Sikinos is an unspoiled islet located in the Saronic Gulf, just a short distance from Athens, Greece. It is best known as the site of the first regular postal service in modern Europe, operated by J. P. Morgan from 1834 to 1842. Today, Sikinos Island retains a peaceful and idyllic atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing getaway. The natural beauty of the island, its clear waters and sandy beaches, as well as its numerous cafes and restaurants make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Sikinos Island is located in the Saronic Gulf, just a short distance from Athens, Greece. It was first mentioned by name in an ancient document from the 5th century BC, and was initially known as “Ischia”.
The island’s strategic location made it a natural target for naval battles during antiquity. In 338 BC, Sikinos played host to one of the decisive engagements of Alexander’s campaign against Persia. The island subsequently became part of the Byzantine Empire and subsequently passed into Ottoman hands after Constantinople fell to Mehmet II in 1453.
In 1801, the island was leased to Baron Czartoryski who used it as a base naval training facility. In 1834, Jean-Pierre Morgan became its first postmaster (Postfachhalter) and initiated Europe’s first regular modern postal service between Athens and Sikinos every Tuesday morning at 8am from April 24 until October 5th – using horses for mail deliveries.
The mail would then be taken by ship or horse overland to Delos on Friday mornings for onward transportation by sea that same day: establishing the world’s most efficient delivery system of its day (June 18 th to 26th). The postage rate was 6 florins (1 fourth of a drachma) and cover for the letters cost 2½ francs.
Six other stamps were issued at 3/2 florin each, depicting papal portraits: one Austrian inscription pillar (“Postleitzahl”) alluded to the island’s postal history: “Der Herr der Insel” (Lord of the isla., or Lord of Sikinos Island). Letters from Europe took 12 days by sea and five days by land; from Australia 9d less freight charge. From New Zealand 13 weeks because of the long and arduous overland trek to Melbourne.
In 1875, the island was leased to Count Theodor von Schönfeld who used it as a summer home. It became a municipality in 1901, part of Argostoli Province.
Since 1954, Sikinos has been governed by an elected municipal council which is responsible for all local matters. There are currently 15 councilors in office on the island who serve four-year terms with no term limits.
The climate is mild and moderated by the presence of two high mountains, Psiloritis (904 meters) and Pyrgos Panagia (710 meters). The maritime influence moderates temperatures, keeping them close to the 27˚C temperature average during summer months.
Winters are slightly colder owing to the higher altitude. Snowfall is rare but it falls in winter time on either side of Mount Psiloritis. There are four distinct seasons. A wonderful place for hiking, and the church of Panagia is also well worth a visit.
The annual summer’s day (Locri) festival takes place in August where every man, woman and child in Sikinos receives three gold pieces (loans). On winter’s day or εναλλακτικός δωμάτιου μεγάλου Δεκεμβρίου – December district holiday there is fun fair with rides, games and fireworks.
The isle’s population (2011 census) is around 1,000 people. The main occupation of the inhabitants is tourism with a great demand for services related to accommodation, restaurants and shopping both on the island as well as in Argostoli town which lies about five minutes walking distance from the harbor. Artifacts found on site are also sold in shops across Argostoli Town .
The main religion on the island is Orthodox Christianity. There are also a few Muslims and Catholics living there. Folklore, song and dance traditions abound, with particular emphasis on weaving, pottery and woodcarving.
The traditional costumes worn by women include the mehterikoura (a sleeveless dress made of brightly coloured cloth), chiton (a long shirt or skirt) and psykari (shoe covers). Men wear skorts, tunics or suits depending on their occupation. Younger people often sport T-shirts colourful shorts .
The island is a part of the Greek province of West Macedonia and Thessaly. It is an autonomous municipality, within which are located the villages Sikinos, Kato Sikinos (locally known as Katochi), Andravida, Makriyia and Geraklia.
The mayor of Argostoli Municipality is Evangelos Giannakis , and the municipal committee is chaired by Vassilis Giannakopoulos.
The nearest Greek government services are located in the town of Argostoli, which is only a five-minute walk from the harbor. There are banks, supermarkets, post offices and a number of restaurants.
The island has its own hospital staffed by doctors who are also practicing residents. It also houses an optician, veterinarian and dentist as well as a pharmacy and hairdresser .
The main source of income for the island’s inhabitants comes from tourism. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, such as walking or cycling through the scenic villages and along the coast, sunbathing on sandy beaches or taking in views from impressive cliffs. There are also several restaurants and bars where visitors can spend their time socialising or relaxing. The tourist season runs from May to October each year .
Sikinos is a tiny island situated in the Ionian Sea, which is a short boat ride away from the capital city of Patras. The main attraction of Sikinos is its unspoiled beauty, which can be appreciated from both land and sea. Aside from its natural beauty, Sikinos also has many archaeological sites, which are worth exploring. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and there are plenty of places to stay if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway. So if you’re in the area and want to experience the best of both worlds, book a stay on Sikinos Island!
1 . What is the Climate on Sikinos Island?
Sikinos has a Mediterranean climate. It is rainy in the winter and hot and dry in summer.
2. What Are Some of the Government Services Available on Sikinos Island?
There are many government services that are available on Sikinos Island, including postal service operated by J. P. Morgan from 1834 to 1842,
health care, education, banking facilities and more!
3 . What Are Some of the Tourist Attractions on Sikinos Island?
Some of the tourist attractions on Sikinos Island include archaeological sites, crystal clear waters and sandy beaches.
4 . What Are the Transport Options Available to Get to Sikinos Island?
There are many transport options that are available to get to Sikinos Island, including ferries and buses.
5 . What is the Cuisine on Sikinos Island?
The cuisine on Sikino Island consists of traditional dishes, such asroumba (chicken) and dolma (stuffed grape leaves).