Syros Greece - Holiday, Beach, Walks and Photos Guide.
The Aegean Island of Syros is within the Greek Cyclades and ideal for at least a few days holiday as part of an Island Hopping trip.
How to get to Syros Island, Greece.
The small airport on Syros does not cater for international flights to Syros therefore you have to take a domestic Olympic Airways flight out of Athens
for the final leg. There seemed to be only two flights a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays and the flying time is around 45 minutes (but check dates with the airline's website as things change).
The normal way to get to Syros on holiday is by using a Greek Ferry - the island is a major hub on the ferry network so there are plenty of choices. For example on a typical Friday in the Summer at least 5 ferries arrive from Piraeus which is only around 80 miles away.
Speedrunners take around 2.5 hours and the bigger Blue Star and Hellenic ferries
journey times vary from 3.5 to 4 hours depending on intermediate island stops en route.
Syros's close neighbours are Andros
, Tinos and Mykonos
and Milos plus
and even Santorini
are easily reached - so Syros is nicely
placed as part of an Island Hopping Holiday. Also of interest perhaps is that there is a direct ferry link to Kea from Syros.
You will probably not find many package holiday deals to Syros on any of the major holiday company sites - so the way to do it might be to book a cheap holiday to say Santorini or Mykonos and then go off on the ferry for a few days
island hopping including perhaps a visit to Syros. It is actually really good fun doing this as well as of course you get the opportunity to see a few more "out of the way"
and probably more peaceful Greek Islands.
If travelling to Syros Island by ferry then the views as you approach Ermoupolis are really excellent with the districts of Ano Syros and Vorondadho sticking up high above the harbour. This is all then topped by a monastery and a huge church respectively as well as with houses and smaller churches clustered beneath - very picturesque!.
The Greek Island of Syros is far more of a working island than a tourist and holiday destination. Two thirds of Syros is populated by "villages" which are often in effect clusters of quite
large and expensive looking houses.
The areas further to the north of the island are however largely unpopulated and the countryside has quite a barren or empty look in the summer months although you will find the odd Greek goat or two wandering around.
Getting Around while staying at Syros Greece. The taxi rank at the port is just by the harbour - typically prices seemed to be worked out with a few Euros "getting in" price and then around 1 Euro per kilometre - as normal the price should be agreed with the taxi-driver before actually travelling.
The bus service on Syros island is really good - the bus station is just where the ferries dock and there is also a small information kiosk where you can get a bus timetable. The service operates frequently and is reliable - buses leave around every 30 minutes in peak season and the routes are basically one bus clockwise
and one anticlockwise. The clockwise goes via Hermoupolis, Azolimno, Vari, Mega Gialo, Posidonia, Foinka, Gallisa and Ermoupolis. The anti-clockwise goes via the same places but obviously in reverse. Also there is a frequent bus service to Kini and back.
Syros Accommodation - Hotels and Rooms. Finding accommodation on the island is not too difficult as for a start some owners meet the ferries and compete for your business - this can be quite beneficial if you have nothing arranged and arriving on a late ferry. In addition you will find along the harbour a large notice-board which gives details and phone numbers of available accommodation
and hotels from around the island. Syros is nicely organised for helping holidaymakers and island hoppers find accommodation as most of the other towns also have information boards on local rooms to let and hotels. Prices do vary enormously according to demand and time of year - in July you might expect to pay at least 45 to 50 Euros for a room.
Ermopoulis (or Hermopouli).
Ermoupolis is both the capital of Syros and is also the capital of the Greek Cyclades Islands. There is a huge shipbuilding and dry-docks area in Ermopouli as the port was at one time far more
important than Piraeus. As you arrive you see lots of large cranes plus dry-docks to one side of the port although these days the area is pretty much idle apart from small yachts/boats construction and maintenance. The area around the shipyard (Neorio) is very interesting for a stroll around - there are all sorts of boats to look at from fishing boats to dredgers. Although some of the area is being cleared and/or renovated there are still quite a few very old buildings and warehouses around to show what it must have looked like in days past.
Ermopouli - Vaporia.
The district of Vaporia on Syros Island is located in the lower part of Ermopouli and is where in olden days rich ship owners, merchants and bankers built their mansions. These mansions and houses have been constructed all the way to the edge of the sea and can still be seen today in much of their original form though some are in a bit of a poor state - they are gradually being
Ermopouli - Vorondado. The second area is on top of one of the hills and called Vorondadho. This is the Greek Orthodox Quarter with it's spectacularly placed church of Anastasis sat right on top. Start off from the harbour area on Chiou Xioy road and having passed through market stalls you arrive at the Platia Miaouli which is the Town Square.
The Clocktower and Town Hall are located here and the large Square itself is surrounded by plenty of cafes and tavernas. To the left of the Clocktower the steps start off on Louka Ralli road which leads to the church at Vorondadho - these steps take you on the considerable climb through narrow and very scenic alleyways or it is possible to get up there by bus or taxi via the main road
but obviously not nearly as nice as simply walking up.
Ermopouli - Ano Syros.
Even higher though is the third part (or district) of the town called Ano Syros which is the Catholic Quarter. To get up there by foot from Platia Miaouli take one of the roads on the right of the Square which brings you to Omphoy St. then turn right and follow the steps - and there are a lot of steps. On reaching a tarmac
road continue straight ahead and then take a marked path on the left - this descends (Oh joy) to the main road - cross this and walk ahead climbing up lots more steps and then some more steps to finally reach the top. Ano Syros is full of small churches and is topped by
the Cathedral of St George and the Cappuchin Monastery of St Jean. Alternatively you can get so far by road but will still have quite a few steps to enjoy to reach the top.
Syros Island Greece and it's variety of sandy Beaches.
Galissa Beach on Syros (also known as Galissas).
Galissa has a large sandy beach a little way from the road and the beaches sand stretches back quite a way so there is plenty of room - there are also trees where you can hide from the sun. Parts of the have sun chairs and umbrellas etc. and you and also hire paddle boats there - the rest of the beach is left alone. Galissa beach is within a small cove and the water is
very shallow for some way in which makes it pretty good for young children. Galissa was probably well used by package holiday companies at one time but there seems to be only one operating now - however this means there is plenty of accommodation available. The bus stop is just off the beach and here you will also find some supermarkets, several tavernas and drinks bars.
Finika (or Finikas).
The beach area at Finika is right next to the sometimes busy road and is only a narrow strip of sand with a few trees on the edge. Not really the beach to spend the day unless the wind was blowing badly and the beach at Galissa which is way better was suffering from flying sand. There are several tavernas two of which have tables out on the quay side - prices seemed
to vary with a litre jug of wine around 8 Euros and main course food around 12 to 15 9 Euros each. Greek salads were for some obscure reason really expensive - often at around 6+ Euros which is a lot for a few tomatoes - onions - olives and a bit of feta. There is a bakery however the supermarket is a short way out of the village on the road to Gallisa.
Even further along the road there is a small beach at Komito
- this is a really pleasant little sandy beach - completely off the road and the back of the
beach has plenty of olive trees for hiding from the hot sun. There are also just a few fixed beach umbrellas available which just seemed to be free to use.
From the end of the beach there is a nice little walk out to Cape Vighlostasi
and back (4.5km there and back) as follows.
From the far end of the beach where the track goes sharp right climb up the hill-slope on a narrow gravely path - it goes over the hill and then arrives at a path junction. Take the left fork and follow it as it goes towards a gate and then continues alongside a wire fence.
The path leaves the fence and dips downslightly then goes sharp right along the hillside - then bends left to soon reach a path t-junction***
Go right now on a wider path - this now drops down then climbs somewhat steeply up through heavy rock to a trig point at Zavalou. From there follow a narrow path to reach the beacon at Cape Vighlostasi - where you will get really good
views of everywhere. You should also make sure you wave to the passing yachts struggling against the waves which pass not too far away below you - whilst of
course eating your packed lunch. There is just a beacon now but from the look of the remains presumably their was once a lighthouse and accommodation here.
Return back the same route but at the t-junction *** you can either go left back to Komito Beach or go straight ahead.
This latter option takes you round the hills and coast and brings you out at a small road - stay ahead on this as it goes steeply up and then drops down to reach the main road outside of Posidhonia. Go left to reach the bus stop or walk on by it and wander along the road back into Posidhonia (where incidentally there is a really nice blue domed church - Aghios Ioannis).
Chalandriani to Ermoupoli Walk on Syros Greece. This is a really nice 7km walk often on old mule tracks which cuts across the island back into Ermoupoli - with the bonus of fantastic views of Ano Syros and Vrondadho at the end. The start is just
outside the quite remote village of Chalandriani by the bus stop. Unsure about whether buses actually go there so we just took a taxi from the Port which cost 10 Euros.From the junction by the bus stop and looking out across the valley go right
following the signs for Kastri. The road zig-zag's down to a junction - go right and follow it towards Plati Vouni. A little way along look for a mule track on the left - take this and follow it to a junction where you turn right (marked Route 3).
Head on up into the village - at the narrow village road turn right. This meets a more main road but you should carry on ahead immediately onto a
cobbled track (marked Route 2). The track soon turns into a mule path and goes round to the left and then follows the contours of the hill albeit climbing somewhat. Soon you pass the new reservoir way down below on the left - the cobbled path is really nice with it's walled side and the views around are good. Continue along eventually climbing up to a saddle and then at the top the path levels a little before climbing again to eventually reach Richopo and it's small private church.
Continue past the church now on Route 1 and follow this until you arrive above Ano Syros - the views of the Monastery of St Jean are really good. There has been a bit of destruction as you start to descend but the route is very obvious - finally you bear right to meet the small white church of Panachriandos and subsequently the main road. Turn left along the main road then
take the next road on the right which leads down to the church of Anastasia where there is a great place to sit and look at the harbour and town below. From here follow the beautiful steps all the way back into Ermoupoli.
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