Explore the princess of South Aegean
Syros - the capital of the Cyclades - is considered one of the most popular holiday destinations for its architecture, culture and cosmopolitan flair. The long thread of the history of Syros is intertwined with that of Homer. In his writings, he referred to the island of Syrii - after the Phoenician word for happy.
The colorful 19th-century city of Ermoupoli - the capital of Syros - is built on twin peaks; one Greek Orthodox, the other Catholic, the heritage of a long Venetian occupation. The town, with vast neoclassical villas overhanging the Aegean, is an open museum with monumental architecture, breathtaking churches and magnificent public buildings. The Apollo theatre (a replica of Milan's La Scala) and the Customs Office are evidence of the influences of Italian culture.
German architect Ernst Ziller left an everlasting impression on the architecture of Athens and the Greek islands with his iconic buildings such as the Town Hall of Ermoupolis in the town of Syros.
During the 19th century, the port of Ermoupoli - once Greece’s ship-building centre - was even more significant than the port of Piraeus in Athens. Syros still has a boatyard, but the most splendid legacy of the shipping industry are the manor houses in the quarter of Vaporia (also known as Little Venice), where sea captains traditionally lived.
Syros has an elegant and nostalgic vibe that enchants every visitor. The town of Ano (upper) Syros - the second town of Syros - retains its medieval character, with wooden balconies, numerous steps between narrow streets, marble stairs and houses with colorful doors.
In Ano Syros, George's Cathedral dominates the landscape. It's construction dates back to the 13th century and the town was built up and walled as a protective fortress from pirates. From the orthodox church of St. George, visitors have a panoramic view of the islands of Tinos, Delos, Mykonos, Paros, Andros and Naxos.
Discover miles of golden stretches of sand
Surrounded by the tranquil blue Aegean Sea, Syros is blessed with many spectacular beaches where one can worship the sun or indulge in water sports or other activities. The most popular beaches in Syros are located on the southern side of the island. Some of them are sandy and others are pebbled, but they all have crystal waters. The most organized beaches are Galissas, Megas Gialos, Agathopes and Poseidonia beach.
The fishing village of Kini is the prettiest and especially scenic at sunset. Another beautiful beach not far from Kini is Delphini. Delphini is a secluded beach that offers protection from the seasonal winds. There are also several beaches on the north-west side of the island that can only be accessed by boat or foot.
In the heart of Ermoupolis, the Vaporia District is home to rocky platforms that sit atop the sea. Here there are small beaches that are suitable for swimming with a view of “Little Venice” and the church of St. Nicholas, if you want to cool off after exploring the district.
Syros is well known for its gastronomic peculiarities. Visitors can’t leave Syros without trying the local sweets, loukoumia, halvadopita and San Michalis cheese. Loukoumia are an exquisite Greek tradition originating from the island of Syros during the 1830s.
Loukoumia are traditional Greek sweets originally created in the 1800s by migrants from Asia Minor and the island of Chios. Halvadopita is a traditional Greek cookie filled with nougat and honey, laden with almonds. The San Michalis spicy cheese will no doubt satisfy even the most demanding taste buds.
Don't leave the island without trying the local sweets
Ermoupoli is home to internationally acclaimed festivals as well as the festival of the Aegean which is held at Syros, offering a wide range of choices and covering any taste. Aside from live entertainment there are also several art galleries, archeological sites and museums to explore. One should not leave Syros without visiting the impressive church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary to see one of the early paintings of El Greco, a religious icon entitled “the Dormition of Virgin Mary”, dated around 1560.
There are also many activities to choose from on the island, such as horse-back riding through the most scenic trails, or exploring the island by hiking on the many paths that take you to its picturesque pastures, secluded coves, and beaches. In addition, windsurfing, waterskiing, diving, jet skiing and paddle-boarding (SUP) are popular water sports at Syros island.
Getting to Syros
Ths island’s privileged location along with its advanced tourist infrastructure make it an ideal destination for authentic and alternative holidays in the Cyclades. The island is easily accessible by plane or boat. Syros is just a 40-minute flight away from Athens. Alternatively, ferries depart from Piraeus port almost daily. For visitors that reach Mykonos and Santorini by plane, there are regular ferries that connect them with Syros.