Due to strong winds, our sailing ship, the Star Clipper, could not make its scheduled stop at Mykonos. Instead, we visited the Island of Syros. I had done my research for Mykonos previously, but I was unfamiliar with Syros. The Star Clipper docked right in the harbor of Ermoupoli, the island's capital, which happens to be the capital of the Cyclades archipelago as well.
With bright end-of-summer sun and morning temperatures already in the 80's, we decided to rent a car for the day and to find a worthy beach to visit.
Travel Tip: Car rental services are located right in the port area.
After short 30 minute drive to the Western shore of the island, we arrived at our destination. Agathopes is a beautiful beach with crystal clear, warm, shallow water. You can rent a chair and umbrella for less than $10. We started to explore the cliffs on the both sides of the beach which have sheltered school of fish and small crabs and some with our GoPro. For lunch, we stopped by locally run restaurant right across from the beach, which served local favorites, including gyros, Greek salads, & beer.
Back in Ermoupoli the streets were quiet because of Siesta and we spent the afternoon wandering around the main plaza and getting refreshed with a glass of frappe, and catching up on social media.
Travel Tip: Siesta time usually starts at 1:30-2 pm and last for couple of hours.
In the center of the town, is the prominent Town Hall building in neoclassical architectural style evidently influenced by the German and Italian architects. Most of the restaurants, trendy cafes, and shops are located on small streets between the port and the Town Hall plaza. When the shops opened again at 5 pm (the Greeks also have a Siesta), we did souvenir shopping
On the highest hilltop overlooking Ermoupoli, is the Venetian town of Ano Syros dating back to 13th Century.
Travel Tip: The best time to visit as the locals suggested was in the evening.
We started driving up hill with windy cobblestone roads. Finally, we reached the top of the hill.
The town is closed to (auto), traffic, so after we parked our car at the entrance, we started climbing the many marble stairs and cobble streets which led us to the St. George’s Cathedral perched on the very top of the hill. The Cathedral had stunning paintings and frescoes and I paid respect to my patron saint & protector (St. George)
Travel Tip: For memorable photos, step out to the large terrace, which offer unforgettable, sweeping panorama of the entire island.
Syros is one of the true treasures of the Northern Cyclades. It enchanted me with it’s rich cultural heritage, affordable shopping, & trendy cafes, its beautiful beaches and friendly locals. The island is off the radar of many international travelers, but is frequently chosen as a summer escape by the locals.
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