The main characteristic of Syros Is that everyone who goes there loves it, and everyone has a good time. Think of this island like the perfect hostess who takes care of all the details for her guests, so that everyone has a good time, no matter the preferences and the mood of each one. No invitation is required, Syros is always welcoming! Syros, or Syra, is the geographical, administrative and commercial centre of the Cyclades. With its unique history, its special cultural heritage and inspiring natural environment, Syros is uniquely radiant. Visitors can see traditional and cosmopolitan, medieval and modern, Cycladic and neoclassical elements, in a place where Catholic and Orthodox traditions co-exist harmoniously. Syros is a living museum of culture, a ‘’ time capsule” that instantly carries the visitor from one period to the other, in an absolutely natural, but impressive and intriguing way. Ermoupoli, the capital, is a city by the sea that charms from the very first moment, with its imposing neoclassical mansions embracing the large natural port.
•Ermoupoli: is the capital of Syros and all islands of the Cyclades. It developed during the War of Independence and soon became a large transit centre between the East and the West. With the passage of time, small industries, workshops and the Neorion shipyards were set up in the city. The economic peak of Ermoupoli was accompanied by cultural growth, thus resulting in the formation of the first purely Greek bourgeoisie. This was also depicted in the architecture of the new city, with impressive results. Today Ermoupoli forms a monumental architectural set, unique in all of Greece!
•Posidonia: Also known as Delagrazia, this settlement is one of the island’s most beautiful. It features magnificent old mansions with their gardens, properties of wealthy families of Syros, as well as orthodox and catholic churches.
•More of Ermoupoli: Visit the Church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary, where you’ll see El Greco’s homonymous piece of work. Also, the Industrial Museum and the repairing installments of wooden boats (tarsanas and karnayio), next to Neorio, the island’s historic shipbuilding dock. Last but not least, the Markos Vamvakaris’ Museum (his former residence) in Ano Syra.
Activities: The countryside of Syros island is great for cycling. There are a couple of bicycle rentals on the island, from where you can rent a bicycle and explore the beaches and villages. The northern side of Syros has dirt roads and is ideal for jeep tours, especially the road to the village of San Mihalis. Syros is also ideal for those who love hiking and wondering around the unspoilt Cycladic landscape. The north side of the island, is full of paths and places of archaeological interest from the Cycladic civilization (3 millennium BC).
Events, products and specialties: Every year, the island hosts a variety of renowned cultural spectacles, such as the International Classical Music Festival of Cyclades, the International Animation Festival & Forum and the Festival of the Aegean. On the Sunday of Tyrini during the carnival of Ano Syros, the holiday atmosphere in the narrow alleys is infectious. The cultural events of “Ermoupolia”, “Apanosyria” in Ano Syros, “Music routes’ as a tribute to Markos Vamvakaris in Kini and Galissas, all take place during the summer months. In Posidonia, in July, everyone waits for the catch to be hauled in and the traditional feast on the beach of Agathopes. An event called “Avgoustiatikes Meres” (August Days) takes place in Vari on the 15th of August, where old customs and crafts are revived with structures on the sand, and a Venetian evening. On the third Friday of August, the feast of “kakavia” (fish soup) is organized on the beach of Finikas, including dancing and music. The traditional “Trygopati” (crushing of the grapes) is organized in September, at Kam bi in Vari. Visitors to Syros can taste the traditional recipes of octopus cooked with vinegar and sun-dried tomatoes, fish with dried capers, silverside cooked with fried onions, fennel pie, “strapatsada” (eggs in tomato sauce), and delicious dairy products, the best being “San Michalis”, a cheese exclusively produced in Syros, together with hard strained cheese. Some rare vine varieties are cultivated on the island: “avgoustiatis” and “katsano” (white), and “armeletousa”, “proniko”, and “romelko• (red).