Sikinos has been inhabited since Mycenaean times. In antiquity it was called Oinoe, from "oinos", the Greek word for "wine". It acquired its present name from the mythological character Sikinos, who was the son of Thoas, king of Lemnos. In Mediaeval times Sikinos was often ravaged by pirates, as were the rest of the Cyclades. It became part of Greece after the War of Independence (1821 - 1829).
Modern Sikinos boasts of a population of barely 300 inhabitants. Settlements include Sikinos - also known as Kastro or Chora - and Alopronia, the island's harbour. A 3.5 km road connects the two towns. Sikinos' only other road is a dirt road from Chora to Episkopi, a place known for its ruins of an ancient Ionian settlement.
Sikinos can be reached from Piraeus by boat, three times a week or through other ports in the Cyclades.