Syros (Cyclades - Central Aegean)


Syros is a Greek island in the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea. The largest towns are Ermoupoli, Ano Syros, and Vari. Ermoupoli is the capital of the island and of the Cyclades complex. It has always been a significant port town, and during the 19th century it was even more significant than Piraeus. Other noteworthy villages are Galissas, Foinikas, Pagos, Manna, Kini and Poseidonia.

The capital stands on a naturally amphitheatrical site, with neo-classical buildings, old mansions, and white houses cascading down to the harbor. It was built during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s. The city hall is in the center of the town, in Miaoulis Square, ringed with cafés, seating areas, and palm trees. Dubbed the "City of Hermes", Syros has numerous churches, such as Metamorphosis, Koimisis, St. Demetrius, Three Hierarchs, Anastasis, Evangelistria, and St. Nicolas. There is an archaeological museum and a municipal library. The quarter of Vaporia is where sea captains traditionally lived. There are numerous neo-classical mansions along the quarter’s narrow streets. The town is also home to the famous Apollo Theater.

Ano Syros is the second town of Syros and was built by the Venetians at the beginning of the 13th century on the hill of San Giorgio, north-west of Hermoupolis. Ano Syros maintains a medieval atmosphere. Innumerable steps between narrow streets and houses with colored doors lead to the top of the town. The medieval settlement of Ano Syros is accessible by car; the town is served mostly by marble steps.  The Catholic cathedral of Saint George dominates Ano Syros. The cathedral church was constructed during the 13th century. From the cathedral visitors have a panoramic view of the neighboring islands of Tinos, Delos, Mykonos, Paros, Andros and Naxos.

The best time to visit Syros is in late spring – the sea has warmed up to feasible swimming temperatures and locals outnumber tourists – and early autumn, when most of the tourists have departed and the sea is at its warmest. This is a marvelous combination as you can enjoy the island's sandy beaches as well as it's many monuments with the required peace stemming from the natural Cycladic rhythm.

Syros is accessible from Athens by plane (30 minutes) or fast ferry (2 hours) and there are frequent trips schedules daily.

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cyclades aegean Islands