A Brief Introduction to Syros: How to Get On/Off It
Above: The Nissos Mykonos ferry arrives in the Port of Mykonos.
I’m now back from my holidays in Greece. This year we’ve been to the Cyclades (Κυκλάδες) – staying in Galissas (Γαλησσάς) on the small island of Syros (Σύρος).
Although a very small island, the island’s capital – Ermoupoli (Ερμούπολη) – is also the capital of the former Cyclades Prefecture, and also of the South Aegean Region. The island therefore has good links with the mainland and with other islands all over the country, and there is also a small airports with daily flights to and from Athens.
We were traveling with Olympic Holidays, but it is worth noting that there is no rep service on Syros – you are effectively traveling independently.
We flew with EasyJet to Mykonos, arriving at 13:30. Just missing the 14:15 ferry (we watched it go as we arrived in the port), we had to wait for the next one – departing at 20:45.
These are the only two services from Mykonos to Syros, so be warned: If you do not make the 14:15 ferry you will have a very long wait.
- The 14:15 ferry is the Blue Star service (using the ship Blue Star Naxos) which travels via Tinos.
- The 20:45 ferry is the Hellenic Seaways service (using the ship Νήσος Μύκονος – Nissos Mykonos) which goes straight to Syros.
- Both services go on to Athens after arriving at Syros.
Alternative ways of getting to Syros are to fly to Athens and get a ferry from there (journey time 4 hours), or alternatively the small Airport on Syros has flights daily to and from Athens.
Waiting in the port of Mykonos for 7 hours, we went to the taverna across the road for some lunch, and then to the beach next to the port for our first swim of the holiday. At this time of the year, the meltemi winds are up: and as you can see from the photo below, it was extremely windy on this beach!
Above: On the beach next to the Port of Mykonos.
There is a place in Mykonos Town where you can leave luggage securely: but this information was not given to us on arrival – had we known to expect such a long wait, and that we could have left our luggage somewhere, we would have been prepared for this and could have gone to explore Mykonos properly before our ferry!
If you are returning to Mykonos Airport from Syros should note that there are only 2 ferries each day to Mykonos – one at 11:30 (Blue Star Naxos, via Tinos), and one at 11:45 (Nissos Mykonos – direct service). Therefore, do not be surprised if you have to leave Syros a day early and spend a night on Mykonos before your flight home.
This information was also not communicated to us until the last minute. After an evening in Syros’ capital, Ermoupoli, we were met off the bus at 23:30 to be told that we would be leaving the next morning and spending the night on Mykonos before our flight home.
This annoyed me on the basis that the ferry schedules had not changed at all – other guests had also had to leave a day early the week previously. Therefore the tour operator (Olympic Holidays) would have have known that we would need to do this for a while.
Our final night of the holiday was therefore completely spoiled by being taken away from Syros early to an unknown hotel in an unknown town. Instead of being in the quiet, very small village of Galissas, we had in fact ended up at Ornos (Ορνός), a crowded resort, and a beach with 6 rows of sunbeds going all along it! Not my idea of a nice holiday at all!
The rooms we were given were actually extremely nice: They were the Elena Studios & Suites, which were completely refurbished two years ago. All credit goes to the hotel owner who made us feel very welcome and gave us information on the resort, the local bus service, the beach and the local bars & tavernas.
To conclude today’s blog post, I would point out that despite all the problems we had on Mykonos, I would however like to return to Syros (you will see why when I do my blog posts later this week).
If I was to visit Syros again though, I might prefer to organise my own flights and go via Athens, taking the ferry from there instead of Mykonos.
Athens, to me, is a better place than Mykonos, and the fact that there are many comfortable seats on board the ferry means that the 4 hour ferry journey wouldn’t actually put me off!
Above: Sunset at the Port of Mykonos
And now… The Rest of the Holiday. Tomorrow, I’ll be writing in more detail about our accommodation on Syros and the village we were staying in: Galissas (Γαλησσάς).
View Syros 2013 – Σύρος 2013 in a larger map
Bye for now,