GEOGRAPHY South of Kythnos, this is the third of the Western Cyclades covering an area of 73 sq. km., with 70
km. of coastline and a population of 1,133. Seriphos is
73 nautical miles from Piraeus, from where there is a
daily ferry boat, and is similarly linked with Siphnos,
Kimolos and Melos. Its capital is Seriphos (Chora). A
mountainous island (highest point Tourlos, 585 m. a.s.
I.) with small, fertile plains between the ridges, its
coastline is highly indented, the largest bays being
that of Livadi in the south and Koutala in the
southwest. The population is involved in farming and
The island has its own specific yet basically Cycladic
atmosphere which in recent years has attracted an ever
growing number of tourists, even though facilities are
HISTORY Mythology tells us that Perseus grew to
manhood on Seriphos, arriving here in a bladder,
together with his mother Danae, fleeing the wrath of his
father Akrisios, king of Argos. It was from Seriphos
that he set forth to slay the dreaded Medusa. The island
was settled by Ionian colonists in historical times,
took part in the Persian Wars and became a member of the
Athenian League. During the Roman period it was a place
of banishment, in Byzantine times it faded into oblivion
and then passed into the hands of the Venetians who
apportioned it between several noble families. The
Micheli family, which gained predominance, was expelled
by the Turks (1537) after Barbarossa sacked the island.
Like the rest of the Cyclades, Seriphos was frequently
attacked by pirates, was held by the Russians
(1770 -1774) for a brief interval and took part in the
Struggle for Independence.
SIGHTS-MONUMENTS Chora, the main town, is built on a
hill overlooking the harbour and presents a truly
charming picture when viewed from afar, with its bright
white houses, serpentine path wending its way up from
the harbour, narrow alleyways with the paving stones
outlined in whitewash and ruined Venetian castle.
Indeed, it is one of the loveliest Cycladic towns. A
small archaeological collection of finds from the region
is housed in the Town Hall. There are many Postbyzantine
churches, most of which have been renovated (St.
Eleftherios, St. Athanasios) and the church of St.
Constantine stands inside the castle.
On the other side of the castle are the churches of St.
John the Theologian and the Archangels. In the village
of Panaghia (4 km.), north of Chora, there is a
Byzantine church of the Virgin, built in the 10th or
11th century; its feast day is celebrated on August
15th. West of Panaghia is the church of St. Stephen in
which traces of Byzantine wall-paintings are preserved.
Close to the village of Galani (2 km. northeast) stands
the most important monument on the island, the monastery
of the Taxiarchs, a fortress-like structure dated to the
17th century. Refurbished 18th century wall-paintings
embellish the katholikon. The monastery possesses rare
keimelia and valuable books and manuscripts. East of it
lies the village of Kentarchos and beyond that the
region of Psili Ammos, suitable for swimming. On the
southwest side of the island are the bays of Livadi (10
km. from Chora) and Koutala (13 km. from Chora) known as
Porto Catena in the Middle Ages and the virtually
deserted villages of Koutalas and Mega Livadi. On an
eminence above Koutalas is the site known as Kastro tis
Grias, evidently inhabited at some time since there is a
castle there, as well as a few ruined houses, traces of
a fortification wall and remnants of a Hellenistic tower
popularly known as Aspropyrgos. There is a second
Hellenistic tower (Psaropyrgos) atop the hill of
Kyklopas. West of Koutalas is the homonymous cave,
discovered by chance while extracting metal ore, which
was a cult place in antiquity; it has not been
On the southeast side of
the island is the harbour, Livadi, sheltered from strong
winds, a safe haven for all vessels and nowadays a
marina for yachts. The island's sandy beaches and
crystal clear sea can be reached by caique or on foot
and even by vehicle, although the road network is rather
rudimentary. Those most easily accessible are Livadi,
Koutalas (by caique from Livadi), Megan Livadi, Psili
Ammos (by caique), Ramos and Sykamia. Other coves and
beaches can be reached by boat. There is a station for
replenishing water supplies at Livadi and all the
hotels, rooms and apartments are here, though there are
a few rooms for rent in Chora.