An Idyllic Spring Weekend in Syros

With its picturesque seaside villages, charming tavernas, and elegant architecture, the Cycladic island of Syros is perfect for a weekend escape in Spring.


Syros, one of the Cyclades’ most unique islands, is an ideal weekend destination. Ferries take only 3.5 hours to reach the port of Ermoupoli, the impressive, amphitheatrically built capital.

Ermoupoli’s Fascinating Past 

The capital of the Cyclades is not a typical Aegean settlement. Its great importance as a port as early as the 19th century, when Ermoupoli was the country’s second most populous city after Athens, had an impact on the island’s architecture and culture. Its magnificent mansions housed wealthy merchants and industrialists, and in 1898, German-Greek architect Ernst Ziller designed the City Hall building, which still dominates Miaouli Square. Pietro Sampo, an Italian architect, designed the Apollo Municipal Theater, which was built between 1862 and 1864.

The town’s rich history is revealed by the exhibits at the Industrial Museum of Ermoupoli (11 Georgiou Papandreou; open daily except Wednesdays, 10:00-15:30; Saturdays and afternoons, 18:00-20:00). Among them are steamship wheels, architectural and urban blueprints, miniature ships, and tools, as well as the Enfield 8000, the first Greek electric car manufactured at the Neorion Syros facilities in the 1970s.

Churches are another feature that stands out as you walk through Ermoupoli’s streets. From the majestic church of Aghios Nikolaos Plousios in the Vaporia neighborhood to the Anastasi tou Sotiros (Resurrection of the Savior) high on the hill, the island is full of churches built in beautiful locations.

Climbing to Ano Syros, you will also see Aghios Georgios, known as San Tzortzis, the island’s Catholic cathedral, which was built in 1200. In Ano Syros, it’s worth visiting the exhibition dedicated to Markos Vamvakaris, who was born in the area in 1905.

Time for coffee

Armadillo Coffee Brewery (9 Em. Roidi, Ermoupoli) and Epta (7 Peloponnisou, Ermoupoli) serve some of the best coffee on the island, while the traditional Ellinikon cafe at Miaouli Square serves delicious Greek coffee. Vraziliana (8 Don I. Stefanou), in Ano Syros, also serves excellent coffee, as well as tasty brunch options and light dishes with a view of Ermoupoli.

Delicious Meals

Mikraki (Thermopylon and Folegandrou, Ermoupoli) serves delicious seafood, while nearby Laoutari (Thermopylon 18) is ideal for snacks and meze. If you’re looking for takeout, try the pizza at Giancarlo (2 Georgiou Souri, Ermoupoli). It’s worth driving to the small beach of Kini, where you will find two excellent tavernas, Allou Gialou and Dio Tzitzikia st’ Armyrika. You’ll also find good food at Ahladi Beach, at the restaurant of the same name right by the sea, at Plakostroto with its dreamy balcony in Ai Michalis on the north side of the island, as well as in the village of Alithini, above Ermoupoli, where Mitsos is still a local favorite for its grilled meats.

Dessert and ice cream

Syros is well-known for its loukoumia (Turkish delight), and all local workshops have locations in Ermoupoli. Look for loukoumia by Korres, Livadaras, Denaxas, Kanakaris, and Sykoutris. You’ll have no trouble finding good ice cream either. We recommend Django (9 Emmanouil Roïdi, Ermoupoli), Daidadi (Papagou Square, Ermoupoli), and Grand Gelato “Family” (4 Eleftheriou Venizelou, Ermoupoli), all of which offer a wide variety of flavors.

 

This article was previously published in Greek at kathimerini.gr.



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