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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Syros with other popular and interesting places of Greece, for example: Andros, Polychrono, Patmos, Hersonissos, Tingaki, Dodecanese, Kalavryta, Paleokastritsa, Monemvasia, Sidari, Thasos, Katerini, Kos, Laganas, Kardamaina, Lindos, Arkadia, Sparta, Sithonia, Cyclades, Chaniotis, Ionian Islands, Pythagoreio, Ialysos, Nafplio, Afytos, Delphi, Hydra, Pefkochori, Mykonos, Patras, Kastoria, Lesbos, Athens, Kefalos, Corinth, Kavos, Naxos, Pefkos, Samos, Meteora, Peloponnese, Lemnos, Aegina, Chania, Mount Athos, Kokkari, Neos Marmaras, Cephalonia, Karpathos, Afantou, Kalamata, Thessaloniki, Kassandra, Santorini, Rethymno, Lefkada, Kriopigi, Samothrace, Kalymnos, Spetses, Mytilene, Poros, Dassia, Faliraki, Rhodes, Marathokampos, Zakynthos, Sporades, Crete, Halkidiki, Corfu, Syros, Parga, Heraklion, Loutraki, Acharavi, Chios, Mithymna, etc.
How to Book a Hotel on Syros
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Hotels of Syros
A hotel on Syros is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Syros hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Syros are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Syros hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Syros hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Syros have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels on Syros
An upscale full service hotel facility on Syros that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Syros hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels on Syros
Full service Syros hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels on Syros
Boutique hotels of Syros are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Syros boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Syros may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels on Syros
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Syros travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Syros focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels on Syros
Small to medium-sized Syros hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Syros traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Syros hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs on Syros
A bed and breakfast on Syros is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Syros bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Syros B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels on Syros
Syros hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Syros hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Syros
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Syros hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Syros lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs on Syros
Syros timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Syros often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Syros on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels on Syros
A Syros motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Syros for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Syros motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Syros Περιφερειακή ενότητα Σύρου
Ermoupoli and Ano Syros
Syros within the South Aegean
Coordinates: / 37.450; 24.900 / 37.450; 24.900
101.9 km (39.3 sq mi)
210/km (550/sq mi)
Syros (/ˈsaɪrɒs, -roʊs/; Greek: Σύρος), or Siros or Syra is a Greek island in the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea. It is located 78 nautical miles (144 km) south-east of Athens. The area of the island is 83.6 km (32 sq mi) and it has 21,507 inhabitants (2011 census).
The largest towns are Ermoupoli, Ano Syros, and Vari (el). Ermoupoli is the capital of the island and of the Cyclades. It has always been a significant port town, and during the 19th century it was even more significant than Piraeus. Other villages are Galissas, Foinikas, Pagos, Manna, Kini and Poseidonia.
Syros (Greek: ΣΥΡΟΣ) also refers to USS LST-325, which is an American made World War II-era tank landing ship that was sent to Greece on 1 September 1964, as part of the grant-in-aid program. She served in the Hellenic Navy as RHS Syros (L-144) from 1964 to 1999. It is now decommissioned and docked in Evansville, Indiana.
Main article: Ermoupoli
The port of Ermoupoli
Ermoupoli (Greek: Ερμούπολη) stands on a naturally amphitheatrical site, with neo-classical buildings, old mansions and white houses cascading down to the harbour. The City Hall, where Miaoulis Square lies ringed with cafes and with seating areas under palm trees. The "City of Hermes" has numerous churches, including Metamorphosis, Koimisis, St. Demetrius, Three Hierarchs, Anastasis, Evangelistria and St. Nicolas. The Archaeological Museum has many finds and the Municipal Library contains numerous editions. The quarter of the town known as Vaporia is where the sea captains lived. Along its narrow streets, stand numerous neo-classical mansions.
Syros: Ano Syros
Main article: Ano Syros
View from Ano Syros
Ano Syros is the second town of Syros and was built by the Venetians at the beginning of the 13th century on the hill of San Giorgio, north-west of Hermoupolis. Ano Syros maintains a medieval atmosphere. Innumerable steps between narrow streets and houses with coloured doors lead to the top of the town. The medieval settlement of Ano Syros is accessible by car; the town is served mostly by marble steps. The distance from the harbour up to the main entry point of the town is approximately 1000 metres. The Catholic cathedral of Saint George dominates Ano Syros. The cathedral church was constructed during the 13th century. From the cathedral visitors have a panoramic view of the neighbouring islands of Tinos, Delos, Mykonos, Paros, Andros and Naxos.
Syros: Kastri culture
The history of settlement on Syros goes back at least 5,000 years, to the Early Bronze Age of the Cycladic civilization. This is when the hill-top settlement of Kastri (el; la) began. Archaeologists describe Early Cycladic III (ECIII) culture as Kastri culture.
Kastri, dated by archaeologists to 2800-2300 BC, was one of the earliest settlements in Greece that were protected by stone walls with rounded bastions. Also the cemetery of Chalandriani is associated with Kastri. Inside the fortification, the houses shared party walls and were packed close together. It is estimated that the fortified town was home to up to 300 people.
The site was first discovered and excavated in 1898 by Christos Tsountas, the "father of Cycladic research". Kastri had some of the earliest metalwork in the region, and also some of the earliest use of potter's wheel.
A bust of Pherecydes
Throughout history, the island was knowns as Syra, then Syros or Siros. In later times, it appears to have been inhabited by the Phoenicians. In the Odyssey, Syros was the country of the swineherd Eumaeus who described it at length (Odyssey, XV, 403 sq.).
The island was also the home of the philosopher Pherecydes, the teacher of Pythagoras. It possessed two leading cities, Syros (now the modern Ermoupoli) and another city on the western coast where stands to-day Galissas.
The island did not play an important role during antiquity nor the early Christian years, it was not even a diocese at a time when even the smallest island possessed its bishop. During Roman times the capital of Syros was situated in the area of contemporary Ermoupoli.
Syros: Middle Ages
Inside the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Ermoupolis, patron saint of Syros.
Anastaseos church in Vrodado.
At the end of ancient times, barbarian raids and piracy, which affected the Aegean for many centuries, led Syros to decline. The island, along with the other Cyclades, was devastated several times during the Middle Ages by raiders from different directions including Sicilians, Arabs, Turks, and Venetians.
In the Byzantine years Syros constituted part of the Theme of the Aegean Sea, along with the rest of the Cycladic islands. After the overthrow of Byzantium in the Fourth Crusade by the Venetians and Franks in 1204, the island was definitively conquered by the Venetians under the leadership of Marco Sanudo. As part of the Duchy of the Archipelago, Syros would remain under Venetian rule until 1522.
It was at this time that Ano Syros was founded. During the Latin period, the majority of the local community were Roman Catholics, but maintained the Greek language. During the reign of almost three and a half centuries of the Duchy of the Archipelago, Syros had a singular feudal regime.
Syros: Ottoman Era
Further information: Ottoman Greece
Saint George's Cathedral (Roman Catholic)
Catholic Church of Saint John (1640), Ano Syros
By the 16th century, the Ottoman fleet became dominant in the Aegean and the Duchy fell apart. In 1522 the corsair Barbarossa took possession of the island, which would be known as "Sire" during Ottoman rule. However, negotiations of the local authorities with the Ottomans gave the Cyclades substantial privileges, such as the reduction of taxes and religious freedom.
At the same time, following an agreement of France and the Holy See with the Ottoman authorities, the Catholics of the island came under the protection of France and Rome.
The Roman Catholic diocese of Syros was a Latin diocese, suffragan of Naxos. The Venetians had established there a Latin bishopric which was subject to the Latin Archbishopric of Athens until 1525. From the time of the island's occupation by the Turks in the 16th century, the Greeks established an Orthodox metropolitan on Syros: Joseph is the earliest known, along with Symeon who died in 1594 and Ignatius in 1596. The island became for the most part Catholic.
The list of titular bishops may be found in Le Quien and in Eubel. The most celebrated among them is John Andrew Carga, whom the Turks strangled in 1617 because he refused to convert to Islam and because he was helping the Greek revolutionaries hiding on the island.
After the second half of the 17th century, a period of economic recovery of the Aegean began, climaxing during the transition from the 18th to the 19th century. The special regime of the islands allowed the development of local self-government. The decline of piracy since the beginning of the 19th century led to the gradual liberation of the sea routes of the Eastern Mediterranean
Syros: In Independent Greece
Syros: Greek War of Independence
Further information: Greek War of Independence
Syros in 1836
Due to its crucial geographical position, Syros became known as a maritime way-point. Moreover, the special social, religious and institutional conditions prevailing on the island led Syriots to neutrality at the beginning of the Greek Revolution in 1821, and they did not take part in the Greek revolt. As a result, Syros became a secure shelter during the Revolution, attracting many Greek refugees from Asia Minor, Chios, Spetses, Psara, Aivali, Smyrna, Kydonia, Kassos and other places.
Syros: 19th century
Ermoupolis City Hall, designed by Ernst Ziller, with the statue of Andreas Miaoulis at Miaoulis Square (work of Georgios Bonanos).
After 1829 it was incorporated in the newly founded Hellenic kingdom. The island returned to peace and tranquility, Syros became known as a cross-road in the Aegean and as an international commercial center linking Western Europe and the Mediterranean sea to the East. The construction of the first buildings began in 1822, and in 1824 the first Orthodox Church Metamorphosis and the largest Greek sanatorium was constructed.
Apollo Theatre ceiling
Postcard of Syros, 1904.
Eleftheriou Venizelou street, Ermoupolis
With the foundation of the Greek state, the Catholic population of the island was hellenized and changed their Latin family names to Greek ones, (e.g. the family name Vuccino to Voutsinos, Russo to Roussos, Vacondio to Vakondios, Daleggio to Dalezios, Salsa to Salsapoulos, Freri to Freris just to mention a few).
However, there was no problem of integration between the old residents of Syros, mostly Roman Catholics and the newly arrived refugees, mostly Greek Orthodox. Because of the Venetian domination from the Middle Ages and onwards, the islanders had been exclusively Roman Catholic. However, due to immigration from other islands, Catholics now constitute some 47% of the population. The majority of the population are Greek Orthodox. They live peacefully side by side. Intermarriage between Churches is very common in Syros.
During 1831 Syros played a prominent role in the elaboration of the new Greek Constitution. Under Ioannis Kapodistrias (Giovanni Capo D'Istria), the first Governor of the new state, the population of Ermoupolis had reached 13,805 residents and the city had evolved into a seat of government.
It had a Commercial Court of Law, a post office (one of the first in Greece), insurance brokerages, the first public school, a branch of the National Bank of Greece, art gallery, museum, library, a social club for the elite society etc. However, in 1854 cholera and a series of other epidemics unfortunately plunged Syros into mourning. A number of charitable institutions for public health and social services were established during this period: orphanages, poorhouses and a mental hospital.
Newcomers, mainly mariners and tradesmen, gave the island a new dynamic, which along with its demographic and economic development, turned it into an administrative and cultural centre. Newcomers flocked to the island and founded the town of Ermoupoli, which rapidly became the leading port of Greece.
Between 1822 and 1865, Ermoupoli was rebuilt in a Neoclassical style, merging Greek Classicism with elements of the Renaissance. Many landmarks such as the City Hall (designed by the famous German architect Ernst Ziller), the Apollo Theatre by the Italian architect Pietro Campo (a miniature version of the La Scala in Milano), the main Library, the General Hospital of Syros (Vardakeio-Proio), Miaoulis square and other buildings were built during that period of time.
The European architects (mainly Germans and Italians) and also Greeks who participated in the design and planning of Ermoupolis respected the classical and ancient Greek architecture and harmonized it with the romanticism of the West. Ermoupoli has a high density of neoclassical architecture. The prosperity of Syros was connected with the development of social and cultural life. The evolutionary cycle was completed with the creation of the first industrial units during the decade of 1860–70.
Most public buildings, churches, schools, stadiums and many mansions were built in the same elegant and neoclassical style, making Ermoupoli at the time a very modern city with a unique character. As a result, Syros changed almost overnight from a rather quiet island into a vigorous centre of crafts, industry and production. Also, due to its large port of Ermoupoli, it turned into a major centre for ship building and refitting. Neorion was the first shipyard of Greece. To this very day, it remains a place where many ships are serviced and refitted.
Since 1830 the commerce of fabrics, silk, ship building, leather and iron developed on Syros and at the same time a powerful banking system was created. The tremendous growth and development of Ermoupolis continued and until 1860 Syros was the most important commercial harbour in Greece. Together with commerce and ship building, construction and public works were also developed. The Greek Steamship Company was founded in 1856.
A period of decline then followed, as sailing gave way to steam, the importance of the geographical situation of the island was reduced and Piraeus harbour finally took the predominant position in Greece - with the competition of Patras also reducing Syros' commercial importance.
Syros: 20th century
Beginning at the end of the 19th century and for several decades, a temporary economic recovery took place, due to the development of the textile industry ("Foustanos-Karellas-Velissaropoulos & Co").
The Second World War reduced Syros' economic development, as was the case for every economic centre in Greece. However, already since the 1980s, along with the generalized economic recovery and the rise of the living standards in Greece, elements of improvement appeared with tourism as its central axis. At the same time, the re-opening of the Neorion shipyards, as well as a number of other activities, indicate that Syros is on an upward trend.
Ermoupoli today has 7 elementary schools, 2 junior high schools, 2 high schools, 2 technical schools and the Aegean University with a department of Fine Arts and system design, with a proposed future addition in Applied Arts and Visual Arts. The Syros Island National Airport, the Aegean casino, the frequent passenger boat transportation system and all other modern amenities help to attract many domestic and foreign tourists to the island all year round.
Syros also has a British cemetery where various people are buried, including many seamen and servicemen who died in the Cyclades region, particularly during the Second World War. The numerous consulates of countries such as France, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries bear witness to the connection of Syros with the wider European scene.
View of the Neorion shipyards.
Syros is a separate regional unit of the South Aegean region. The only municipality of the regional unit is Syros-Ermoupoli. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Syros was created out of part of the former Cyclades Prefecture. At the same reform, the municipality Syros-Ermoupoli was created out of the 3 former municipalities:
The municipality also includes the uninhabited island Gyaros and several other islets. The total area of the municipality is 101.90 km (39 sq mi).
The province of Syros (Greek: Επαρχία Σύρου) was one of the provinces of the Cyclades Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current regional units Syros and Mykonos. It was abolished in 2006.
As in the rest of Greece, Syros has Eastern Orthodox churches. Metamorphosis is the most important Orthodox church on the island, Kimisis tis Theotokou is also significant and noted for the fact that it hosts a masterpiece by painter El Greco. There is also an equal number of Roman Catholic churches on the island and some entirely Catholic villages; thus, it is one of the most significant places for Roman Catholicism in Greece. Syros is one of a few places where Catholics and Orthodox share a common date for Easter, which in Syros' case, is the Orthodox date.
The Catholic diocese numbers 9000 worshippers, 21 secular priests and 8 regulars, 7 parishes, 7 churches with a resident priest, 3 without a priest, and 56 chapels. The Capuchins and Jesuits each have an establishment; the Sisters of Charity, 2 houses, one of which is a hospital; the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition have a boarding school and St George, a De La Salle Public School. There is also a single church of the Catholic Byzantine rite, not part of the diocese but subject to the Byzantine Exarchate of Greece.
Local specialities of the island include:
Kaparosalata (salad with capers)
Maintanosalata (salad with parsley)
San Michali cheese
Foinikas Syros V.C.
Aris Syros, basketball/volleyball
Hellas Syros, football
Athletic Club Syros, basketball/football
15th - 19th Sep 2016 30th World Underwater Spearfishing Championship
Main article: Syros Island National Airport
Syros: Notable residents
Eumaeus, character in the Odyssey
Pherecydes (c. 600-550 BC), philosopher
Demetrius Vikelas (1835–1908), writer and the first president of the International Olympic Committee
Emmanuel Roidis (1836–1904), writer and journalist
Giorgos Souris (1853-1919), satirical poet
Stamata Revithi (1866-?), the first woman to compete in the Olympic Games and run the Marathon
Antonio Gregorio Vuccino (Voutsinos) A.A. (1891–1968), Archbishop of Corfu, Zante and Cefalonia, Greece
Markos Vamvakaris (1905–1972) musician
Capt. John T. Vatis (1919-2002) Shipowner, international yacht racer
Anastassios "Tassi" Vatis (1921-2000) Indy Racecar team owner, Shipowner
Sir Richard Musgrave, Bt 1922-2000
Manos Eleftheriou, lyricist
Olga Broumas (1949-), poet and translator
Stelios Mainas (1957-), actor
Statue of Andreas Miaoulis
View from Ano Syros
Ermoupoli market shop
A statue at Kini beach
Syros: See also
List of islands of Greece
Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
http://www.turkcebilgi.com/ege_adalar%C4%B1/ansiklopedi Ege Adaları
Le Quien, op. cit., II, 233
Ampelas, Histoire de Syros, 411
Miklosich and Mueller, "Acta patriarchatus constantinopolitani", V, 461
Ricaut, "Histoire de l'estat présent de l"Eglise grecque", 361; Hilaire de Barenton, "La France Catholique en Orient", 171-173
Oriens christianus, III, 865-868
Hierarchia catholica medii aevi, I, 492; II, 267; III, 324
Pétridès in "Revue de l'Orient chrétien", V, 407-422
"Kallikratis reform law text" (PDF).
"Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece.
"Detailed census results 1991" (PDF).(39 MB)(Greek)(French)
"Syros Churches: Information about the churches of Syros Greece, Cyclades". Greeka.com. 20 November 2007.
"Easter: A date with God". The Economist. April 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-23. Only in a handful of places do Easter celebrants alter their own arrangements to take account of their neighbours. Finland’s Orthodox Christians mark Easter on the Western date. And on the Greek island of Syros, a Papist stronghold, Catholics and Orthodox alike march to Orthodox time. The spectacular public commemorations, involving flower-strewn funeral biers on Good Friday and fireworks on Saturday night, bring the islanders together, rather than highlighting division.
proaction Kft. "30th World Underwater Spearfishing Championship". Cmas.org.
Syros: External links
Official website of Municipality of Áno Sýros (Greek)
Official website of Municipality of Ermoúpoli (English)(Greek)
University of the Aegean in Ermoúpoli (English)(Greek)
Department of Product and Systems design from University of the Aegean
Information about Syros from syros-online.com (German)
Syros The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation
Festival of the Aegean (Official website of the music festival that has been held on the island since 2005.)
Complete travel guide for Syros island (English)(Greek)
Islands of the Cyclades
Küçük Tavşan Adası
Agios Georgios Skopelou
Administrative division of the Southern Aegean Region
Regional unit of Andros
Regional unit of Kalymnos
Regional unit of Karpathos
Regional unit of Kea-Kythnos
Regional unit of Kos
Regional unit of Milos
Regional unit of Mykonos
Regional unit of Naxos
Naxos and Lesser Cyclades
Regional unit of Paros
Regional unit of Rhodes
Regional unit of Syros
Regional unit of Thira
Regional unit of Tinos
Subdivisions of the municipality of Syros-Ermoupoli
Municipal unit of Ano Syros
Municipal unit of Ermoupoli
Municipal unit of Poseidonia
Former provinces of Greece
Grouped by region and prefecture
East and West Attica
East Macedonia and Thrace
Note: not all prefectures were subdivided into provinces.
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