Syros has always been at the forefront of progress, industrially, socially and culturally. The ancient story of the island is lost in the mists of time, back to the beginning of the Cycladic culture. Due to its unique character, Syros distinguishes from the rest of Cyclades: glorious neoclassic buildings, marble-paved streets, squares with palm trees in the capital town Hermoupolis, narrow streets, small white-washed houses closely built to each other and innumerable steps in the medieval settlement of Ano Syros. Traditionally built villages, seaside resorts, magnificent mansions resembling medieval towers, depict the charm of the island. The southern part of Syros is highly developed tourist, offering modern hotel installations and organized beaches with crystal clear blue waters, while paths in the unspoilt mountainous northern part, Apano Meria, lead to astonishing landscapes with rocks, caves and virgin beaches.
The boat approaches the harbor and a fascinating city reveals itself. Hermoupolis is the capital town of Syros Island and of the Cyclades island complex. It is a noble town, standing with unique elegance on a naturally amphitheatrical site, full of life. During the Greek Revolution in 1821, refugees fled Asia Minor and various islands, such as Chios and Psara looking for shelter in Syros. The economic and cultural miracle they created made their town a powerful port and leading industrial, as well as commercial, centre in the eastern Mediterranean during the 19th century. In 1826, the town is given the name “Hermoupolis”, in honour of the ancient god of commerce Hermes. Celebrated architects were hired and they, deeply influenced by the Romantic and Classical trends, built a town in glorification of artistic and neoclassic architectural beauty. Among them, Ernst Ziller, inspired by the palace of Trojan king Priamos, designed the dashing Town Hall and Pietro Sampo built the impressive Apollo Municipal Theatre. Ship owners and bankers chose the eastern part of the town to build their breathtaking mansions at the edge of the sea, as if they were ready to sail, giving to the district the name “Vaporia”, meaning ships.
Nowadays, the town of Hermes is an important tourist, commercial and administrative centre with vivid social and night life. The busy harbor of Hermoupolis connects the island on daily basis to Piraeus and the rest of the Aegean islands, while by plane it is connected to Athens and Thessaloniki.