Syros – have you heard of it? Probably not! But, I bet you’ve heard of its’ ‘more famous’ sisters – Mykonos and Santorini. All these islands are in the Cyclades region – famous for its sunsets and white-washed houses. Syros is in fact the capital of this cluster of islands. And I’m here to tell you why Syros should be added to your Greece itinerary. It was in fact one of our favourite stops on our six week trip through Greece
Syros is one of the first stops on the ferry from Athens to Santorini. It’s one of the least-visited islands in this region and so is a pleasant change from the more crowded Greek islands. Syros is the epitome of Greek island life. So here are a few things to do in Syros that will make you add this hidden gem to your bucket list.
Explore the island’s biggest town Ermoupoli
Ermoupoli is the administrative capital of the Cyclades. Filled with narrow cobbled streets, white-washed houses and everywhere you look gorgeous sparkling blue water (enticing you to jump in). I did jump in! Whilst Paul climbed up to Ano Syros I went swimming off the pier. Afterwards, we had lunch down a narrow colourful lane – a frappe and a gyros for me always.
Have a beach day at gorgeous Galissas beach
We stayed a couple of steps from the gorgeous Galissas beach – easily the nicest beach on the island. Galissas is a sleepy beach town, with several outdoor restaurants lining the promenade and the sea crashing behind. Fresh seafood is the order of the day here.
Every morning I got up early and walked the beach – that’s the sign of a special place when I’m up early on vacation. I didn’t want to miss out on any time here. For a quieter beach experience, try Armeos beach. Follow the pathway from Galissas beach to get here.
Climb up to Agia Pakou church for sunset
Every single night we bought some beers from one of the little corner shop in Galissas and climbed up to this gorgeous white church on the hill. Then, we sat on the wall and watched the sun sink into the ocean for what seemed like hours.
Eat all of the fresh Greek food
Greek food is one of my favourite cuisines and the island of Syros specialises in fresh seafood. You will find a lot of octopus and calamari on the menu’s here. Some standout dishes native to Syros include marathopita (fennel pie) and lachanodolma (cabbage leaves stuffed with rice)
Some restaurants we recommend in Syros –
- In Ermoupoli – Taverna To Petrino for impeccably prepared dishes, excellent service and a lovely outdoor seating area
- In Galissas – Savvas for fresh seafood and friendly service and Iliovasilema for great greek cuisine and a lovely view.
Where we stayed in Syros
As mentioned, we stayed at the sleepy beach town of Galissas. More specifically at the bright and modern Hotel Remvi. Gorgeously decorated and airy rooms featuring a fantastically large balcony. A lovely pool to dive into after a hot day of exploring. Also worth noting is the excellent breakfast and the very reasonably priced beers at the bar.
If you book any of the below hotels, I will get a teeny commission from booking.com whilst you get the best available rate.
Some other great hotels on Syros –
- Apollonion Palace in Ermoupoli for luxurious rooms and direct sea access. Price from | €90 per night
- Emilia Luxury Apartments in Megas Gialos for great views, clean and luxurious rooms and friendly service. Price from | €50 per night
- Aktaion in Ermoupoli for neoclassical beautiful rooms right in the heart of the town. Price from | €80 per night
- Aegean Paradiso in Azolimnos is just steps from the beach with a lovely outdoor swimming pool. Price from | €60 per night
How we got to Syros
Syros is well-connected with Athens and other Aegean islands. The ferry to Syros from the main port of Athens – Piraeus port, is daily and the trip takes about 3 hours.
There is also a small airport on Syros, just 3km from Ermopouli. Direct flights operate from Athens with Aegean Air and Olympic Air. The flight takes approximately 40 minutes.
So, tell me what did you think of our recommendations for things to do in Syros. We’d love to hear from you in the comment sections below. We also have lots more information on our travels through Greece on our website. We especially loved our time in Meteora, a majestic place smack-bang in the middle of the country.