Syros: The Queen of the Cyclades

When you think of the Cycladic islands, you may think of Mykonos, Paros, and Milos, but the real jewel in the crown is Syros. The capital of the Cyclades, Syros has a lot to offer a more cosmopolitan traveller, with an interesting history, picturesque towns, and one-of-a-kind beaches.

The regal port town of Ermoupouli greets you as you pull into this beautiful island. Ermoupoli has everything you could ever want and more: a lovely beach with restaurants and bars, stunning architecture such as the City Hall which looks over the town, and cultural significance around every corner. You could never tire of Ermoupoli, but the white-washed town of Ano Syros is just next door for a change of pace!

An Important Past

Although today Syros wouldn’t be one of the first islands to spring to mind, it used to be one of the most influential regions of Greece. Its location made it perfectly suited to act as the country’s principal port, which allowed for cultural exchange and led to the town having a uniquely cosmopolitan air.

This led to the perfect examples of 19th century neoclassical architecture which can be found around Ermoupoli, which makes any traveller feel as though they have been dropped into an Italo-Greco dreamscape!

Much To Do

After exploring Ermoupoli, head up to Ano Syros, the old Catholic capital. Walk the traditional Cycladic streets and then end up at the Renaissance Cathedral of St. George – take in its special architecture and look down to the monasteries below.

Photo By Glorious 93 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

After a long day exploring, you’ll want to retire to a peaceful home away from home. Try Syros CMN, a restored 19th century mansion which sleeps ten and looks over the water. Apollonion Palace is another option for an individual room in a neoclassical mansion right in the heart of Ermoupoli. For a bigger party, you could stay at Syros AR, with its own seawater pool, two private beaches and a fig garden which sends a beautiful scent cascading through the property as the fruit ripen in late summer.

Photo by @apollonionpalacesyros | Instagram

If you want a summer partying the night away, choose a nearby island like Mykonos; but if you desire a holiday packed with culture, architecture and beaches, lesser-visited Syros might be the ideal place for you.

Photo by @kostasboukou | Instagarm

Then, take a dip! If you’re staying in Ermoupoli, you’re in luck; the local beach has everything you could ask for, including clean waters, a beach bar, and nice atmosphere. Otherwise, visit Gallisas beach, which is known for its calm waters and soft sands.

Photo @vinkoffska | Instagram (Gallisas beach)

Culture Everywhere You Turn…

Due to its legacy as the Queen of the Cyclades, Syros is home to a long list of seasonal cultural events as well as its ever-present rich history. The International Classical Musical Festival of the Cyclades, ANIMASYROS International Animation Festival and Ermoupoleia Cultural Festival are all incredible experiences which can be had on the island.

If your time here doesn’t happen to line up with any of these events, don’t worry! Syros’ Theatre Apollon is 157 years old and the beautiful hall continues to host unforgettable cultural experiences and performances year after year.