Serifos quiz tests knowledge of Kythnos's Cycladic neighbour, its sights, history, beaches

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(Above: path where miners walked to work from Hora)

Test your knowledge of Serifos, one of the western Greek Cycladic islands where we run walking tours. The island has a different character to Kythnos, its neighbour, with a spectacular hilltop Hora capital, fine beaches, nightlife, a significant industrial mining past, and spectacular walks. Answers at the bottom. Booking for the Serifos 5-day hiking tour is available on

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Q1. The Hora boasts a castle at its summit. When was the castle built?
a) Fourth century BC
b) 1204
c) 1434
d) 1538

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Q2. Psili Ammos (above on a spring day)  is one of Serifos's most popular beaches. What does its name mean in English?
a) Crazy place
b) Super swimming
c) Fine sand
d) VIP hangout

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Q3. The Taxiarchis Monastery (above inside the monastery walls) is still manned by monks. From what date is its structure?
a) 1500
b) 1570
c) 1600
d) 1650

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Q4. How high is the top of Hora, the Venetian castle (above beside top church)?
a) 250 metres
b) 276 metres
c) 320 metres
d) 350 metres

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 Q5. When did mining activity stop in Serifos?
 a) 1860
 b) 1940
 c) 1950
 d) 1965
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Q6. What type of wine is produced by Serifos's Chrysoloras winery?
a) Dry white
b) Dry rosé
c) Sparkling wine
d) Semi-sweet rosé

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Q7. Aspros Pirgos, or white tower, in the south east had what use in the past?
a) Quarters for Macedonian soldiers
b) Mining offices
c) Part of a signalling network
d) Birthplace of Cyclops

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Q8. Why is the area between Panagia and Sykamia (beach behind) so beautiful?
a) Because of the agricultural terracing
b) The shops that take you back 50 years
c) The valleys full of pigeon houses
d) The spectacular views to other Aegean islands

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Q9. Which is your top dance bar on the island? (Above Hora town hall square.)
a) Karnagio in the coastal town of Livadi
b) Batrachos, or frog, in Hora
c) Stou Stratou in Hora
d) Yacht Club in Livadi

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(Above near Kallitsos village)

Serifos answers:
A1. The foundations of the Hora acropolis go back to the 4th century BC. The Venetians took over the island in 1207 and in 1434 built a fortified settlement. The village was looted by Turkish pirates in 1538.
A2. Psili Ammos beach on the east coast is regularly publicised in travel supplements, though literally the Greek words mean fine sand.
A3. The Taxiarchis monastery in the north east got a boost from the donation of an icon dedicated to the Archangel Michael brought from Cyprus in 1570. This arrival led to monks cells and protective walls.
A4. There is a fine paved walk up to the top of Hora, Pano Hora, passing an openair theatre, museum, schools, narrow streets and up to Aghios Konstantinos by the Venetian castle at 276 metres high.
A5. Mining started in ancient times with copper and iron and resumed at various stages down the years before resuming in 1860 after Greek independence and ending in 1965.
A6. Chrysoloras winery produces dry white, and sweet and dry rosé wines from local varieties of grapes grown near the vinery at 350 metres altitude, just above the monastery. So not c).
A7. Aspros Pirgos, or white tower in the south west, was part of an extensive network of signalling towers across Greece in ancient times.
A8. The north eastern valleys are unspoilt by mining activities, which have left scars in the south west of Serifos. All the answers are equally valid.
A9. Serifos is well-known for its night life, though some of the bars in Hora change management frequently. The bars in Livadi have a longer pedigree and mostly play modern music.