According to the legend, the son of the Attic hero Sounion was called "Sifnos", whose name was given to the island. In another version the name Sifnos came from the adjective "Sifnos" meaning empty, which refers to the ancient mining tunnels.
History of Sifnos
Most historians state that Sifnos inhabited by the Pelasgians and later by the Phoenicians, the Leleges and the Cares. According to the myths these people were expelled by King Minos of Crete who settled in the Cyclades his sons as rulers. It is mentioned the city “Minoa” and the Krini "Minoa". At that time in the Aegean lived the pre-Hellenic who later became involved with the Cretans and Achaeans.
In Sifnos Ch. Tsountas revealed graves and foundations of settlements located in Akrotiri in Plati Gialo, in Vathi and in Froudi Kalamitsiou. These graves date back to the 2nd half of 3rd millennium BC Especially the prehistoric cemetery of Platis Gialos, whose research began in 1896 by Pollack and gave important information about burial customs, the types of tombs and ceremonial practices of the islanders at the time.
In Sifnos worshiped Apollon, Artemis, Zeus, Dionysus, Pan, Athena and the Nymphs. The main occupations of the people revolve agriculture, animal husbandry, pottery and especially metallurgy. The 6th century BC was an era of great prosperity. Herodotus says that the residents of Sifnos were richer than the others islanders because there was gold and silver ores in the island.
During the regency of Othona in 1833 Sifnos was divided into two cities, Apollonia and Artemonas - Kamares Kastro that is introduced as the official port of the island. In 1836 the two cities merged into one and the capital moved from Kastro in Apollonia. At the same time many people migrate and the island's economy was difficult at the time. Many residents migrate and made great achievements in various fields of science and arts but they never forgot the island to which they offer financial assistance. In 1914 the single municipality of the Siphnians founded in 1836, divided into two communities, Apollonia and Artemonas. The residents of Sifnos Island took part in major naval events on the 20th century with all their forces in all the battles given for freedom. In 1999 the two communities of Sifnos united in a single municipality.
The most popular destinations in Sifnos:
The name comes from Platis Aigialos that means seashore that has relatively great wide and spacious beach.
It is one of the most popular beaches and is considered one of the widest beach in Cyclades. North at the top of the hill dominates the monastery of Panagia of the Mountains (1813) where the view is breathtaking. North east is the White Tower, the best known of the 57 ancient towers of Sifnos. Southerly in the promontory of Platis Gialos where a prehistoric cemetery was discovered. In the entry of the bay is a privately owned and uninhabited island Kitriani on which the unique building is the Church of Panagia Kyprianou (1732).
Artemonas is located north of Apollonia one kilometer away. It is a real gem of Sifnos, with mansions of neoclassical architecture, with gardens and flowery yards. In the top of the hill there are old windmills and only two in good condition. From here the view of Sifnos is panoramic. The viewer can admire the island, the Castle, the main settlements, even Kamares.
Apollonia (also called Stavri) is the capital of Sifnos since 1836 and the seat of the Municipality of Sifnos. The name Apollonia is ancient and means a city dedicated to Apollon.
The name Vathi is the adjective deep and means that the port is deeper, at a lower point than the surrounding area or that the sea is deep close to shore to reach the ship.
The name means fortress. In its current state the settlement is a sample of castle in Venetian period. Built on an ancient citadel, the 'Asty' mentioned by Herodotus. Inhabited since ancient times till today and is an open-air museum. The Castle was the capital of Sifnos in ancien , medieval and newer period until 1836, established as the seat of the Archdiocese of Sifnos (1646-1797) and Bishopric of Sifnos and Milos (1797-1852). The metropolitan residence was at the top of the acropolis, the current "despotic". This place was once the metropolitan church of Catholics, today Frankantonis (1460). At the entrance of the village, where today is the cemetery of Kastro and the temples of St. Stephen and St. John (1629) ran the notorious School of the Holy Sepulcher (1687-1835), known as the ”Archipelago Paideftirion”.
The name obviously was given due to a lighthouse at the entrance of the harbor for shipping. The lighthouse is located today in the harbor entrance and adjacent to the monastery of Staurou, where the view is breathtaking.
The name 'Kamares came from the many caves that existed in the rocky south coast of the bay. Kamares is the largest coastal village and the port of Sifnos since the end of last century, a great place for holidays in Sinfos. The main village lies on the right side of the inlet that forms the bay of Kamares. Here is the dock of the port, ship agents, shops, grocery stores, restaurants, pastry shops, pottery, car rentals and bike rentals, travel newspaper kiosk, a private campground (camping) and at the western fringes of the settlement there are mansions of the affluent peopleof Sifnos.
The name Cheronissos (peninsula <- fallow "uneducated" + Island) is an ancient Greek and means the department of land surrounded by sea and connected to the mainland on one side only. Located at the north edge of the island. It is a traditional fishing village with a small sandy beach, ideal for Sifnos vacation and in the past years was a potters village.