Syros island can be reached by highspeed ferries departing from Pireas or Rafina.
The trip from Pireas lasts about 3 hours and there is a selection pof 3 companies:
Hellas flying dolphins
Blue star ferries
Economy class price is around 30-35 Euros
Business class is around 40-45 Euros
Ermoupoli has a big parking problem, so I suggest that you go around by foot.
If you want to go to Ano Syros you can walk all the way up, but there are hundreds of steps. It is better that you take a taxi to take you up and then go all the way down walking and enjoying the view.
Lazaretta is on the other side of the gulf. You can see it from the docks of Ermoupoli.
If you go there by foot, it will take you about 1 hour. It is a very interesting walk because you will find yourself in the old industrial zone of Ermoupoli.
During a Greek island hopping trip in May 2006, I found myself in the position of wanting to travel from Kos (in the Dodecanese islands) to the Cyclades islands.
After researching the various ferry routes, I found that one of the most convenient ways of doing this was to travel from Kos to Syros on an overnight ferry.
The following information was correct as of May 2006 (for up to date information, keep checking www.ferries.gr):
- I caught the Blue Star 2 ferry which left Kos Town at 21:15;
- The ferry operated on the following route:
Rhodes - Kos - Leros - Patmos - Syros - Piraeus
- The journey from Kos to Syros (arriving at the port of Ermoupoli, the island's main town) takes approximately 7 hours;
- I arrived at Syros at around 4am. Even at this time of morning there were accommodation touts waiting for the ferry to arrive, so don't worry about having accommodation pre-booked;
- The ferry's spacious interior included large comfortable seats, TV screens, cafes, shops, children's play areas, Internet terminals and several luggage storage rooms;
- The cost of a one way ticket from Kos to Syros was 29.90 Euros.
The people of Syros did manage to build an airport on the island of Syros, although sites were limited. Basically, in the area of Mana, they "sliced" a mountain to enable to build a runway and terminal builidng! The airport code for Syros is JSY.
On both ends of the runway, the landscape drops almost like a cliff! So, you better hope the pilot lands it nicely and the brakes work! Don't worry, no incidents have ever occured since the airport was built.
Syros is mainly serviced by Olympic Airlines to/from Athens International Airport. Before the Highspeed ferries arrived, there used to be 3 daily services. These days, it usually has only 1 daily service.
It takes about 30 minutes, so it's quick. Most probably more convenient for those who are transferring to/from other flights. If you are flying into Athens, it would be advantageous to connect on a flight to Syros if your intention is to go straight there.
The airport is close to Ermoupolis, so a taxi won't cost too much if you're staying in Ermoupolis. If the flight arrived from the north, you can get a really nice view of Ermoupolis, as seen in the pictures I have posted.
Syros is connected with the other islands in the Cyclades group, as well as Piraeus, via regular ferries and hydrofoils.
A number of companies operate inter-island services from the island's main port at Ermoupoli. These include:
- Blue Star
- GA Ferries
- Hellenic Seaways
- Superfast Ferries
At the time of my visit in May 2006, the following schedules were in place:
* A couple of ferries each day to Piraeus;
* At least one ferry or hydrofoil each day to Mykonos and Tinos;
* An eastward bound ferry approximately every other day to Naxos, Paros, Ios and Santorini;
* A westward bound ferry approximately every other day to Serifos, Sifnos, Kimolos, Milos, Kea and Kythnos.
In the height of summer (June - September), ferries will operate these routes more frequently.
My journey was as follows:
I wanted to travel from Syros to Naxos, but there were no direct boats that day and I didn't want to spend another day in Syros. I therefore had to travel via Mykonos as follows:
"Blue Star Ithaka" ferry from Syros to Mykonos (via Tinos): Journey time = 1 hour 30 minutes. Cost = 7.30 Euros;
"Superjet" hydrofoil from Mykonos to Naxos (which was carrying on to Ios, Santorini and Heraklion in Crete): Journey time = 45 minutes. Cost = 15.70 Euros.
As in other areas of the Greek islands, the general rule is that hydrofoils are twice as quick and twice as expensive as ferries.
There are plenty of agencies on Ermoupoli seafront from which to purchase tickets.
Syros is very well serviced by ferries. The majority come from Pireaus, Tinos, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos , Ios, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Heraklion and other places.
From Pireaus, the majority of ferries depart in the early morning (about 7:30am) and later in the afternoon and early evening. The easiest places to go to/from Syros are the nearby islands of Tinos and Mykonos.
If you choose to board what they call a "Highspeed" ferry (which is basically like a giagantic catermaran that travels very fast) will take to to Syros at half the time of a standard ferry but cost twice as much. The Highspeeds and normal ferries do cater for motor cycles, motor vehicles, trucks and buses also.
If you notice a ferry which says "Express" on it, by no-way means it's a fast one... in many circumstances, it may take even longer! Avoid these ones if you have a choice and board a normal ferry or highspeed, otherwise, enjoy the longer ride!
Journey times from Pireaus are about 2.5 hours for the Highspeed, 4 hours for a standard ferry and around 5 hours for those "Express" ferries.
If you don't want to hire a car or moped, then don't despair. Not only are there plenty of taxis all over the island, but there is also a pretty good bus service servicing all of the beachside villages without the need to worry what time the next bus will arrive.
In the height of the season, buses run at least every 30 minutes in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction to many beaches such as Galissas, Posidonia, Ahladi, Vari, etc etc. Kini beach is also serviced but not within the loop due to its geographical location. Ano Syros is also served saving you to walk those many steps.
There are flights from Athens to Syros by Olympic Airways.
For infornation about schedules and prices visit the site of Olympic airlines.
Here is a photo of Syros Airport soon after its completion in the early 1990s.
Notice the sheer drop in elevation on both ends of the runway! The mountain was "sliced" to creat the airport due to a limited area to build an airport on the island... there are no flat areas on this island suitable.
Flights to/from Athens on Olympic Airlines are possible.