A walk to Kastro
This summer we had a very distinguished guest at Verina Astra. Rachel Howard with her beautiful family visited us for a few days in order to prepare an article on food in Sifnos for Condé Nast Traveller. Rachel is a writer that specializes in travel features and her work appears in magazines and travel sites like Condé Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveler, Toast Travels and many others. She is also a devoted fan of Greece and has done extensive work covering travel in Greece.
This year it was time for a visit to Sifnos and it did not take long to persuade Rachel, her husband and their cute little son to take a stroll from Verina Astra to Kastro, the old fortified capital of the island. Kastro dominates the view from the hotel and for all our guests extends an open invitation to visit. Even better if you decide to walk there – a stroll that is relatively easy and does not take more than an hour. The view as you walk towards Kastro is breathtaking and is worth every single step you take…
From Verina Astra we walked to the church of Panayia Poulati. Built in 1870, the church is a landmark of the island with its characteristic blue dome and high bell towers. If the sea is calm, you may want to dive from the cliffs. A short path will take you to the sea. You can swim and snorkel towards the rocks of Dialiskari. The water is just incredible.
After we enjoyed the peace and serenity of the impressive church we took the path towards Kastro. The trail continues above the rocky coastline feeling like you are moving along an endless balcony with a sea view. All the time you can see your destination – Kastro.
It is worth stopping somewhere in the middle of the trail, where there is a little chapel, and admiring the view toward both directions. On your left hand side, you can see the impressive church of Panayia Poulati. On the right hand side, you can see quite clearly Kastro with its characteristic architecture.
Needless to say that while walking the smells of the thyme and other wild herbs will entice you. You almost need to take deep breaths to experience these smells to the fullest. The dry stone walls that line most of the path will also capture your attention and will remind you that this path has been there and used for centuries.
Arriving in Kastro, you will get lost in its little streets and will enjoy its very special character. It will not take long before you end up in one of the coffee shops with terraces overlooking the Aegean Sea. Order the summer coffee Greeks favor, a frappe (instant coffee shaken with ice) and relax. You have totally earned it!