Tiny Sikinos lies between Ios and Folegandros on the less-frequented boat route along the southern rim of the Cyclades island group. It has a small, but welcoming population. The merciless Aegean light magnifies and crushes the landscape with its sheer inaccessible sheer rocks plunging into the sea and a shore battered into small coves with pristine waters. In ancient times, the island was known as Oenoe because of its many vineyards. Kastro, one of the most aesthetically-pleasing settlements in the Cyclades, is a complex of old mansions and pretty cobblestone passages that hark back to old loves and more prosperous times. The homes within this fortified settlement have been carefully restored: decorative elements from slate, light colors in window frames and doors. Horio, the main village, is crossed by sheltered lanes and low, white-washed terraced walls that create a sense of intimacy. Beekeeping has been a local industry for centuries and Sikinos is known for its fine thyme honey that is used to make pastelli (sesame and honey bars) and loukoumades (deep-fried puffs of dough drizzled with honey). Homemade delicacies such as watermelon preserves and diagourenia (a gruel made with watermelon juice and dough, topped with honey and sesame). Dishes from the local cuisine include stuffed goat, coq au vin, unsalted manouri cheese, small pies filled with anthotiro cheese, pickled rock samphire, pickled bulbs, onion and buttermilk pies, and pourazenes (a type of dolma wrapped in leaves)—all accompanied by red Sikinos wine.

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