Syros Greece: A Complete Travel Guide – The Family Edition [2022]

If you’re planning a family island hopping trip to the Greek islands, Syros should be on your bucket list. The stunning island is a mixture of traditional and modern Greek culture with fantastic quiet beaches, breathtaking scenery, delicious food, a gorgeous capital and ample places to explore. This Syros Greece travel guide will take you through the best things to do in Syros Greece, how to get there and how to get around, + where to stay in Syros to help you plan the perfect family trip.

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Why You Need to Visit Syros

Hermopoulis is the capital and largest town in the Cyclades, an architectural wonder, and a shopping hub for locals. Just above Ermoúpolis, you’ll find Ano Syros, a small village looking over Ermoúpolis Syros is a must-visit destination on any trip to the Cyclades. Head just out of Hermopoulis, and you’ll find stunning beaches – less discovered by tourists. The island is a year-round destination too!


Where is Syros Located?

Syros is a hidden gem in the northern Cyclades islands, near the islands of Tinos and Mykonos and not far from Serifos, Andros, Paros and Naxos. Its location in the Aegean sea means you can bask in warm, crystal clear waters and enjoy fantastic weather!

Syros Map


Weather in Syros Greece

Syros has a Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and warm, sunny summers. Temperatures range from 10.5 °C in January to 25 °C in July.

When is the Best Time to Visit Syros?

There are so many things to do in Syros that are not beaches that Syros is the perfect Greek island destination all year round. The best times to visit Syros are August to October and May to avoid the winds.

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The Greek Island of Syros with Kids

We visited Syros in July 2021 as part of our 2-month trip around the Cyclades islands when my daughter was 23 months. We stayed for four nights in the beach village of Vari before spending one night in Ermoúpolis and heading on to Tinos.

Syros is the perfect island for families. A circular bus route takes in all the main beaches in Syros, so you can easily beach hop with kids. Taxis are much cheaper than other islands in the Cyclades too! Vari was the ideal choice of destination.

There are plenty of accommodation options – mainly family-run close to the beach and provide cots for young children. The Hermes Hotel in Ermoúpolis was very accommodating – even providing a special duvet for my daughter to play with. We also had a fantastic view of Hermopoulis from our window.

The food in Syros, Greece is fantastic, and the prices are low. The people make families very welcome and often have highchairs for young children. We were even treated with chocolate lollies after our meal!


How do you get to Syros Island?

how to get to Syros, Ermopouli

Athens to Syros by Plane

Syros Island National Airport (JSY) is located just out of Ermoupoli. It has regular connections to Athens International airport to catch a connecting flight to many destinations worldwide. Six flights per week run from Athens to Syros with a journey duration of 35 minutes. From the airport, taxis go to and from the town centre.

View flight prices and availability for your dates here. You can also look at the other nearby airports in our post: Greek Islands with an Airport.


Ferry to Syros from Athens

Many services depart from Rafina Port in Athens each day to Syros, Greece. Rafina is a 24-minute drive from Athens Airport and a 48-minutes drive from Athens city centre. The ferry from Rafina to Hermopoulis takes 2 hours, 10 minutes.

Piraeus port can easily be reached on the Metro from Athens City Centre (30 minutes) or Athens Airport (1 hour). Ferries take 3 hours, 15 minutes. You can also travel from Piraeus Port to Syros.

Take a look at the best ferry deals, timetables and prices below:

Ferry to Syros from other Cycladic islands

Syros is a ferry hub for the Northern Cyclades. Ermopolis, the capital of Syros, is also the capital of the Cyclades and a major hub for the islands.

Many ferries run to the nearby islands in the Northern Cyclades. One of the significant routes connects Rafina Port in Athens via Tinos and Andros. Ferries going in the other direction go to Mykonos, and some carry on to the other islands in the Cyclades:

Naxos to Syros – 89km – 1 hour, 15 minutes to 3 hours

Paros to Syros – 52km – 1 hour, 30 minutes

Kynthos to Syros – 81km – 1 hour, 25 minutes-2 hours, 25 minutes

Tinos to Syros – 36km – 30-45 minutes

Andros to Syros – 117km – 2-3 hours

Mykonos to Syros – 43km – 30 minutes-1.5 hours – Read Our Mykonos to Syros Guide Here >>>

Santorini to Syros 190km – 3 hours, 40 minutes – 5 hours, 30 minutes

Sifnos to Syros – 148km – 3 hours, 20 minutes

Milos to Syros – 199km – 5 hours, 45 minutes – Find out how to get to Milos here.

Getting to Syros from the Dodocenese: Syros is connected to the Dodecanese islands via the Syros-Kalymnos ferry route, which runs 2-3 times per week.

Take a look at the best ferry deals, timetables and prices below:

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How do you get to Syros from the UK?

There are many options if you’re planning a trip to Syros from the UK. You can’t fly direct to Syros from the UK, but you can fly to Athens, Mykonos or Santorini and catch a ferry to the capital Hermopouli. You can also catch a connecting flight to Syros if you fly to Athens.

Fly to Mykonos and Ferry to Syros: Mykonos is the best airport to fly to if you’re travelling to Syros. Flights run to Mykonos from all over Europe, and the island is only a short ferry ride away from Mykonos. View our Mykonos to Syros transport guide here.

Fly to Athens and Ferry to Syros: Athens is one of the best airports to travel to in Greece, with the airport serving flights from all over the world. From Athens Airport, you can either catch the bus to Rafina port and catch a ferry to Syros or go on the Metro from Athens Airport to Piraeus port before boarding a slightly longer ferry to Syros.

Fly to Athens and Flight to Syros: If you’re already flying to Athens, a flight to Syros is a good choice. It’s easy to change onto a connecting flight at Athens airport, and you’ll reach Syros faster than by ferry.

Fly to Santorini and Ferry to Syros: This could be a good option if you find an extra cheap flight to Santorini. However, the ferry from Santorini to Syros is 3-5.5 hours.


Getting Around Syros

Syros Port is conveniently located in Ermopoli, the capital of the island and Cyclades group. Most places in Ermopoli are walkable from the port area.

Bus

One bus route serves the island, a circular route, stopping at the main resorts, coastal towns and villages. Once you leave the port, the bus station is opposite. Minibus services run to the hillside village of Ano Mera.

Ermopoli – Galissas – Finikas – Posidonia – Vari – Azomnilos

There is also a bus route to Kini.

Make sure you get on the right bus, or you will have to sit on the bus for the majority of the circular route before your stop.

There is room at the bottom of the bus for luggage. Ensure the driver knows you will be getting luggage off at your stop. If you can, take your things on the bus with you.

Taxi

There are many taxis in Syros, with fantastic prices compared to other islands in the Cyclades. Call a taxi to pick you up at the port, or try your luck getting one when you get there. You could also book a private transfer to pick you up at the port: view transfer prices and availability for your dates here.


Best Things to do in Syros Greece

Syros island, Greece

If you’re looking for the best Syros Greece things to do, there are lots of options! From exploring the beautiful capital – Hermopolis to exploring the stunning Syros Beaches and Syros villages.

Syros buildings, venetian
By Christos

#1 Visit Ano Syros

Ano Syros is a picturesque catholic village situated on a hill overlooking Ermopouli that returns to 1200AD.

Here, you can walk along the traditional Cycladic streets and climb the whitewashed steps. Enjoy the slower pace of life, eat in the traditional tavernas, take in the views, and see how many cats you can spot. Make sure you visit Saint George Catholic Cathedral.


#2 Kini Syros

Kini syros, syros with kids, syros greece

Kini Beach is one of the best sandy beaches in Syros. You won’t find the lines of sunloungers found on many other Greek islands. The laid-back beachside village is also one of the best places to stay in Syros. Kini is perfect for a low-key family holiday on a beautiful beach.


#3 Azolimnos Syros

Just 5km from Hermopolis, Azolimnos is the perfect beach getaway destination. Behind the beach, many local cafes serve fresh cocktails and traditional Greek dishes. Lots of the beach is shaded by trees, so you won’t have any trouble finding shade. If you’re looking for a full beach day destination, Azolmnos is not the best choice; it’s better for just a few hours at the beach. For a beach day, head to Vari, Kini or Galissas.


#4 Galissas Beach

Galissas Syros is one of many beaches in Greece that have won a blue flag award for cleanliness and facilities. The vast stretch of sand is perfect for a family day out. Behind the beach, you’ll find many souvenir shops, tavernas and takeaways, including some of the cheapest Gyros takeaways in Greece! Galissas is also one of the best places to stay in Syros, with many guesthouses and hotels lining the beach.

Note: If you’re visiting Galissas on a day trip, make sure you look at the wind forecast. We didn’t, and we ended up leaving because of the strong winds! The wind tends to blow at one side of the island each day during July and August, so make sure you choose your beach wisely!


#5 Vari Beach

vari beach

Vari is one of the most popular beaches in Syros. This is where we based ourselves during our time on the island. The proximity to Ermopouli and a good bus route linking Vari with other beachside villages makes Vari the perfect destination. You’ll find one of the best restaurants in Greece right on the beach. There are also sunbeds to rent and a beach bar.

We stayed at the Syros Holidays hotel, which also has a pool – all just steps away from the beach!


#6 Finikas Syros

The seaside resort of Finikas has a small beach, backed by a line of tavernas selling traditional Greek food. There are also free parasols available on the beach but get there early if you want one. The locals tend to arrive early too. Note that a small wall behind the beach separates Finikas from the road. If you have young kids or toddlers, it’s best to give this beach a miss or use it for a quick swim stop.


#7 Eat Your Way Through the World-Class Restaurants

Syros is one of Greece’s hidden foodie destinations away from the tourist trail. You’ll find amazingly priced restaurants, traditional tavernas and amazing Gyros wherever you go.

Head to Axhladi Restaurant in Vari for a scenic meal made with local ingredients by a fantastic chef. Ano Syros also has some fantastic tavernas!

Along the waterfront in Hermopoulis, there are lots of food options. Sip a freshly made cold juice or dine on freshly made pasta, pizza and moussaka.

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#8 Explore the Many Churches

syros church
Sint Nicolas Cathedral (By Christos)

The stunning churches in Syros are a must-visit. See how many you can find when walking around the capital or spend the day driving around the different churches on the island. The church of Metamorphosis, the first church of Ermoupolis, is one of the best churches in Syros to visit. The church is open to the public, with marble columns, beautiful icons, and impressive wood carving work.


#9 Asteria Beach

Asteria Beach is not a beach but a platform equipped with free umbrellas in Hermopoulis, perfect for a dip after exploring the city. This is not recommended for younger kids because the sea is very deep once you’re off the platform.


#10 Renaissance Cathedral of St George

High up in Ano Syros, the Cathedral of St George is a must-visit on Syros trip. It’s the cathedral of the roman catholic Diocese of Syros and Milos. Visiting the cathedral, you can see the icon of Saint George and the icon of the Mother of God, “Panagias tis Elpidas”.


Top Things to do in Ermoupoli Syros

Hermopolis is the capital of the Cyclades island group and home to one of the best posts in the whole of the Mediterranean. The architecture in Syros, Greece is a world away from the other Cyclades islands! Explore the elegant 19th-century buildings that will remind you of not only Greece but Italy and Turkey too.


#11 Visit the Town Hall and Platea Miaouli Square

syros town, syros children

Miaouli square is one of the best free things to do in Syros. The square is a vast open space, perfect for kids to let off some steam. There are many benches where you can watch the world buy or buy an ice cream or gyros from one of the fantastic places nearby. There are also plenty of birds to spot too! The town hall is one of Greece’s most beautiful town halls and well worth a look.


#12 The Industrial Museum

The Industrial Museum will take you through the history of Syros island. The Museum hosts digital audio and visual archives with testimonies from former workers, maps and plans, a three-dimensional representation of industrial buildings and artefacts from the wreck of the Patrice steamship.

There is also a collection of tools, equipment and machinery from the Golden industrial era, from loukoumi workshops, to textile, tanning, printing, machinist’s craftsmanship and glass workshops.


#13 The Vaporia Quarter

things to do syros, syros thiings to do, vaporia quarter, cyclades

Lined with stunning Venetian mansions, the Vaporia Quarter is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Cyclades. As well as exploring, you can see the world-renowned seafront restaurant and jump into the water like the locals.=


#14 Cinema Syros (Apollo Theatre)

The Theatre of Appolon is one of the most important attractions in Syros Town. The Apollon theatre hosts some of the most important cultural events, operas and notable theatrical works from local and international theatrical troupes. Make sure you search for upcoming events before your trip to Syros and reserve tickets.


Where to Stay in Syros: The Best Syros Hotels

Choosing the best area to stay in Syros for families is tough. If you want a beach holiday, head to the area of Vari or Gallissas. For a holiday in the town with trips visiting beaches and villages across the island + day trips, stay in Ermopoulis. We stayed in Ermopoulis and thought it was better, although good bus routes connect the main towns and villages efficiently.


The Hermes Hotel (Syros Town)

things to do in syros island, greece sea, coast

The Hermes Hotel is by far the best in Syros. The rooms either overlook the entire Syros Port area or have sea views. Step out of the hotel, and you’ll be right in the centre of Hermopolis.


Syros Holidays (Vari)

Syros Holidays is the perfect place for a summer holiday with the family. It’s also one of the only hotels in Syros with a pool, and it’s just stepping away from Vari Beach – the perfect location for families to enjoy the sun. We stayed here for three nights when we first arrived in Syros.


Day Trips from Syros

Mykonos is very close to some of the other Cyclades islands and perfect for a day trip. Mykonos and Tinos are the best options for a day trip from Syros.


A Day Trip from Syros to Mykonos

Distance: 43km

Duration: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours

Mykonos is one of the best day trips from Syros. Syros is one of the closest islands to Mykonos, and Mykonos is a must-visit island in Greece. The two islands are worlds apart. Mykonos has famous blue roofs, whitewashed houses and beautiful Cycladic-style cobbled streets. You’ll be able to shop in designer boutiques and take in the views of Mykonos Town.

Visit the famous windmills of Mykonos, and you may even see Pedro the Pelican – the mascot of Mykonos.

Mykonos has some of the best beaches in Greece. Head to Kavouraki beach for a fun-filled family day out, or visit Elia Beach for the whitest sand and most transparent waters on the island.

Mykonos is a small island, so it’s easy to explore in a day. Many tours are only 2-4 hours, and private tours can also be arranged. This means you can book a quick tour of Mykonos with kids, see the best viewpoints, and learn about the history before your shopping and beach time!

mykonos, venetian quarter, greece-

A Day Trip from Syros to Tinos

Distance: 18 Miles

Duration: 30-45 minutes

tinos to syros, tinos town

The Greek island of Tinos is one of the most unique islands in the Cyclades. One of the main sights is the Greek Orthodox Church of Panagia XXX, the epicentre of religious tourism in the Cyclades. Tinos also has many stunning villages, bustling squares, fantastic food and a laid back atmosphere.

In the North of Tinos, you’ll find x, one of the best beaches in Tinos for families and perfect for a 1/2 beach day paired with a meal at one of the fantastic tavernas.



Plan Your Trip to Syros

View flight prices and availability for your dates here. You can also look at the other nearby airports in our post: Greek Islands with an Airport.

View places to stay in Syros


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