Syros is an island in the Aegean Sea, 78 miles (125 kilometres) southeast of Athens, and the administrative, commercial, intellectual and cultural centre of the Cyclades. Syros is 32 square miles (82.8 square kilometres) in area. Its largest towns are Ermoupoli, the capital of the island and Cyclades, Ano Syros and Vari. Although Syros belongs to the Cyclades islands, its architecture is more medieval than Cycladic. The beaches of Syros are especially inviting, and surrounded by many tourist facilities and accommodations.
Syros is divided into three quarters; the waterfront and two hills, each crowned with a Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church. Ermoupoli, the capital of the island and Cyclades, is built into the hills surrounding the harbour and one of the leading port cities in Greece. Ermoupoli is renowned for its bustling port, elegant Venetian mansions, picturesque Vaporia Quarter, and large churches. Impressive Neo-Classical buildings can be found in Miaouli Square, the magnificent heart of the city and one of the most beautiful squares in Greece. Ano Syros, the Catholic part of the capital, is a medieval Venetian settlement built amphitheatrically for protection from pirates and invaders. Beautiful Vrodado, the Orthodox part of the city, is built on the right side. The northern part of the island, Apano Meria, is mountainous, with rocks, caves and bridges extending to the virgin beaches of the island, and stunning panoramic views in every direction. By contrast, the southern part of Syros Island is flat; most of the towns and villages feature well-developed tourist sites, modern hotels and organised beaches, and are connected to Ermoupoli by excellent roads.
In addition to its stunning natural beauty, Syros delights visitors with attractions of great historic, cultural and architectural interest. The evolution of this ancient island can be explored during visits to Ermoupolis, a city of amazing beauty and a glorious past. Must-see sites here can be found in Miaoulis Square. This delightful city centre features many well-preserved, Neo-Classical landmarks, such as the Town Hall, Archaeological Museum, Cultural Centre, Municipal Library, Apollo Theatre, Andreas Miaoulis Statue, and old mansions. The 13th-century medieval settlement of Ano Syros is highlighted by the spectacular, 13th-century St. George's Cathedral, and characterised by Iarge stone walls, narrow streets, Cycladic architecture, attractive whitewashed houses, wooden balconies, and many arches and arcades. The churches of the Resurrection, Assumption, Agios Nikolaos and the Annunciation, along with a host of stunning museums, monuments and other sites, round out the city's seemingly endless array of architectural treasures.
Due to its compact size, Syros Island can be easily explored in just a single day.
Going Ashore in Syros
The ship is scheduled to dock at Teloneio Pier. Ermoupoli's city centre can be reached via a short, 164-yard (200-metre) walk on-foot. If needed, metered taxis are available on the pier. Please make sure to establish a price before starting any journey.
A wonderful array of shopping opportunities in Syros include men's and women's fashions, jeans and shoes, jewellery, computers and electronics, fresh fruit, produce and groceries, gourmet items, paintings and artwork, handicrafts, souvenirs, and more. In addition to the many shops and boutiques in the city centre of Ermoupoli, popular shopping destinations include Korres and Livadaras for sweets and desserts, the open-air market on Hiou St. in Ermoupoli for fresh fruits and vegetables, local specialities, souvenirs, etc., and the Stathopoulos Book Shop for old and new books, travel guides and more. Most shops are open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 pm. The local currency is the Euro.
Syros offers an exquisite selection of Greek and Mediterranean specialities, along with German, Italian, contemporary and international cuisine. Lamb, meat, fresh fish and shellfish, olive oil, garlic, herbs, local fruit and vegetables, moussaka, dolmas, and Greek wine are mainstays in Greek cuisine. Local specialities include loosa ham, traditional Syriano sausage made of pork, salt, pepper, herbs, and fennel, San Mihalis spicy cheese, kaparosalata, a salad made with capers, maintanosalata, a salad made with parsley, frisoura, delagraciano, ladopita. marathopita, and sfougato. Traditional sweets and desserts include halva, a pie made of thyme honey and roasted almonds. Loukoúmi is a family of confections based on a gel of water, starch and sugar, and flavoured with rosewater, mastic, mint, cinnamon, orange, lemon, chopped dates, pistachios, hazelnuts and/or walnuts. Chalvadopita is a pie made with Syros honey and fresh almond.
The capital of Syros and the entire Cyclades, Ermoupolis is a city of amazing beauty and a glorious past. This amphitheatrically-built city is distinguished for its elegant Venetian mansions, picturesque Vaporia Quarter, Miaoulis Square, the delightful city centre, Cathedral of Saint Nikolaos, large churches, grandiose marble paved streets and squares, and imposing monuments and statues.
Located in Miaouli Square, the centre of Ermoupolis, the Archaeological Museum is housed in the magnificent Town Hall, and has its own independent entrance on the west side of the building. Founded in 1834, it is among the oldest museums in Greece
Cycladic Art Museum
The Museum of Cycladic Art is located in Ermoupolis, near Miaouli Square. It exhibits an interesting collection of Cycladic art and artefacts that date from the Cycladic period, and were excavated in Syros and other Cycladic islands.
Church of the Assumption
One of the most important churches of Ermoupolis, the Church of the Assumption displays a renowned holy icon of Virgin Mary created by the famous painter, El Greco.
Located in front of the village of the same name, Galissas is the most popular beach resort on the island of Syros. This small, protected bay features a golden, sandy beach that extends for approximately 0.6 miles (one kilometre), with numerous tamarisk trees. This family-friendly beach has been awarded the EU Blue Flag, which attests to the cleanliness of its calm, crystal-clear waters. Windsurfing and other water sports are popular here, along with traditional taverns, cafés and beach bars.
Syros Island offers a splendid array of outdoor activities, including bicycling in the countryside, along beaches and through villages, picturesque nature and bird-watching tours, mountain-biking and climbing treks, Jeep excursions in northern Syros, horseback-riding on the mountains and beaches, caving, and flight-seeing. Scenic, relaxing, and fun-filled water-based excursions include boating, sailing and fishing along the coast, as well as sunbathing, beachcombing, swimming, water-skiing, windsurfing, kite-boarding, snorkelling, and diving at the island's many protected bays, idyllic beaches and resorts.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship.