Arriving by ferry into the lovely port town of Ermoupoli on Syros, we see immediately that Syros is a different island to the other Cyclades islands we have visited. On Syros, we don’t see the traditional blue and white buildings – here the beautiful architecture is blend of neoclassical, Venetian and Cycladic styles.
Syros is the administrative capital of the Cyclades islands. There is so much to see and do on Syros – elegant shops, lively bars, fabulous restaurants and lovely beaches. It is a wonderful mix of old and new Greece.
We stay at Central Apartments, in a two-bedroom apartment about 10 minutes walk to the centre of Ermoupoli.
We are able to walk to all the sights in Ermoupoli but also rent a little car to go further afield.
Suggestions of what to see in Ermoupoli:
- Ano Syros – the medieval part of Ermoupoli – built on top of a hill topped by St George’s Catholic Cathedral. Ano Syros was founded by the Venetians in 1200. It is well preserved and warrants the time to explore its charming, narrow alleys and squares. There are bars, restaurants, shops and lovely views from Ano Syros. You can walk up to Ano Syros (very steep) from the centre of Ermoupoli (we drove and parked just outside the entrance to the old city).
- Vaporia – a charming neighbourhood of Ermoupoli where wealthy ship owners, bankers, merchants and sea captains built their mansions, many of which are now smart hotels and apartments. Don’t miss the beautiful Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas, and just down the steps behind the church is Sta Vaporia café/restaurant with a gorgeous view over the water and the popular swimming spot – Asteria Beach. You will also find The Apollon Theatre in Vaporia.
- Miaouli Square – a grand, marble paved square where you will find the beautiful town hall, municipal library and cultural centre. The square is named after admiral and politician Andreas Miaouli, whose statue stands on the square.
- Stroll through the colourful, marble-paved shopping streets of Ermoupoli – just off the waterfront. Explore the upmarket boutiques as well as traditional fruit and veg shops, fish mongers, delis and bakeries.
- Enjoy a meal at one of the many excellent restaurants – especially around Kyparissou St, Roidi Emmanouil St and Vikela St. Our favourites were Taverna to Petrino and Seminario.
After exploring Ermoupoli, we hired a car to explore the rest of the island. Our driving itinerary was:
- Azolimnos Beach
- Megas Gialos
- Possidonia (and Komito Beach)
- Finikas (I don’t think we had time to turn off to see Finikas)
- Galissas Beach
We did this at a leisurely pace, stopping to look at the beaches (we found it a bit cold to swim in May). The roads on Syros are very good.
Our favourite spot was Kini and we returned there a couple of times. It has many good restaurants on Seafront Road, right on the water – a great spot to watch the sunset. We especially loved Dyo Tzitzikia Sta Armyrikia restaurant where we had one of the best meals in all of Greece.
We were sorry to leave Syros – not nearly enough time spent there.
Our next stop was Athens for 3 nights and 2 days – a brief visit on the way to the islands of Skopelos and Skiathos.
We took the ‘Blue Star Paros’ ferry (Blue Star Ferries) from Syros to Athens, departing at 4pm (due into Piraeus at 7.45pm). It is a beautiful ferry – Hellenic Seaways ‘Blue Star Paros’. There are two levels for passengers, business and economy class; a couple of eateries and a gift shop. It is possible to buy WIFI packages onboard – we paid 7 Euros for 1.5Gb.
For more photos, take a look at our Greek island-hopping slideshow
The next stop on our Greek itinerary is Athens.
28-31 May 2023
Best Month of Your Life