Syros is almost the omphalos of Greece…
Theophile Gautier , who toured the island at the beginning of 19th century, wrote:
“Syros is almost the omphalos of Greece, the capital city of elegance and nobleness. Who could ever imagine to meet this city planted on a rocky island of the Aegean sea!”
Syros, like most of the Cyclades islands, emerges from the sea in the form of bare and steep rocks. Its name Sour or Osoura means rocky.
Ulysses’ swineherd, Vimeos, who was the first man that the homeric hero met when returning to his home place, came from Syros.
In the year 3000 B.C., one of the greatest civilisations of the world, the Cycladic civilisation, was born on Syros, the rock of 85 Km2. This has been defined by the experts as “Civilisation Keros – Syros”.
According to archaeological research Syros was inhabited since the
early neolithic period. The excavations in Chalandriani in 1898 brought
to light the prehistoric acropolis and innumerable graves full of
artistic and rich funeral gifts, from the early Cycladic civilization,
many of which can be seen in the Museum of Hermoupolis.
Today Syros has a population of about 30.000 inhabitans, 40% Catholic and 60% Orthodox.
Syros is full of wonderful countrysides and villages, dotted in its few tiny “valleys”. The soil is scarce. Gathered painstakingly, it supports the roots of the few trees.Little of everything.
Olive trees here and there, pistachio trees, citrus trees and a lot of green houses where the fermers grow tasty garden produce. In this villages there live mild, civilised, kind and gentle people.
Every village has a church. Catholic or Orthodox. In it he houses the God. A lot of villages are also wonderful summer resorts.
In the country gardens one can see pine trees and magnificent villas in a tranquil and calm environment. The clear beaches with the blue-green sea liven up every summer. They form peaceful shelters on the steep rock.
The visitors love all sea sports and try sea delicacies in the small taverns. Syros siders are proud of their delights, cheese and home-grown vegetables.