Greek island in the Cyclades

Syros is in the Cyclades group of the Greek Islands, off the normal tourist track. Known as "the grand dame of the Cyclades", Syros provides an authentic Greek island culture experience. Ermoupoli, the main city of 11,000 people, is the Cyclades' centre of government and features magnificent neoclassical architecture. The majority of residents do not work in the tourist industry.

Ano Syros and Ermoupoli

Understand edit

The main towns are 1 Ano Syros  , a classical Cycladic medieval settlement that is densely built with narrow, winding streets, and 2 Ermoupoli  , the capital of the South Aegean region.

Get in edit

By boat edit

Ermoupoli isn't only the capital of Syros, but also the capital of the Cyclades and thus well-connected with Athens. There are daily ferries from Piraeus, the port of Athens, to Ermoupoli (Syros) which take 4 hours. Ferries to Thessaloniki, take 18 hours. There is also a ferry leaving from Lavrio, to the south of Attica and reaching Syros in about 5 hours.

Apart from the mainland, there are many ferries and hydrofoils (faster but more expensive) to connect Syros with other Aegean islands. Normal ferries connect Syros to Aegiali, Amorgos (5 hours), Andros (3.5 hours), Donousa (6 hours), Folegandros (6 hours), Heraklion, Crete (12 hours), Ios (5 hours), Karlovasi, Samos (4 hours), Katapola, Amorgos (7 hours), Kea (4 hours), Kimolos (6 hours), Kos (4 hours), Koufonisia (8 hours), Kythnos (2.5 hours), Leros (3.5 hours), Milos (8 hours), Mykonos (1.5 hours), Naxos (3 hours), Paros (1.5 hours), Patmos (3 hours), Rhodes (8 hours), Schinoussa (9 hours), Serifos (4 hours), Sifnos (5 hours), Sikinos (5 hours), Skiathos (9 hours), Skopelos (8 hours) and Santorini (7 hours). Regular hydrofoils connect Syros to Mykonos (1 hour) and Tinos (40 minutes).

By plane edit

The airport of Syros Island is located south of Ermoupoli. There is a daily flight from Athens airport (35 minutes) by Sky Express.

A new airline, Cycladic, flies 12-passenger Cessnas between Syros and Naxos, Paros, Astypalaia, Heraklion and Milos.

View of Ermoupoli from Ano Syros

Get around edit

Syros is quite a big island, with scattered towns. Ermoupoli is fairly walkable, but to go anywhere else you will need to take a bus or taxi. Ask a Greek-speaking friend to call a radio taxi for you (there is a small charge added to the meter), and the local bus service is cheap and reliable. There are some free town buses, in particular between Ermoupoli and Ano Syros (see below for details). In Ermoupoli, taxis can usually be found waiting outside the Plateia Miaouli where the city hall is (though it can be difficult to find one at rush hour when the ferries arrive). From Ermoupoli to Finikas costs around €15, but the opposite direction costs €19 because the taxi has to come from Ermoupoli to Finikas to collect you.

There are frequent island buses to the main beaches and villages (see below). They leave from the 1 KTEL bus station in Ermoupoli. Timetables are available from The buses are punctual, and can fill up quite quickly, so it is recommended to arrive 10 minutes early to get a seat. You purchase tickets on the bus.

See edit

Ermoupoli City Hall, designed by Ernst Ziller, with the statue of Andreas Miaoulis (work of Georgios Bonanos)

In or near Ermoupoli,

  • City Hall, designed by Ernst Ziller, also home to the Archaeological Museum
  • Apollo Theatre, inspired by Italian and French architectural styles, seat of the International Classical Music Festival of the Cyclades. Small entry fee.
  • The Vaporia neighborhood, with stately mansions and the Church of St Nicolas
  • Industrial Museum (11 Georgiou Papandreou)
  • 1 Ano Syros (Άνω Σύρος) (A free island bus leaves from Agora bus stop in Ermoupoli every two hours from 8.30am to 2pm, and every hour from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. It will take you to Camára [Καμάρα] at the bottom of Ano Syros, from where it is a short but steep walk (with steps) up to the Piatsa main street; most buses carry on up to Pano Terma [Πάνω Τέρμα] at the top of Ano Syros, which is a good option for the Cathedral (see below), or if you prefer a more relaxed downhill walk through the medieval district. Taxis to Ano Syros cost around €6.). This is the city's medieval district, with many winding passages and stairways, myriad chapels and churches, as well as the Cathedral of St George (see below). There are some tasteful tourist shops and tavernas with breathtaking views over the bay of Ermoupoli. Most of the places to eat only serve food in the evenings, after 7pm.    
  • Further uphill, the 13th-century 2 Roman Catholic Cathedral of St George (Άγιος Γεώργιος) (From Ermoupoli, take a taxi or the free bus to Pano Terma [Πάνω Τέρμα] and walk a short distance to the cathedral. Check with the bus driver if they are going on to Pano Terma, otherwise you will have to get off at Camára [Καμάρα] at the bottom of Ano Syros. You can walk up from Camára to the cathedral, but be prepared for lots of steps.). Open 8am to 9.30pm. First built around 1200, it was destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries. It was given the status of (Roman Catholic) Cathedral in 1652. The top of the hill on which it is built is exposed beneath a glass plate inside the cathedral. There are religious icons of St George and of the Virign Mary (Panayiá). There is a panoramic view from the cathedral over the bay of Ermoupoli, including views of many other churches, in particular the imposing Church of the Resurrection (see below).    .
  • 3 Holy Church of the Resurrection of Christ (Ιερός Ναός Αναστάσεως Σύρου). An imposing Orthodox church, constructed in a neo-Byzantine style, founded in 1874 and dedicated to the "Resurrection of the Nation". It dominates the hill of Dili adjacent to the Ano Syros hill. It has a dome visible from most of Ermoupoli, impressive bell towers, and contains some important religious icons.  

Villages edit

The island's prettiest villages are Galissas, Kini, Parakopi with its delightful pine groves, Delagrazia, Chrousa, Episkopio with its fine mansions, and Finikas for its beaches, restaurants and marina.

Do edit

Plateia Miaouli, the main plaza
  • Walk the narrow back streets of Ermoupoli and discover the city's charm.
  • Visit Ano Syros and take in the views from the ancient Catholic Cathedral of Agios Georgios. Take a bus or taxi to Ano Syros and then walk downhill through the medieval city.
  • Hang out with the locals in Plateia Miaouli, one of Greece's best public plazas.
  • Walk to the Holy Church of the Resurrection of Christ to view the opulent interior and splendid views.

Beaches edit

The best beaches are in Finikas, Kokkina, Galissas, Delfini, Poseidonia, and Agathopes. Other beaches are in Kini, Vari, Megas Gialos, and Angathopes.

For the nearest beaches, take the bus from the KTEL bus station (see above) in Ermoupoli to 1 Kíni (Κίνι).   (about 20 minutes) or 2 Galissás (Γαλησσάς). (20 minutes direct or 45 minutes through the southern part of the island).

If taking the bus to the beaches around Poseidonía (Ποσειδωνία), get off at the 3 Fetouri (ΦΕΤΟΥΡΗ) bus stop before the village of Poseidonía. There are three beeches in the area, walking along the coast road. Those nearest the bus stop are the quietest. The beach at 4 Agathopés (Αγκαθωπές), at the end of this road (about 7 minutes' walk from the bus stop), is the most organized, but it has been spoiled by blaring music being played all day out of huge loudspeakers from the club at the end of the beach (unless that's your thing).

Also, you can visit some of the northern beaches by boat. Small boats conduct tours from Kini to Varvarousa, Aetos, Lia, and Grammata.

Protopapadaki street, one of the central streets of Ermoupoli

Buy edit

  • Traditional products, such as herbs and traditional sweets (loukoumia and chalvadopita). There are lots of shops offering traditional products at Hiou street.
    In Ermoupoli,
  • Local San Michalis cheese with saffron at Prekas grocery store (4 Chiou Street)
  • Halvado-pita (nougat) at the Korres workshop (29 Chiou Street)
  • Loukoumi (chewy sweet) at Denaxas (52 Ethnikis Antistaseos Street)

Eat edit


  • Django Gelato Syros, Emmanouil Roidi 10, Ermoupoli. Excellent gelato made by hand on-site. Try the tonka bean.
  • Ithaki tou Ai (Ιθάκη του Αή), Stefanou 1. Traditional tavern offering local specialties.
  • Iliovasilema (Ηλιοβασίλεμα), Galissas. Seafood tavern near the beach. Try the "saganaki" (fried San Michali cheese) and "gouna" (Fish prepared in a unique traditional manner).


  • Calmo Mare Inexpensive and delicious Greek food in a pleasant ambience. Portions are generous. The small meat platter for two actually serves 3-4 people, and the large meat platter feeds an army.

Drink edit

Cope edit

There are public toilets and showers at the Finikas marina. The toilets are free but the showers cost €2.50, payable at the harbourmaster's office.

Sleep edit

Go next edit

Move on by boat to Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios or Santorini.

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