Syros: the “Lady” of Cyclades

Syros is the capital of the Cycladic complex which constitutes the Aegean islands and is acclaimed to be a jewel.  The mansions of the 19th century, the astonishing houses of captains, the imposing buildings as well as the city’s majestic atmosphere offer to the visitors a trip back in the times when Syros was one of the most important and mainstream trade centers of Greece.  The cosmopolitan air of the island in combination to its impressive architecture and its wonderful narrow roads makes it the ideal travel destination both for a weekend trip as well as long-day vacations. Quite near to Piraeus port the visitor can reach the island within less than 4 hours.

First stop should be the exploration of the island’s beautiful capital city called Ermoupoli. This place is dedicated to the God of trade, Hermes, and is certainly a destination that fascinates all its visitors.  It is built and spread among two hills where one can find the Byzantine temple of Resurrection and the Catholic baroque temple of Saint Nicolas. Its neoclassical premises, the picturesque narrow roads that mount over its two hills, the magnificent Miaouli square, the imposing Town Hall (constructed by Chiller), the impressive theater of God Apollo (which is considered to be a miniature of La Scala) and the archaeological museum are some of the sights that one can meet during his stay in Ermoupoli.

Moving next, there is the district Vaporia with its ship owners’ houses and the royal church of Saint Nicolas with its light blue dome, its pentelic marble tiblo and its embossed designs.

Our exploration continues with a visit to the medieval district of upper Syros.  All-white houses, picturesque cobbled streets and arches that constitute an enthralling view.  The territorial layout of the houses is quite impressive!  Throughout our walk one can meet the renovated house of Markos Vamvakaris as well as the square named after him.  Heading to the southwest part of the island one can meet De la Gracia, one of the most aristocratic resorts of Syros.  At this place the upper social class used to live and for this reason the district is full of mansions and impressive buildings some of which have been characterized as historical monuments. Beautiful gardens and mansions with towers compose the landscape of De la Gracia.

However an island without beaches bears no existence so let us introduce you to the most popular and easily accessible beaches of Syros.  Galisas, the Grand Gialos, Vari, the Agathopes and Kini comprise some of the most beautiful beaches surrounding the island. Those who want to visit the less easily approachable beaches such as Grammata and the Eagle can take the kaiki from Kini and reach to all those small heavens.

Before departing from the island make sure that you have tasted some of the riveting tastes of Syros’ food products. Donuts (loukoumia), halva pies, the Syrian cheese named “San Michali” the magnificent garlic sausages, the spicy pounder (kopanisti) and the traditional Luza.

Syros is waiting to be discovered by having a walk along its magical narrow roads and carry you away to a travelling experience full of images, smells and tastes.

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