This Site Sunday, I’m going to tell y’all about one of my favorite sites I’ve ever visited: the Mines of Agios Sostis. The mines are located on the coast of Sifnos, an island in the Cyclades. While Sifnos is typically praised for its pottery and cooking (it’s called the “cradle” of Greek cuisine!), I remember it most for the hike to the ancient gold mines.
Sifnos is a miners heaven, with gold, silver, copper, iron, and lead deposits around the island. These ores caused the Siphnians to become very, very wealthy, with treasuries located all around Ancient Greece. The Mines of Agios Sostis were some of the more lucrative, as they were filled with gold. Mining began during the Early Bronze Age (around 2800-2200 BC), then took a break until the Classical Period (the 5th and 4th centuries BC), and then took another break until the French started mining in the 19th and 20th centuries! Today, the mines sit empty, but are open to visitors.
Visiting the Mines of Agios Sostis
The Mines of Agios Sostis are pretty secluded, so it’s a bit of a hike to get out there! Even if you drive, you’ll still be hiking for at least 10 minutes down to the beach, so make sure to wear sturdy shoes. The hike itself is beautiful, especially since much of it takes you along the sea. To find the mines, plus “Church of Agios Sostis” into your GPS.
You’ll know that you’ve reached the mines when you see the small Church of Agios Sostis. Walk past it, take a right, and you seriously cannot miss them. Be very careful if you choose to poke around the mines, as they’re super old and can be prone to cave in! Before you leave, wander through the pebble beach and take a dip in the gorgeous turquoise sea.
Be sure to check back every week for a new Site Sunday post!