Syros is knows for its sweets. I " have sensed" it for the first time when our ferry stopped in Syros on the way to Tinos, and several vendors came on board, shouting something in Greek, started intensively selling some sweets. the only word I got was loukoumia (aka Turkish delights). and since I am not that keen on it, I ignored the rest of their magic baskets' content. Boy, I was wrong!
I have discovered halvadopitta (nougat-filled cookie with almonds) at the hotel’s complimentary treats basket. It was love from the first bite :) for me, it’s a perfect combination of texture and sweetness, and then you add almonds to it, wow.. (my mouth is watering as I am writing this).
What to buy: You can buy halvadopittas almost anywhere in the city, but the place that I was recommended by a local vendor was called Korres shop (brand name). In addition to nougat cookies, the shop also sells loukoumia, halva, and different kind of nuts.
What to pay: 1 kg of almond halvadopitta (around 10-12 big cookies each wrapped individually) will coast around 16 euros, or around 1.6 euro each. Plain halvadopittas (without almonds) are slightly cheaper (12 euros). There is also a smaller size (wrapped in a carton box), which is great for a present.
Open-air market on Hiou St. is a colorful experience. it's great place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, local specialties, to snack on puffed pastry with a cup of Greek coffee, and just for strolling up and down watching people and taking pictures.
What to buy: fresh fruits and vegetables, local specialties, souvenirs, etc.
Syros has many good reasons to be famous in Greece-why not worldwide?
The most important one is for: Loukoumia.In English, the term for Loukoumia is: Turkish delight, but I would suggest to call them: Syros delights!
Loukoumia are very, but very "sweet"! They are made of: sugar, starch and almonds, plus some flavour that could be: rose, mastic and many more.All the procedure is made by hand and is quite "painful".But the result is absolutely rewarding!
My favourite "Loukoumi maker" is: KORRES.(the stress on:E).
What to buy: Loukoumia in many flavours, shapes and bites.
Halvadopites (almond nougats).
What to pay: A "Halvadopita" starts from EUR: 1.60
I found shopping in Ermoupolis to be of a great pleasure. You don't have to walk huge distances from one place to another, you don't have to deal with hectic city traffic of a city, and I generally found it cheaper than other cities in Greece such as Athens and much cheaper than other islands, especially Mykonos!
Don't forget, Syros does not rely soley on tourism, thus it's pretty much like most working cities/towns around the World, hence, reasons for more reasonable pricing and greater options.
You can find anything you like. There are numerous men's and women's fashion stores, uni-sex jeans stores, jewellery stores, the usual souvenier stores, computers & electrical stores, art stores with some fabulous paintings from the locals, etc. Of course, if you need fresh fruit, groceries, a pharmacy, etc, it's all there.
Many of the stores stock items just as you would find in Athens, and I found a pair of trendy shoes I bought in Ermoupolis were in fact slightly cheaper than the Syntagma area within Athens!
Don't forget to explore some of the narrow alley-ways, etc, also, as there are numerous stores located there also. The town is very clean and easy to get around (no hills where the majority of the stores are located), and once you do some shopping, you can relax by the harbour at one of the dozens of cafes and enjoy a coffee, juice or whatever whilst checking out the occasional ferry coming in and out of Syros harbour.
What to buy: Anything you desire.
Housed in a very old building, this bookshop exists for more than 90 years.
On the first floor there is a collection of old and new books nad a nice reading room.
The owners, two beautiful people, are very helpful and they really want you to enjoy your book search.
What to buy: I found two very special books. One about my hometown, Ioannina and one about the marbles of Parthenon.
Ask for the book about Ermoupoli which is published by DEAE. It is a very special guide with historical facts for almost every building in Ermoupoli.
What to pay: It depends of what you buy.
What to buy:
Loukoum of Syros is a kind of tourkish delight. The art of making loukoum came to the island by the refugees from Chios island.
Halvadopita is a nougat of sesame with almonds in a thin crust.