If Mykonos is the island of entertainment and Santorini is a particularly romantic destination, Syros looks completely different, as it combines the classy air with tradition. Located in the heart of the Cyclades, it is an ideal choice for both family and romantic excursions, as it offers a wide range of options for evening outings, food, and activities.
The capital of the island and the prefecture of Cyclades, Ermoupolis, captures you at first glance. And when I say at first glance, I mean when you get out of the boat and face its hills, with the churches on top of the hills like the cherry on a cake.
Many events and famous festivals are organized on the island every year like Anima Syros, Syros International Film Festival and Eye’s Walk Digital Festival, while you can also explore the cultural side of the city through the eyes of famous actress Kyveli Andrianou with an unforgettable walk in Ermoupolis.
But let’s see 7 things that you should definitely do in Syros to get to know the place and its history!
1. Miaouli Square
This is the historic square of Ermoupolis, where the picturesque landscape reaches its peak, which architecturally composes a fairytale scenery of another century.
The beautiful buildings, all 19th-century creations, testify to the existence of a great artistic aura, inspired by Ziller. In the square, you will see the statue of the admiral of the Greek Revolution of 1821, Andreas Miaoulis, while you will also see the impressive music stage with reliefs of Apollo and the Muses.
2. Apollon Theater
A theater that exudes the aristocracy of a different era, a cultural jewel that reflects neoclassicism. It was an emblem of the economic and cultural development of Ermoupolis in the middle of the 19th century, as one of the oldest closed theaters of the recent years and one of the most impressive architectural ornaments of Syros.
It is a miniature of La Scala of Milan, where it is worth watching many collections, rich frescoes with original painting themes and performances. You can see the exhibition where objects related to all European culture are dominating. Old-age piano, pieces of paintings of 1900, wooden flaxen with which the princesses of the time moved to and from the theater. The whole theater is a historical record that is really impressive.
3. Agios Nikolaos
The church of Agios Nikolaos is dominating in between the steamers in Ermoupolis, in the district of the ship owners and industrialists. The church is considered one of the largest and most imposing in the Balkans. The exquisite architecture and rich decoration are impressive, the marble staircase and the bell tower invoke awe before you even visit the temple. Everything inside the temple is excellent examples of art, such as the marble iconostasis, the pulpit, the works of sculptor Vitali, the icon of St. Nicholas that was silver-plated in Moscow. Wherever you turn your eyes you will stumble upon a piece of art.
Tip: Listen to the choir accompanied by the ecclesiastical organ of the temple – an unforgettable experience.
4. The Archaeological Museum of Ermoupolis
It was founded in 1834 and it is one of the oldest museums in Greece. Since 1899 it has been housed in four rooms of the City Hall of Ermoupolis and offers an independent entrance from the historic Miaouli Square. It is a small museum housed in just four halls. One of the most important exhibits of the museum is the Depas Amphikypellon (a tubular cup from the end of the 3rd millennium BC, with a height of 14-15 cm), the compass (a vessel of 7 cm from the second half of the 3rd millennium), the marble figurine of a female figure (35 centimeters, from 730 BC), as well as other early Cycladic and Byzantine exhibits, sculptures and inscriptions.
Working hours: Tuesday to Thursday 9:00-16:00, Friday to Sunday 9:00-21:00
5. A trip to a picturesque village by the sea, Kini
A different and charming island sense, it has retained the quaintness of a Cycladic village, with its unique architecture of the houses, and is a special destination which combines tradition and modernity. If you are fond of tradition and romanticism, visit the harbor of the village with the golden beach and the blue waters with its beautiful taverns, where you can also see the statue of the mermaid holding the castaway in her hands.
Tip: Climb up to the Monastery of Agia Varvara and you will face a panoramic view of the village and the sea that will surely magnetize you.
6. Eat by the sea
What better than to eat by the sea after a nice and relaxing swim? Try the most delicious seafood, and not only, in the most picturesque parts of Syros with a beautiful atmosphere and aesthetics. Indicatively, “Allou Yialou” tavern is the ultimate summer fantasy, you get a table and think you are on a cruise in the Aegean Sea. Once you get in, the smell of the roses and basil will get to you, while the smell of the fresh seafood and local products is not missing either.
One of the best places in Greece, with a rare concept and execution, is “Mazi”. First as a stone-built courtyard of an old ceramic factory, then as a deserted florist’s yard with the plants grown and hanging from everywhere, this restaurant-jungle was set in the ruins, incorporating the landscape into its character. Put aside the bougainvillea from your dish and enjoy the best semifreddo.
7. Night excursions in Ermoupolis
A walk-in Ermoupolis is a must, especially at the sunset. This half-hour, when the sky gradually gets this deep blue color with warm shades, is the moment when Ermoupolis becomes unrecognizable, the lights light up and your mood slowly changes, offering the right time for a beautiful walk or even better a drink in the picturesque bars of the capital.
The Baba Bar, for example, is in the heart of Ermoupolis, has distinctive décor, drinks, unique mainstream sounds and great drink experience. Even more famous are two other unique bars, Kouchico Bar and Jar cafe Bar with high tech gastronomy and cocktail techniques that will surely fascinate you!
The atmosphere of Syros with its white houses, the traditional blue-roofed churches, the mills and the beaches with its crystal clear waters and its famous cats, is impressive!
Explore everything, tell us your experiences and tips and, for the love of god, pet all the cats!