Traveling during a pandemic is something I already got to know last year when I went to Milos. Therefore the moment I knew traveling was possible again, Greece was my country of choice again. It’s all done very efficiently and I can only recommend it. The entry into Greece this year turned out to be truly uneventful and in no time (okay, with an overnight stay in Piraeus) we made our way across the Mediterranean Sea to the island of Syros.
Syros is one of the bigger Cycladic islands and its main city, Ermoupoli, is the capital of the Cyclades. Ermoupoli has a large harbor with a working shipyard. The island is not depending on tourism and that’s part of its charm. So if you come here, you won’t find the typical tourist hordes. Maybe that’s why it appears to be rather popular with the locals though. On the weekends Syros is full of Athenians. That the island is only two hours away by speed boat, makes it also very attractive to the mainland. There of course a couple of sail boats in the harbor in the evening, a couple of them looked even downright impressing.
We decided on an apartment in Ermoupoli, right behind the harbor. Besides an extensive number of restaurants it’s also close to the main bus station. Which is essential if you want to get around the island without renting a car to explore the many beaches. And there are a lot of sandy beaches in the south of the island. Like Galissas Beach.
The week was mapped out with days spent at the beach and a bit of sightseeing in between. But the weather had different ideas and after two days on the beach, we spent two days exploring the city of Ermoupoli. Ano Syros is the town above Ermoupolis and easily reached on foot (there is also a bus you can take).
At its peak stands a Catholic church called Saint George (Agios Georgios). Interestingly enough Syros has a large Roman Catholic community, about half of its population. The Venetians brought it to the island, and later Syros came under the protection of the French and the Vatican during the Ottoman domination. Best of all is the view from above on Ermoupolis though, as you see in the top picture, and the many narrow alleys and stairways.
Overall Syros is a very pleasant island to spend a week or even longer there. I immensely enjoyed the lack of tourists during the week (at least in the early season), and the Venetian style of the island. And let’s not forget the food. As usual each island has its own specialties and Syros is no different. Yours, Pollybert