Syros often seems to be overlooked in terms of island destinations amongst the Cyclades, despite it being the capital of this ring of islands. Admittedly, my intention to stop over in Syros wasn’t deliberate – it was simply the easiest port for us to meet up with our friend who was arriving from Athens, and us from Mykonos. In the two days that I spent on here, the island managed to work its charm on me.
At 25€ per person (i.e. 50€ for a double), we found ourselves staying at Hotel Benois in the village of Galissas. Located 7km away from the main city of Ermoupoli, we took the local bus that dropped us off metres away from the hotel. While HostelBookers designates the hotel as a two-star, it is definitely more than that right from the check-in to the facilities (swimming pool and wi-fi) and the rooms. Our rooms were greeted with chocolate Easter bunnies, which we saved for our ferry ride the next evening. The café on the main level was well-lit with the sunlight and furnished with comfortable chairs.
Much of the delight in Syros came from the food. We dined at a nearby tavern and picked a number of dishes from the menu to taste, including gemista (stuffed peppers and tomatoes). Of course, there would be a repeat of this sumptuous meal the following day so that we could taste more plates, such as fried cheese. After our first taste of food on Syros, we headed back to Ermoupoli to pick up our friend who was arriving from Athens. Funnily enough, we at first thought that she had not gotten off the ferry and began talking to the officials at the port to try and locate her; we soon realized that it was a different ship that had unloaded passengers.
The following day shone brightly as we finished up breakfast, and headed towards the beach where we climbed the rocks overlooking the water, and then jumping into the water and laying on the sand. The afternoon concluded upon itself with a late lunch/early dinner, in which we were treated to a free bottle of honey brandy and yogurt-type dessert by the owners. Notably, on this trip, it seems that we had earned a knack for earning free alcohol/treats; in Mykonos, our meals were completed with a round of sweet digestif shots. In the evening, we headed to the port in Ermoupoli to catch our ferry to Naxos, where we were greeted with Easter celebrations.