Closer to Athens than Santorini or Mykonos, Syros is like a private island for Greeks. It bustles with life all year, but is never overwhelmed by tourists like the other Cycladic islands in summer.
Here are 7 reasons why you should visit Syros this year
Pristine water, Blue Flag beaches
The highest award in Europe for clean beaches is the Blue Flag. Every single one of Syros’ beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag. The beaches range from social beaches, like Achladi, Gallisas, Vari, Kini and Poseidonia to remote hard-to-reach sandy coves and caves scattered around the island.
Social beaches usually have a beachside restaurant, coffee and cold drink booths and good facilities for showering and changing. Some of them have the hype and glamour of a Mykonos private beach (without the charges) but most are simple old fashioned places where the food is good and the atmosphere informal. Best of all there are none of the ‘lounger’ charges that have become prevalent on the tourist islands.
Peace and Serenity
Syros is a working island, with a small port town, Ermoupoli. Outside of the town, the land is cultivated with grapes, olives, figs, vegetable fields and pasture for goats, sheep and cows.
The beaches of Syros are clean, quiet and free to use. Syriotis are proud of their island. With a strong community spirit they work together to keep the island pristine and free from commercial development.
No large cruise ships or package tourists mean that the few visitors to Syros are really welcomed . But most of all the roads and beaches are always quiet and peaceful. A great choice if you want to relax and wind down.
Authentic quality Greek food
Syriotis all grow their own vegetables, and many make their own goat cheese, wine, olive oil and other staples. People love to eat on this island, and with a steady stream of Athenians arriving on business (it is the bureaucratic capital) the standard of restaurants is high.
At the same time, prices reflect local pockets – a fine dining experience at ‘Sunsets’ in Gallisas for example with a decent bottle of wine would cost under 50 euros. Most beachside tavernas are much less.
Ermoupoli is the cultural capital of all the islands
Every summer there are up to 18 different Arts festivals on Syros. International opera, classical orchestral music, choral singing, musicals, guitar, rembetika, accordion and other specialist events occur regularly. Some are performance-based, while others are open to all with workshops, master classes and competitions.
Major Sporting Events
Every year there is the Syros Triathlon, Syros Town Run, Basketball Tournaments and other events that draw teams and players from around the world.
On the water there are diving competitions, wind surfing and sailing events in the various marinas around the island. Most events are open to the public.
Architecture and History
The town of Ermoupoli is famously known as “the most European town in Greece.” The neo-classical marble townhouses, Town Hall and mini La Scala theater ‘The Appollon’ form the base of the town around the harbor.
Higher up, the twin peaks of Ermoupoli are topped by the Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Church in a medieval area of the island known as Ano Syros. There is a lot of exploring to do!
Syriotis welcome strangers. They are an island of new arrivals from the early days of the Venetians, to the various arrivals from Asia Minor. And because tourism is not so important here, every one welcomes foreigners. Manners and attitudes are more like the Greek islands of the sixties than the commercially driven popular islands of today.
There you have it! Our top 7 reasons why you should visit Syros this year. What are you looking for in your Greek island holiday? Let us know in the comments below.