Home to prehistoric archaeological sites, traditional tavernas and secluded beaches, Syros is a little-known gem in the Cyclades. It’s home to the lively port town of Ermoupoli and charming coastal villages, as well as an impressive cave church associated with Saint Stefanos and a giant octopus.
Things to do in Syros
Most visitors to Syros arrive in Ermoupoli, a photogenic town with Neoclassical buildings that cascade down to an azure harbour. Established during the Greek War of Independence, it’s dotted with atmospheric churches and features a lively square ringed with alfresco cafes. Explore the former sea captains’ quarter of Vaporia or coincide your visit with a performance at the Apollo Theatre.
In the north-east of Syros is the prehistoric settlement of Kastri, which is believed to date back more than 5,000 years. Excavations have revealed around 600 tombs, together with ancient vases, jewellery and household objects. Walking trails link Kastri with the early Cycladic cemetery at Chalandriani and offer magnificent views across the Cyclades.
While it might be tiny in size, the chapel of Agios Stefanos is considered one of the world’s most impressive. Nestled within a cave in Galissas, it is accessible via a footpath or by boat. Legend states that the chapel was created by a local fisherman who prayed to Saint Stefanos while being attacked by a giant octopus. Twice a year, pilgrims come to honour Saint Stefanos and enjoy the cave’s unique sea views.
Getting around Syros
Syros Island National Airport has regular flights to Athens while ferries connect to Ermoupoli from the Piraeus port and destinations across the Greek Islands. Renting a car or scooter is the most convenient way of getting around the island while Ermoupoli can easily be explored on foot.