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Ermoupolis in Syros
If you arrive to Ermoupolis by sea the dominant impression is the large shipyard that may seem to make the otherwise so beautiful view over the town a little bit ugly. But you should really thank the shipyard, it has had an enormous importance for Syros, and for Ermoupolis.
Part of the port promenade in Ermoupolis. Ano Syros in the background.
If it were not for the shipyard, Ermoupolis may not even exist. Syros did not take part in the Greek War of Independence in 1821, many refugees chose to flee to Syros, they came from many different places, including Chios, Samos and Asia Minor, where many Greeks lived at the time.
Fish and vegetable market in central Ermoupolis.
It was these refugees who founded Ermoupolis. Many of them were businessmen or shipowners, and they built the shipyard, and the port that quickly became Greece's largest port. The name Ermoupolis comes from the god Hermes, which, according to Greek mythology, protected travellers and traders.
Therefore, it is thanks to the refugees that we today can stroll around in one of the archipelago's finest towns and enjoy the colourful neoclassical houses, lovely squares, winding steps and cosy alleys. Add to that, that the squares, steps, streets and alleys are mostly built in marble, and you understand how beautiful Ermoupolis is. Equally amazing is in the neighboring village of Ano Syros. Do not miss!
Ermoupolis is a relatively large town with approximately 11,500 inhabitants. The Greek everyday life is as apparent here as in Athens, albeit on a smaller scale and at a slower pace (the traffic is not in any way comparable to the one in Athens).
Town Hall at Miaouli Square.
The architecture also differs in comparison with Athens: Ermoupolis is unlike Athens a beautiful town, which is particularly noticeable in, and around, the fancy Miaouli square. The square with its grand City Hall is as the heart of Ermoupolis. To aimlessly wander around the town is a great pleasure, and the Miaouli square is a perfect starting point.
A number of streets and alleys leads from the square. Along the streets there are shops of all kind (including a very good bookstore), and a goodly number of tavernas, cafes and ouzeries. In one of the alleys there is a fish- and vegetable market.
One of many cozy car-free alleys in Ermoupolis.
The food that are served on the restaurants on Syros are generally exceptionally good, and especially in Ermoupolis, where there are an abundance of places to eat, ranging from smart restaurants to simple gyros eating places. Some of the best restaurants are along two narrow alleys east of Miaouli square. One of these restaurants is called To Archontariki, and you just must go there to eat.
Restaurang To Archontariki.
If it is full on To Archontariki there are other good restaurants to choose from in the alleys, or you can walk to the lively waterfront where there are many places to eat and drink.
To have a seat along the waterfront with an ouzo in your hand and people watch is to say the least entertaining. The entertainment in Ermoupolis are like everything else on the island: very Greek. The nightlife is focused mainly on Greek tourists and for residents on the island. There are several bouzouki clubs and music bars that open late and close early.
One of the shopping streets in Ermoupolis.
One restaurant that do not close late is To Kastri, located in a narrow alley between Miaouli square and the waterfront. The restaurant is only open during daytime. To Kastri - runs by a women's association - serves delicious Greek homely fare at very low prices. There are not many tables, most people take away their food and eat it somewhere else. Do not miss this little gem.
There are no beaches in Ermoupolis, but there are some that are very close, like Azolimnos.
There are no beaches in Ermoupolis, but there is still the possibility to swim.
ACCOMMODATION IN ERMOUPOLIS
The selection of hotels, pensions, apartments, studios and rooms are large. We use to stay at Ethrion Hotel, situated in a peaceful and quiet area, and the owners are very friendly. But there are other good hotels that you will find below.
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