INES | SIFNOS

PORTRAITS

WITH INÉS, DAVID, ANDRÉS & PEDRO
Inés is originally from Barcelona where she worked as an Accessory designer for a big fashion company. Recently she made the decision to change her life entirely and moved with her family to Greece. But not the mainland or the capital…but to small charming island named Sifnos, which is part of the Cyclades. David, her husband owns and runs a small hotel on the island together with his brothers. After too many summers going back and forth, the decision came naturally to join him with the kids and build a new life on the island far away from the busy day-to-day routine she had in Barcelona. As an architect, David has many projects on the island and Inés found herself stock in the same company for years, so she needed urgently a change and reset her life. Sifnos sounded like the logical decision and would be a paradise for their 4 and 1 year old boys. After they found a new home and enrolled Andrés to School (a full greek school) they moved with only (!!) 8 suitcases to Sifnos.
This was 2 month ago. When I contacted Inés for the interview, I could feel the difference in her voice. She told me how her kids are running free on the streets of Artemonas and about the never ending beach afternoons they have all together! “It all feels more natural, less stressful” Inés told me , “and on top of it, I forgot to say how beautiful everything is. The landscape is astonishing with its white buildings scattered through the valleys and mountain tops, the blue church ceilings here and there, all surrounded by the beautiful blue of the Aegean Sea. It’s a dream, sometimes I have to tickle myself.”

INES, YOU QUIT YOUR JOB IN FASHION IN BARCELONA AND MOVED WITH YOUR FAMILY TO SIFNOS. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE MOVE?

The move came quite naturally. We thought first of Athens, but then both of us wanted a more dramatical change, not only for us but also for the kids. It was the right time because later on, the kids have their own friends and a such substantial change would be more difficult for them.

COULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY?

I wake up very early (our 1 year old is an early bird) and get Andrés ready for school. Once he leaves with my husband David on his vespa, I stay with Pedro and play with him until his art teacher comes. I try to cover everything up because Pedro can make pretty much a big mess. Later in the morning I go to pilates or take greek lessons. After that I am heading for a coffee to Apollonia with my laptop where I work on the hotel bookings. People here are very open and friendly with foreigners and I sometimes the girls from the Pilates lesson are joining me. I also started hand weaving and try to practice on a daily basis at home. I really enjoy my free time with creativity. At 1 pm I pick up Andrés from school and we all have lunch together (school is a beautiful 5 minute walk from our house in Artemonas). In the afternoon we go to the beach, let the kids run wild and meet with friends. At home after after everybody showered we have diner and go to bed. Twice a week I go to this ceramist workshop who stays over his schedule to teach me his technic. I am learning day by day and it brings me closer to find my path in life. David works in the hotel but always comes home for lunch and then often stays with us in the afternoon too. We finally have all the time we want as a family. When the beach season will be over, we plan to go fishing with our small boat. Other things we do in the afternoon, is feeding the goats, hiking through the Monopatis (ancient paths spread all over the island), watching animals or work on our garden. Everything happens outdoor and time flies compared to my time in Barcelona, where I used to spend it with the kids on the playground.

CAN YOU REVEAL SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS ON THE ISLAND?

There are so many places I love, but here is my top selection:  Kastro, it’s an ancient village is a very special place to walk through. Nearby is the Seralia Beach where you can have a swim and eat lunch at Captain George.  The Lembesis Ceramic workshop in Agia Anna has some of the most beautiful pieces on the island. The workshop is joined to the shop and you can watch them work. Walk through the ancient greek path, the Monopatis, is the best way to discover the island at its essence. There are so many of them and they bring you from one end of the island to the other. That’s it so far but I will update this list when I will have been here for a longer time.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL ACTIVITIES YOU DO WITH KIDS HERE?

It’s all about nature and finally go back to the essential. For the kids living so close to nature is life changing. The nature is the biggest playground. We go see and feed the donkeys, goats and chickens and during summer, we spend most of our time at the beach. When you come here with kids, I can recommend the beaches Vathi and Kamares, they are very nice and have an easy access for kids. During wintertime the variety of activities are large as well. Andrés is playing music, learns traditional greek dance and plays tennis after school.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SWIMMING SPOTS?

The rocks down in Poulati Beach are a beautiful place to go when the sea is not too rough. But it’s not very kids friendly because of the rocks. With the kids my favourite spot is the Vathy Beach. On the right side your can swim and seat at this Taberna. They have tables and chairs in the sand and it is easy to have an eye on the kids when they play at the beach. Cheronissos is a small fisherman’s town on the north of the Island. It needs a longer drive to get there but it’s totally worth a visit. You may find some nice rocks to swim or good snorkel spots.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER RECOMMANDATIONS FOR OUR READERS?

Foodwise, the island is blossoming with new places: Omega 3 is my favourite fish bar. I do love traditional greek food, but this place is just amazing. The chef lives half of the year in Brazil where he experiments and create the new menus for the next season. My best-loved Tabernas are: Drakakis in Apollonia, Tsicali in Vathi and at the Chrisopigí beach.

David’s hotel is called Kamaroti and it is located in the eastern part of Sifnos island. From the hotel you have a magnificent view of the charming village of Kastro with the blue background of the Aegean Sea. It’s beautiful.

Otherwise you have the Verina hotels or Elies which is probably the most luxury hotel on the island. Or if you like it more personal, you do it like Scarlett Johansson and rent a vacation house for your stay.

You can easily check out Ines hotspots on the Google Map below and keep them saved for your next trip to Sifnos.