Syros (128 km²) with its 20.000 inhabitants is the Cycladic
island with the highest population. The busy local capital
Ermoupoli is not only the biggest city in the island group
but also the official capital of the Cyclades. The main
tourist business happens on the other islands further south.
The main sources of income on Syros are agriculture and
Despite the rather high population density Syros is suitable
for hiking. 50% of the population is Roman Catholics which
is rather unusual for Greece.
biggest town on Syros at least in regards to architecture
comes across as a big city. The huge classical buildings are
witness of a glorious past. If nothing else they are proof
that Syros used to be a lot more influential and important
than it is these days. Although this might be unfair; Syros
is just off the radar of foreign tourists. You will meet
very few foreigners on Syros. Most of the people coming here
are Greek. Due to its proximity to Athens the island is
quite popular with Athenians for example and why not.
Ermoupoli for example has one of the most important
archaeological museums in all Greece. Another place of
interest is the huge shipyard. In fact it is not only the
biggest employer on Syros but the biggest industrial
enterprise of the Cyclades.
There are plenty of hotels and private rooms to rent in
Ermoupoli. You will have no problems getting a room for 25.
A list of accommadation in Ermoupoli you find
Along the port are cafes, restaurants, shops and some of the
bigger hotels. Just 50 meters further you find the huge
square Platia Miaoulis. It looks totally out of place. You
would expect to find this kind of square and even more the
gigantic town hall next to it in a metropolis but quite
frankly Ermoupoli is not that big. It may not make much
sense but it for sure is pretty cool. Around the square are
loads of cafes, small shops and pedestrian areas.
The further you go from the sea front the prettier it gets.
Narrow streets and stairs lead up a hill. The old town is
typical Mediterranean and quite nice. Part of it is the
locals driving their noisy scooters through the narrow
streets. It can be quite annoying but it is something that
is hard to escape in Greece. Best get used to it and don't
forget to stop in one of the small kafenions and try the
local coffee. You may not like it but it is something
Ermoupoli is actually built on two hills. On top of each of
them you'll find a big church. The most quite and in a way
authentic part of the town is Ano Syros. Keep in mind that
Ermoupoli is quite big. Walking up to Ano Syros takes about
Villages on Syros
Kini is a small fishing village in the west of Syros. Here
you find the best of the all together rather average
beaches on the island. There are a few hotels and
Galissas is also in the west of Syros. It is the most
popular destination for foreign tourists. Galissas has
plenty of hotels, restaurants and even a little bit of night
life. It is a lot more touristy than other places but for a
reason. The beaches are quite allright. Click
here for hotels and other accommodation in Galissas.
Finikas is small and rather quiet fishing village in the
south of Syros. I'd recommend it if you are looking for a
quiet spot to chill out. The beach is OK there are a few
reasonably priced restaurants and places to stay.
Accommodation on Syros
When you arrive by boat you will be "welcomed" by a mob of
locals advertising cheap places to stay. It is a bit of a
nightmare but not uncommon in Greece. Among the people
shouting "very special price for you my friend" you most
times find a friendly old lady that advertises for the hotel
Esperance. The place is only 50 meters from the port and
they have some gust rooms as well. I was very happy with my
private room with bath and TV and with 25 Euro a night it
came quiet cheap. The hotel is a bit pricier. A room there
will cost you about 60 Euro but of course the standards are
a lot higher there. A list of accommadation in Ermoupoli you
If you like (or don't mind) camping I can recommend the "Two
hearts" in Galissas in the west. The place is well kept and
reasonably cheap. They also have a small supermarket, a
restaurant and a good beach. The place is very quiet which I
consider a plus. You can also rent a cabin or tent. Off
season the prices should go down and be a lot lower than
advertised on the website. During season they will pick you
up at the port.
The famous Syros sweets
In Greece Syros is mainly famous for two kinds of sweets
that come from here; Halvadopita and Loukoumia.
Halvadopita is actually really nice. Its basically two
oblates stuffed with some kind of sweet cream that contains
honey, nougat and almonds. It is normally wrapped in white
paper and costs only 50 cents.
Loukoumia is some kind of extremely sweet jellylike candy.
Just looking at them gives me a toothache. They come in
various colours. A pack with 10-12 of them cost between 1
and 4 Euro. May be I'm too old for this but I do believe
that in order to enjoy Loukoumia you have to be born and
raised in Greece. I could be wrong though. It is not only a
speciality but also special.
Both sweets are sold everywhere. At the port alone you will
find 20 shops that sell them in various versions and
qualities. Prices vary considerably and not just due to
higher quality. Most of the stuff is identical juts in some
shops they try to rip you off.
Ferries to Syros
Since Syros is a populous island and on the way to the major
tourist destinations anyways, there are numerous ferries
from and two Syros. There are at least two ferries a day to
Athens and also the other direction Paros,
Naxos, Ios and
Santorini. There also is daily but to
Mykonos and Tinos.
Busses on Syros
Pretty much all the villages have a regular bus connection.
Busses go every hour between 7AM and 10 PM. It is considered
one of the best bus systems in the whole island group and
that is saying something. You'll barely ever pay more than a
couple of Euro bus fare no matter where you go.
Off season the busses are not that frequent but still it is
easy to move around.
The following bus schedule for Syros is from a regular working day off
season. This schedule is from May 2008:
Line 1: Syros port Galissas Finikas - Possidonia - Vari
- Syros port (Round trip in the south of the island)
6:30 , 7:30 , 12:30, 13, 14:20, 15:10, 16, 18:10, 21:00
Line 2: Same route but the other way around:
7:45, 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 16:30, 17:30, 18:30. 19:30
Line 3 Syros port to Kini:
9:30, 12, 14:20, 16:30, 19:30 (return trip starts about 30
minutes later from Kini)
There are more bus lines to other villages but they go less
frequent. Also on weekends there are fewer busses.