In the guides to the beautiful islands of Greece, we have shown you the natural wonders, archaeological sites, cities and towns of a vast heritage, spread over various archipelagos. From ancient ruins to Orthodox monasteries and churches, passing through an area full of charm and suggestion, with spectacular mountains and above all beautiful beaches. The Greek islands are a very important, if not the most important part of Greece’s historical, cultural and natural heritage.
We took you to one of the best known and most loved archipelagos, that of the Cyclades Islands. Here we want to take you to one of the Cyclades less traveled by mass tourism but which has so much to offer. Let’s talk about Syros. The island is located right in the center of the archipelago and its capital, Ermopoli, is also the capital of the Cyclades.
Syros - Cyclades Islands
Syros is an island located in the heart of the Aegean Sea, around which the other islands of the Cyclades archipelago (so called because it is circular) are arranged in a circle. It is 78 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus and its surface measures just under 84 km², about 102 km² if we also consider the islets off its coasts, the largest of which is Didimi, off the south-eastern coast. The closest Cycladic islands to Syros are Mykonos and Delos to the east and Tinos to the northeast. Then there are the islet of Giaros to the north, Kythnos to the west, Serifos to the south-west, Sifnos and Paros to the south. The city of Ermopili (Ermoupolis) is the capital of Syros and of all the Cyclades.
The island has a predominantly mountainous territory, with jagged coasts where bays and inlets open up. In the mountainous region of Ano Meria, in the north end, stands Mount Pyrgos which with its 431 meters above the sea is the highest point of the island
is a city of Byzantine origin, which in the thirteenth century passed under the dominion of the Republic of Venice, like the other Cyclades. Despite the long Turkish dominion, after the conquest of 1537, Ermopoli has preserved the appearance it had in the Venetian era and also a large Catholic minority, thanks to the protection granted to them by France under Ottoman rule. After the war of independence from Turkey of 1821, Syros became part of Greece. Before the development of the port of Piraeus, Ermoupoli was a very important commercial port in the Mediterranean. Unlike the other Cyclades on the island of Syros, there are no classic villages of white houses. The buildings are more varied and colorful, even in stone and neoclassical style, especially the institutional buildings in Ermopoli, such as the town hall. However, there is no lack of white houses even if they blend into the urban landscape.
The city of Ermopoli is one of the largest and most important in the Cyclades, it stands on two hills and dominates the two bays below, the largest of the natural harbor and that of Agios Nikolaos. Right on the bay of Agios Nikolaos stands the homonymous Orthodox church of St. Nicholas, patron saint of the city, with its characteristic blue dome, two bell towers, and neoclassical elements on the outside. Also worth seeing is the Byzantine church of Anastasis or the Resurrection of Christ, on the hill of Vrodado, from which you can admire a spectacular view of the island and nearby Tinos, Delos, and Mykonos. To visit the Archaeological Museum, the Municipal Library, and finally the Apollo Theater, built in 1864 in the style of the Scala in Milan, the work of the Italian architect Pietro Sampo.