Syros is yet another Cycladic island in the Aegean Sea. It is not as popular as neighboring Santorini, Paros, and Mykonos, but its main town Ermoupoli is capital of Syros and of all Cyclades islands. It has, just like the other islands a special charm with a beautiful landscape, minus the crowds. It is the perfect choice for you who want to chill out and relax in the Greek islands.
Ermoupoli is one of the most picturesque Cyclades capitals, and you will soon see why! With Venetian mansions, narrow alleys, neoclassical buildings, impressive churches, both orthodox and catholic, as well as its spectacular sunset views, it oozes a fairytale charm!
Why visit Syros Greece?
In the heart of the Aegean Sea, you will find Syros, a rare beauty with a mixture of Cycladic and Venetian architecture where whitewashed houses are blending with colourful mansions and big churches amidst the Cycladic nature. Your holidays in Syros will be an utterly unique experience. Syros island is ideal for families and couples seeking a romantic, relaxed holiday destination. The nostalgic and elegant vibe in Syros will win you at first sight.
Where is Syros Greece?
Syros is located 144 km south-east of Athens in the Aegean Sea. It is part of the Cycladic archipelago along with neighboring Paros, Santorini, and Mykonos.
Syros on a map
How big is Syros Greece?
The largest towns are Ermoupolis, Ano Syros, and Vari. Ermoupolis is the capital of the island and the Cyclades. It has always been a significant port town, and during the 19th century it was even more significant than Piraeus. Syros has approx. 22,000 inhabitants.
What is Syros famous for?
In Syros, the most famous spot is Ermoupolis, the capital town. It stands out for its beautiful Venetian architecture and its large port. When you arrive to Ermoupolis by ferry you are met by the breathtaking view of the town which together with Ano Syros seems like a city-mountain.
Syros – What to see?
Find a list of the most important sights in Syros here.
- Ermoupolis Town Hall – is an impressive building posing in the central square of Miaouli. It is the trademark of Syros, constructed by the famous architect Ernst Ziller in the Neoclassical architecture.
- Vaporia Quarter – the seashore quarter of Ermoupolis is the most picturesque quarter of the capital town with elegant buildings just above sea level. It is here you will find the church of Saint Nicolas, the patron saint of Syros. Vaporia is where the sea captains used to live.
- Apollo Theatre – in Ermoupolis was constructed in 1864 by the Italian architect Pietro Sampo. You will find it in Miaouli Square in Ermoupolis where it is hosting performances, exhibitions, and lectures on a regular basis.
- The Archaeological Museum of Syros – is housed in Miaouli Sq. at the Town Hall. It includes findings from excavations in Halandriani Syros as well as other Cycladic islands like Kythnos and Amorgos.
- Other great museums in Ermoupolis – The Industrial Museum (housed in 3 old factories) and the Cycladic Art Museum (near Miaouli Sq.)
- The church of Agios Nikolaos – is an impressive 19th century church with two bell towers, located close to the port of Ermoupolis.
- Other significant churches in Ermoupolis – The Church of Resurrection (on Vrodado Hill above Ermoupolis), Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (see the holy icon of Virgin Mary, made by the famous painter El Greco).
- Capuchin Monastery – is located near the cathedral of Agios Georgios in Ano Syros. It is the Jesuit Monastery of Agios Ioannis (Saint Jean). It houses beautiful icons, ancient inscriptions, and an important library of 6000 old books and manuscripts.
- Jesuit Monastery – in Ano Syros is hosting an important library and has two nuns (followers of Saint Clara).
- Archaeological site of Halandriani – is a unique site with graves including a great deal of wealthy items.
What to do in Syros Greece?
Feasts and festivals
- Syros Easter – is the one thing in particular which Syros is famous for. As the center of the Easter festivities, Ermoupolis is bursting with life every spring. From all over the world people are going to Syros to live the unique Greek Easter experience with Easter ceremonials, gospel chanting in the beautiful churches, holy processions in the streets, and feasts.
- June 30th – is the festival of Agios Petros in the village of Kini.
- July 27th – is the festival of Agios Panteleimonas in the village of Finikas.
- August 15th – is the largest religious festival in all of Greece and the Greek islands. In Syros, many festivities are taking place as quite a few churches are dedicated to Virgin Mary of whom is the celebration on August 15th.
- August 29th – is the festival of Agios Ioannis in the village of Peseidonia.
During the summer months various cultural events are taking place in Syros.
- Syros International Film Festival (SIFF) – showcases a wide range of cinema various sites in the island. In the middle of the Aegean summer SIFF is embedding events, styles, and programs – both experimental and narrative, Greek and international, with workshops and expanded cinematic performance in a unique setting.
- The Guitar Festival – is being held every year in July in Ermoupolis. The festival which lasts for five days includes concerts, guitar courses of different levels and contests. This festival is a great opportunity for new musicians to attend.
- August Moons – (or Avgoustiatika Feggaria) is a festival taking place in Ano Syra. Here local Syrian musicians are gathering for a night dedicated to the rebetiko music, an extremely popular music genre in Syros.
- The Ermoupoleia Festival – is embracing many different cultural events, like theatrical performances, music concerts and art exhibitions. Usually, it is taking place by the end of the summer, in early September.
Syros has some good diving centers, so why not book a diving course while on holiday in Syros. During the PADI courses you will go through three stages: Knowledge development, Pool Scuba Diving, and Open Seas Scuba Diving.
Syros has a few horseback riding schools. You will have the opportunity to attend riding lessons and seminars on animal welfare. Activities for adults and youngsters alike.
Facts about Ermoupolis
Ermoupolis, the capital of Syros is the orthodox town of the island, and an architectural gem with colourful mansions, imposing orthodox churches and squares. Must-sees are the Town Hall building created by Ernst Ziller, the Apollo Theatre and Pallas cinema.
Ermoupolis is also the main port of Syros island, and it is standing on a naturally amphitheatrical site, with neo-classical buildings, old mansions and white houses from the harbour and up.
The City Hall, at Miaoulis Square is surrounded by cafes and with seating areas under palm trees, and it has a nostalgic grandeur. The “City of Hermes” has numerous churches of great interest, the Archaeological Museum has a collection of notable finds and the Municipal Library contains numerous interesting and rare editions.
Syros Island National Airport, the Aegean casino, the frequent passenger boat transportation system and all other modern amenities help to attract many Greek as well as foreign tourists to the island all year round.
Ano Poli Syros
If you hike uphill, above Ermoupolis, you will find the Catholic town of Syros, Ano Syra. While Ermoupolis is a Venetian beauty, Ano Syra has the typical Cycladic style with whitewashed houses and narrow alleys. Ano Syra is perfect for strolls in its little lanes. Visit the Renaessance Cathedral of Saint George and enjoy the stunning view to Ermoupolis below you.
Ano Syra 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 Syra maintains a medieval atmosphere. Innumerable steps between narrow streets and houses with coloured doors lead to the top of the town. The medieval settlement of Ano Syra is accessible by car; the town is served mostly by marble steps. The distance from the harbour up to the main entry point of the town is about 1000 metres. The Catholic basilica of San Giorgio dominates Ano Syra. The church was constructed during the 13th century. From the church of San Giorgio visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the neighbouring islands of Tinos, Delos, Mykonos, Paros, Andros and Naxos Island.
Syros – How to get there?
You have different options for your transportation to Syros island.
Flying: Syros Island National Airport “Demetrius Vikelas” is receiving domestic flights from Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” all year round. During high season it is also receiving flights from Thessaloniki Airport “Makedonia”. Syros airport is located approx. 2 km from Ermoupolis and the trip from Athens lasts about 40 minutes.
Sailing: Ferries depart from Piraeus port in Athens daily, and during summer some extra ferries are departing from Rafina port, which is located close to Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”. Syros is well inter-connected with some of the other islands in the Aegean Sea, like Naxos, Mykonos, Paros, Tinos, Andros, Lesvos, and Ikaria.
Syros Beach Guide
The coastline of Syros is fringed with beautiful beaches. The most popular ones are located on the southern coast of the island. The best beaches in Syros are Galissa beach, Kini beach, Dellagratsia beach, and Delfini beach. Some of the Syros beaches are lined up with family hotels, beach bars and seaside taverns. All beaches can be accessed by bus from Ermoupolis the main town and port of the island.
Partly organized beaches
- Kini beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 9 km west of Ermoupolis.
- Galissas beach – Sandy, family friendly, watersports, located 9 km southwest of Ermoupolis.
- Agathopes beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 14 km southwest of Ermoupolis.
- Vary beach – Sandy, family friendly, sheltered with shallow waters, located 8 km south of Ermoupolis.
- Megas Gialos beach – S andy, family friendly, with many tourist facilities, located 12 km south of Ermoupolis.
- Azolimnos beach – Sandy, family friendly, lined up with beach bars, taverns, and hotels, located 5 km southeast of Ermoupolis.
- Achladi beach – Sandy, family friendly, close to Vari beach resort, 10 km south of Ermoupolis
- Possidonia beach – Sandy, family friendly, can get terribly busy during summer, located 13 km southwest of Ermoupolis.
- Finikas beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 11 km southwest of Ermoupolis. Finikas beach is the second largest in Syros and it gets extremely popular during summer.
- Fabrika beach – Sandy, but with a rocky seabed, family friendly, located 9 km south of Ermoupolis.
- Delfini beach – Pebbled, nudism friendly, located 10 km west of Ermoupolis. Quiet beach which can be reaches through a dirt track road.
- Ampela beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 12 km south of Ermoupolis.
- Fetouri beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 15 km from Ermoupolis in a walking distance from Poseidonia beach.
- Kokkina beach – Sandy, secluded, nudism friendly, located 12 km southwest of Ermoupolis, close to Finikas beach.
- Komito beach – Sandy, secluded, located 15 km southwest of Ermoupolis. It has a few umbrellas and sunbeds but being a small beach, it does not get busy.
- Liaropa beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 10 km southwest of Ermoupolis. It is a small rocky beach close to Poseidonia.
- Santorinoi beach – Sandy, secluded, located 8 km south of Ermoupolis.
History of Syros
During the Roman times the capital of Syros was situated in the area of contemporary Ermoupoli. At the end of ancient times, the barbarian raids and piracy, which had surged the Aegean for many centuries, led Syros to decline. In the Byzantine years Syros constituted part of the Aegean Dominion, along with the rest of the Cycladic islands. After the overthrow of the Byzantium by the Venetians and Franks in 1204, Syros came under Venetian rule and was included in the Ducat of the Aegean. Meanwhile, Ano Syros was founded. During the Latin period, the majority of the local community were Roman Catholics, but maintained the Greek language.
Syros – Weather and climate
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