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SIFNOS is one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades and attracts high end tourism.

The island is halfway between Piraeus and Crete, about 3 to 6 hours, depending on the type of ship you choose to travel on. The main harbor of Sifnos is Kamares, that lie about 6 km from the capital of Apollonia, an ancient town that has been named after Apollo. Apollonia is built on 3 hills and is the administrative and commercial hub of the island since 1836. The most beautiful spot on Sifnos is the Kastro village, about 3 km from Apollonia, that perches on top of a steep rock, on the island's east shore, and features amazing views of the Aegean. Kastro has been inhabited since antiquity and is referred to in Herodotus. The outter row of attached houses constitutes the city's medieval defensive wall and was occupied by the working classes. The inner rows of houses was reserved for the aristocracy. Faros is one of the nicest bays of Sifnos, on the island's southeast, and served as the island's main harbor until 1883. The area is a resort and features a number of accommodations and taverns. At the west end of the bay there are a couple of ore loading docks, reminding the island's mining past. Sifnos has a rich history. During ancient times the island produced gold and silver, and a particular local mineral called "Sifnian Stone", that brought riches and influence. The first important settlers here were Minoan Cretans followed, after the Minoan Civilization collapsed by the effects of the Santorini volcano explosion, by Mycenaeans. The 8th century BC gold rush resulted in unprecedented prosperity, and the island became one of the key trading posts in the Aegean. In the 5th century, Sifnos participated in the wars against the invading Persian army, and took part in the battles of Marathon, Salamis and Platea. Then, it joined the Delian League, or Athenian Alliance. The Classical age was followed by Byzantine rule. In 1204, after the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, the Cycladic islands came under Venetian rule and were split into Duchies and Baronies, ruled by Italian and Spanish knights. In 1537 the Ottoman Turks drove the Venetians from the Aegean, but the islands suffered for centuries from roaming pirates, who plundered the Cyclades and caused their depopulation. In 1830, Sifnos and the Cyclades became part of the newly established state of Greece.

Today, Sifnos is a fishing island with a thriving pottery industy that is becoming a major tourism resort in the Aegean.

 

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