Ano Syros, birthplace of composer Markos Vamvakaris, an jewel of Cycladic architecture. Walking in the alleyways you will meet scattered taverns, cafes, and several tourist shops. Although very hospitable Ano Syros does not have many tourist lodging as most buildings are privately owned residences.
Ano Syros was founded during the period of Frankish Greece. In 1207, when the Crusaders took over Konstantinoupolis (Istanbul), Markos Sanoudos took over most of Cyclades including Syros. After that, a remarkable increase in population happened and the first organized settlement was created. Ano Syros was the best choice due to its position. A natural fortress with access to the sea.
After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Syros fell under the Venetian rule. The pirates’ raids were common but the locals were always able to fight them off. A key factor was that they also had the protection of the Roman Catholic church.
In 1538, the island is occupied by the Turks. In about 1635, the Roman Catholic Church sends Capuchin and Jesuits monks and they help the locals to communicate with the entire Europe. Gradually, Ano Syros gets its final shape, the one that has until today.
Access to the town of Ano Syros is very easy as there are daily mini buses to and from the area. You will also find companies to rent cars and motorbikes. You can visit this particular village with your own vehicle as you will find free parking space at the main gate(Portara).
Apano Meria(=Northern Side)Apano Meria is the northernmost part of the island. It is part of the settlement of Ano Syros, but is located miles from it, as it is perched on top of the mountain.
The route to Apano Meria is relatively difficult as it is narrow uphill road with continuous turns. The area is not well developed, but worth a visit as the panoramic views will amaze you. In local tavern cooked food and traditional dishes are served. Ideal is an early evening tour to see the sunset there.
Do not miss out to visit the archaeological settlements Kastri, Chalandriani, and the cave of the ancient philosopher Pherecydes. The area is ideal for hiking in the mountains and isolated creeks. Lia, Grammata(=Letters), Varvarousa are small beaches that belong to this village but can be reached only by hiking or by a vessel. Starting point for the northern beaches are those in Kini village. Cruise ships can be found on Kini’s harbour.
During summertime some lovely restaurants are open.