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General info about Syros in Greece

Syros travel - vacation in Syros - information for Syros Greece

Syros-greece vacation  Syros holidays in greece  Syros - travel to greece  Syros packages for greece 

Syros - Greece vacations

Syros is the administrative capital of the Cyclades Islands, found at the centre of the island group, and an island that has not succumbed to the lure of mass tourism. Home to the city and port of Ermoupolis, many visit Syros only to change ferries, but there is much to do on this unexpected island.

The islandís history is different to that of the rest of the Cyclades, where the population was staunchly Roman Catholic until the Middle Ages as a result of being overtaken by the Franks in the 12th Century. The Turks brought the Orthodox religion to the island, and with it a new settlement, and a result of this a number of large, ornate churches of both faiths in the city. During the War of Independence, the island remained neutral and many refugees sought shelter there. All of this resulted in the large island city found there today, once the main port of Greece, and a naval, trading and commercial centre.

Entering Ermoupolis, there is the feeling of entering an amphitheatre, the city being built on the hills around the port. There are two distinct parts to the town, Ano Syros, the original Catholic settlement to the left of the port, with itís narrow, cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, and Vrodado, the Orthodox settlement to the right. The hill appears to spill down into the bay, like a white washed stationary wave coming into the sea.

Around the city, there is a lot to do, and the city caters for tourists without going over the top. The neoclassical buildings dotted around the city give it an austere feel, resplendent in their grandeur. The city also has a number of incredible churches, including the baroque St Georges Cathedral and the Capuchin Monastery of St Jean. For those wanting something a little different, the Agios Georgios Cemetery is a wonderful place to wander about, taking in the splendour of tombs similar to those in the great mausoleums of Europe.

The restaurants and bars are far less touristy when you make your way from the port, and there is many different cuisines to sample. The shopping is also good in Ermopoulis, where goods are often cheaper and more plentiful than on the more touristy islands. There are also supermarkets and market stalls for those wishing to self cater.

Around Syros there are a number of good beaches and resorts. Galissas, on the western side of the island is set in a pretty bay. Vari and Finikas are other beaches that offer good sandy strips with shade provided by tamarisk trees.

Thassos is the most northern of the Northern Aegean Islands, close to the city of Kavala on the northern mainland. Thickly forested, tourist-friendly and quieter than the other islands in the group, it is known as the Greek emerald isle. Itís a fantastic place to take in the mountain views, enjoy the sandy beaches and archaeological sites that are found in abundance. Unlike many other Greek Islands, it isnít over run by package tourism, so much of its charm has been retained.

The island has been populated since the Stone Age, and it was once a site for gold mining. Over the years it has been an important trading place, dealing in timber, marble, gold and wine, In more recent times Ďblack goldí, oil, has been found in the seas around the island.

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