It is with a deep sense of conflict and anxiety that I tell you about Sifnos, the island that is unreservedly my favorite place in the world. It’s like that dive bar that you want to see doing well but don’t want to see ruined by popularity, and it is the only location that hurts to write about because I miss it so incredibly much. So it was with no small amount of distress that when I texted my uncle (who’s been back more frequently and recently than I have) that I was writing this, he replied that Sifnos is “unfortunately becoming very popular,” then started naming celebrities who’d been going there to really just drive the point home.
It took about seven to nine hours to get here by ferry when I was a kid, but these days the high-speed boats will have you there from Piraeus in probably three. For dinner and drinks -- or lunch and drinks, or ice cream, or pastries -- go to the capital, Apollonia. The beachside tavernas in the port town of Kamares are in the designated location of what would be Unremarkable, Western-Tourist-Only Restaurants in a larger place, but my Greek family and I have eaten a million meals at them without embarrassment -- everything’s good. The place I always stayed, and the place that is Sifnos for me, is the town of Faros. I can’t tell you my favorite parts of the village -- I am weak and selfish, so this where I leave you, I’m sorry -- but we’re talking about a very, very tiny place. You’ll find them.