In antiquity it was famous for its wealth due to the mines of gold and silver and the quarries of "sifnian stone" as well.
During the Byzantine period the island suffered innumerable raids. Of the last conqueres they were the Venetians and the Turks.
Sifnos is located between Milos and Serifos. It has white traditional villages, a lot of churches, picturesque dove-cots and marvellous beaches. It is extended in an area of 74 sq.km. and it is in a distance of 79 n.m. (5 hours) from Piraeus.
Apollonia is the fantastically beautiful capital of the island spread in three hills and named so after the god Apollo. The stone-paved narrow streets pass by the white houses and the churches with blue domes. Worthwhile they are the churches Panaghia Ouranofora, Aghios Sozon, the church of Stavros and of Aghios Spyridonas. You can also visit the monasteries of Chryssostomos and of Theologos Mouggos. In the square of the village there is Popular Art Museum.
Apollonia and the around villages compose a sui-generis architectural complex in a way that walls, stone sills, courtyards, narrow small streets are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape.
To the north of Apollonia it is situated the picturesque Artemonas, one of the biggest villages of Sifnos, with mansions in neoclassical style and the windmills at the top of the hill from where you can enjoy a marvellous view.
In the village Exambela in a distance of 2 km. from Apollonia it is located Arades, namely a series of about ten windmills.
A little to the south, out of the village, you can visit the menís monastery of Panaghia Bryssiani of the 17th century.
6 km. from Apollonia it is situated Kamares, the harbour of the island with the picturesque chapels and the pottery workshops. You can also visit the monastery of Panaghia "Tosso Nero", the churches of Aghia Marina, Aghios Symeon.
The village Kastro, in the eastern part of the island, combines perfectly the medieval with the cycladic architecture being the
capital of Sifnos till 1836.
Built in a rock, Kastro preserves the mansions, the venetian inscriptions and the coats of arms. Several of the old churches are saved as Panaghia Eleoussa, the church of Theoskepasti and the one of St.Nicholas. The old harbour, Seralia, is situated south-east of the village.
Built on the foot of the hill Prophet Elias it is the village Katavati, 3 km. south of Apollonia. You can visit Panaghia Katavati and the monastery of Prophet Elias Psilos built in the 8th century.
The picturesque village Vathy is in a distance of 10 km. from Apollonia and it is built in an enclosed bay with sandy beach.
The village Platys Ghialos with its crowded beach is famous for its pottery. Formerly there were here many workshops of pottery.
In a hill it is situated imposingly the monastery of Panaghia Vounou (Virgin Mary of Mountain) built in 1813 with enchanting view, whereas north-east it is located the Lefkos Pyrgos, ruins of an ancient tower. In the south-eastern end of the mouth of the bay it is the deserted islet Kypriani or Kitriani with the church Panaghia Kypriani.
The village Faros known for its fresh fish, 7 km. southeast of Apollonia, was formerly the main harbour of the island.
Between the by the sea villages Faros and Platys Ghialos it is situated Chryssopighi. In the end of the peninsula it is the monastery of Panaghia built in 1650.
Herronissos, a small traditional village with fresh fish in the farther northen side of the island, is famous for its pottery.