The island of Syros

Syros is the island where Greek tradition and western influence come to a harmonious marriage. It is found almost in the centre of the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea and is located only 144 km south-east of Athens, with a population of around 25.000 people. Closest island around Syros are Mykonos, Tinos, Andros and Kythnos.

Syros2The island’s largest town is Ermoupoli, the capital of the island and the capital city of the Cyclades. Ermoúpoli (meaning “the city of Hermes”) is often  called “The Sovereign of Aegean” and it is built in the hills that surround the harbor. During the 19th century, due to its economic activity, it has been called “Manchester of Greece”, and it was even more significant port than the port of Piraeus.

Due to its crucial geographical position, Syros became known as a maritime way-point. Moreover, the special social, religious and institutional conditions prevailing on the island led Syriots to neutrality at the beginning of the Greek Revolution in 1821, and they did not take part in the Greek revolt. As a result, Syros became a secure shelter during the Revolution, attracting many Greek refugees from every part of the country.

The history of settlement on Syros goes back at least 5,000 years, to the Early Bronze Age of the Cycladic civilization.

Landscape

Syros3The northern part of the island is named Apano Meria (Above Side) and is mountainous, while the southern part is flat and there are more  settlements, villages and beaches. Apano Meria is a place to be explored, with wonderful views, minimal paths and rocky landscape, caves and virgin beaches.  In contrast the southern part of the island  has excellent roads that connect all the villages, developed tourism sites with modern hotels and organized beaches!

Religion

Syros is both a Greek Orthodox and a Greek Catholic island, boasting many fine churches from both traditions. Ano Syros is inhabited by Catholic Greeks. The reason for it is the long period of Frankokratia in Syros that started immediately after the fourth crusade. Frankokratia ended during 16th century but the Catholics of Syros came under France protection and the catholic religion survived in the island.

Gastronomy

Syros4Syros is well-known in Greece for its gastronomic peculiarities.

Halva pie (a pie made of thyme honey and roasted almonds), loukoúmi (a delight made of water, starch and sugar), fennel sausages and the San Mihalis spicy cheese are some local traditional products that should not be missed by any visitor!

 

The combination of natural beauty, the culture that it exudes and the hospitality of her residents is unique and it will make your vacation in Syros unforgettable.

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