Located at a short distance from some of the most popular tourist destinations in the region (such as Santorini or Mykonos), Syros is the administrative center of the Cyclades.
Although with its 21 507 people (2011) it is one of the most populated islands in this part of the Aegean Sea, it is actually a relatively quiet place to spend your summer holiday.
Despite its beautiful beaches, superb climate and diverse tourist attractions (museums, caves, churches, monasteries and many others), Syros has only recently gained popularity with visitors.
If you want to spend your vacation away from the main tourist flows, Syros is a great choice.More from Greece:
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Here is a list of the most important things not to miss while on the island:
1. Spend a day at Agathopes Beach
Agathopes Beach is considered to be the best of Syros.
It is located in the southwest of the island.
It lies on the southern coast of a small and picturesque peninsula, within walking distance of the famous resort village of Poseidonia.
The beach is about 150 meters long and is covered with fine golden sand.
Due to its sheltered location, the sea is always smooth here and the water is crystal clear.
As the sea along the coast is shallow, it is an attractive place for families with children.
In addition, you will find numerous opportunities to relax along the coast, including wonderful restaurants where you can have a tasty portion of grilled fish.
2. Feel the spirit of Ano Syros
Ano Syros is a former village, now part of Ermoupolis.
Built in a Byzantine style, it is one of the most popular tourist spots in the island’s capital.
It is situated on a picturesque hill in the northwestern part of the city and is visible from almost all parts of Ermoupolis.
Its slopes are cut by winding and narrow stone-paved streets and staircases.
Most of its two-storey white houses are very old so the settlement offers an amazing historical appearance.
3. Visit the Capuchin Monastery
The Capuchin Monastery is located on the top of Ano Syros.
Built in 1637, it is among the most impressive buildings on the island and nothing else compares to it.
Over the centuries, the Catholic monastery has always played an important role in the social life of the locals.
There were a number of important public buildings and institutions in the area (including a school and a hospital).
Today underneath the monastery you can see some of the oldest houses in Ano Syros, still standing on the steep slopes.
4. Don’t miss the popular church of Saint George
The Church of Saint George is situated on the top of the hill in Ano Syros.
This is a wonderful Byzantine-style church.
One of the most beautiful buildings on the island, it was completed during the early 13th century, in 1208.
Over the centuries, the church has been rebuilt a few times.
However, it still keeps its initial look unchanged.
It is known for its beige-stone facade and blue-colored domes and is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Syros.
5. Visit the beautiful Miaouli Square
Designed by the talented German architect Wilhelm von Weiler, Miaouli Square is the most central location of the island’s capital of Ermoupolis.
Built in the 19th century, it is very spacious and decorated with date palm trees.
The biggest attraction is the elegant town hall building, designed by Ernst Ziller.
In front of the stairs of the building you will see a monument of Andreas Miaoulis, a famous Greek politician and admiral of the Greek Independence War.
6. Spend a day at Megas Gialos
Megas Gialos is a tourist area in the southeast of Syros Island.
Well known for its beautiful beaches, the place is a preferred location from holidaymakers.
Covered with golden sands, the beach is fantastic.
The sea water in the area is crystal clear and shallow.
Just a few meters from the azure water you will find wonderful Greek tavernas where you can enjoy the richness of local specialties.
7. Visit the Cycladic Art Gallery
Located in an old 19th-century historic building, Cycladic Art Gallery in Syros is one of the places you should not miss while on the island.
This is a great choice for a place to visit if you have a sense of beauty and want to learn a little more about local art.
Cycladic Art Gallery gives you the opportunity to get the most of your holiday.
It is also a good idea of how to spend the hottest hours of the day in the best way possible in a cool and shady place, enjoying rich collections.
8. Go to Agios Nikolaos Church
The Church of Agios Nikolaos is located in the northeast of Ermoupolis.
Just a few meters from the beach, it welcomes visitors with its beautiful garden, decorated with old and tall date palm trees.
Elegant and graceful, the Orthodox Church was completed in 1870, after 22 years of construction.
The main accent are its two wonderful bell towers.
If you come from the north, the first you will see is the magnificent blue dome of the majestic temple.
9. Enjoy the wonderful Kini Beach
Kini Beach is located in a picturesque bay on the west coast of Syros Island, only a few minutes drive from the island’s capital.
It is also the main attraction of the tourist village of the same name.
Over the last few years this place has become quite popular with visitors.
The combination of golden sands and smooth sea waters appeared to be a magnet for holidaymakers.
However, the beach is still very far from being overcrowded and is much quieter than other parts of the island.
10. Enjoy Galissas Beach
Being one of the top beaches in Syros, Galissas is very popular with tourists.
Combining golden sands and shallow azure water, it is a wonderful choice if you are looking for a good place to stay, no matter if you travel alone or with your family.
The stretch of fine golden sand is more than 200 meters long and offers all the facilities you may need, including sunbeds and umbrellas.
At the same time, the area is still very quiet and clean.
11. Visit the church of Agios Athanasios
Situated at the foot of a narrow and shady canyon, Agios Athanasios is an old and very beautiful church.
You will easily find it north of Ano Syros (part of Ermoupolis), in the eastern part of the island.
The Orthodox Church was built in 1631. Nowadays, it is one of the main sights of the island.
It is easily recognizable for its unique bell tower and the red tiled roof.
Despite its location on the slopes of the gorge, the church is easy to reach because of the closeness to the road for Ermoupoli.
12. Visit the popular Cave Chapel of Agios Stefanos
Hidden between the steep coastal cliffs, Agios Stefanos is one of the most significant landmarks on Syros Island.
It is nestled in one of the corners of a natural cave, in the southwestern part of the island.
The Catholic chapel was created by a fisherman from the nearby village of Galissa and is considered one of the most interesting of its kind in Europe.
It can be reached on foot by a scenic path that crawls down the cliffs, and the effort to get there is definitely worth it.
13. Industrial Museum of Ermoupolis
Syros Island is the most industrialized and populated of all the Cyclades, so it is not surprising that the Industrial Museum of Ermoupolis was created here.
Located in the capital of the island, it was founded in 2000.
It offers a rich collection of machinery and technical equipment reflecting the different periods of the island’s industrial development.
Many of the exhibits are related to shipping, which has ancient traditions on the island.
14. Visit the remote Komito Beach
Komito is a small beach in the southernmost part of Syros Island.
Facing to the west, it offers a 150-meter-long stretch of light coarse sand and clear azure waters.
A narrow grove of trees along the shore offers some pleasant shade in the summer heat.
Because of the very high temperatures during the summer season, the easiest way to get there is by car.
However, Komito is situated in a small cove only about 2 km south of Poseidonia.
For this reason, if you travel in spring or autumn, you can get there even on foot or by bicycle.
Komito is quieter than you can expect.
Even if it is easy to reach, this place is very secluded so you will rarely see people there.
15. Don’t forget the souvenirs
Syros Island is a place where you can easily get inspired and find great ideas when looking for souvenirs.
The variety is impressive, so you can easily find different suggestions for every taste.
– Food (loukoumi);
Food in Greece is fantastic and this is one of the good choices about what to buy for your family.
Loukoumi is a traditional local delight which comes in a variety of tastes and flavours, including citrus, almond, rose etc.
It often contains pistachios, walnuts, peanuts and others.
– Cream, soaps and oils;
Syros is a great place to find and buy authentic local cosmetic products.
The island is especially popular for its soaps.
There is a great choice of entirely natural soaps (made of local ingredients), which come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and scents.
If you are searching for the best gift for your girlfriend or for your mom for example, you can’t go wrong with choosing a handmade local jewel.
With gems or without, jewels are favourite to most girls and women.
If you visit Alkisti Jewelry Atelier, you will definitely find something to attract your attention.
– Home decoration.
When it comes to souvenirs for your home, picking up the right home decoration is the best choice.
No matter what your taste is, you will find a wide variety of beautiful handmade items in Syros, including sculptures, pottery or even furniture for your home.More from Greece: