The history of a Queen
Having experienced a huge commercial and cultural development until the early years of the 20th century, Syros has gradually become the Pôle d’attraction of travellers of high cultural and social status.
Seductive Syros flourished during the 19th century, as it became one of the most dominant crossroads in the Aegean and an international commercial center linking Western Europe and the Mediterranean Sea to the East.
While largely commercial, Syros provided the vehicle for all sort of creative exchange between tremendously diverse people and cultures making itself a major cultural center and the home of the elite and upper class of that period.
A fascinating cultural and religious diversity
With the Greek language, national consciousness and the place as the only common elements, Syros is truly a diverse island where the idea of multiculturalism has become a way of life.
This place is an important example of a meaningful and creative coexistence of two worlds with strong differentiation at every level.
The Medieval Catholic Ano Syros, on one hand and the Neoclassical Orthodox Hermoupolis, on the other share a distinct physiognomy and individual character that has actually shaped a unique dipole of attraction!
Hermoupolis, from a glorious past to a bright new era
One of the most impressive maritime towns with long naval tradition, Hermoupolis, named after the Ancient Greek god of commerce Hermes, imposing and classy, is a magnificent open-air museum of aristocratism and neoclassicism crowned as the capital of the island and at the same time the Cyclades.
Stepped in spiritual and artistic tradition and dotted with plenty of museums and galleries, distinct restaurants, spirited cafes and colorful shops, Hermoupolis is considered one of the most cosmopolitan towns in the Greek Islands – the ultimate escape for discerning travellers and celebrities, including many distinguished movie stars, singers, artists, politicians and aristocratic families from all around the world who come here every year to savor summer in a noble environment.
The city, an open-air museum
With a city center largely untouched, Hermoupolis has remained virtually the same over the centuries. As a traveller you will feel like stepping back in the brilliant past from its rich architectural beauty evident on magnificent public buildings like the City Hall, built by architect Ernst Schiller, and ‘Apollo’ Theater, a miniature of Milan’s famous opera house ‘Teatro alla Scala’, on elegant Venetian mansions with fascinating gardens, grandiose marble-paved squares and streets and imposing churches.
Vaporia, a prestigious district
Home to rich sea captains and wealthy families of the past, Vaporia, meaning “ships” in Greek, is the most picturesque neighborhood in Hermoupolis. Superb neoclassical mansions, with high ceilings, frescoes, marble balconies, wooden floors and carved wooden doors, seem like ships hanging over the rocks right on the water. If you want a full old world experience, take a stroll there to admire the buildings, the stunning church of St. Nicholas with the Ionian marble columns and the fabulous view.
Ano Syros, like a movie set
A unique town with a distinct personality telling a story through its monuments and its medieval buildings and a catholic identity unfolding through its monasteries and churches, Ano Syros will make you feel like you left the real World and stepped onto a movie set.
Frozen in Medieval times
Perched high on a hilltop, with a medieval aroma and unbeatable charm, Ano Syros, is one of the best preserved fortified towns of the Aegean and one of the few that are still inhabited. Countless steps between narrow passageways and white houses with wooden balconies and colored doors lead to the top of the town, crowned by the imposing Catholic cathedral of “San Tzortzis”, an absolutely breathtaking place to stroll around at sunset.
Steeped into the rhythm of ‘Rebetiko’
A legendary voice, Markos Vamvakaris the ‘patriarch of the rebetiko’, else known as the ‘Greek Blues’, famous for ‘Frankosyriani’ song in which he praises the beauties of the island, was born on Syros. Housed in a restored building in Piatsa of Ano Syros, ‘Markos Vamvakaris Museum’ honors this exceptional composer, singer and innovative virtuoso bouzouki player with exhibits taking you back in time and inviting you to whisper the lyrics of his songs.
A cuisine, enshrined in long history
Shaped by its multicultural diversities and the different civilizations that have influenced cultures through the ages, the cuisine of Syros, with a cosmopolitan ambience and the special characteristics of the land and seas, reveals itself and is ready to seduce you.
The cuisine of Syros has been greatly influenced by different conquerors and refugees who have left their own culinary stamp through time. With thousand spicy flavors from Asia Minor and the Levant, with velvety touches from the Venetians, the distinct mastic aroma from Chios and other dreamlike flavours from the North Aegean Islands, Syros has created its own unique cuisine that will thrill the palettes of even the most demanding guests.
Della Grazia, The Belle Époque
Della Grazia’s old charm rivals any other place outskirts in Syros and needs to be towards the top of any itinerary for the island.
Adorned with exquisite neoclassical mansions with beautiful mosaics, lush gardens and pine trees, Della Grazia used to be the holiday resort of the wealthy class who built their retreat mansions there.
Della Grazia still boasts some truly incredible and well-preserved mansions – places that went under total renovation by their new owners and are available for rent. Choosing among those to spend your summer time will definitely travel you to the glamour of the Belle Époque of Syros.
A cultural recreation
From street celebrations to international festivals, there’s a lot to discover! Syros is host to a vibrant cultural calendar that is clock-full of effervescent and eye-catching events becoming gradually a destination for cultural discovery. From dance and theatrical performances, guitar and classical music festivals to the International Film Festival and the innovative Digital Festival, Syros is bursting from festive fever no mater what time of the year you go, making travelling an incredible experience.
A wedding bliss
A wedding at Syros is guaranteed to blow up your social media accounts!
Despite her glorious past, Syros has adopted an anonymity preserving the genuineness of her heritage. On the other hand however, its outstanding natural beauties, magnificent beaches with romantic sunsets, picturesque villages and quiet evenings, elevated dining and vibrant market scene come to complete the irresistible setting creating an upcoming wedding destination – the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable marriage.