Syros Island: 14 Best Things to Do in 2024

Syros Island is one of the most beautiful Greek islands and certainly one of my favorite ones. Situated south of Andros, west of Mykonos, and north of Sifnos, Paros, and Naxos is no wonder why it is the capital island of the Cyclades.

Syros island is known for its culture and the variety of past civilizations, with impressive monuments, waiting to be discovered all over the island. A unique characteristic of Syros is that Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches are scattered all over the island in a very harmonious co-existence.

Best things to do in Syros Greece, a Catholic church in Syros Island.
The Catholic Church of Saint George in Ano Syros

The Island is also full of natural attractions, beautiful beaches, and low mountains offering superb vistas, with an invisible line separating the island into two main parts:

Beautiful Galisasbay with a large palm tree in Syros island Greece.
Varvarousa Beach, Western Syros

The northern part of Syros, known as Apano Meria, with limestone rock, is mostly very quiet with traditional small villages, imposing rugged terrain, and sea views, ideal for people who love seclusion, hiking, and tranquility.

Traditional alleys in Syros Island Greece.
Traditional alleys in Syros

The south part of the island, covered by volcanic rocks, is mostly flat and this is where most of the villages and the most famous beaches of the island are. The settlements there are developed for tourism, while the road network is quite good.

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Up next I am going to tell you about 14 of the best things to do on Syros Island.

The Best Things to Do on Syros Island

How long should you stay in Syros? If you’re short on time or just want a quick taste of the island, 1-2 days can be enough to explore the main highlights of Ermoupolis, the capital, and perhaps visit a nearby beach.

3-5 days: This is a good amount of time to get a more comprehensive experience of Syros. You can explore Ermoupolis, and Ano Syros, visit several beaches, and participate in some activities like hiking or water sports.

1. Explore Elegant Ermoupolis

Ermoupolis town with many colorful houses in a sunny day in Syros Island Greece.
Syros, Ermoupolis

Ermoupolis is a town full of historical and impressive buildings, a unique Chora in the whole of the Cyclades. Stroll the main square of Ermoupolis, Miaouli sq. with the imposing City Hall built in 1863 by the famous architect Schiller, a popular meeting place for both tourists and locals. The majestic stairs of the large city hall attract a lot of Instagram photographs.

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Ermoupolis city Hall in Syros Island Greece.
Miaouli Square and City Hall in Ermoupolis

Inside the City Hall, you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Syros Greece with Cycladic and Byzantine exhibits (open 9-4, closed on Tuesdays & Thursdays).

Ermoupolis has a great vibe, and the food is top-notch, there is so much choice for every taste, and relatively inexpensive compared to other islands.

Stroll by the Apollo Theatre, built in 1864, reminds me of La Scala in Milan in sublime Venetian decoration. If you are visiting Syros in August don’t miss the International Cycladic Classical Music Festival with a series of five unique concerts at the iconic Apollo Theatre.

Are you looking for accommodation in Syros? Check out here for rates and availability!

Go to Vaporia, the coastal side and the poshest area of Ermoupolis, famous for its unique high-ceilinged mansions with impressive murals, wood-carved doors, marble balconies, and wooden floors.

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Vaporia area and Agios Nikolaos Orthodox Church
Vaporia and Agios Nikolaos Orthodox Church, Syros

Nearby is Asteria, a nice beach, and the church of Agios Nikolaos that dominates the Vaporia area with the towering bell towers. And if you feel like gambling, there is a Casino in the Ermoupolis port!

2. Have a Cocktail at Asteria Beach Bar

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Vaporia and the Asteria beach bar
Asteria Beach Bar

One of the best things to do in Vaporia is to have a cocktail or grab a bite at the Asteria Beach Bar (suggested by Guardian). It is a modest place with magnificent views of the sea and the mansions.

3. Walk up to Ano Syros and the Capuchin Monastery

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Picturesuqe Ano Syros
Going towards Ano Syros

Ano Syros (the upper part of Ermoupolis) was founded in 1200 AD by the Venetians to protect the inhabitants from the pirates. To make things even more difficult for the pirates, they made narrow cobblestone streets with countless steps that pass by charming whitewashed houses and arches to get to the top.

When you finally reach the top – well done, you are in good physical condition! – visit the impressive Monastery of Capuchin in Ano Syros,  founded in 1653 by King Louis XIII of France. In its basement, some crypts were used as shelters during pirate raids. There are no monks there today.

4. Visit the 12th-century Catholic Church of Saint George

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Saint George church Complex,
Saint George church Complex, Syros

The Catholic Church of Saint George in Ano Syros, a three-aisled Basilica with marble columns, is built on the highest point of the hill in 1200 CE. It is a large complex of buildings such as the Bell Tower,  the historical archive building,  and the Episcopal Palace.

5. Photograph the Syros Greece Cats

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Syros cat cafe
Syros Cat Cafe

Like most Greek islands, Syros has also its share of stray cats being well looked after by the cat NGOs on the island and the vets supporting neutering programs.

There is a Syros Cat Garden, where neutered cats hang out, or get fed by the local volunteers. Looking for accommodation in Syros? Check out here for rates and availability!

6. Dive into Galissas Beach and Hike to the Hidden Chapel in a Cave

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Galisas beach
Galissas Beach, Syros

Galissas is a beautiful sandy bay between two low hills on the southwestern part of Syros with a couple of great restaurants by the beach. The beach is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas but has also trees if you prefer the more natural shade.

On the left side of Galissas Beach sits the tiny Catholic chapel of Saint Pakou, offering beautiful sea views.

Agios Stefanos, Syros
Best things to do in Syros Greece, Agios Stefabnos chapel
Agios Stefanos Church, Syros

Hike from Galisas (or go there by boat) for about 2 km to the north and find the little Catholic chapel of Agios Stefanos built inside a cave overlooking the bay. Follow the signs to get to the unique chapel and take some of the best photos on Syros Island.

7. Drive to Megas Gialos Beach

Megas Gialos is one of the best beaches in Syros Greece. It is a large sandy beach with shallow and warm waters and plenty of sunbeds and shades, ideal for families. That means it is a popular beach with taverns and cafes around to choose from.

It is 12 km from Ermoupolis towards the south and to get there you pass by some villages and beaches that you can explore on your way to Megas Gialos. If you would like a more secluded beach, walk to the nearby Chapel of Agios Antonios, and right behind it, a trail leads to the quiet beach of Ampela.

8. Watch the Best Syros Sunset in Kini

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Sunset in Kini with a yacht
Sunset in Kini, Syros

Kini village is 10 km east of Ermoupolis and offers the best sunset on Syros Island. The sandy beach is mostly organized with sunbeds and umbrellas but there are also free areas with trees if you prefer quiet time on the beach.

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Kini village
Kini Village

I discovered one of the best accommodations, Anemos and Almyra, a beautiful traditional settlement in Kini Village. Kini Beach has also an interesting aquarium, with live fish and tools in a display used traditionally by the local fishermen.

9. Explore the Mansion of Count Diakakis on Komito beach

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Komito beach
Komito Beach in Syros Island

Drive southeast to the beautiful fine golden sand Komito Beach located across two islets and explore the abandoned but amazing Mansion of Cοunt Diakakis.

10. Take a Cooking Class on traditional Syros Greece Cuisine

Cooking class in Syros

My favorite way to explore a new place is to taste their local goodies and what is better than experiencing the essence of Greece with an exclusive Private Cooking Class on Syros?

Immerse yourself in the authentic Greek dining culture and learn how to craft a full Greek meal from scratch. Then, feast in a charming courtyard, surrounded by the flavors and warmth of Greece. Join this amazing cooking class for an unforgettable culinary journey!

11. Hike Apano (Ano) Meria

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Hike Apano meria, Megas Lakos beach
Megas Lakos Beach in Ano Meria, Syros

Syros has low mountains and low vegetation in general with its highest peak being Pyrgos, at 442 meters. From the hillsides of Ano Syros, the neighboring islands of Tinos, Mykonos, and Delos can be seen.  

Syros features 10 signposted trails marked by the local authorities as ’Paths of high cultural interest’. There are several more unmarked and equally beautiful to explore with the most demanding being the trail to the gorge of Schizomenes.

Best things to do in Syros Greece, ragged Diapori area
Diapori Syros

Another demanding but stunningly beautiful trail is on the northwest of Syros, where the terrain is rugged and barren at the Diapori area close to the north Syros Lighthouse.

Looking for accommodation in Syros? Check out here for rates and availability!

12. Visit the beautiful remote village of Ai Michalis

Best things to do in Syros Greece,  windmill
Syros island with windmill

Go to the small traditional village of Ai Michalis with imposing vistas and have lunch in one of the taverns for really traditional Greek food.

13. Hike to the Early Bronze Age Settlements

Best things to do in Syros Greece, Ancient Cemetery of Chalandriani
Ancient Cemetery of Chalandriani, Syros

Syros island has many ruins from the Cycladic Civilization – a Bronze Age culture (c. 3200–c. 1050 BC). Excavations have revealed the remains of fortified settlements in Kastri dating circa 2300-2200 BC and a cemetery in Chalandriani.

More than 600 tombs have been excavated dated between 2700-2400 BC all belonging to the Cycladic Civilization.

The two settlements are linked with a long and rough trail that is easy to find and is marked with red spray paint including arrows. If you wake up early you will watch the most stunning sunrise of your life.

**Other ancient sites in Syros include:

  • Ermoupolis: remains of an ancient wall and a theater north of the citadel at the hill where the Church Panagia Theotokos is
  • Vari: Roman tombs and ruins of a prehistoric settlement (4000-3000 BC)

14. Taste Syros Local Delicacies

Ancient Cemetery of Chalandriani, Greek coffee and loukoumi
Greek Coffee and Loukoumi

Syros offers a diverse culinary experience, showcasing fresh seafood, local cheeses, and traditional Greek dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to try Syros’ unique delicacies like

The most famous of the island’s local tastes is loukoumi — essentially the Greek version of Turkish delight and white-round scented nougat. They can be found in every bakery and pastry shop in Syros but also at the Greek coffee shops (Kafenio) served with Greek coffee.

Other local delicacies that you can taste on the island – in taverns or groceries are:

Halvadopita, kaparosalata (capers salad), ladopita (olive oil pie), louza (cured pork), and local cheeses: San Michali, sweet gruyere, haloumi and spicy Kopanisti.

Where to Stay in Syros Greece

Choosing where to stay in Syros depends on your priorities and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of the different areas to consider:


The capital of Syros, Ermoupolis, is a vibrant town with a rich history and culture. It’s a great choice if you want to be in the heart of the action, close to shops, restaurants, and nightlife. However, it can be more crowded and noisy than other parts of the island.

Syros Soul Luxury Suites (family-friendly) have a stunning location, right across from Syros main square, with beautifully decorated spacious rooms and a fantastic breakfast.

I loved Guesthouse Lila (mid-range, family-friendly) a beautifully decorated traditional guesthouse, very quiet but also very central in Ermoupolis.

Ano Syros

Ano Syros

This charming hilltop village offers stunning views of the island and the Aegean Sea. However, it’s important to note that there are fewer amenities and restaurants in Ano Syros compared to Ermoupolis and it is a killer for knees as it needs a lot of hiking up and down.

Elia Concept Apartments (self-catering, mid-range, family-friendly) is a lovely, well-equipped, unique traditional house with an indoor staircase and a magnificent view of Ermoupolis from the terrace!

Beach Resorts

Hotel Benois

Syros has several beach resorts, each with its unique character. Galissas is a popular choice for families, with a long sandy beach and shallow waters. Kini is another family-friendly option, offering a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful scenery.

Hotel Benois (mid-range, family-friendly, breakfast) in Galissas offers an outdoor pool, just 164 feet away from the sandy beach of Galissas with bright, spacious rooms.

Anemos and Almyra (budget, family-friendly) in Kini, in eastern Syros, is one of the most authentic and traditional hotels (it reminded me of my grandmother’s summer house) close to nature on the island.

Getting around Syros

There are public buses that will take you to beaches in Syros, starting from Ermoupolis but I recommend renting a car and driving around the island. I loved having the freedom to find hidden sites and stay as long as I wanted wherever I wanted.

How to Get to Syros Island

You can fly to Syros from Athens International Airport. The Airport Dimitrios Vikelas of Syros is only three km from Ermoupolis, with a daily connection to Athens.

Syros is well connected by ferries from Athens’ main port, Piraeus (the fastest ferry takes about 2,5 hours to reach Syros), or from the smaller Athens port of Lavrion.

Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner to secure your seat, especially if you travel during the summer.

What to Wear in Syros

This depends on the season you are visiting but anytime between May and October, essential things to have in Greece are:

When is Best to Go to Syros

Pink Flowers and bougainvillea on a GReek island
Syros Spring Basil, Bougainvillea and kitty

Syros island has been one of the most important industrial centers of the new Greek state – after the War of Independence in 1821 – and has still a thriving economy. That makes it a 4-seasons island as it is busy all year round with frequent ferry transfers.

If you are interested in summer vacation, then June to October in Syros will be quite warm. July and August are the busiest, hottest, and windiest months for the Cyclades.

A great time to go to Syros is on Easter, with magnificent Greek Orthodox and Catholic celebrations in April. The sea waters will be cold to swim in but hiking will be at its best as the island will be covered in wildflowers and the weather is simply perfect.

Easter in the Cyclades is very popular among Greeks so you better check for availability early on

Is Syros a good island for families?

Syros is a family-friendly island with several beaches suitable for young children, like Galissas and Kini. It also offers various family-oriented activities, including boat trips, water sports, and cultural exploration.

What is the nightlife like in Syros?

Ermoupolis offers the most vibrant nightlife on the island, with bars, clubs, and live music venues catering to various tastes. Other villages like Vari and Kini also have lively bars and restaurants, especially during peak season.

How expensive is Syros compared to other Greek islands?

Syros is generally considered slightly more expensive than some other Cycladic islands. However, compared to Santorini or Mykonos, it offers a more affordable option while still providing a charming and authentic Greek experience.

Plan My Trip to Greece

Do you need a custom travel itinerary or a transfer within Greece? Are you traveling solo, with your family or friends and need a tailor-made multi-day tour or a transfer?

If yes, please visit my dedicated Plan My Trip Page for a free itinerary!

Athens Airport to Piraeus Port

Bus X96 Peiraias Port to Athens Airport
Airport Bus
  • Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International Airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (€5.5, children <6 yo, free entrance), which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour – runs 24/7.
  • Metro: (€9) is easily found across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) going directly to Piraeus port. The average trip to Piraeus lasts 1 hour.
  • Taxis are available in front of the airport (around €40 to Athens, €55-60 to Piraeus (depending on the traffic in Kifisos), and take up to 3 or 4 people with small luggage)
  • Rent a car with Discover Cars for reliable, new cars at affordable prices
  • You don’t like driving but love hassle-free solutions? Book a Private transfer with an English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries, or anywhere else in Greece
  • Are you looking for domestic flights in Greece? Check out the official Aegean Airlines Website.

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About the author
Evgenia Mataragka
Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

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