Sitting prettily right in the centre of the Cyclades, Syros is a sophisticated island yet remains unknown to most tourists and travellers. As the capital of the Cyclades the island has a large local population, resulting in a buzzing social scene.
The jewel in Syros’ crown is undoubtedly it’s capital, Ermoupoli. The city was founded during the Greek Wars of Independence in the 1820s and soon became the commercial and industrial centre of Greece, playing a more important role than Piraeus – after all, ‘Ermopouli’ means ‘City of Hermes’, and Hermes was the god of commerce!
Visitors today can wander the streets admiring the imposing neoclassical architecture and enjoying the town’s aristocratic atmosphere, elegant cafes and upmarket boutiques. Due to the city’s importance (it is home to the region’s courts and public offices), Ermoupoli is a thriving town even in the winter months, making it unique in the Aegean as an excellent option for year-round living.
Gastronomy on Syros is a strong rival to any found on Mykonos or Santorini – as an island with a year-round population the restaurants rely on local customers rather than tourists, so have to serve top-quality food. The island was historically populated with refuges from Asia Minor, a group renowned for their culinary skills and which still filters through today. Local specialities include the tooth-achingly sweet loukoumi, with its rainbow of flavours and fillings.
Outside of the capital, Syros is dotted with the usual Cycladic villages and beaches – picture- perfect Kini is one of the best in the Aegean, with it’s un-spoilt beach and laid-back atmosphere. Meanwhile, Finikias is the island’s yachting centre, with a contemporary marina perfect for mooring or chartering sailboats.