Cruises: 2437

Ermoupolis, Syros, Greece Cruise Port

The bright white buildings and rich culture of Ermoupolis make for a fascinating shore excursion during your cruise around Greece, pressed between the hills and the sea on Syros in the Cyclades. This destination lies off the tourist trail, making for a more peaceful port which offers visitors an authentic experience of Greek island life.

Sightseeing in Ermoupolis

As well as the island's incredible beaches like the irresistible Finikas, Syros also boasts a great range of cultural experiences – ranging from historic villages and beautiful churches to ludicrously moreish sweets.

Ano Syros

This hilly part of the island is traditionally known as the Roman Catholic quarter (as opposed to Eastern Orthodox) and is home to medieval houses on narrow, sloping streets, and a great choice of historic attractions from which to enjoy the views. Ano Syros lies a short drive from the port and can only really be seen on a walking tour, where you'll come across the solid yet ornate Capuchin monastery, the more modest Jesuit monastery and the jaw-dropping sea-blue ceiling of St George's Cathedral, all tucked away amidst a warren of white Mediterranean homes.

Loukoumi factory

Enjoyed all over the country and overseas, loukoumi sweets are a Greek interpretation of the classic jelly-like cubes originating in Turkey in the 18th century. Syros is well known for the quality of the loukoumi produced at its factory, and here visitors will have the chance to find out just how one of Britain's favourite imports is made – with an opportunity to quality-test the products, of course. Dubbed ‘Turkish delight' by a British traveller in the 1800s, who brought back crates of the stuff following his time spent in Istanbul, the more accurate name for the sweet is loukoumi in Greek and lokum in Turkish – stemming from the Arabic luqma, meaning ‘mouthful'.

Ermoupolis churches and museums

Many shore excursions will typically take you on a sightseeing tour of the wider island first before returning you to Ermoupolis itself, which is home to numerous beautiful church buildings and the extremely photogenic blue dome of St Nicholas. The town also boasts a couple of good museums – spend some time in the archaeological museum to discover ceramics, weapons, tools and sculptures from the Hellenistic period and even prehistory; then jump forward in time to the nineteenth century at the industrial museum with a look around the lead, leather and paint works which were active during the height of the island's industrial age.

Shopping in Ermoupolis

Much of the best shopping around Syros might not make it with you back onto the ship, as the best souvenirs to be found on the island tend to fall into the soft, sweet and tasty category. You'll find plenty of stores making and selling pastries and nougat, but a batch of the local loukoumi might make for the best gift to bring home with you.

Eating out in Ermoupolis

Wherever you are around Ermoupolis, you'll never be very far from a beautiful café – where you'll find  delicious varieties of fresh-ground coffee, wonderful cocktails at night, and the kind of desserts which could seriously undermine your initial “I'll just have one” approach. Take a seat on a terrace overlooking the town or the sea, and dine on a full Greek platter of grilled meats, fresh baked bread, pastries and dips – or even opt for a pizza or tagliatelle in one of the local Italian-run restaurants.

Cruise Lines

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