August 2018: Daily Telegraph Travel “Introducing Syros, the idyllic Greek island nobody has heard of”
February 2018: Lonely Planet “Syros: the Cyclades without the crowds”
Syros, a magical island in the heart of the Cyclades, is eager to reveal its secrets. The commercial capital of Greece in the 19th Century, Syros is very different from most of the other Greek islands and still has the air of a classy capital. Although not as commercially “pretty” as nearby Mykonos, as soon as you arrive at the port and see the elegant pastel hued, neo-classical mansions almost tumbling down the hill towards you, you are captured.
The capital town of Ermoupoli (City of Hermes) is well worth a visit during your stay with its resplendent buildings, venetian architecture, cobbled streets and marble squares. The grandiose Town Hall on cafe-dotted Plateia Miaouli, still serves as the administrative capital of the Cyclades. The Apollo theatre has been perfectly restored as a miniature facsimile of La Scala in Milan which hosts an annual international opera festival, jazz evenings and many theatrical and musical performances. Just up the hill (you can either walk or drive) Ano Syros (the original medieval town) has all the features of a Cycladic village with cubist houses snuggling together which are linked by alleys that occasionally open up onto spectacular terraces with breathtaking views across to Mykonos and Tinos.
The beaches with their crystal clear waters are divine - you are never more than 20 minutes away from one of them and they all have their own charm. Kini with its sandy beach and beachside tavernas, Vari with its shallow protected water and English style castle perched on the rocks. Galissas with its sandy beach and trendy beach bars and Finikas with smart yachts juggling for position in the marina.
When it comes to food and wine Syros doesn’t disappoint and is fast becoming a culinary destination thanks to its specialty foods. Syros’ loukoumi (similar to Turkish delight that was brought over in the 19th Century) is still mixed by hand and boiled in copper cauldrons. There are many wild herbs that are grown locally – fennel, thyme and sage – do try the fennel pie, cumin flavoured meatballs fragrant with oregano or eggplant with sweet tomato sauce.
Although I am sure that you will find your own favourite beaches and restaurants, the above is just a taste of what is waiting for you on this wonderful island.