Syros is a marvelous island of the Cyclades complex, which perfectly combines Cycladic and Medieval architecture. Its capital, Ermoupolis, was for many years the cultural and trading center of Greece, giving major importance to economic, industrial and artistic development.
Apart from its special architecture, Syros is also renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches with calm and crystal clear waters. Easily accessible from Athens with a plane or a ferry to Syros, the island is ideal for relaxed cultural holidays, which include visits to museums, galleries, traditional villages and lovely beaches.
Syros has many scenic villages, but most of them are quite small. The most famous villages on the island, characterized by their combination of Venetian and Cycladic architecture, are Ermoupolis, the administrative capital of Syros and the Cyclades, and Ano Syros.
Ermoupolis, built amphitheatrically around the natural harbour, is one of the most picturesque towns in the Cyclades. During the 19th century, it was the main industrial, commercial and cultural centre of the country, boasting many public buildings of impressive architecture, Neoclassical houses, museums and marble squares. Visit the famous Miaouli Square and see the magnificent Town Hall, designed by the celebrated architect Ernst Ziller.
A Medieval atmosphere is evident in Ermoupolis, due to the Venetian style of the buildings and the several imposing churches, such as the historic Church of Resurrection, with the image of the Virgin Mary, painted by El Greco, and the marble church of Agios Nikolaos.
Above Ermoupolis, on top of the hill, is Ano Syros, a Venetian settlement constructed in 1200 AD as a defensive fortress. Having retained its amazing Medieval and Cycladic architecture, Ano Syros is perfect for a romantic walk around little streets and whitewashed houses. On your stroll you will find the house of Markos Vamvakaris, the father of rebetiko music.
The beaches in Syros are famed for their golden sand, crystal waters and relaxing environment. The most popular beaches lay on the southern side of Syros and most of them are organized.
The most cosmopolitan beaches on the island, fully organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, taverns, bars, and water sports, are Galissas, a very long sandy beach renowned for its sunset views, and Possidonia, a small but wonderful sandy and pebbled beach.
Megas Gialos is also a popular organized beach on the southern side of Syros, characterized by high reeds and surrounded by beautiful tamarisk trees. Finikas is another frequented tourist resort and port with many nice accommodation and dining options, as well as a stunning sandy beach with calm waters, perfect for families.
How to go: ferry to Syros
The island is easily accessible from the capital of Greece, Athens, both by plane and by ferry to Syros. There are direct flights from Athens international airport to Syros that take only 40 minutes. Ferry routes from Syros to other islands including Kythnos, Mykonos, Santorini, Tinos and Paros among others.
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For visitors who prefer a ferry trip, there is a daily ferry to Syros from Piraeus port in Athens and one from Rafina port in eastern Attica, serving frequent itineraries.