Syros in Greece

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Ermoupolis and Ano Syros.

Syros is the administrative centre of the Cyclades, and Syros' capital Ermoupolis is the chief town of the entire Cycladic archipelago. Despite a large population (21,400) it is a small island to the surface (84 km2). Since the revolution in 1821 Syros have been a culturally, economically and administratively important island, not just for the Cyclades but for all of Greece. The port of Ermoupolis was for example the largest in Greece until the early 20th century when Piraeus took over the position. Syros is still an important island in terms of administration, but it is far from its economic heyday. Almost all major industries that existed before is closed, it's just the shipyard that keeps on working. Syros was a rich island in those days, and it have left its marks, not at least in Ermoupolis where there are a lot of impressive houses from the golden days.

Syros is visited mainly by Greek tourists, foreign tourists is in a minority and one feels almost like a star attraction. The locals are friendly and welcoming, they treat you more as a person than as a tourist. Perhaps it is because Syros is not as dependent on tourists as, for example Mykonos, Naxos or Santorini. A visit on Syros is a visit in Greece, unlike the abovementioned islands where tourism dominates the everyday life.

The signs on Syros are in Greek, old men sits on kafenións and babbling, the Greeks live their everyday life, Greek music are played, in the alleys animated discussions are heard and there are only Greek newspapers. Not to mention the Greek cuisine that shows itself from its best side on Syros. Here you have the unique opportunity to botanize in authentic Greek homely fare. The menus on the tavernas are adapted to a Greek stomach, not to a foreign tourist ditto.

Photos from Syros »

The beautiful streets in Ermoupolis.

The beautiful streets in Ermoupolis.

Azolimnos is one of many child-friendly beaches in Syros.

Azolimnos is one of many child-friendly beaches in Syros.

It took many years before I pluck up courage and get off the ferry in the port of Ermoupolis. I had passed by the port by ferry many times. The large town scared me. That was not my picture of how my Cyclades should look like. Who would voluntarily get off in Ermoupolis, I asked myself. Until the day I for the first time put down my own feet on the large wharf. It did not take many hours before I took Syros to my heart, and I was thinking about my previous judgement and my prejudices. The reason that I, and others with me, have prejudices against Syros is the large shipyard you are greeted by in the port. It is not the picture you have when you think of a saccharine Cycladic village.

The first time we arrived to Syros to actually get off the ferry, a Swedish woman with a surprised face came up to me, she exclaimed - Are you really going to get off here? For safety's sake, she said it twice. I answered yes to her question, and wondered if she wanted to tag along. After a minute's hesitation, and a consultation with her husband, she replied yes. We shared a taxi to Kini and all four of us stayed there for one fantastic week. Syros turned out to be an absolutely wonderful island. To all of you who have ever been intimidated by the first sight of Syros, I want to say: throw your prejudices overboard and disembark. My previous fear of getting off in Ermoupolis has been cured forever, today I think Ermoupolis is one of the most striking towns in the archipelago, and that Syros is in many ways an amazing island.

Kini is one of my favorites on Syros.

Kini is one of my favorites on Syros.

You can read more about Syros via the links at the top of the page. A short summary of the information comes here:

From some countries it is possible to travel on package holiday. If you are travelling independently, you fly to Athens and continue by ferry from Rafina, or Piraeus. The best choice is Rafina, which is much quieter than the chaotic Piraeus. Read more about how to travel to Syros here »

There are few villages if you exclude the tourist resorts. The most famous are Ermoupolis and Ano Syros. Ermoupolis is an absolutely wonderful village, or town if you like. Above Ermoupolis lies Ano Syros beautifully on one of the two hills. In the picture at the top of the page you see both villages. Read more about the villages here »

There are many good beaches on Syros, most of them are shallow and ideal for families with children. Galissas and Kini are the most popular beaches. My favourite is Delfini Beach. Other beaches are Agathopes, Azolimnos, Megas Gialos, Vari, Achladi, Abela, Finikas and Kokkina. As you can see there are many beaches to choose from. Read more about the beaches here »

Apart from Ermoupolis and Ano Syros, there are few other sights that you must see before leaving the island, and it is quite liberating. Read more about the sights here »

The selection of hotels and pensions are large and the standard is good. You can choose to stay in many villages, among others: Ermoupolis, Finikas, Galissas, Kini and Megas Gialos. Choose Ermoupolis if you want to stay in a pulsating Greek town, choose one of the others if you want to be close to beaches. Suggestions for hotels can be found here »

You can, as mentioned, read more about Syros via the links at the top of the page.

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