The capital of the Cyclades and the protagonist of the Greek summer weekenders, Syros captivates the visitor at first sight with its grand harbour, before it completely mesmerizes them with the majestic architecture of the uphill narrow streets and beautiful Chora roads. Chora is spread at the foot of the hills where the Anastasis Church of the Orthodox and St. George Church of the Catholics loom, but also in the shadow of the picturesque and elegant Ano Syras with whitewashed alleys and the chords of Mark Vamvakaris’ bouzouki still echoing in its turns, Ermoupolis is the first impression of an island that offers exceptional car rides, such as the impressive Piskopi country villas and the beautiful settlements of Syros.
Apollon Municipal Theater
Built to Italian standards and decorated as a miniature of La Scala opera house in Milan, the magnificent, though small, central theater of Ermoupolis is a brilliant proof of the cultural and economic flourishing of the wealthier Cyclades island in the second half of the 19th century, while some of the biggest names in Greek theatre have performed on its stage. It continues to host theatrical and musical performances during Spring and Summer, and in the Fall it hosts the popular AnimaSyros International Animated Film Festival, the only international festival of its kind in the country.
With Ernest Ziller’s creative signature prominently displayed, the impressive Miaouli square Town Hall combines three architectural orders in four successive zones, starting from the Tuscan, ascending to Ionian and ending with Corinthian order. Ermoupolis landmark as characteristic as the statue of Hermes, whose back overlooks the harbor, the Town Hall is decorated with impressive full-length oil paintings of George I and Queen Olga in the meeting room, while it houses the small archaeological museum with exhibits from Halandriani.
The sandy beaches of Galissas, Kini and Agathopes are the most popular and organized of the island, the waters of Delfini have an irresistible turquoise colour, Azolimnos, Vari and Foinikas are the family’s favourite, while Komito is youth’s top choice. The clear turquoise waters of Varvaroussa and the Aetos can be accessed by a boat from Kini, while the view from the concrete pier at Asteria is breath-taking (visit it even for just a coffee in its elegant canteen), with the backdrop of the Vapori ship-owners neighbourhood, and the imposing blue dome of the Basilica of Agios Nikolaos, housing inside the Pentelic marble altarpiece with Italian marble inserts, made by Tinos sculptor George Vitalis.
With their recipe attributed to the first refugees in Chios and their first cauldron dating back to 1832, Syros’ tradition of loukoumia is still alive today, with local producers evolving and modernizing the most famous Greek loukoumia, trying out new recipes and raw materials – try bitter and loukoumia with stevia, which are the new hits of the last seasons.
Cheese “San Michalis”
A traditional sheep and goat cheese with a characteristic spicy and salty taste, with a Protected Designation of Origin and a name derived from the homonymous mountain village to the north of the island, San Michalis is one of the most expensive cheeses in the country, which together with the rough texture and special taste contribute to be regarded as the island’s Parmesan.
Useful phone numbers
Port Authorities: 2281088888
Radio Taxi: 2281086222