Travel Greece, Syros Island

Whilst Syros is not as well known as its more famous neighbours (Mykonos, Paros, Naxos or Santorini), it is the capital and administrative centre of this group of Greek islands, the Cyclades (aka in Greek as Kyklades). It is not a popular tourist destination – but that is in itself a particularly compelling reason to visit. The island’s, particularly the main town of Ermoupoli (aka Hermoupoli) is the capital of the Cyclades. With its cobbled...
June 19, 2021

Whilst Syros is not as well known as its more famous neighbours (Mykonos, Paros, Naxos or Santorini), it is the capital and administrative centre of this group of Greek islands, the Cyclades (aka in Greek as Kyklades). It is not a popular tourist destination – but that is in itself a particularly compelling reason to visit.

The island’s, particularly the main town of Ermoupoli (aka Hermoupoli) is the capital of the Cyclades. With its cobbled streets and glorious neoclassical and Venetian architecture is much more interesting and culturally diverse than most of the other Cycladic islands combined. (The group comprises 56 islands, 24 of which are inhabited).

Beyond the town, there’s an astonishing landscape that begs to be explored.

Drive to Fish Hook

From my home on the midwest side of the island, I look north up the coast and can see the “Fish Hook” top end, approx 10 km away. I had thus always wanderlust about this very remote uninhabited, rugged and rocky top-end – Syros/Syra means rock. I had rounded this mysterious and alluring point many times on the ferry but never ventured so far by foot.

So when my adventurous, intrepid English mate (I am an Aussie) and experienced hiker (Gordon) said he knew the way, I jumped at the chance. We set out on a warm and sunny May spring day.

From our village of Kini, we needed to drive to the northernmost accessible road’s end of the island, being the rural area of Kambos. The half-hour drives up, up, up, is fascinating in itself, taking you past the famous archaeological of Chalandriani.

It is from here that Cycladic artefacts (carbon-dated at around 2,500 BC) were discovered and are now on display at the Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London, and other museums.

This northern half is the most elevated part of the island, which, together with its rugged remoteness, offers a truly otherworldly experience. Think lunar landscapes and the like especially around Grammata Bay. The sense of isolation here is all-pervading.

2-hour trek from Kambos to the top

At Kambos, we abandoned the car and commenced the 2-hour hike towards the islands top end, along a narrow track frequented more by wild feral goats than curious humans.

The path is in most parts undulating and rocky, so care is needed in how to go and where to place your feet. All the way along the central ridge that the path follows, the views are amazing, looking out on the nearby islands of Andros, Tinos and Mykonos to the east, and Yaros, Kea and Kythnos in the west.