Close your eyes and imagine an idyllic Greek island, with its jugged coastline, turquoise sea, bougainvillea-fronted and white-washed houses… ok, you get the idea. These, and many more, are images of Syros, the island capital of the Cyclades group in Greece, part of which are the famous Mykonos and Santorini.
Syros is one of the lesser known islands in Greece, but it is thanks to this that it has been able to retain that charming Greek island life that we all have in our heads. It’s not for nothing that the island is also known as ‘Lady of the Cyclades’ and ‘Nymph of the Agean Sea’.
There are so many things to do in Syros, but when it comes to beauty, here is the proof of what you will find in Ermoupoli and Ano Syros, the main towns, as well as a few other areas in the island. I’m pretty sure you will want to start packing your bags straight away, so enjoy!
Elegantly neoclasiccal, Ermoupoli is the centre of all the action in the island. It is a small town with the grandeur of a city, with one of the largest town halls in Greece, and where the roads are made of marble. The Vaporia District, with its old merchant mansions is testament to the importance this town bore some time ago. But despite this, Ermoupoli has managed to keep the charm of a smaller town with its unassuming beauty.
Amongst all this grandiosity, you will also find the quintessential architecture of the Cycladic islands. Blue domes and pastel colours are everywhere you look, whether it’s old mansions, modern houses or cafes. Syros is certainly a pastel lover’s dream!
If you love cute cafes, just wander around Ermoupoli alleyways and you will find plenty of them! And for bars with sea views to die for, head to Asteria Bar, named one of the best beach bars in Greece by The Guardian.
Like in every good Greek island, dining al fresco is a no brainer in Syros. With its mild Mediterranean climate, who would you want to be indoors? Even when the island can be a bit windy, the narrow streets and the bougainvillea canopies will not only give you shelter but they add to the atmosphere.
Love Greek food? Here are the
traditional Greek foods you must try
And speaking of bougainvillea… you will find it wherever you go – in Ermoupoli, Ano Syros and other areas of the island.
More than a town, Ano Syros is a village, a Venetian settlement built up the side of the hill, with houses on top of each other to create a defensive fortress. This has resulted in the most charming maze of narrow stairs and alleyways where no vehicles can reach. Get lost here and you will find the most picturesque and instagrammable litte corners, house fronts, doors, windows… you will want to get lost for hours!
Being high up, Ano Syros is the perfect place to enjoy the views over the island. And if you walk a bit higher past the windmill behind the village, you will get to enjoy magnificent views with the Ano Syros settlement right ahead of you. This is possibly my favourite view of the whole island, and ideal to enjoy those perfect Greek sunsets.
And if you are an early bird, the sunrises will not disappoint either. A great spot for sunrise is Profitis Ilias church, in the village of Episkopeiou. Just spectacular! Well… judge for yourself here.
But you don’t really need to go too high to enjoy great views. Just walk down the pier and look back to enjoy a view of both Ermoupoli and Ano Syros covering the hills like icing on a wedding cake.
And of course, like in every Greek town, village and island, there are plenty of street cats too, ready to pose for you!
Where to Stay
Syros has a wide range of accommodation across the island. You can find the best hotel deals here.
Alternatively, airbnb is a good option here too. Get your £25 credit on your first booking with Airbnb here.
There are ferries to Syros from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, every day. As Syros is located centrally in the Aegean Sea, it has ferry connections with many islands, such as Mykonos, Andros, Tinos, Ikaria, Lesvos and more. The port of Syros is at Ermoupolis.
The ferry from Athens is extremely comfortable and it even has a cinema. I loved being on the deck as we approached Syros and seeing Ermoupoli built up on to the hill above the port.
The best way to explore the island is by hire car, which gives you the freedom of discovering out of the way villages and hidden viewpoints. For discounted hire car deals, click here.
I hope you enjoyed these photos of Syros!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever been there
Like this post? Pin and save for later
Disclosure: A big thank you to the Discover Syros team, who hosted me on this event. As always, all views are my own.
Teresa is an award-winning travel blogger based in London. She’s on a mission to explore the world through responsible cultural and adventure travel, and through deeper, more meaningful local experiences. She’s a lover of adventure, the outdoors and everything food related, and she’s always looking for ways to make a positive impact through sustainable travel.