The northern part of Siros is mountainous and the island stands
out in general for the variety of the landscape in its
hinterland, where hills alternate with low-lying farming areas.
The coastline is indented with inlets of all sizes between
capes. There are two large bays, of Ermoupoli to the east and
Finikas to the west. Archaeological excavations have shown that
Siros was inhabited in Neolithic times. Digs at Kastri and
Halandriani have revealed a prehistoric acropolis, a settlement
and a burial ground, and yielded artifacts of the Early Cycladic
Ermoupoli, “Queen of the Cyclades”, is the capital and main
harbour of Siros. It is also without doubt the capital of all
the Cyclades. Ermoupoli stands on a naturally amphitheatrical
site, with neo-classical buildings, old mansions and white
houses in the island style cascading down to the harbour. The
centre of the town, where Miaouli Square stands ringed with
cafes, has a grandeur all its own.
Among the most important buildings are the Town Hall (to plans
by Ziller) and the Apollo Municipal Theatre, which is a copy in
miniature of La Scala, Milan. There is also a statue of Admiral
Miaoulis. Ermoupoli has numerous magnificent churches, the most
interesting of which are those dedicated to the Transfiguration,
the Dormition of Our Lady, St Demetrius, the Three Hierarchs,
and St Nicholas.
The Archaeological Museum has a collection of notable finds, and
the Municipal Library contains numerous interesting and rare
editions. The quarter of the town known as Vaporia, where the
sea-captains lived, is of special interest. Along its narrow
streets stand neo-classical mansions. Ano Siros (Upper Siros),
with its walls, narrow lanes and arches, has kept much of its
medieval character. The steep streets and countless steps lend
the town the charm of a bygone age.
At the very top of the town is the Catholic Cathedral of St
George, next to which stands the Centre for Historical Studies.
Not far below are the monasteries of the Jesuits and Capucins.
In the centre of the town is the Town Hall, with the Historical
Archives of the Municipality of Ano Siros, and the Museum
devoted to the popular composer Markos Vamvakaris, revered as
one of the masters of Greek music. Various folklore events take
place in Ano Siros, generally during the summer. On the
north-east side of the island are Halandriani and Kastri hill,
where important prehistoric finds have been made.
The beaches of north-west Siros are difficult to reach. Among
places of interest here is Gramata, where inscriptions dating
from the Roman and Byzantine periods are to be found carved on
the rocks. The southern and western parts of Syros are the most
densely-inhabited. The best beaches are also here, including
Galissas, a fine, large resort with a long sandy beach;
Possidonia or Delagratsia, a coastal area with a good beach at
Angathopes and neo-classical houses of great architectural
interest; Vari, with an attractive beach, Finikas bay, Kim and
There are more good swimming beaches at Kimata, Aghios Nikolaos,
Ermoupoli, Ambela, Delfini and Ahladi. Siros is well-supplied
with tourist amenities and its natural beauties and interesting
monuments make it an ideal holiday destination. The ease of
availability of products and services give the island an
advantage over its more isolated neighbours.