the best beaches etc.
Where to Stay- Hotels and Other Accommodation in Serifos
Cocomat Eco-Residences Serifos is my favourite place to stay on the island. Overlooking one of Serifos' best beaches, Vagia beach (see below), the hotel has 13 tastefully decorated suites that are designed as independent houses showcasing everything that the Cocomat brand has to offer. The hotel's architecture blends in with the cliff on which it is built, and the breakfast buffet is second to none. My favourite room is the two-bedroom suite A1 with a large terrace from which you can enjoy stunning view. It doesn't come cheap, but it's a beautiful place.
Studios Amfitriti is located just outside Livadi and offers magnificent vistas on Serifos' harbour village and the island's mesmerising Chora cascading down the mountain. The fairly spacious studios have everything you need and the mother-sister duo that run the place are lovely people that know their island inside out and give you honest recommendations on where you should go. I stayed twice and really enjoyed it. Last year, the home-made breakfast was slightly disappointing, but I was probably just a bit unlucky.
Where to Eat- The Best Taverns and Restaurants in Serifos
O Kyklopas is more than just a great tavern, it is a fabulous place to spend an unforgettable afternoon enjoying homemade Greek food and swimming in the sea in-between courses. One of two (previously three) taverns set right on Megalo Livadi beach, it offers some of the best and most authentic Greek dishes on the island. This is not a place to come to grab a quick bite, though. Service is definitely on the slow side, to the dismay of those in a hurry. You're on holiday, so relax! Or as the Greeks say σιγά-σιγά (siga, siga; slowly, slowly!).
Stefanakos is one of two taverns serving hungry beach lovers on the stunning beach of Psili Ammos (see below). Run by a lovely family, the tavern offers great and fresh Greek food. The service is very efficient and there are too many must-try dishes to mention them all, but here I ate some of the best "gemista" (stuffed tomatoes and peppers) anywhere in Greece.
Kalis Seafood Restaurant is one of the best options to dine in Livadi. You can either sit on the beach or in front of their restaurant and enjoy some of the freshed seafood on the island. It gets seriously busy in the evenings, so best to reserve a table. Service is very efficient, run almost like a military operation. But since the place is so popular, you'll appreciate that your food arrives hot. Few options for vegetarians but they're all good, especially their island salad.
Lepi Lepi Seafood opened in Livadi last year and has already garnered positive reviews for its good food, lovely presentation, and friendly service. Some good options for vegetarians too, so I recommend it.
Aloni is one of very few restaurants that are open all year round. Situated on the way to Chora, its menu offers plenty of options for carnivores, but vegetarians have not been forgotten either with some good traditional options like "horta" (boiled greens), eggplant and zucchini balls and the like. Come here at around sunset time not just to enjoy the food but also to marvel at the stunning panorama of the bay of Livadi. Needless to say, the best tables go quickly so get there early because they do not take reservations.
The Best Beaches On The Island Of Serifos
Psili Ammos is definitely one of the best, if not the best beach on the island. Fine white sand, located in a beautiful bay, this beach was once voted one of the best beaches in Europe- and I can see why. Despite its two taverns, Psili Ammos is an unorganised beach but it offers plenty of shade under its tamarisk trees. Unless of course you arrive late during high season.
Vagia beach is a very clean pebbled beach about 5km from the port of Livadi. Set in a beautiful bay, the beach boasts very clear water and makes for the perfect summer day on a wind-free day. Prone to strong winds, you might want to check the weather forecast before you head there, particularly during the Meltemi season in August.
Malliadiko beach was a well-kept secret by the locals for many years, but now the word is out. It takes a bit longer to get to- first by car as it is approximately 13km from Livadi, and then 10 minutes by foot- but it is definitely worth the detour. It is still a fairly quiet beach, even in high season, with plenty of shade and attracts mostly younger or 'alternative' tourists. I very much enjoy the hippie vibe and the calmness this place oozes.
Agios Sostis is a popular beach on the island of Serifos for those who don't want to venture far but enjoy some peace and quiet. The beach is very beautiful from afar, not least because of a picturesque church built on the edge of a cliff, but for me personally it is not the beach where I spend a whole afternoon. That's partly because there are only a handful of trees, but mostly because it is fairly shallow and so not great for swimming.
Right next to Agios Sostis lies Lia beach, which has garnered a bit of a reputation as a nudist beach. When I visited, it was a mix of clothed and nude beach lovers. It is much quieter than its more well-known neighbour and a lot less shallow, making for better swims.
Megalo Livadi beach might not be as inviting as some of the other beaches listed here since it is a fairly narrow beach, but it makes for a perfect summer afternoon if you grab a table at one of the taverns that are set on the beach. Dipping in the sea while waiting for your food, what better way to spend a summer day?
Best Shops in Serifos
Trust me, I'm not the typical pottery type, but Kerameio Ceramic Studio really impressed me with their handmade ceramics and pottery. I bought a lot when I was on the island and my parcel full of absolutely beautiful bowls, mugs, and plates arrived a few weeks later. Fortunately, they deliver internationally, but when you're on the island make sure you check out their shop in person.
That's it for now. I'm going to update this site in the coming days with more tips on Serifos and my other favourite islands in my beloved Greece. So keep checking back for more.
Thanks for reading! γεια σας!