It has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. Excavations made in Kastri and Chalandriani brought into light a prehistoric acropole, settlement, necropolis and findings of the firstcycladic civilization. In the island there lived in the 6th B.C. century the philosopher Ferekydes.
Syros is the administrative, commercial and cultural centre of the prefecture, it is extended in an area of 86 sq.km. and is in a distance of 83 n.m. (4 hours) from Piraeus.
The style of the island differs from the other cycladic islands as the buildings in neoclassical rythm, the vast squares and its aristocratic style prove the economical and cultural flourishing of the island.
The northern part of the island is mountainous. It is distinguished for the variety of the inland landscapes. Its seasides form small and big bays, capes and two large gulfs, of Ermoupoli to the east and Phoenika to the western side.
The "Noble Lady of Cyclades", Ermoupoli, capital and harbour of Syros, is a monument itself with the famous edifices in neo-classical style of extraordinary architecture.
In the centre of Ermoupoli it is located the square of Miaouli with its picturesque small cafes, the Town Hall, the Cultural Centre, the statue of Miaoulis and the Municipal Theater Apollo, miniature of the Scala of Milano.
As of the magnificent churches particularly it is to be mentioned the church of St. Nicholas built in the 19th century, Metamorfossi Sotiros, Kimissi Theotokou.
The settlement Vaporia is full of neoclassical mansions coming into sight from the narrow streets. Characteristical mark of the island is Tarsanas, in Neorio.
In the Archaeological Museum of the city you will see findings of various periods and mainly of the Prehistoric Age discovered in the excavations in Chalandriani.
The Art Gallery of Cyclades is housed in a neoclassical building with exhibitions of works of Greek and foreign artists.
In the hill to the left side above Ermoupoli it is located Ano Syros (Upper Syros) with its picturesque settlement, the walls, the small narrow streets, the innumerable stairs and the arches. From here you will enjoy the panoramic view and you will admire the catholic church of St. George established in Middle-Ages. Here also they are to be found the two monasteries of Capuchines and Jesuits with the churches of St. John and Panaghia Karmilou. In the square it is the bust of Marcos Vamvakaris, while a little beyond there are the two caverns where as it is said Ferekydes, Pittakos’ pupil lived there.
6 km. to the north, in Chalandriani, excavations brought into light an ancient necropolis with significant findings of First-cycladic Civilization.
From Ermoupolis you can reach by boat the bay Grammata where in the rocks are to be found inscriptions with prayers of sailor men from Roman and Byzantine period.
One of the biggest and most wonderful summer resorts of the island, with immense sandy beach is Galissas, in a distance of 9 km. from Ermoupoli. You can visit the picturesque chapel of St. Stefanos, inside a cavern.
To the western side of Ermoupoli towards Kini you will meet the women’s monastery of St. Barbara with a magnificent view to the bay.
Wonderful summer resorts are Azolimnos, 5 km. southeast of Ermoupoli, following the road you will reach Vari and beyond to the south it is Megas Ghialos, in a distance of 12 km. from Ermoupoli.
13 km. southwest of Ermoupoli there is Possidonia or Dellagrazia, a marvellous by the sea region with neoclassical villas and mansions built in a pine wood, gardens full of plants and flowers as well as wonderful sea. It was named so after the church of Panaghia (Madonna Della Grazia).
North of Possidonia there is Phoenikas, a by the sea village with vast sandy beach and palm trees.