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Greece Travel: Traveler's Reviews
Matt's Sifnos Guide

Dear Matt,

This is a long overdue thank you.  We, my husband, 8 year old son and
I, visited Greece this summer..Athens, Sifnos and Santorini..and your
web site was our bible!  If it weren't for you, we would have never
discovered the beautiful island of Sifnos, would have never found the
absolutely wonderful Adams Hotel and would not have been prepared for
spectacular Santorini's tourist crowds.  I printed out your
information for each place and carried it with me.

I doubt very much that we would have enjoyed Athens so much if it
weren't for staying at the Adams Hotel.  Not only were Kosta and
Dimitri very kind and helpful (they let us check in our room at 8:30
a.m.!), but the location of the hotel is superb.  We were able to walk
to all the sights that we took in..the Temple of Zeus, National
Gardens, the Acropolis, and of course the Plaka, its shops and
restaurants and, best of all, the rooftop movie theatre.

We stayed 8 days on Sifnos, and you're right, we didn't want to
leave!  Of all the places we Greece, and also Rome,
Florence, Venice, Paris, and southern England, the island of Sifnos
was my favorite.  I fell in love with every single place we toured,
but Sifnos is a special gem, still able to keep its old charm and

Also, I want to put in a good word for Aegean Thesaurus Travel, namely
APOSTOLOS DIMOPOULOS.  He was extremely helpful when we made our
booking, went out of his way to give us the ferry schedule and offer
other information.  AND, just recently, I asked for his assistance in
contacting the post office in Appolonia.  I mailed a package from
there (in July), a piece of Sifnos pottery, that never reached its
destination in the U.S..  I can't tell you how kind and helpful he has
been!  He even offered to buy another bowl for us and ship it, not
asking for a commission or anything, just the cost of the bowl and

Thank you once again for all of the invaluable information that you so
generously share.

Happy holidays to you,
Linda Tucker
and Troy and Tyler Tucker..

Americans living in the United Arab Emirates

Sifnos - what can I say !!  The sun, the sea, the sand, and to top it all off,
a lovely villa with a terrific view.  After much debate we opted to stay at
Alkyonis and no doubt made the right choice.  A beautiful 2 bedroom, 2
bathroom, traditional style villa, with nothing less than 3 terraces and 3
small balconies, each with their own special view.  Our hostess, Maria couldn't
have been more gracious or warm and presented us both with ceramic plates
glazed in the traditional island blue.  She shared island history, legend and
myth and assisted in restaurant selections.  First class !!

We spent 6 wonderful days exploring the island on scooters, lying on the beach,
reading, sleeping, drinking and eating.  Each day ending with a spectacular
sunset viewed from our front terrace at the base of Kamares bay.

We spent only one evening at Old Captains, somewhat quieter than I expect it
might be earlier in the year.  (no one else was there) A warm atmosphere and
some old disco made for an interesting variation although we did find it rather
rich.  A round of drinks for 4 and 2 cold coffees, (Greek coffee not
available), quickly totaled over 7000 dr.  In Canadian funds it reached nearly
$38.00 before tip.  Our visit, first and last.

We did however experience wonderful food and drink and what I believe is the
Boulis restaurant.  We never did find a name on the taverna but  3 dinners and
2 lunches in a period of 6 days speaks for itself.  Squid, grilled or baked,
BBQ fish, gyros, fava beans and wine, the list was endless.  The barrels on the
wall prompted us to name it  the Keg.  I hope you have the Keg restaurant chain
in the US, elsewise, this is perhaps not so humorous.

Thanks Matt and keep in touch,
Suzann Landry

Hello matt , just a Thankyou for yr guide and sharing yr experience of sifnos and athens in September my husband and myself stayed at the stavros rooms , they were just perfect for us , Sarah and stavros were a lovely couple and looked after us , everything about sifnos we loved. The bus service was excellent as we choose not to drive but we managed to get about to some interesting places ,kastro being our favourite especially the very rustic kavos bar ,. And the food at the leonodiss? .we stayed for nine days then caught the boat to milos another very interesting place we enjoy walking and in milos we did plenty . From there we went to athens from milos airport never experienced anything like that before in Greece but at least we can say we have flown from there . Athens was a challenge when we arrived we were told the tram service was on strike so a bus it was ,,, another experience my husband is not a lover of large city's . When we finally arrived in athens a lady whom had shared the bus with us directed us to our hotel attalos that is where we totally fell in love with athens we walked down what must be the Main Street buskers on every corner it was so alive and there we were pulling our cases behind us having a wonderful time . We arrived at our hotel in the evening and I could not wait to see the Parthenon all lit up wow ,, it made me cry it was a site I shall never forget , next morning we planned to get up early and visit the site which we did , we took some amazing pictures . And can not wait to visit again so Thankyou matt . Don't think we would have had this experience without yr advise We are both reaching the autumn yrs of our lives but still have a spirit of adventure

Hi Matt

You probably won't remember as I am sure you get so many emails asking for recommendations....but I emailed you about 4 years ago to ask for help as my then boyfriend and I were going to Athens and were not sure which of the islands to head to.

You emailed back really quickly and suggested Sifnos. We took your advice and had our first holiday together on the most beautiful of islands. We stayed at the Petali Village and fell in love with the hotel, the island, and probably a little more with each other.

2 years later we got engaged in New York and both knew we wanted to go back to Sifnos for our special day. We were married by the mayor and held our symbolic ceremony and reception at the Petali Village. Apostolos at Aegean Thesaurus arranged everything and it was the most perfect day that we will treasure forever.

It will be our first anniversary on 29th June, and I don't know why, but today it popped into my head that I didn't ever email you to thank you for your kind recommendation. If we hadn't emailed you we would never have found that beautiful island and, while we know it isn't really ours, would never have felt we got married in our own little corner of the world.

So thank you! Thank you so so so much.

from Lisa and Adam G. xx

PS - proof of how amazing the work you do is:

Have a fantastic summer!

We had a great time in Sifnos, also visited Poros and Santorini. But I think
Sifnos was the best. Napos Villa (1KM from Faros) was very nice with a pool,
owned by Giorgos the camera shop owner in Appollonia.

I miss that daily octopus and Greek salad already!

Hello Matt, My boyfriend and I are currently sitting on our patio at the Morfeas Pension in Sifnos enjoying a glass of wine and wanted to pass along our thanks to you! Your blog was a huge help in planning our trip. Sifnos and this hotel were fantastic suggestions. We are off to Milos in two days. Thank you for all the effort you have put into your blog. It was better than any guide book we could have bought.
Kind regards
Dear Matt,
Just to thank you for your advice. I contacted you last autumn and  followed your advice to go to Sifnos for a friends reunion.
We loved it and don't think we will be able  to have such a  great time again.
We received excellent service everywhere ( a group of 24!), the food was fantastic, and of course the island is beautiful.
We are now back in Athens (where we live) and our friends back in Switzerlaand, but Sifnos will stay for ever in our hearts.
Have a  good  summer, best wishes,
Hi Matt
I have been meaning to write and thank you for your wonderful site that help my family have a wonderful time in Greece.
We did end up staying on Sifnos and staying with Sarah and Stavros.  Sifnos was the last island we stayed on Santorini, naxos and paros for three nights each then onto sifnos, we decided on spending 10 days on Sifnos and that was wonderful.  We had a great relaxing time eating drinking laughing swimming....travelling around the island just wonderful.
Then we were off to Athens for three days took your advise again and stayed near the Plaka we stayed the Attalos close to everything.
I have recommended your site to all of our friends.  Thank you again.  I can't wait till we go back again.  We also went around Italy but we loved Greece so much more the people are beautiful...even the taxi drivers were wonderful....  :)
Christina (from australia)


Dear Matt,
We had a wonderful week on Sifnos,staying at the lovely Hotel Petali,though we nearly got stuck there,when the Minoan ferry company went on strike!
We tried nearly all of your reccomended restaurants[except the Italian ones],between lunches and dinners,and always mentioned your name.We especially liked the Boulis taverna,Apakafto[where we had eaten on our last visit to the island] and the Ouzerie in Kamares. We really liked Margaretta a lot,and she told us that she was an old friend of yours.We also met Leftheris and Tony at
the Old Captain,where my husband tried out various cocktails,while I stuck to ouzo or wine. Tony had a friend from Trinidad,where we are from,so it was good to find someone who knew where our island was,and who stocked our local beer,Carib!!
All the night clubs had shut down,but on the Sat. night that we were there,there was a wedding at the Petali hotel,and they got Aloni to open up for the wedding party,and we went,but were not allowed inside,so just could watch the dancing from the bar outside.I love greek music,so enjoyed just listening and watching on.
Thanks again for creating such a fantastic web-site.I have it on my "favourites" list,and keep going back to it over and over.I just get such a thrill reading it and looking at the pictures.
Carolyn Hadden

Hi Matt

Well I took your advice and went to Sifnos in the end.  It was absolutely brilliant!

We stayed at the Alkyonis Villas in Kamares which were even lovelier than they looked in the pictures.  We had gorgeous bougainvilla growing round our balcony, an apricot tree from which we plucked our breakfast (!) and 4 adorable kittens to play with.

We spent most nights working our way through your restaurant recommendations.  We did also find one we liked which you hadn’t recommended which was ‘O Agiris’ on the way up to the Delfini which had the most amazing calamares and lamb in red wine sauce.  ‘De Claudio’ knocked the socks off most of the Italian restaurants I’ve been to in London, or Italy for that matter…

One of our best days was walking up the mountain to the white church above Kamares (Agios Simeon?).  We walked along the road as we were too chicken to hack our way through the undergrowth.  We wondered why the inside appeared to have been turned into a restaurant but after reading about the panagias it now makes sense…

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation as we had an absolutely brilliant holiday.  I intend to return many times and gradually amass a vast collection of Sifnos pottery!


Hello Matt,
I don't know if you remember who I am. I contacted you back last October; because I was planning a trip to the Greek Islands. After I told you what I was looking for; you suggested Sifnos. And you also told me to contact Sarah at the Stavros Hotel.
I just wanted to thank you for your help; and your suggestion. I just spent the months of December and January on Sifnos. It was all that I dreamed that my greek island would be; and so much more. In spite of the coldest winter they have had in many years; I fell in love with Sifnos. I enjoyed all the people so much. Antonis the potter is quite an interesting person. Since he is so famous for his attraction to tourists; it was only natural that I meet him. We became the best of friends; and I met so many other people through him. I went to 5 festivals; and over 30 private homes for the namesake celebrations. We enjoyed the restaurants in Kamares; Apollonia; Exambala; Artemonas; and Troulaki. Everyone was so wonderful and helpful. I felt as if I had "come home" as soon as I got off the boat. I arrived on the last flying cat on Nov. 30th; and just left last Friday February 1st. The Stavros Hotel was undergoing renovations; so I spent my first 6 nights at the apartments they have up the street; across from the car rental. Dec. 6th I moved into the rooms across the bay at Agia Marina. Georgia and Antonis Zepboy were not only my landlords; but became my dearest friends. I spent my last two days in Greece at their house in Athens before I left. It was the most wonderful experience of my life. And leaving; was the most difficult thing I have had to do in a very long time. I already plan on spending May and June of 2003 there. Possibly April as well. And if all goes well; I hope to buy a place there in a couple of years. I fell in love with Sifnos; and it will be my special place for many years to come. I am sure the next time you visit; if you mention the American woman who was there for two months; they will tell you all about me. I felt as if I had moved there. I have never been so comfortable anywhere; including all my travels in the United States. I told a lot of people that I had heard about Sifnos through your web site; and have put out some information on the message boards about you. I am sorry we did not run into each other. But I doubt many people bother going that time of year. I loved living in Kamares; even with the treacherous northwinds and dampness. December was pretty bad weather as far as they were concerned; but I loved every minute of it. Maybe next year we will run into each other. Give my very best to your family. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I know I did. The best in many years! Thanks again.

Michelle Parsons

Hi Matt,
I would like to thank your for your recommendations about Greece. I went
to Sifnos, following your advice, and I had a wonderful time there, in
Kamares, and then in Vathy at Manolis and in Faros. Very short,
though!!! (Just 9 days on the island). Next time, Iīll stay longer and
will visit some other island nearby (there are so many of them!!!). The
weather was nice, and the water beautiful, except for some windy days,
when then, Kamares becomes quite unpleasant (Faros is better, because
itīs sheltered from North Wind). There were very few tourists (mainly
Germans, and Dutch), and some places were closed (like Captain Andreas
in Kamares; but I went to Old Captainīs bar and to Manolis and told them
I had seen your Web page where you talk about them. (I have a photograph
of Manolis). Itīs a shame I donīt speak any Greek, so I couldnīt speak
much to the locals and fishermen. In Vathy I was the only one staying
(just another couple from Israel), and in Faros there were just a
British couple with their kid and me. It was wonderful. I rented a room
at the waterfront, I could see the beach from bed, and I had nice food
there in To Kyma (the restaurant on the beach; which was the only one
opened). During the day, some tourists used to come, but nobody stayed
at night. Same thing In Manolis. On Sunday I tried the famous "Revizia"
dish, (chickpeas soup) which was wonderful. They have built as you said
another concrete building behind to acommodate more tourists in Summer.
On the left of Manolis, on the beach there is another restaurante where
they also rent rooms at the waterfront (I canīt remember the name). Now
it was very quiet. Itīs a beautiful island, and perfect for walking (I
met a swiss couple who told me they had done amazing walks for 4 and 5
hours, following a very good swiss guide they had). Kastro is beautiful;
there is a beautiful church overlooking the sea, like most churches
here. Amazing, but everything was closed. It looked like a ghost town.
In Athens I stayed in Attalos Hotel as well. Very nice people as you
said, and full of young teenagers (I feld like an old grandmother,
compared to them). They have a very nice top roof terrace. The only
thing was that I found it very noisy (especially, coming from Sifnos, of
course). I went to Psiri neighboorhood nearby. There are a lot of
restaurants with Greek bands playing live and no tourists at all. You
should recommend this area; itīs very closed from the hotel. Well,
really, Sifnos was just what I needed, and Iīm even thinking of coming
back. The Greek islands really look like our Costa Brava in Spain, 30 or
40 years ago. Quite wild, not spoiled by tourism, and not very developed
yet (at least Sifnos). I didnīt have time to go to any other island,
because I wanted to relax and not rush. But, maybe nex time.
Well, thank you very much again, and I hope to meet you next time.
Patricia de Tord

Dear Matt:

Our family of 6 returned this week after a month stay in Greece.  Your website
was helpful, although my husband has been there 4 times prior to this.  More
importantly, your website was accurate, as he said you were "right on" with
your knowledge and advice.

We stayed on Sifnos for a week, in Faros.  Of all the beaches, we liked this
one the best.  A very easy-going place, and far quieter.  We also traveled the
Peloponissos and visited the village of Rovia (a few kilometers from
Andritsena), to have our children see the house their YiaYia was born, as well
as to climb 9km up the mountain to St. Trifonos, a small church their YiaYia
carried rocks to help build.  A very memorable experience. We went to Olympia,
through Sparta, Monemvasia, Niata, Leonidas and up the eastern coast to the
ruins of Mikines.  We also visited Sounio and all the gazillions of relatives!

After 48 rolls of film and 7 hours of video, we have returned with wonderful
memories.  My photos are fabulous and I wish there was a way to market them
into postcards, as they are really something extraordinary.  I'm so pleased
with them. They don't get any better than this.  I used a polaroid filter, to
eliminate the glare, and it retained the blues of the sky and waters. If you
know of anyone or have any connections for me, please get in touch with me
through email.

Again, thanks for your website help.  We passed your name around and told
taverna owners about your website on Sifnos.  They were grateful for your
advertisement of their island and especially the village of Faros.  I gave
them your website URL and they were going to try to send you an email of
thanks.  Let me know if you get one.


Lorinda Karageorgiou

Hi Matt
     Just wanted to thank you for your great advice and orientation about
     Greece.  Athens was, well, Athens, but one of the best things we did
     there was hire George Kokotos to take us to Delfi et al. and he was
     delightful, a real pleasure being with him.  We had a blast.

     And Sifnos was wonderful, just as you described, neither too much nor
     too little.  I loved the beaches and spent days just bussing around
     and hiking the footpaths to beaches and churches throughout.  There is
     a wine expert of sorts who has a shop in Appolonia -- finally!  since
     most of the wine I tried in Athens was hit or miss and pretty skanky
     at that.  Spiro set me straight.

     Adonis' shop in Kamares, I had forgotten about his rep, but remembered
     once he pulled his Casanova proposal number.  But interestingly he did
     it AFTER I bought ceramic from him - not before.  Clever!

     In Artemonas, after a hike up to the windmills, walking down one of
     the roads about 9 AM I was hit from both sides with the aromas of
     oranges, anise, and bread baking.  What heaven.

     Thanks Matt.

     Carol Sanchez
     Grand Rapids, Michigan

Hi Matt

I was just sending information about your website and my Greek holiday last summer to a friend and I remembered that I hadn't mailed you when I got back.  We were in Sifnos on holiday from Dublin with our three boys and met you in the Old Captain one evening.  (We went to Leonard Cohen in Lissadell House in August, I wonder if you've seen him anywhere live since?).
I just wanted to say that your advice to go with a local travel agent when booking accommodation and ferries was spot on.  Barbara at Aegean Thesaurus was fantastic.  She arranged everything to suit us, and because she booked our ferries too she was able to let us know when the times changed.  We couldn't have arrived on the islands without accommodation booked, as we have three young children and didn't want to stay in separate rooms, so the apartments she booked for us were perfect. The whole trip worked out really well.  Because (again on your advice) we stayed at the Attalos in Athens we didn't need to use taxis to get to Piraeus or the airport.  
The kids keep asking "when are we going back to Greece?"!  We'll have to start saving. . .  
In the meantime, if you decide to do a guide to Ireland, let us know.
All the best
Lisa K

Dear Matt,

I would like to congratulate you on your site.  I visited your Sifnos pages, I was delighted to see that you are describing the place in a way that shows that you have really appreciated the beauties of this island.  I have been going to Sifnos since I am 2 years old and every year I fall more and more in love with the place and its people.  I live in Athens and I am fortunate enough to be able to go there very often all year around.  Your photographs are great, the information you supply is precise and up to date.  I am writing to you because I wanted to let you how good I think your website is. Very often we get negative reports about Greece and we always complain, sometimes with good reason, other times without.  We should however acknowledge all good efforts. Thank you !
Once again, congratulations, and maybe one day, who knows,  I might bump into you on the island.
My kind regards,
Lia Constantinides

 Many thanks for all your great info about traveling in Greece.  I didn't do well with the pollution my first day in Athens, but Hotel Attalos was great and the winds blew hard and helped clear the air.  Actually, they blew so hard that the ferries couldn't run.  Finally got to the islands though.
 I loved Sifnos, so please stop telling everyone how great it is.
 Santorini was amazing, but too touristy.  I wasn't allowed to sit at a cafe with my sister while she had a coffee, unless I ordered something.  Quite a shock after the hospitality of Sifnos.  And the buses were late, if they ran.
 Naxos was another world....a German one.  But I liked the beaches,especially from 7:00-9:00 am or pm, when no one else was around.
 That was all I got to see; my daughter was anxious to get home.

I plan to keep your web site on my favorites list and pray I get to go back to Greece soon.

             Elaine Berry

Hi Matt,

Just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed your homepages....... AND
I can honestly tell you that a lot of other people do as well. We returned 1
week ago from 3 weeks in Greece and during those weeks we saw several people
with print-outs from your homepages. Especially those pages with restaurant

We went to Sifnos and stayed at hotel Stavros. I e-mailed with Sarah before
arriving and she was extremely helpful - told me that this summer there are
only 2 connections per week from Paros. I called them a few days ahead from
Antiparos and booked a room with 3 beds but I think Stavros forgot about it
so when we arrived there were no rooms with 3 beds available. Instead they
offered us 2 rooms at the same price, great service I think. So my sun had
his own room for 9 days which he enjoyed immensely. Our favourite restaurant
in Kamares was Boulis.

Back again it's even better reading your pages about Athens and Sifnos, now
we recognize everything and what might seem a bit confusing before leaving
is now well-known stuff.

Thanks again for some great pages. Will definitely be using them again.

Warm regards from a very grey and overcast Copenhagen

Dear Matt

We felt we had to write to you to thank you for writing such a superb web-site on Greek travel, especially on Sifnos. We have just returned from a week on Sifnos which was magical!!  I used your web-site for arranging travel through Aegean Thesaurus and Barbara made everything so easy, from arranging our taxi from Athens to Piraeus, the high speed catermaran and the accommodation in Tzan..... sorry can't remember the name, owned by Antoni. Well, you certainly didn't warn us about Antoni did you???  What a crazy man, but such fun!!  We think Sifnos is wonderful and it was a real surprise to find a place so unspoilt and untouristy! We didn't meet another English person. We travelled all the roads round the island by bus and Antoni took us by speed boat to Vathi which we thought was an amazing place.

Without your web-site things would have been much more difficult, so again thank you very much. I shall continue to read it from time to time, as it is so interesting and we certainly hope that we will return to Sifnos for another holiday.



Congratulations - I've been watching your web page for years, but have to
let you know that it is truly amazing  - so informative.  I hope the Greek
National Tourist Org is paying you, if not, you should go after them.  I
particularly like your Athens survival guide, very good stuff.

We're off to Sifnos again this year, after 21 years, it's still our fave.
Keep on travelling and writing!


Marlyn Macdonald
Toronto, Canada

Dear Matt,
     Thanks to your website, me and my girlfriend's 40th birthday trip to
the Greek Isles. was fabulous!  We visited Sifnos (from your recommendation)
and experienced culture shock when we arrived in Santorini!   Sifnos was
truly hospitable, relaxing, and visually spectacular.  We wish we could have
stayed longer.  We only met one other American couple there and they
inquired how we came to visit the island.  I told them I had consulted a
website and before I could say more, he said, "Matt Barrett?".  Kind of
funny.  One restaurant in town even had your picture posted by its menu!
How much commission do you get??
     Thanks again for your most helpful information.  A donation has been
sent to the Green Meadow Mission.  Can't wait to visit again!

Susan Horvath
Littleton, Colorado

Hi Matt

My name is Carolyn Tyers and I live in Telford, Shropshire in the UK with my husband Marc and my 10 year old son, Rhys.  I'm sending you this e mail because my family have just had the best holiday ever in Sifnos and it's because of your Guide to Greece that it happened. I found your web site back in January this year when I was browsing for information about Greece. I kept returning to your pages describing Sifnos and knew I had to see it for myself. The reality was better than anything I could have imagined.

Giorgos from the Aegean Thesaurus Travel Agency arranged excellent accommodation for us at Platis Gialos, ferries between Piraeus and Sifnos and a night at the Attalos hotel at the end of our holiday to ensure that we didn't miss our flight home.

During our stay we managed to see the whole island and we went everywhere on the bus - it was fantastic, they turned up at regular intervals and on time.

We spent the night of 20th August at the Attalos and the following morning at breakfast I said to Marc  'that man over there looks like Matt Barrett ' - he told me not to be so daft - 'it looks nothing like him'. I wish I had followed my instincts because I found out later that it was you and we could have met you and your family. You did look over once, I don't know if you remember -  we were sitting to your right - you were talking to the Greek man who I think was the hotel owner. We'll definitely be going back to the Attalos so who knows - we may see you there in the future - I hope so.

Rhys has already sent an e mail to Amarandi and she has replied to him which he was very pleased about.

You must get thousands of letters and e mails from people like me who have only ever been to Greece on package holidays using tour operators where your choices are restricted to what they provide in their brochures, mainly on the larger more well known islands . 

I feel like a new world has opened up for me and I can't wait to start planning my next Greek adventure with the benefit of your experiences and excellent advice. 

Thanks for the effort you obviously put in to the website - you should be very proud of it.

All the best to you and your family  - I've attached a couple of photos for you to see if you remember us 


Hi Matt,

Thank you for your advice on going to Sifnos.  We loved it there - so peaceful and beautiful.  We stayed at the Delphini Hotel which was wonderful.  The family that operated the hotel were great.  Your recommendations of the Cecil Hotel and the Attalos Hotel in Athens were right on the money as well.  We ended up staying at both, one before we went to Sifnos and the other on the way back.   

Thanks again,


Dear Matt,

I felt I had to write to you and tell you how helpful I found your web site
in planning my recent holiday to Greece.  My partner and I have just
returned from our holiday 2 weeks of which was spent in Athens and the
In Athens we stayed at the Attalos Hotel, as recommended by you, and found
this to be perfect.  The hotel is in a great location, the staff are very
friendly and the hotel itself is very clean and great value.  I would
recommend it to anyone.  We also loved Athens.
We also stayed at the Hotel Rex in Kalampaka when we travelled to Meteora,
another hotel you recommend.  Again this was perfect and great value. 
We also went to Sifnos and stayed at the Hotel Stavros for 3 days.  Sarah
and her husband were so helpful and there hotel could not have been better.
Our stay on Sifnos was a magical experience.  Let me say too that the food
we were served in the Tavernas around the Harbour was the best we had in
the Islands.  The food in Santorini and Mykonos didn't compare.
I hope to get back to Sifnos and when I do I hope it hasn't changed. 

Thank you again for all your help.


Hi Matt,

My husband and I spent 11 days in Greece last month and had a wonderful time. We had a couple of days in Athens and the rest of the time on the island of Sifnos, which we both enjoyed very much. I wanted to write and thank you for the information on your web site, which we found very useful.  We used Aegean Thesaurus Travel for all our arrangements and they were very professional, helpful and friendly. 

We stayed in Hotel Attalos in Athens - a great location for walking tours - and found it clean and comfortable, with (again) professional, helpful and friendly staff.  Athens is a bit overwhelming, but everyone - I do mean everyone - was amazingly helpful.  We were stopped several times by complete strangers who wanted to know if we needed help or directions - !

Sifnos was lovely, the people so friendly and easy to approach, and we enjoyed every day there.  We stayed in Faros, in a newer studio apartment (Thalatta Studios), which we later found out was owned (and mostly built) by the man who ran our favorite restaurant - George Lempessis.  You get to George's restuarant by walking a hillside path that starts on the south end of the beach at Faros and climbs around the peninsula  to the next beach over; it  takes about 20 minutes. His restaurant is on the beach and has a great view of Chrisopigi.  His kids are loads of fun, and George has a great sense of humor - he & my husband hit it off the first night.  (And, after dinner - with wine, of course - you have the hike back in the dark to look forward to as well!)   We hiked or walked every day, swam off the beach, and met so many wonderful people.  Every morning, we'd get up early, have warm bread for breakfast and catch the early bus - along with lots of school kids and people going to work - to wherever our destination was for the day.  After our day's hike, we would catch another bus - usually the same bus, different driver - and ride back to Faros again, with frequent stops to drop off kids coming back home from school.  We went everywhere that we could get to by bus or on foot, and enjoyed every hour of every day we were there.  Our last day on Sifnos, we caught the late afternoon ferry on June 4, which was the day of the panagiri at Chrisopigi.  This ferry carries the holy icons from Kamares to Chrisopigi, where they are transferred by a smaller boat to the church itself, with much fanfare, and witnessed by huge crowds.  It was quite an experience and we wouldn't have missed it, even though it meant arriving back in Athens after midnight.

 We have so many wonderful memories of Sifnos and the people we met there.  Thankfully, almost all of our slides turned out well, so we are going to have some of them printed and enlarged to hang on our walls at home.  Someday, maybe, we'll go back to Sifnos, if we're lucky and life is good to us.

Anyway, I wanted to write and thank you for your web site.  It helped to make our visit as wonderful as it was.


Portland, Oregon

Dear Matt

You may or may not remember that I emailed you last year commenting on your excellent webpages re Greece. Well, after my first trip (to Hydra and Sifnos) in April I liked it so much that I went back (to Sifnos) not once but twice. I’ve just returned from yet another trip and am now due to return again in June and then probably for a couple of weeks in September. In the meantime I have become firm friends with Kelly and Tony and moreover met a lovely (English) chap on the island last May with whom I have now been going out for nearly a year. None of this would have happened were it not for your having described Sifnos as your favourite island … . So. I owe you very many thanks!!

Best wishes


Hi Matt

 Just to thank you sincerely for this AMAZING web site with just so much useful and practical information.  I wanted a Greek Island and started searching a few months ago.  Your site came up quickly, and I spent ages reading through.

 I knew straight away that Sifnos was the island for my wife and I, and we booked a trip through Barbara of Aegean Thesaurus Travel.  Arrangements were perfect, and we never regretted our choice.

 We stayed at Thalatta Studios in Faros from 8 to 14 October, hired a scooter, and spent 6 days thoroughly exploring all over.  Favourite would have to be Vathi for the peace and beauty, but other highlights were a walk from Faros to Karos (about 2 leisurely hours) with locals passing on donkeys or driving their sheep, amazing beach restaurant near Chrysopigi with incredible lamb in the clay pots, all the churches, so clean and fresh, wandering the back pedestrian streets between Apollonia and Artemona, and not forgetting the food.

 We then took the ferry over to Milos where the beaches and rock formations are quite incredible.  At this time of year, we had plenty of sun and swam every day, but didn't have the crowds.  We had many beaches totally to ourselves, with picnics of olives, feta, and breads.

 What a lovely experience.  Thanks again for your really helpful site.  We hope that Sifnos manages to retain its charm, and it is with mixed feelings that we even write or recommend it to others.

 I did also want to mention to you that when we were there, we saw Manolis at his restaurant the one day, but he was on oxygen.  The next day we returned hoping to have a meal, but he was in hospital according to his daughter.  We do hope he is alright because he certainly sounds like something of a legend in Vathi.

 Kind regards
Julian and Cheryl C

Dear Matt,

I wanted to compliment you on your terrific Sifnos pages.  We went on the
suggestion of a Greek friend, and found your information very very
helpful--especially the section on food, which is one of the reasons we
decided to try this island.  We had 15 wonderful days there, and just got
back yesterday.  We found wonderfully clean water, consistently good food
(with one exception), and I especially loved the strange landscapes (the
walls, the hills, and sheep-clipped pastures), and the smell of dried herbs
on the wind.  We stayed in Faros, which was perfect for the walk to

I'm sure you're well informed on all the changes, but I thought you might
like an update from a tourist's perspective.  Some of my comments might seem
kind of picky...

First, for better or worse (I'd say the latter), the island seems to be
gaining in popularity and there is quite a lot of construction going on,
especially in Faros, Vathi, and Herronisos. In Vathi, for example, there is
an enormous accomodation complex (with pool) going up just above the long
sandy stretch of beach past the Manolis taverna.  I imagine this will
drastically change the flavour of village life there.   On the day we went
to Herronisos, we decided in the end not to stay for the smell of hot tar
wafting down from the construction site above the village (the part just
above where you turn left to descend to the village).   This was a shame as
the waters beyond the village bay were the most beautiful I had seen there.

It might be worthwhile to mention that the food portions in Sifnos are quite
big by European standards.  People on a budget could probably get by sharing
single portions of things like moussaka, spanokopita, etc.

I suppose it wouldn't be very nice of you to warn your readers away from the
restaurant right on the beach at Faros(the one next to the parking area and
the little grocery shop), but we had a terrible, terrible meal there on our
first night.  I ordered tzatsiki and moussaka, and my partner ordered fried
cheese and grilled shrimp.  After about 45 minutes, they brought me both of
my plates.  The tzatsiki was normal, but the moussaka was overwhelmingly
composed of what seemed like pumpkin squash, and had no flavour (beyond
pumpkin) whatsoever.  It may have been a greek dish, but it wasn't moussaka.
After another 40 minutes, they brought the shrimp, which were not frozen
anymore, but just barely.   We also had to argue with the waiter to have him
take the fried cheese off the tab, since they never brought it to us.  They
didn't give us a receipt, so in the end we went away hungry, tired, and
feeling a bit cheated and very disappointed about my friend's high praises
of the island.  Another restraunteur complained to us that the cooks there
are not even Greek, but rather  Albanian immigrants who have been hired for
the summer.  I don't know what the local/immigrant dynamics are there, so
maybe they just wanted to be mean about them, but we certainly didn't return
there.  I also would add that the nights when we strolled past we saw a lot
of unhappy looking faces and overheard a lot of negative comments.
Hopefully next summer they'll hire a better cook and waiter!

We ended up eating most often at Dimitris' on Fasolou beach.  The food and
service were consistently very very good.   I tried the traditional chickpea
soup there, and the flavours were so wonderfully melded together.  You can
tell they use home-made stock.  The sauce bases of the vegetable dishes were
also very subtle and delicious--this is the first time in my life that I've
moaned over zucchini, green beans and carrots (not that I've ever had them
together like that, anyway!!)!!

Our other favorite in Faros was the ouzerie with the blue striped awning at
the far end of the first beach in Faros  , just past the bar with the cheesy
(but in a good way) music from the 1980's and before.  They specialize in
fish and grilled food.   In addition to perfectly prepared food, they had a
nice wine selection.  We especially liked the grilled octopus with oil and

Finally, we ate twice at the 9 Muses.  The food was good--it seemed really
home-style--and we enjoyed the company of the proprietors.  Much of the meat
and vegetables comes from their farm. The Briam was delicately spiced and
very, very good.  Though the menu was extensive, it seemed best to take the
owners' suggestions and eat what had been prepared that day. Their cats,
however, were exceedingly hungry and very insistent at the table, which
really annoyed my partner after about 20 minutes.

We tried both of the restaurants near the church in Chryssophogi.  The one
nearest the church had the most incredible fried chickpea balls you can
imagine, and the greek salad I had there was the best of all that I'd eaten.
The service was not friendly, though, and they send their orders to the
kitchen via a computerized/infrared thingy, that emits a fairly steady
beep-beep-beep (worse than a cell phone) during the busy time.  Not exactly
what I went to greece for!!   We liked the atmosphere at the restaurant
farther from the church, just after the path from Faros, which is called
something like "To Afokopto".  The service was very good, and we like the
fact that diners are invited to choose their meal not with a menu, but by
going into the kitchen and having a look into the pots.   I don't know why,
but the restaurant itself had such a comfortable and laid-back feeling--a
perfect place to linger and just listen to the sea.   We had some nice
3-hour meals there.

Finally, in concession to my Italian partner who can't survive without a
weekly pizza/pasta fix, we went twice to Mamma Mia's in Apollonia.  The
pizzas were the real thing, and I had a spaghetti puttanesca that was better
than any puttanesca i've had here in Florence.  The atmosphere is quite
nice, the music is as good as the food, and we enjoyed chatting with the

I hope you find these helpful.  Your guide certainly helped us have a really
special time in a very special place.

Thanks and best regards,
Jackie Gordon

PS--the people at Aegean Travel Thesaurus were very helpful indeed.  They
booked both our sifnos and athens accomodations...

So this year I finally got myself to Sifnos and Serifos and both were marvellous, in different ways.  You probably won't remember but I cocked up last year by going round the northern Cyclades and not being in the right places to connect with Sifnos.
Morfeas was delightful (so bloodyy cheap") and the old gentleman is really lovely.  Bobbis at Maistrali was also fantastic and we had a great time mending the world and drinking on the roof terrace up by the penthouse.  I met Makarios  the monk.  I finished off with a couple of days at the Attalos and had a great room with a view from the balcony to the Parthenon.  (505) I think.  Finally got into the Ilias Lalounis Jewellery Museum which was great.  So prolific in his designing.
I got a lot done in 9 days.  I was so grateful to be able to make it.  I have a very nastyoperation coming up on June 24th and when diagnosed my first thought wascouldI make it to Greece first.  Actually, to be truthful, it was will I ever see Greece again?
I certainly want to go back to Serifos, and Sifnos.  I'd like to go in via Kithnos when I come back.
Your website looks fantastic - but then to me, it always has done.   Go and see Bobis again at the Maistrali - he's very fond of you.
thanks for everything -

Noelle Greenaway

Dear Matt:

Well, first I found Mytilini with your help, and now
Sifnos, which I owe completely to you. Thanks a

Not only that, but after twenty years of visits to
Greece, I am finally appreciating the Plaka, again
thanks to you. I'll tip an Ouzo Mini to you next time
I go to O Glykis (my favorite spot). By the way, I
prefer Mini to your favorite, Ploumari, but I am the
distinct minority with all my friends, who are on your

Still, I have to say, Monastiraki is still my
preferred spot, esp. that souvlaki place at the end of
Metropoleos with the unpronounceable name and the
greatest seats for people watching that I know.

At Manoli's taverna in Vathy today I talked with some
people who agreed with me what a gem of an island this
is. They liked it better than Corfu and Santorini
(although I can appreciate why visitors would want to
go to these 'famous' islands).

Also, kudos to Giorgios at Aegean Thesaurus. He made
all my arrangements, and then cheerfully undid some of
them when it turned out my wife couldn't make it at
the last minute. I got a near full refund for the
Mytilini leg of my trip, which I am saving to share
with my wife next time.

Instead, I am planning on Ithaca. I notice you don't
say much about it. Do you want me to scout it out for
your readers?

By the way, I live in Knoxville. If you're not to far
away, I would love to meet you some day. That is, if I
haven't bumped into you already somewhere in Greece
without knowing it!

Lastly, any islands you can add to my list of Mytilini
and Sifnos would be welcome. Although, honestly, I am
happy with what I have already found.

You remain the best on the web when it comes to Ta

John Kostas

To Matt Barrett,
Thanks for your information and help re our overnight stay in Athens and in Sifnos.
We stayed three nights in the
Attalos Hotel in Athens and visited the Acropolis early in the morning to avoid the crowds.  The hotel was great and just as you described.
We got the Milos to Sifnos and liked it so much (we have been there several times before) that we stayed 12 nights in Agia Marina in the Ntina Paleos rooms - recommended.
One point you might like to note for walkers.  Because of dam building work in the valley which runs parallel to the Kamares-Appolonia road, the donkey track footpath is now impassable.  It would be a shame if this route is to be barred permanently to walkers.  I would have thought that if the dam is able to be bypassed on foot, with a bit of a clearance operation, the donkey trail to Appolonia could be cleared of some undergrowth and made a popular walk for visitors. I attempted the trail, but was almost halted by the construction work, which I found a way round, but finally halted by dense growth of shrubs.  During the walk I cam across three other people, two French and one German, trying the same thing.
Again, thanks for  your help. Regards, Allan Guy.

I am writing to let you know that we have just returned from Greece (for the
second time) and had a wonderful time.  Per your suggestion we stayed on the
island of Sifnos.  We enjoyed our stay very much...partly due to your advise
and most due to the hotel we stayed at.

We stayed at the Hotel Delphini which was totally perfect.  The rooms are
wonderful, the service was wonderful and the pool was grand.  The family
owned and run hotel is clean, peaceful and charming.  It offers the most
beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.  Every room faces the sea and the sound
of the sea gently lure one's to sleep thru the charming blue shuttered

Their onsite restaurant is super.  Mom and Dad do all the cooking and
everything is great.  They will take requests and do their very best to
arrange for you to have your heart's desire.  Additionally, they will also
advise you to what might be the fresh catch of the day, etc.

I was disappointed that you do not discuss this particular facility.
Perhaps you're not familiar with it.  Matt, I advise you check into this
hotel/'s wonderful!!!!!!!  It is unlike anything else I saw
on the island (or in other parts of Greece for that matter).



Thank you for making our trip to Greece one to
remember.  Your website was invaluable in planning our
itinerary.  With a short stop in Athens, we spent 5
nights in Sifnos, staying at the Delphini Hotel, which
was great. Without your recommendation, we would have
never considered Sifnos. It was a perfect spot to
relax.  We then spent 4 nights in Santorini, which
besides the tourboats and buses, was wonderful.
We booked all of our accomodations and ferries through
Aegean Thesaurus. They were great and made it so easy.

I've been recommending your website to everyone I
know.  Thanks again.

Michele & Matt Cost, San Francisco

Dear Matt Barrett:
deep, deep sigh.  I have recently returned from a stay no Sifnos, and I
am going back!  Thanks in large part to the infromation you provided, my
half-Greek American friend and I spent an enchantted time there, and
consider ourselves to be forever in your debt. WE had a wonderful time,
and I absolutely feel in love with the place.  I'm torn between wanting to
send people I love there, and wanting not to tell anyone.  We made the
trip to Cheronissos, met Kostas Depastas and his wife, and had a wonderful
evening with them sitting in the work space, talking -- they had a Belgian
travel magazine with an article about him in it, and when they heard that
I read French, they asked me to translate it for them, even though they
said they knew what was in it!  So I did, reading it into English,
whereupon Marina translated it into Greek for them, and they laughed and
laughed.  It was an extraordinary evening, and I have you in part to thank
for it.  Thank you.  You're a generous person, to spread the word about
such a place.

I have a query, which may be too complicated, in which case fine.  I am an
amateur potter, and I would love to make a presentation to some of my
friends from the studio about his work -- I took what pictures I could,
but it was getting late, and I don't have a flash, and so when he offered
to give a demonstration (and promised that next time I can work on the
wheel!), I had to fix it all in my mind.  Would you be willing to share in
some form the photos you have put on the web page?  I would of course be
happy to pay for reprints, or whatever, adn give you full credit -- I just
would love to share this master's work with others.  Of course, I would be
happy to share with you any photos I've taken which you might like to use.

May you have many more happy travels,

Alison Eisinger


Because of you, we went to Greece, fell in love with Sifnos and had a marvelous vacation.  Thank you for your Greek guide.

Aegean Thesaurus Travel was great.   In Sifnos, we stayed at the wonderful Nymphes Hotel, ate great meals at the Da Claudio and the Dolphini Hotel, drank brandy at the The Old Captain.  Kelly says hi.

We did four days in Athens (two at the beginning and two at the end of the trip), six days in Sifnos, three days in Milos.  We enjoyed the Attalos Hotel in Athens.  The day trip to Myceneae with Tony from George’s Famous Taxi was exceptional.

Again many thanks for the service you provide.

Martha & Sudie
Chapel Hill 

 I just wanted to say that I really appreciated your website on Sifnos. The
info was good and the stories are very entertaining.

My girlfriend and I spent a week in Greece this summer, with a day on
Santorini, three days on Naxos, and three days in Athens. We planned on
going back to the same places again for a longer trip, but now I would
really like to add Sifnos to the trip... sounds like such a beautiful
place. Hey, we may even get to hear the Sifnos Monster! ;)

Glen G. Walker

First of all, I'd like to thank you for your wonderful web page about Greece. Because of you, I went with my wife Katja in summer 2000 to Sifnos and this summer to Serifos (next year - well, Folegandros or Sikinos - yes, we LOVE small, unspoiled and not so tourist palces). And we liked Aegean Thesaurus services as well - they're excellent. Anyway, we liked Greece long before I foung your web page, you just opened our eyes for small, interesting places to go. And we're thankful for that. You can bet on that. We owe you a lot. Hopefully we'll meet someday and we'll be able to buy you a dring (if you'll survive our hugs).
And yes, we'll continue to visit both - your web page and Greece...
I just have one great, great question:
- we bought a lot of books with Greek receipes, but in noone is a receipe for Caper Salad. Can you share that Sifnos secret with us? Please...
Thanks a lot in advance and best regards from Slovenia.
Matjaz Bratus

April 14, 2002

Thank you Matt! The information on your web site proved to be very useful for us in planning our holiday in Greece last summer. We had a wonderful time in Sifnos, Santorini and Athens. The highlite of our trip was our stay in Vathi. The people were so hospitable and friendly the whole time we were there and yes, we did get to know many of the locals during our 6 days on the island. (Not long enough though). We also witnessed a traditional Greek festival in Vathi celebrating St, Gabriel and St. Micheal day at the church.

We were surprised to find out that the only access we had to our apartments was to walk approx. 300m along the beach with our luggage to the other side of the church, but chalk that up as part of the experience of our trip. It was quite funny actually when we think back. Two Canadian tourist with their roll on luggage trotting along the beach towards their hotel passing by numerous restaurant patrons along the way. We definately found the getaway experience we were looking for!

We stayed at a place called Xanthakis (I hope a pronounced it right) which we found through Aegean Thesaurus. We highly recommend these apartments as there were very few with air conditioning and on the beach. The apartments are family run and they were so nice to us. The rooms were clean and the rates were very reasonable.
I think it is worth checking out and included on your Vathi hotel list.

Thank you once again, Matt, for your very informative web site and your personnal assistance last year. Our vacation in Greece is one we will always remember.


Evans and Carole Chan
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Hello Matt, My name is Dorothy and last year I took
the advice from your website and visited Sifnos. It
was amazing and definitely the best Greek island (or
any island for that matter) that I have been to. We
stayed with Stavros at one of his studios in
Appolonia---we loved it!!!! Thank you for the expert
recommendations. Anyway, this year we are planning on
going back to Greece and we were also interested in
visiting southern Cyprus. I was wondering if you knew
how I could find information about airfare from Athens
or Thessoloniki to Cyprus. Also, I was wondering what
you think of Cyprus and if you think it is worth the
trip. I think we are also going to visit the Sporades
and the Pellion (spelling?) peninsula, we are flying
into Thessoloniki around May 24th. Thank you Matt!
Dorothy C.

Hi Matt - Based on your recommendations, we had an amazing trip to Greece last summer - Sifnos was hands down the highlight of the vacation - my two daughters, (now aged 10 and 14), thought they were in heaven. And the Agean Thesaurus couldn't have been more helpful - not to mention the food, etc. - This summer we are interested in Spain - can you recommend a website or places in Spain that you would particularly recommend, keeping in mind that for our beach portion of the trip, if we liked Vahti, we probably won't like Marbella - thanks so much for your time, I look foward to your response, and thank you again for a memorable trip for our family. Regards, Andrea Robertson

Hello Matt,

(Geez I feel like I've met you--isn't the internet wild?) So I have been
perusing your awesome website since about last August (on my lunch breaks at
work) when I started having this vague daydream of going to Greece for
vacation. Well, in large part thanks to your incredibly useful site, my
husband and I just got back from our 3 week vacation to Naxos, Santorini,
and Sifnos! I contacted David and he got us some great tickets (though our
connections on the way clear back to Denver were a little hairy--but
whatever right? Flying is a whole different thing these days) and then
Giorgos at Aegean Thesaurus set up our hotels/ferries and we were good to
go! I couldn't believe how really easy it was--when given the proper
information :-)

We especially loved:

* Villa Danai on Naxos run by Danai and Costas--incredible
furniture/chorus of chickens and donkeys/breakfast with smiles
* Rooftop garden/bar at the Attalos Hotel--view of the disassembly of
the Acropolis (weird!)
* Rooftop cafe at the Galini Hotel on Santorini--Leonard Cohen and
Sting and Cafe Freddo (we nicknamed our hunky waiter there "Freddo")
* The nice gal with the dog named Piccolo at Boutique Marie on Sifnos
from whom I would buy anything really
* The quietly ironic man at the bakery (Boulis?) on Sifnos who thought
it was funny when we asked him how to say "cookie" in Greek

So our kind waiter at Stavros Cafe on Sifnos informed us we would just miss
you--we left last Wednesday--he thought you were due to arrive Saturday, or
something. Anyway, I am referring everyone who asks to your site if they
are even thinking about some day visiting Greece (which is just about
everyone, isn't it?). Keep up the great work and thanks again!!!!!

Denver, Colorado

Hi Matt,
I wanted to send you a quick note saying thank you for the work you put
into your website about travelling around Greece. I don't know if you
remember us but you and your wife gave my girlfriend and our luggage a
ride down to the dock at Sifnos a week or so back. I didn't put 2 & 2
together at the time but later realised you were the author of the website
responsible for us choosing to visit the Greek islands in the first place.
As it turns out we ended up only spending 2 days on Santorini before
heading back to Sifnos for the remainder of our holiday. By far Danielle
and I had the best holiday we've ever experienced and will be making many
more trips back to the Greek islands. Sifnos is our new dream home away
from home.

BTW, Dina @ Fantasy Travel was a brilliant; after getting turned down by
Dolphin Hellas due to "time constraints" she came through more than
willing and ended up being a lifesaver.

Oh yeah, the Alkyonis Villas are wonderful and Maria couldn't be a nicer

Thanks again,
Gregory Garten & Danielle Markowitz

Dear Matt,

I thought that I would write you a note of thanks first of all - you helped so much with our wonderful vacation to Greece last summer - and then ask a few quick questions for next summer (!)

We went as soon as school ended, at the end of June, and took your advice and stayed at the fabulous hotel Attalos in Athens for our one night there - it was just as you said, and we were incredibly comfortable and thrilled with the proximity to all the action. The next day we took the hydrofoil to Poros, and again, as you had advised, we stayed at the Saga Hotel. It was just lovely, and we had a fabulous four days seeing the island (mostly fun beaches!) with one day out in a rental car to explore Epidavros and the Corinth Canal.

After that we took the boat to Sifnos. was all that you said it would be. I had been in touch with Stavros and Sarah before to try and book into the hotel, but they had just finished a new villa (the Salamander) overlooking Kamares (looks to me like it might be where you took your panoramic view of Kamares from!) and they offered that to us. It was just mother in law and friend stayed at the hotel...we were in the villa with our children and a couple of friends. We explored a different beach everyday and loved both Appollonia and Kamares like mad. Thank you for all the wonderful help you gave us.

Having just returned from a lovely three weeks in Italy, my thoughts turn to Greece again. I have been entirely convinced that what you think is wonderful, I think it wonderful (!), so I am thinking of sounds beautiful. After that, my husband's family all come from Leros and there are still many family connections there, so I thought we might head down there afterwards. I am also eager to try Turkey. With approx. three weeks at our disposal, how do you think this sounds? Would you recommend an 'order' to do it in? Any advice would be so gratefully received.

Thanks so much for all that you have done for us!


Janie Bellenis


I would like to thank you for the wealth of helpful information provided on your greektravel website.

I had been to mainland Greece as a student traveller in 1979 and wanted to go back with my family, but to an island this time. The question was WHICH ONE? Your recommendation of Sifnos (along with the brilliant description) and the fact that it was an easy ferry journey from Piraeus decided me. A very nice email from Sarah Kalogirou helped to persuade me, though I decided to stay in Faros rather than with Sarah in Kamares. I used
Aegean Thesaurus (Giorgos Venios) to book the accommodation (Margarita apartment) and the ferries. They were very efficient and I made a point of stopping by to visit Giorgos when we were in Apollonia (which we were quite often, since the bus from Faros always takes you there!). Faros and Sifnos are tremendous; my family will remember the holiday for a long time.

In Kamares I noticed a sign on the outside of a restaurant saying 'as recommended by Matt Barrett' so you are having an impact! I have to admit that we did not, on this occasion, go with your recommendation, but instead with that of the Lonely Planet Guide, who suggested the Captain Andreas, which was very good. BTW LP also acknowledge the excellence of your site - praise indeed.

Another of your recommendations was George Loulu (or is it
George Kokkotos, as it says on his card?) as a taxi driver in Athens. Particularly with a family to look after and with an arrival in the wee small hours of the morning, I was happy to pay over the odds for a reliable transfer from airport to port. I booked with George by email back in January yet there was his driver, bang on time on August 10 at 0430 hrs, to meet us at the airport with our name on a sign. We then booked with George's firm again to meet us off the ferry on our return to Piraeus and then finally to take us to the airport. George's son was minding the shop during our stay, it seems, and he got the same driver, Panos, to cover all 3 trips for us. Equally reliable and pleasant on each occasion.

Thanks again and well done for your good work on the site.


Nick Matthews

Dear Matt,

Thanks for your advice about Sifnos - we loved it - absolutely perfect.

Keep up the great work and thanks again,


Hi Matt,

I just wanted to let you know that having used your
site as a starting place (and the source of all the
info we needed re Sifnos), myself and my partner,
Will, have just returned from a fabulous 2 weeks on
the island.  We also stayed at the Stavros, and found
it to  be a very clean, good hotel.  I have told all
my friends about Sifnos and they seem to be eager to
visit it in the future.  I wil be sure to use yoru
site again!

Thank you for a spectacularly useful site - keep em

Many thanks,

Beth Jones-Davies

Dear Matt,

I had already read your page on Sifnos before spending three weeks with the family this summer on Milos and Sifnos (what a swimming in Spilia!) and I must admit that it was that reading which to a large extent made us decide spending our vacation on the two islands.

I would like to congratulate you on your great work (and terrific humor) and hope you don't mind linking your site on mine even though is a professional financial site and has nothing to do with travels. I just felt I wanted to suggest your site as my favorite one on the net.

By the way, I am Greek, born and living in Athens.

All the best,

Adam Liacopoulos

Hey Matt,

 Just got back from a month in Sifnos and it was magical, as always. I wanted to let you know that the blurb on your webpage about the BabaTzim place provided my husband and I with one of the most memorable cultural and culinary experiences we've ever had in Greece - probably because we were having a great day strolling around the flea market and other great spots anyway, but our visit to the BabaTzim place was certainly memorable.  The people are wonderful as is the food and we did try the BabaTzim ouzo, which is great (we brought a bottle home).  The place does have a name - it's called the Ibis (Ivis) (just for your records). 

 Generally Athens is going to the dogs what with strikes everywhere and no sign of completion of any Olympic stuff - I hope they make it!  We still enjoyed our day there en route back from Sifnos. 

 You really have to get back to Sifnos and take a look at some of the restaurants for which you don't have reviews on in your Website.  For instance, Posithonos (Poseidon) in Kamares, the first restaurant when you come from the boat is very very good - Sophia and her husband Jannis are great people and cook up a mean feast with very cheerful service (though Sophia doesn't speak English, her two beautiful daughters do and everything is cool).  She got totally over-excited one night when she discovered that the King and Queen of Belgium were standing outside her restaurant.  But let's face it, that is a big deal in Sifnos, considering that nothing ever happens there.

 Another good spot for chilling out is at Platy Gialos and it's called Barbazar;  it used to be the Bus Stop traditional Greek restaurant but is now a cafe/restaurant/art gallery and is run by an Italian woman called Laticcia (she's the artist), who is as bizarre as her bazaar!  But very nice.  Great place for hanging out, weird but good music (she must have inherited the old Bus Stop's CD collection - it was always weird!) and great pikilia as well as full meals.  She serves the genuine Budweiser from the Czech republic (or wherever it's made) and all the other beers and liquors.  Place is spotless and service is good and it's right on the beach.

 Prices in Kamares are getting a bit out of hand - we were charged 6 Euros for a Metaxa at Dodoni (the ice cream place run by an American) - hell you can buy the bottle for 11 Euros.  They're going to piss off a lot of "return regulars" to Sifnos if they continue with that.  Otherwise the prices are still great and the food is still wonderful -  we still like Boulis the best.  Unfortunately Antonis is no longer at the restaurant (I think there's a big family feud going on so he's concentrating on the Hotel and his wife and kids), so his mother and father are running the restaurant, which is ok, and Thanassi is still the grill man.  Still great food but they need to get back to serving it in Sifnos pottery - they've reverted to plain white dishes (boring). 

 Talking of pottery, I bought up the whole stock at Alexandros at Platy Gialos and somebody else's at Vathi.  Somebody has to tell these potters that their stuff is too cheap - they could easily charge twice or three times what they do and still sell it - I'd gladly pay it. 

 Anyway, I'm rambling as I always do when I start on the subject of Sifnos.  Are you planning on a trip there next year - we're avoiding Greece in 2004 because of the Olympics.

 Keep up the good work on the Website.  (Do you know where I could get a recipe for tomato keftedes?)

 Oh and the most important thing:  the slow ferries now leave from a different dock - THEY ARE NO LONGER ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE METRO so you need to get that into your website 'cause it's quite a hike from the Metro to where those boats leave now.  Luckily we took a taxi down this year - if we'd had to walk I may not have made it with all the shit I was carrying!

 Cheers for now


Hi Matt,
With all the emails you receive daily, I do not expect
for you to remember helping me a few months ago but I
want to tell you thank you again for all your help and
to tell you what a fantastic time my husband and I had
in Greece.
We were there Oct 2-9 and visited Athens, Sifnos, and
Santorini.  We booked through Aegean Thesaurus and
everything was wonderful.  Thank you for recommending
the Attalos Hotel.  It was at least as good as you
described, if not better.  They truly have a "million
dollar view"!
On Sifnos, we stayed in Kamares at Mosha Pension.  It
was lovely and clean and not a bad walk around the
beach.  I can understand why Sifnos is one of your
favorites.  What a beautiful, relaxed island.  We were
very excited to meet and visit with Kelly and Tony at
the Old Capitan!  Kelly and I had a great time talking
about "our part of the US" (Her hometown is about two
hours from ours) and they were a wealth of information
about the island.  Since there were not many tourists,
they were free to talk to us and a few other
interesting travelers.  We discussed the popularity of
your website and how it has helped so many tourists
and Greek businesses.  Tony said that you would be
arriving in Sifnos shortly after we were leaving and
we were sad that we couldn't meet you.  If you are
still in Sifnos, or traveling there soon, please tell
Kelly and Tony that Hayes and April from Arkansas say
What can I say about Santorini except that we should
have planned more time there.  We really only had one
full day.  I am still upset that we didn't make it
down to see Akrotiri but I did get to see/do most of
the other things I was hoping for. (Next time, right?)
We stayed at the Nissos Thira Hotel in Fira.  It was
very nice and the people there were very friendly and
helpful.  Santorini was much more crowded than Sifnos,
of course but it was still not bad at all.  The only
problems we encountered were a few  taxi strikes that
forced us to alter our plans but what would my
husband's first trip to Europe be without a few
unexpected twists?
Anyway, I am sure you have heard it all before, but I
would have been lost without all your helpful hints.
Keep up the fabulous work!  If only I could be so
lucky to find an online guide as wonderful as yours
for Egypt.  My mom wants me to accompany her on an
Egyptian tour in the next year or two, so I am
beginning to do research for that trip.  Any ideas? 
Feel free to come visit us anytime you have a reason
to be in North-West Arkansas.
Best wishes,
April Hudson

Dear Matt

Just a quick note to say thanks again for the very helpful advice provided on your webpages, which made our trip significantly easier to organise and helped to ensure that we had a good time. And have a good time we did! I am totally in love with Greece and have already booked my next trip to Sifnos for the end of May. Among other things we became very friendly with your friends Kelly and Tony (spending an inordinate amount of time in the Old Captain bar), who are truly great. Your recommendations for hotels were all spot on too – the Cecil in Athens, Angelika in Hydra and Stavros in Sifnos were all perfect.

I am now trying to teach myself Greek and can now say the alphabet and also write it, although so far only the capital letters. I am quite proud!

Very best wishes


Hi Matt

Just a quick note to let you know that I have been reading your websites for about 3 years now and have loved every minute! I have enjoyed your website while living in Amsterdam, Cape Town and Boston USA! (yes we seem unable to spend more than a year or two in one spot!)

Anyway my husband and I were married nearly 2 years ago and would have loved to spend our honeymoon in Greece. Sadly we could not afford it and spent our honeymoon in our native South Africa instead. Joyfully we now have the money to visit Greece this summer and will be spending a week in Sifnos from June 14 to 21. We are so excited we cannot wait!

Thank you so much for your website. The folks at Aegean Thesaurus have been particularly wonderful!

Warm regards

Lynette Hayler


Just wanted to let you know that my husband I went to Sifnos and loved the island.  We stayed in Faros this time, but the winds delayed our return to Athens by 36 hours, and we stayed the last night at the Hotel Starvos.  Sarah was so kind to us, and as you predicted, she did know about renting a guest room at the monasteries.  We definately want to return, with a car to take home more pottery!, and hope to stay at one of the monasteries next time.  I wanted to add, in case you aren't aware, that I believe that Kostas Podotas has passed away.  I don't speak much Greek, but my husband was able to speak to his wife while we visited their shop. 

Thanks again for your help! 

H Matt!

I just got back from Sifnos, the island you recommended.

I had an absolutely wonderful time. Sifnos is THE island I was looking for.

Many, many thanks to you.


  Hi Matt

Thanks so much for telling me about your father's 60s photos.  The more I look into your site the more fantastic I think it is - there is sooooo much in it!  You really do need to be congratulated (and you have been I know, and you deserve it!) for such an easy to use and navigate around site and for the really interesting things found it it.  I couldn't believe Sifnos in the 60s.  We met Stavros and it was really good to see his father mentioned - he planted all those trees along the waters edge. Fantastic! We also met the amorous potter! and Podotas and I laughed when I read your "Sifnos Monster" story. We were there at the end of September last year and we thought it was a perfect time of the year - not too many tourists and just lovely and quiet. I can't imagine how beautiful the islands would have been in the 60s.  Wow!  We also enjoyed Serifos (even though you don't seem as keen on it) and have an Australian friend who has just built a house there in Livadi.  We stayed 9 days there in a little apartment overlooking the Agean.  I am getting that yearning, longing feeling in me to return....... aaaah!  Thanks again for helping me relive my wonderful 5 weeks.

With very best wishes from Lynn

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