SYROS - THE HEART OF THE CYCLADES
It is the most populated of the archipelago but its charm lies in the fact that there is no mass tourism in Syros. The port town of Ermoupolis is unmissable, but other stops are possible... We also suggest visits to Grammata and the small port of Finikas.
Ermoupolis is the capital of the Cyclades. There is a large shipyard for commercial ships.
Grammata is located in the north of the island. It is an exceptional shelter when the Meltem blows.
Finikas is located in the southwest of the island. It is a small port full of charm and well sheltered from Meltem. It's not always easy to find a place there, it's small!
Vari to the south is well protected from Meltem, but the bay is not of much interest.
ERMOUPOLIS - THE BIG TOWN
Don't miss the stopover in the magnificent town of Ermoupolis, the port in the heart of the city.
The city takes its name from Hermes, God of the merchants and the messengers.
Strolls through the pretty streets paved with white marble will allow you to discover the unique atmosphere of this shipowners’ town marked by the sea.
Stamatis is the harbor master of Ermoupolis. He is a local figure, full of humor and with eyes bluer than the sea he guards. Arriving in the morning, the port almost empty, Stamatis will not fail to remark that the boat takes up more space along its quay than the Queen Mary 2...!
It is the administrative capital of the most famous archipelago in Greece. Yet what surrounds you – neoclassical architecture, multicolored mansions and a cosmopolitan atmosphere – bears no resemblance to the whitewashed landscapes of the other Cyclades. Ermoupolis has long boasted of being the largest port in Greece, rivaling Piraeus. It was one of the most important ports in the Eastern Mediterranean throughout the 19th century. With the growth of its wealth, it has also developed in the artistic and cultural fields. Nowadays, its population of 12,000 inhabitants maintains its dynamism throughout the year.
The Cyclades gallery
In the port of Ermoupoli, an old warehouse from the 1830s is built in such a way that a cargo ship can be unloaded directly there.
The Cyclades Art Gallery, which also has a small theater, is part of the experience. The atmosphere is special with the brick warehouse - one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Miaouli Square (north of the port) is the heart of Ermoupoli - and not just because it is the island's administrative center. In addition to palm trees, cafes and shops, there is a stage decorated with a representation of Apollo and the muses. Its center is paved with marble from the neighboring island of Tinos.
The town hall, by far the largest building on the island, dominates Miaouli Square. Designed at the end of the 19th century by the German architect (naturalized Greek) Ernst Ziller, it is characterized by a mixed architecture which includes Ionic and Tuscan elements. It has different heights (three floors overlooking the square, two at the back), as well as a monumental 15m staircase. which leads to the main door.
The Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater, was built in the 1860s by Italian architect Pietro Sampo.
It is partly inspired by Milan's La Scala, with four floors of boxes and an elaborate ceiling fresco, which lends a sense of opulence to the intimacy of the main room.
Artistic and cultural events are organized there.
This is the prestigious district of Ermoupolis, and the residential legacy of the glory years of Syros. It is characterized by high-ceilinged captains' residences, with carved wooden doors, wooden floors and marble balconies overlooking the sea.
It looks like the buildings are floating - hence the name of the district, which refers to the boats.
This is chic and elegant Syros, with a small beach and cafes.
Two hills, Ano Syros and Anastasi
The two Catholic and Orthodox bastions face each other on each of the hills. One hosts the white houses of the old town of Ano Syros, dominated by the 13th century Catholic Cathedral of Saint George, perched at its summit (most inhabitants were Catholic under Ottoman rule).
The other hill is crowned by a Greek Orthodox church. The view of the sea and the harbor is well worth the effort to climb up there.
As a symbol of integration, Catholics and Orthodox celebrate Easter on the same day. Syros is a cosmopolitan island.
FINIKAS - THE LITTLE PORT
Located in the southwest, it is a pretty, very authentic port.
It is not always easy to find a place there, but the port is well protected. The taverns in the village are welcoming. There are very few tourists there even in season.
As in all the Cyclades, cats wander on the quay and the boats. Some become very good at fishing, and they like to be watched.
GRAMMATA - THE ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE
The historic sailors’ refuge
Located in the north of the island, it is an interesting anchorage because it is sheltered from the north winds. The Meltem can be very strong in this region located in the south-facing axis between Andros and Tinos.
There is a quiet and isolated beach there. It has always welcomed sailors as evidenced by the inscriptions in the rock, some of which date back to antiquity.