Easter on Syros, Island of Spiritual and Ecumenical Harmony

On Syros, where Catholics and Orthodox share a common date for Easter, the city of Ermoupoli illuminates its stately buildings to celebrate Christ's Resurrection.


Thanks to its large Catholic community, Syros celebrates Easter differently than the rest of Greece, having developed many customs that are unique to the Cycladic island. What is most important, however, is that here, Orthodox Christians and Catholics celebrate Easter together in a show of social acceptance and unity.

On Holy Tuesday, at the Orthodox Church of Aghios Nikolaos – the patron saint of Syros – you can hear the choir of men and women chant the Hymn of Kassiani (Hymn of the Fallen Woman).

On the evening of Good Friday, the procession of the Epitaph at the Catholic Cathedral of Saint George in Ano Syros is not to be missed, while in Ermoupoli, the Epitaphs from the various Orthodox churches meet at the square in front of the imposing City Hall building, accompanied by a choir and philharmonic orchestra.

On the night of Holy Saturday, make your way up to the Church of Anastaseos tou Sotiros (Church of the Resurrection of the Savior), the grand Orthodox church atop the hill to the right of the port. From there, you can enjoy the fireworks as they light up the sky over Ermoupoli.

What to do

Syros is an ideal destination for short excursions. Ermoupoli, with its impressive neoclassical stately houses, is truly an architectural gem, while the old working-class neighborhood of Ano Syros, with its beautiful whitewashed backstreets and the Catholic Cathedral of Saint George and the village of Podeidonia, located in the wilder north, with its magnificent country villas of yesteryear, have their own charm.

Ermoupoli offers many options in terms of accommodation, food, coffee, and nightlife, as well as experiences that will bring you in touch with the island’s rich history. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Industrial Museum of Ermoupoli (11 Georgiou Papandreou Street, Ermoupoli, Tel. (+30) 22810.847.62, weekdays 10:00-15:30 except for Wednesday, Saturday 18:00-20:00). The museum takes you on a journey through the modern history of not only Syros and the Cyclades but also of Greece in general.

If you would like to discover the lesser-known northern side of the island, drive to the village of San Michali, where, provided the weather permits, you can see the islands of Mykonos and Tinos to the east, while to the west, the sunset will take your breath away. For those who like hiking, Syros offers a network of trails: an enjoyable trail begins from San Michali, passes through the prehistoric settlement of Kastri, and continues to the Church of Panagia Chalandriani, which offers beautiful views.

Where to stay

Villa Selena (1 Babagiotou, Ermoupoli, Tel. (+30) 210.220.7686, double rooms start from €82, including breakfast). A stately house converted into a guesthouse, Villa Selena is located in the most beautiful quarter of Ermoupoli, Vaporia. The guesthouse offers standard and deluxe double rooms with a view of the city or the sea, as well as suites with two rooms with crystal chandeliers and a large marble bathroom with a hot tub. Wood floors, painted ceilings, murals, refurbished furniture of the 19th century, and paintings of various artists adorn the rooms.

Amare Boutique Suites (5 Miltiadou, Ermoupoli, Tel. (+30) 22814.081.30, double rooms start from €88, not including breakfast). The three-story renovated stately house of 1892 with its six suites is located in the aristocratic quarter of Vaporia. The suites are ideal for two persons but can also be joined with interconnecting doors to accommodate large groups or families.

 

Times Elegant Rooms (Afroditi and Thermopylon, Ermoupoli, Tel. (+30) 693.731.2651, double rooms start from €90, not including breakfast). The small two-story building was built in the late-19th c. and has been renovated to host three rooms, all of which are naturally bright and elegant and come with all modern comforts and amenities. On the ground floor, the 50 square meter suite includes a sitting room with a desk, soundproof windows, a bedroom, and a bathroom. On the first floor, the two rooms also have soundproof windows and many amenities.

Oiko Mini Suites (5 Vokotopoulou, Ermoupoli, Tel. (+30) 22810.855.72, two-person suites start from €72, not including breakfast). Modern, with minimalist décor and decorated in white, grey, and black tones, the suites are located in a picturesque backstreet in the center of Ermoupoli.

Aeolia Boutique Studios & Apartments (3 Parodos Aghiou Georgiou – Iroon Square and 21 Amfitritis, Ermoupoli, Tel. (+30) 22810.864.14, (+30) 22810.842.13, the two-person studio starts from €71 not including breakfast). The studios and apartments are housed in two different buildings. The first building on Iroon Square offers cozy, hospitable studios for two or three persons. All the studios are inspired by nature, recently renovated, and decorated in pale colors. The roof garden boasts a view of the city of Ermoupoli. The second building – the one that houses the apartments – is in a quiet neighborhood at the upper end of the city. The 50 square meter apartments are suitable for three or four persons. They have wood floors and modern amenities, a living room, a kitchen, and a small yard where guests can enjoy their morning coffee.

Hermes Hotel (Kanari Square, Ermoupoli, Syros, Tel. (+30) 22810.830.11, double rooms start from €75, including breakfast). Located in a beautiful part of the city, on the right side of the port, with a view of Ermoupoli, the hotel is housed in a neoclassical building and offers rooms and suites that have been designed in a classical style. Many rooms boast a sea view, while the hotel also provides two-room suites ideal for families.

Castro Hotel (12 Kalomenopoulou, Ermoupoli, Syros, Tel. (+30) 22810.830.00, double rooms start from €120, including breakfast). A stately, luxurious, and elegant hotel with beautifully-designed communal areas, such as the courtyard – atrium that functions as a lounge and the cellar that has been converted into a restaurant and wine bar. Modern, minimalist lines, subtle design, and unparalleled elegance define the rooms and suites. The building was built in 1857 and was fully renovated in 2021.



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