Although it has an airport, Syros has somehow missed out on becoming a destination, all the more surprising when one takes a close look at it. The other Cycladic islands are variations on a theme, based on the aesthetics of fishermen and peasants; the iconic cubic houses, cane roofs and whitewash are the stuff of poverty. Ironic when one considers what a house on Mykonos can cost.
Syros is different, yes, it has a medieval citadel with the usual twisting lanes and alleys, the usual whitewash and little terraces, yes, it has the cute fishing villages and small harbours, but it also has another face – that of prosperous 18th and 19th Century merchants, captains, and Venetian, French, Ottoman and British diplomats. They built mansions, noble villas and grand piazzas, a casino, and even a replica of La Scala where ballets and operas are still performed. The Syriani are aware of their heritage, and their manners and habits are milder and more courteous than elsewhere, their pride in their island and its food and traditions is palpable. As the capital of the Cyclades with 30,000 inhabitants, Syros is a proper island all year round, great for off season visits.
Read Full Article