Poseidonia & Chroussa
Poseidonia or Delagratsia: It was named after Poseidon, being a place of worship to the god of the sea, storms and earthquakes. During the Venetian occupation it was given the name Delagratsia, from the catholic church Madonna della Gratsia. Together with Finikas they are the oldest settlements of Syros. In the middle of the 19th century, the village was full of pine trees and became the busiest resort of the Syrians -in fact in 1880 the people of Ermoupolis planned to connect it by rail with the city!
The imposing neoclassical villas of Poseidonia, built mainly between 1850-1880 amongst lash gardens, followed the neoclassical Romantic architecture. Many are fully renovated, others are abandoned, but still they remain the most impressive element of the coastal settlement. The multicolored facades were made of porcelain and Maltese slabs that are said to have been brought from Malta. The blue painted church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (1876), is surrounded by a courtyard with busts and an external bell tower. You will have the opportunity to see the interior of one of the most emblematic villas, built in 1916 for Tsiropinas, mayor of Ermoupolis. A bourgeois country mansion nowadays housing the town hall and a cultural complex. (Open Monday-Sunday 10:30-13:30 & 19:00-22:00). Other villas to see are of Valmas, featuring a red tower, of Ladopoulos, of Georgiadis built in a tower house style. You can also visit the Aristocrats’ Club housing also one of the oldest tennis courts in Greece. Poseidonia is in the SW of the island, in the gulf of Finikas. For swimming you will go to the nearby beaches of Agathopes and Komito where there are beach bars and restaurants. It is worth staying until sunset when the sun sets behind the islets of Strongylo and Schinonisi. It is about 15 km away from Ermoupolis.
Chroussa: The distinct character and beauty of this village will unfold only if you explore it on foot. Amongst vegetation and palm trees, usually surrounded by high walls to ensure their privacy, wealthy Syrians built their summer mansions in Chroussa during the 19th century. They featured kiosks, wells, tanks and multi-level gardens. It is worth seeing the villa of mayor Papadakis (1862).. Other villas are those of Koutsodontis (1917) and Stamatios Proios. There are two churches: the Birthday of the Virgin (1854, single-aisled basilica) and St. Spyridon. Chrousa is about 10 km away from the city.
Admirable is the Vafiadakis estate at Chroussa (today uninhabited, you can enter from various spots). It had a park, troughs, pebbles, a dovecote with a gable and stables. In the estate there is a statue of D. Vafiadakis himself.
Kini: A popular seaside settlement featuring a fishing port, lined with beach bars and restaurants. Following the route through the mountains from Ermoupolis to Kini (the one passing by the wind turbine) you will enjoy impressive panoramic views. Above Kini is Captain’s hotel. It is 8.5 klm. away from Ermoupolis.
Episkopeio (Diocese). The proximity to the city, the abundance of water and greenery, ensured an ideal spot for locals to build holiday homes. Perched at the slopes of a hill, it is crowned with Prophet Elias church (1845) with the iconostasis of 1907-8. In the settlement there are several admirable villas, such as of Kouloukoundis and Mavrogordatos-Petritsi, as well as the summer house of Vottaros. It is about 5 km. away from the city.
Finikas: Tourist resort very popular and crowded during summer. Traces of settlements from the classical and Roman eras have been found in this area. It is 14 klm. away from Ermoupolis.
Galissas: This old village is nowadays the most developed seaside tourist settlement in Syros, featuring hotels, cafes, beach bars, restaurants. On the hill of Agia Pakou, between Galissas and the beach of Armeos, there was a settlement of the archaic and classical era. Traces of a sanctuary dedicated to the godess Epicoos are still preserved. It is 12 klm. away from the city.
Talanta: They are built on a small hill with villas and farmhouses. In the center of the settlement, you will see the Hermitage of the Jesuit monastery and the monastery of Agios Ioannis the Forerunner. It is 4 klm. away from the city.
Discover Ano Meria
From Ano Syros take the road to the north to get to Epano Meria (Upper Part), the most unexplored side of the island –considered by many inhabitants as the true “soul of Syros”. It passes by the settlements of Finikia, Mytakas, Kyperoussa, San Michalis, Kambos, Syriga.
You will find yourself among arid, barren landscapes, typical of the Cyclades, and from the highest points you will enjoy beautiful vistas to the Aegean Sea.
Finikia is an old resort of Ano Syros and has several agricultural facilities. The rural settlement of Mytakas with its whitewashed houses, is built on a high mountain ridge. From there the road leads to Senero featuring wells and orchards, Agios Panteleimonas and Papouri, built next to a stream. A path from there leads to Aetos (Eagle) beach (1 hour and 30′).
You may also go to the picture-perfect Northern beaches by boat.
Other villages that you will see as you drive around are Kyperousa with the characteristic Cycladic dry stones (man-made structures of stone to preserve soil for cultivation) and then Rihopo. To the right of Kyperousa there is the so-called cave of philosopher Ferekidis.
Halandriani extends on a plateau scattered with farmhouses, surrounded by arable land -which is why it was inhabited from the prehistoric times (3rd millennium BC). Opposite the settlement is Kastri with a citadel and ruined turrets.
It is worth visiting San Michalis. In the village there are taverns where you will sample the rare and famous homonyms cheese. The area was inhabited from the Early Cycladic period, in the classical and the Hellenistic times. The beautiful path starting from the parking will lead you into the small village and you will end up at the country church next to a traditional threshing floor. The view from there to the barren landscape and the shores of Grammata (Letters) is breathtaking.
After San Michalis you may drive to Kambos, the northernmost settlement of Syros, at the end of the road. Two paths start from there -one leading west to the sandy/pebbly Lia beach (30-50′) and the other descending northwest to Grammata featuring Gria Spilia (Old Cave) beach, with crystal clear green-blue waters. It is an impressive cove hidden among the mountains, famous as a safe haven since antiquity. Inscriptions on the rocks at the west side of the bay, are said to be dating from the classical to the early Byzantine years. They come from rescued castaways thanking the gods. A sanctuary of Asclepius had been built nearby, in Agios Fokas.