Syros | A Mediterranean Island Masterpiece

Syros is the island where Greek tradition and Western influence come to a harmonious marriage. Although it belongs to the Cyclades Islands, its architecture is more Medieval than Cycladic. Syros is the capital of the Cyclades.

Syros
Walking path on Syros. Photo by Maria Kourtesi on Unsplash.

Climate

Syros has a typically Med climate with mild, rainy winters and warm, sunny summers. Since there is minimal rainfall, the landscape is arid. Most rain occurs from October to March and only amounts to 475 mm per year. The daily average temperature ranges from 10.5 °C in January to 25 °C in July.

Places to See in Syros

  • Towns and Villages. There are many quaint and authentic villages to visit; however, the most significant towns are Ermoupoli, Ano Syros, and Vari.
  • The Apollo Municipal Theater. This theater was, in fact, the first opera house in Greece.
  • The Historical Museum sits in the Town Hall in the center of Hermoupolis.
  • The ancient site of Halandriani consists mainly of a cemetery belonging to the Early Cycladic period. In fact, the 500 graves and other items found here shed light on the Early Cycladic period between 2700 and 2000 BC.
  • The Capuchin Monastery in Ano Syros surprisingly has no monks except the abbot. King Louis XIII of France founded it in 1653 and dedicated it to Saint John.
  • The Church of Agios Nikolaos sits near the port of Ermoupolis. Builders constructed this impressive church in the 19th century, giving it two tall bell towers.
  • They built the Church of Resurrection in 1870 beside Vrodado Hill, above Ermoupolis. From here, you’ll have a terrific view of the neighboring islands of Tinos and Mykonos.
  • The Industrial Museum of Ermoupolis.
  • The Monastery of the Jesuits has a valuable library with 6,000 books, ancient inscriptions, icons, and other objects of worship. Inside the monastery, there is the church of Panagia Karlos.
  • You can find the Museum of Cycladic Art in Ermoupolis, near Miaouli Square. It exhibits an interesting collection of Cycladic art and findings from the Cycladic period excavated in Syros and other Cycladic islands.
  • The Museum of Markos Vamvakaris.
  • The Town Hall of Ermoupolis in Miaouli Square.
  • Vaporia Quarter is a beautiful neighborhood in the port of Ermoupolis. In fact, it was the most important trading quarter of the island in the 19th century.

Things to Do in Syros

  • Go to the beach. Like most Greek islands, Syros certainly has gorgeous beaches. Some are more organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, while others are more natural and untouched. You can visit Agathopes Beach, Galissas Beach, and Kini Beach.
  • Water sports. Use your yacht’s water toys. Jet ski, snorkel, scuba dive.
  • Walk. The capital town of Ermoupolis has elegant architecture worth seeing.
  • Bike. The countryside is excellent for cycling.
  • Jeep tour. Its northern side has dirt roads and is ideal for jeep tours, especially the road to the village of San Mihalis.
  • Wine Tasting: Syros has a burgeoning wine scene. Visit local wineries to taste the island’s wines and learn about the winemaking process.
  • Shopping: Ermoupoli offers various shops and boutiques where you can shop for souvenirs, clothing, and unique handicrafts.

Syros Gastronomy

The traditional cuisine on the island takes many different forms, from sweet to savory dishes. You can easily recognize loukoumi (Turkish delights). It is made of starch, sugar, and water.

In addition to rose flavor, pistachio, almond, and walnuts are common. Halvadopita is another dessert that contains honey, almonds, egg whites, and vanilla.

As for savory dishes, try Aetopita, a pie made of fresh fish and vegetables. Marathopita, another type of pie, combines fennel and other vegetables. Try pork sausages in pies, omelets, or on their own, along with ouzo, tsipouro, wine, or beer.

Local cheese varieties include San Michali cheese, xynotyro, marathotyri, and gruyere.

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