Hidden coves and tiny private beaches in remote places are what makes Syros special. Places where you might think you are the first person to have visited. The gorgeous island of Syros is filled with elusive quiet bays. When you get away from the popular beaches you can find the ‘real’ Greece. Villages as they were 50 years ago before the advent of mass tourism. Tiny bays with sandy caves for shelter, crystal clear turquoise water. But you have to know where to look.
Syros was once the capital of Greece and is still the capital of the Cyclades and Dodecanese islands. The main port town, Ermoupoli, is the administrative and commercial capital of the island group that includes Mykonos, Tinos, Naxos and Santorini. So although the town bustles all year round, few foreign tourists come here. There are no cruise ships or mass tourism. Athenians love Syros, but usually only arrive in July and August. They prefer to congregate on the well known beaches like Megalos Yialos, Agathopes and Kini. But if you have a scooter, or hire a boat you can find all kinds of secret treasures on this island. And most of the time, you will have it to yourself.
1. St Stephens
To reach this tiny church hidden in a cave, you must either rent a boat or clamber for an hour down a rocky slope towards the sea. The path is marked, so it’s easy to follow directions. Once there you can swim from the rocks.
Boat Hire – Nicko’s Perla 1 – 6947308580
Walking – start from Gallisas
The beach of Delfini is on the northern coast of Syros. Follow the signs from Kini and eventually the road becomes a track, but well worth following. You’ll find a wide sandy beach, clean with pebbles in patches. Often it’s the only beach without wind.
The tiny, wealthy area known as Kokkina is to the south-west of the island, close to Finikas village. The hillside has panoramic sea views where wealthy Athenians have built fabulous mansions. Lower down there are small coves you can climb down to, always deserted. The wealthy seem to prefer their pools for swimming.
Walking – get to Finikas village, go towards the Marina and keep walking, Kokkina is signed.
4. Americanou Beach and the Marble Quarry
These two beaches are a bit of a mission to reach. Take a car or bike up to St Michaeli, on the extreme north west point of the island. When the road stops, start walking on the path that leads down to an old quarry.
Car or scooter, then walking