Syros

Grand contrasts in the classy capital of the Cyclades
Heading northeast, you reach Ermoupouli’s magnificent main church, known locally as Agios Nikolaos of the Rich
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Syros is an island in the South Aegean that is at the same time cosmopolitan and Cycladic, stately and traditional, Orthodox and Catholic … where you can be on the beach in the morning and in the theatre by night.

The capital of the Cyclades, Syros is an island of many faces. Even its main town, built on two hills, has a dual identity. Ermoupoli (Hermes’ town) is stately and grand, topped by an Orthodox church. And above it, Ano (Upper) Syros is a typically Cycladic village that is crowned with Catholic monasteries and churches.

The contrasts blend attractively, from the marble-paved squares in the port to the fairy tale mansions of Dellagratsia. Syros is an island on which you could live all year round, so much is there to do. You’ll find it easy to fit into the daily life, where the traditional and the classic are as sweet as the island’s famous loukoumi (Turkish delight).

 

What to do on Syros island

Explore Ermoupoli, the queen of the Cyclades

You’ll never tire of this bustling yet regal port town. In the capital of Syros, marble flagstones pave its spacious main square, presided over by the grandiose Town Hall, one of the 19th-century masterpieces of Ernst Ziller, the famous Saxon architect who became a Greek national. Graceful, high-ceilinged neoclassical buildings emit an aura of earlier prosperity, among them the restored Apollo Theatre (a miniature of Milan’s La Scala), the Hellas Club, the Pallas cinema and many more perfect examples of the urban architecture of yesteryear. Their interiors are just as impressive, with wonderful woodwork and delightful murals.

Take a walking tour around Ermoupoli


Head to Vaporia, the Mayfair of Syros

sweeping views of the Mediterranean. Back in the 19th century, they were the scene of glamorous receptions and lavish balls for which Syros was famed. Below them, the dome of Agios Nikolaos Church stands out. Step inside to find an interior that reflects the wealth of its patrons: a marble icon screen and pulpit, and chandeliers brought all the way from Trieste. With a little luck, you may hear the church choir that has been sweetening the breeze since the 1920s.
 

Enjoy the beach, without even leaving town

At Ermoupoli’s beach, you can find everything: cafe-bars, shops, tavernas and restaurants, even a casino housed in a mansion dating back to the 1830s. At the end of the coastal road, you’ll find the old transit storerooms and an imposing 19th-century customs house.
 

See if you can resist the local sweets

They’re called loukoumia in Greek, Turkish delight in English, but these soft and chewy sweets, flavoured with rosewater, pistachios, almonds and the like are a true speciality of Syros. The locals say it’s their water - not the sugar or the flavourings - that make them so exquisite. You may find the sweets of Syros addictive, so don’t forget to take plenty with you when you leave. Try the nougat, too.
 

Explore Ano Syros and marvel at the view

Ano Syros has all the features of a typical Cycladic village. Its white cubist houses snuggle together on a steep hillside, linked by alleys barely wide enough for two people and occasionally opening up onto spectacular terraces. Two things make it unusual: the Renaissance Cathedral of St George on its summit and the monasteries below, and the bouzouki tunes of Markos Vamvakaris still heard in its shops and squares. A native son of Syros, Vamvakaris was one of the country’s finest rebetika (blues) musicians. From up here, you’ll have a panoramic view of Ermoupoli to rival any in the Cyclades.

Enjoy the best of wonderfully-preserved Ano Syros


Pick a favourite beach (and then pick another)

Remember these names: Galissas, Delfini, Kini, Finikas and Dellagratsia, where yesterday’s elite built their splendid villas. Their serene landscapes, sheltered waters and pretty coves are just right for a family holiday.

 

Hidden gems of Syros island

The Industrial Museum

Part of the former industrial district of Ermoupoli has been turned into a museum. Wander among its buildings and you’ll see permanent exhibits on shipping, industry and the history of Ermoupoli, which will add to your appreciation of Syros today.
 

The experience of Easter on Syros

Easter anywhere in Greece is by definition special, but Good Friday on Syros is particularly moving. All the town’s noble houses are illuminated, increasing the evening procession’s solemnity and heightening the sense that you have just stepped into the 19th century.
 

Grammata and the Grey Cave

Grammata means writing and at Grammata Bay in northern Syros, there are letters scratched onto the rocks. Generations of sailors, washed up on this inhospitable coast, inscribed their wishes, prayers and names on them. Most of them date from Roman and Byzantine times. You can reach the bay and the Grey Cave near it by boat or on foot.

You know you’re in the heart of the Cyclades when you’re in Ermoupoli, the port-town of Syros

Experience the best of Syros

You know you’re in the heart of the Cyclades when you’re in Ermoupoli, the port-town of Syros

A walking tour of colourful Ermoupoli in Syros

Discover a town unlike any other in the Cyclades, whose commercial and artistic flourishing in the 1800s can be felt everywhere as you wander its...
To meander through the cobblestone streets of Upper Syros (as the name translates) is to uncover the medieval and Catholic character

A walking tour of wonderfully preserved Ano Syros

The ultimate fortress town, Ano Syros allows you to explore a world of Cycladic architecture and Venetian charm, punctuated by magical views of the South...
  • Vaporia, the Mayfair of Syros
  • Ermoupoli, the queen of the Cyclades
  • Ano Syros, where Greek blues meet Catholic monasteries
  • The Industrial Museum
  • Easter on Syros
  • Grammata and the Grey Cave

Highlights

8 highlights to light up your holiday on Syros
One of the most popular Cycladic islands, Syros is unique blend of contrasts. Cycladic minimalism, medieval charm, neoclassical nobility, Orthodox and Catholic heritage, rugged hillsides and little fishing villages… the diversity is astounding. It’s also
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Miaouli Square with its grand Town Hall, palm trees and cafes and shops
A 10-day island-hopping tour of Andros, Syros and Tinos
Three Cycladic gems, each with their own unique character, and so close to one another (and the ports of Athens) that you won’t be able to wait to get started.
Discover It
Three Cycladic gems, each with their own unique character, and so close to one another (and the ports of Athens) that you won’t be able to wait to get started.

Travel ideas

Shining the light on stories
Oia in Santorini

Getting around Greece by ferry in the Covid-19 era

This summer, we are all excited that we can travel by ferry to the Greek islands once again. So here’s a list of tips to help you have an enjoyable, easy and safe ferry trip in Greece during the Covid-19 era.
Miaouli Square with its grand Town Hall, palm trees and cafes and shops

8 highlights to light up your holiday on Syros

One of the most popular Cycladic islands, Syros is unique blend of contrasts. Cycladic minimalism, medieval charm, neoclassical nobility, Orthodox and Catholic heritage, rugged hillsides and little fishing villages… the diversity is astounding. It’s also
Painted pots – some filled with water for extra acoustics – are thrown with aplomb from balconies

Celebrating Easter in Greece

Everywhere in Greece seems to celebrate Easter in its own way

Plan your trip

Accommodation

Dolphin Bay Family Beach Resort

Syros
Dolphin Bay an elegant, relaxing and classicaly bautiful 4* resort, covers an area of 20.000 square metersand was built amphitheatricaly in traditional Cycla...
Accommodation

Syros Atlantis Hotel

Syros
Syros Atlantis is a small boutique hotel located on the island of Syros the Jewel of the Cyclades. The hotel is found a few meters...