Chalkidiki

Halkidiki is a charming peninsula located in the region of Central Macedonia, south of the city of Thessaloniki, the contours of which resemble Poseidon’s trident as he, in turn, is divided into three small peninsulas: Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos.   According to a legend, two Thracian giants Seaton and Athos had been constantly engaging in strives for divinely beautiful mermaid Pallini, thereby causing wrath of the ruler of depths of the Poseidon sea, who threw his trident at the peninsula breaking it into three parts. Greeks often call the parts as “fingers”.   Since then, the first “finger” was named after beautiful Pallini and later (in IV BC) renamed as Kassandra Peninsula, in honour of Macedonian king Cassander who founded the city of Kasandra in the 315/316 BC along with the city of Thessaloniki. In turn, the second and third “fingers” were named, respectively, after some mythical heroes: Sithonia and Athos who is known in Christianity as earthly destiny or Garden (Vertograd) of the Blessed Virgin. There is an autonomous monastic state of the Holy Mount Athos.   History and landmarks   The history of any Greek region is deeply rooted in antiquity. Archaeologists discovered evidence of human presence in Halkidiki dating back to more than 700,000 years. Today, there is incredibly beautiful Petralona Cave, opened to everyone for viewing and showing a living site of prehistoric man.   In the period of antiquity, residents of the city of Chalkida founded their colony at the peninsula and this is where the area received its name.   In addition, the birthplace of Aristotle (the teacher of Alexander the Great) is based in the north-east of the peninsula. This settlement is called Stagira. This is why the outstanding Greek philosopher Aristotle is known as Aristotle Stagiritis.   In the era of Roman domination, the region came to a decline; there are several preserved monuments maintained since that era, but the excavations of a large Roman villa in Megali Kipsa (Sani) deserve special attention.   In 50 AD, the Christian religion came to the region of Halkidiki by the apostle Paul. The main attractions, related to the Byzantine era, are the Basilica of St. Paul (1407) and St George (1543) in Nikiti as well as the Church of St. Demetrius in Afitos, Church of St. Panteleimon in Kallithea and many others.   Since IX century, the monastic republic of the Holy Mount Athos begins to organise on the peninsula and becomes the world’s largest centre of Orthodox monasticism. Today, Mount Athos has 20 male monasteries (women are not allowed to enter Mount Athos).  In addition, Athos is on the list of World Heritage Sites (UNESCO). Apart from that, despite the devastating attacks of the Goths and Huns, as well as the Ottoman rule, the peninsula preserved numerous unique monuments for those who want to explore its rich historical heritage.   Nature   Mild climate and virtually untouched nature make Halkidiki one of the most popular destinations for both those who come to spend holidays by the sea and those wishing to buy property in Greece.The average summer temperature in Halkidiki reaches 28°C and in winter it goes down to only 12C°. Magnificent sandy beaches of the peninsula receive (annually) the Blue Flag, which is an international award of the Foundation for Environmental Education.   Judged on its pristine landscapes, the peninsula resembles a natural reserve. There are a lot of essential wetlands and areas that are included in the European network Natura 2000. This is why many of its territories are prohibited from construction.   Infrastructure   Permanent local population of the peninsula is about 106,000 people.   In modern days, Halkidiki is an ideal place for living and resting, both long and short term, with complete relaxation and tranquillity, with comfort of a developed resort and municipal infrastructure of the European level.   The peninsula has a well-developed transportation; it is easy to navigate by car or bus running on a regular schedule.   After renting a car, you can spend your weekends in the mountains or take a boat trip to appreciate the beauty of the region from the sea.   In addition, the city of Thessaloniki and its international airport “Macedonia” are just 65 kilometres from Polygyros, which is the administrative centre of the peninsula. It is stretching to the foot of Mount Holomontas (1,165m), which is the second highest mountain in Halkidiki after Athos (2,033 m).   The large supermarket chains, located on the peninsula, will have everything you need to live and rest. Local markets also offer organic food.   Halkidiki is renowned for its high-quality products of local production. In particular, olives, olive oil, wine, honey, fresh fish and seafood, which, consequently, promote gastronomic tourism to this place: traditional picturesque taverns of the peninsula serve excellent Greek culinary delights and Mediterranean cuisine. In addition, the peninsula is also famous for its pastries and Greek sweets.   Entertainment   Thanks to its unique location, Halkidiki is washed by sea from all sides. It is considered to be the Garden of Eden. Its every corner is endowed with unique natural beauty ranging from fine coastlines and stretching along turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea to lush vegetation of virgin forests, exotic sandy beaches and fabulously shaped boulders reminiscent of the ancient battles of Olympian gods with the Giants.   Not to mention the rich palette of natural colours, especially at sunrise and sunset, and picturesque villages under the clear azure sky which are erected in traditionally styled architecture. All this is created against the backdrop of greenery and small idyllic coves. It is not by accident that Halkidiki is considered one of the favourite destinations for romantic getaways among extensively beautiful beaches and narrow streets (sokakia) of the seaside and mountain resorts.   Sport fans can enjoy all kinds of water sports including diving, surfing and sailing as well as rock climbing and mountain biking. They can take one-day cruises and excursions, visit secluded corners of the peninsula, small islands, lagoons, lakes and wetlands. Furthermore, Halkidiki is famous for its geothermal springs (Loutra, Agia Paraskevi), which heals many diseases.   In short, Halkidiki will not allow you to get bored. There are great activities for everyone, including a variety of cafes, beach bars, taverns and clubs, casinos and restaurants. Local festivals and concerts will not allow you to be sad in the evenings.       View More »

Kea

Kea or Tzya, is the most western inhabited island of the Cyclades with an area of 131,693 square kilometres, with the coastline of the island reaching 88 kilometres.   This is one of the largest islands of the Cyclades. In addition, the island has one of the largest natural harbours of the Mediterranean, which bears the name of St. Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos). Infrastructure   Travel by ferry from the port to the capital of the island takes one hour.   Picturesque and quiet coves, wonderful service and cosmopolitan atmosphere make the island popular among yacht owners and boat travel enthusiasts. This is the reason why Kea serves as a finish line for the regatta of the Saronic Gulf.   The island has several resort towns with many family hotels, shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bars. The town of Korissia has the Medical Centre of Kea.   The annual festival of fairy tales is the unique event in the island. It includes performances, art exhibitions and musical shows with traditional Greek dancing.   Nature   The island is mountainous. The highest point of the island is the Mount of Prophet Elijah (Profitis Ilias) with the height of 560 meters. In inland areas of Kea have wonderful oak groves with a network of specially laid routes for walking and cycling, for which the island received the award of DAFNI.   The coast of the island has about forty large and small beautiful beaches surrounded by picturesque rocks or secluded coves, which enjoys the array of music beach bars.   The underwater world of Kea is also very interesting. Famous French explorer Jacques Cousteau discovered the sunken ocean liner “Britannica” at a depth of 120 metres. The liner had 269 metres in length and was sunk by a German submarine in 1916.   In addition to the English ship, diving fans will be able to dive to the wreckage of the French 183-meter ocean liner “Burdigala”, which was also torpedoed by a German submarine in 1916, one week before the “Britannica”.   Other ships complete the collection of the museum: Greek steamship “Patris”, which was sunk in 1986 and the German warplane “Dzhankers-52”, which was used in military operations in Crete in 1943 and shot down over the strait.   History and landmarks   In ancient times, the island of Kea was very rich and influential. This is evidenced by the fact that, among all Greek islands, only Kea and Delos could afford the organization of Panhellenic sports.   Considerable interest is dedicated to the archaeological site of Agia Irini with ruins of the temple of Dionysus and fortifications dating back to 2000 BC, and also the excavations of the ancient polis Kartea, which includes columns of Athena and Temple of Apollo, part of arena, public institutions and drainage system.   The capital of the island, Ioulida (or Chora), has an operating archaeological museum containing a rich collection of unique finds of Cycladic culture. The town itself is situated on three hills in the centre of the island; it is decorated with classical buildings, Venetian fortress of 1210 and traditional white houses with tiled roofs.   Any point of the island offers beautiful panoramic views. Particularly noteworthy is the monastery of Panagias Kastriani located near Kastri. In 1700, local shepherds saw light on the hill. After climbing to its top, astonished peasants found an icon of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary coming out of earth. A couple of years later, this place founded a small church and in the early twentieth century it built a modern temple.   In addition to the monastery, the island has the church of St. Haralambos who saved the island from the plague, the chapel of the Holy Apostles of the XIII century, the Byzantine Monastery of St. Anne and the other temples.   View More »

Mikonos

Island Mykonos belongs to the Cyclades archipelago. You can reach it from Athens by ferry from two metropolitan ports or by airplane. In the first case, the journey will take you from 2,5 to 6 hours, depending on the port. The duration of the flight is about 45 minutes.   Infrastructure   The island has shuttle buses and taxis, but the most popular method of transportation for tourists is renting a quad.   The glory of Mykonos as the centre of nightlife is booming all over the world, but apart from a large number of bars, taverns and restaurants, you will get real pleasure from local shopping.   Narrow white streets of the island have shops with prestigious fashion brands of clothes (Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Enny Monaco, John Galliano, Blumarine and so forth), leather goods, jewellery, accessories and hand-crafted decorations.   Mykonos has about 50 supermarkets and grocery shops. In addition, there are schools, clinics with service around the clock and about 30 medical offices of doctors of various specialties. Nature   The average temperature on the island in the winter is +12C° and in summer is + 25.5C°, but thanks to the wind, high temperatures do not deliver the vacationers any discomfort.   Water temperature from May to October varies between +18.3°C and +22C°. The popularity of the island is earned by its delightful beaches.   The length of the coastline is 89 kilometres. All beaches differ one from the other: sandy, pebble, noisy and crowded, with dancing beginning in the morning, or quiet and secluded, where classes of yoga are run.   The island will enchant lovers of water sports and beach games, and those wishing to explore the rich underwater world of Mykonos will find 15 diving sites including two wrecked ships, Dutch ship “Anna II”, which crashed in 1995 and British “Peloponisos”, which sunk in 1926. The water depth visibility is from 25 to 50 meters.   On land, you can enjoy natural beauty and traditional Cycladic architecture. They allows magnificent panoramic views from different points of the island. The geographical location gives Mykonos visitors another unique spectacle – extraordinarily beautiful sunrises and sunsets, when the southern sky shows all colours of the rainbow.     View More »

Corfu

Corfu is the most northern island of the Ionian Islands located at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea. The distance to the mainland is only 2 kilometres away.   The name of the island is associated with the name beloved woman of Poseidon – beautiful nymph Kerkyra, who was hid from her father Asopus on this beautiful island.   Infrastructure   Kerkyra (or Corfu) has one of the most advanced infrastructures among all Greek islands. There is an international airport. In addition, a road network connects all local settlements; bus service operates on a regular schedule. There are ferries departing from the capital of the island to the mainland and Ionian Islands.   Today Corfu has numerous hotels, many of which have established international hotel chains. It has the casino, riding school and famous 18-hole golf course designed by renowned British architect Donald Harradinom. Since the beginning of the XIX century, the islanders began to play cricket.   Population of Corfu produces olive oil, wine, cheese and local specialties: ginger beer and liquor “kum quat” made from the fruit of the Japanese citrus tree Japonica, which was brought here by the British in 1846.   Since the days of Venetian rule, the local population particularly liked horn music. In summer, local music bands travel on the island with concerts, there are opera and theatre, and in the holidays the island hosts colourful parades and carnivals.   The most interesting are the Easter holidays. Good Saturday at Corfu (in Old Town) revives the old tradition of “Botides” when people drop huge clay pots full of water from the balconies of their houses down the road.   The saint patron of the city is St. Spyridon, in whose honour there is a procession conducted four times a year, in memory of his miraculous intervention in the most difficult moments in life of the island.   Nature   The average summer temperature is +30°C. In winter, it does not fall below +10°C. The length of the island from north to south is 120 kilometres and from east to west is from 4 to 40 kilometres.   The northern part of the island has the majestic mount of Pantokrator. Its top offers a wonderful panoramic view of the whole island of Corfu.   In ancient times, local people could hide themselves from pirates in the inaccessible gorges and secluded coves of the mountainous parts of the island. When the threat had disappeared, the population descended into the valley. Today, you can explore many slopes and picturesque villages with a camera.   If you advance to the south, the terrain becomes more plain. Beautiful sandy beaches on the island are combined with rocky headlands and there are ancient monasteries on the slopes of the mountains. Some coves are accessible only by sea, so that visitors can enjoy they and take a walk on a yacht.   Diving enthusiasts will discover unique beauty of underwater landscapes with caves, reefs, canyons and underwater maze.   History and landmarks   The most beautiful cities in Europe are considered those that have appearance allowing tracing of changes in historical epochs. Corfu has potential to capture the imagination of its many visitors.   In seeking protection from the raids of pirates, Corfu asked for protection in Venice and was subsequently under its protectorate for over 400 years. That is why the architecture of the capital of the island is dominated by a Venetian style, with luxurious Venetian mansions perfectly combined with English, German and French buildings, which witnessed periods when the island had repeatedly passed from hand to hand and each people gave its indelible contribution to its unique eclectic look.   The local architectural gems are the survived summer residence of the King of Greece called “Mon Repo” (my rest) and the palace of Achille, which belonged to the Austrian Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi).   After multiple turns of history, Corfu has become a unique cosmopolitan centre, which today attracts celebrities from around the world.   At various times, the Roman orator Cicero visited the island. Also, the infamous Emperor Nero, Napoleon I Bonaparte, Emperor of Germany Wilhelm II, English naturalist Gerald Durrell and Irish philosopher and writer Oscar Wilde visited the island.   Nowadays, Kerkyra is often visited by Hollywood actor Anthony Hopkins and musician Jon Bon Jovi; Lord Rothschild and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich own properties on the island.         View More »

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece with population of over a million people. The city is considered to be the capital of northern Greece. Thessaloniki residents call their favourite city in different ways: a nymph of Thermal Bay, princess of Thermal Bay, City of Love (Erotiki poli) and even “ftohomana” – in the sense of “nurse of the poor”. Indeed, this city is equally comfortable and easy to use for all people without exception, and also for its many guests and tourists: with its developed infrastructure, it does not have “tourist” prices, because they are focused on the needs and requirements of the urban population.   Infrastructure   The northern capital of Greece has about 12 hospitals and a large number of private medical clinics and doctors’ offices of various specialisations. There are kindergartens, schools, high schools, colleges as well as the largest in the Balkans Aristotle University and prestigious University of Macedonia, which has economic inclination.   As with any Mediterranean city, the local population like to have a good time. Casinos, cafés, bars, traditional Greek bouzouki restaurants will not let you get bored throughout the year. Restaurants, taverns, pizzerias, pancake and fast-food shops offer something for everyone’s taste. Exhibition centres, theatres, concert halls and art galleries became the venues for international festivals and cultural events.   The main public transport is buses and taxis. Since 2014, Thessaloniki began operating routes of passenger boats connecting in the summer season the city with its suburbs, located along the Gulf Thermal, towards Halkidiki. In addition, the city has open-style tour buses and even tourist train carriages (on wheels).   Steamboats depart from the port of Thessaloniki to Athens, on the islands of Samos, Limnos, Lesvos and Chios. Trains make their way from the railway station to many places within the country. There is international airport “Macedonia” located at a distance of 10 kilometres from the city.   Nature   The average summer temperature is +24°C and in winter +6°C. In addition to the charming promenade overlooking Olympus and Thermal Gulf with its leisure boats, you can visit the city zoo and just an hour’s drive from the city you can find stunning beaches of Halkidiki.   If you decide to make a trip to northern Greece, you will find a bear reserve, beautiful lakes and taverns in the mountains, caves and geothermal sources. Going to the south, you will discover the ski resorts of Greece: Kaimaktsalan, Vasilitsa and Seli. The distance to the Bulgarian Bansko is 240 kilometres.   History and landmarks   Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC in the ancient Hellenistic state of Macedonia, birthplace of Alexander the Great. The founder of the city was the Macedonian king Cassander, who named the city after his wife Thessaloniki, the beautiful daughter of Philip II and Alexander the Great’s half-sister.   Due to its favourable location in the thermal Gulf, throughout the history Thessaloniki was an important strategic point and trade centre. Over the centuries, the city had repeatedly been destroyed and all the surviving monuments belong to the Byzantine period. Among them, many old churches under the protection of UNESCO: the church of Agia Sophia, Panagia Chalkeon, Church of St. George.   The city centre has the arch of Emperor Galerius and excavations of his palace. This Roman emperor was closely related to the fate of Demetrius Solunsky, who was a revered martyr. Near the old Roman market is the Basilica of St. Demetrius, where the patron saint of the city was martyred, pierced with spears by Roman soldiers who were ordered to do so by the imperial order.   There are Archaeological and Byzantine Museums, as well as the Museum of History of the Jewish people, Ataturk House Museum (the first president of the Turkish Republic), Military Museum, Museum of Cinema, Museum of Modern Art and many others.             View More »

Syros

Syros   Syros is one of the islands of the Cyclades. Its capital is Ermoupolis, which is also the capital of the region’s southern Aegean Sea.   The island gained its rapid development after 1826, with the settlement of refugees arriving here from Asia Minor, as well as from Greek islands of Psara, Chios and Crete, becoming one of the marine, industrial and cultural centres of the new Greek state.   Toponymy   The toponym of the island dates back to his first settlers – the Phoenicians. Today, there are two versions of its name: one related to the word “Ushiro”, which means from the Phoenician language “happy”, and another related with “sir” (“rock”).   It is noteworthy that in the “Odyssey” of Homer the island is called “Syrii”, marked as being in the vicinity of Delos, while in the 17th century Syros island is often referred to as the island of the Pope: “L'isola del Papa” – in connection with the Catholic doctrine, which was followed by its inhabitants.   Geography   Syros is located in the central part of the Cyclades, at a distance of 83 nautical miles from Piraeus and 62 miles from Rafina.   The island is bordered by several islands of the Cyclades. Andros is located to the north; Tinos is in the north-east; Mykonos and small islands of Delos and Rinia (Renia) are in the east; Kay and Giaros are in north west; Kythnos (Kythnos) is in the west; Serifos on south west; and Antiparos, Paros and Naxos in the south.   The northern part of Syros is called Apano Merja. It represents a sparsely populated mountainous terrain and attracts particular interest to its morphology: it is the only place of the island, covered with limestone, unlike the rest of it, dominated by volcanic rocks. There are a lot of rocks, bridges, caves and trails leading to the northern beaches of Syros (Grammata, Liah, Aetos, Varvarusa), located away from the hustle and bustle, which are ideal for a relaxing and quiet holiday.   The southern part of the island is a lowland area, which has most of the settlements as a developed tourist infrastructure and road network, as well as the most famous beaches of Syros: Ermoupolis city beaches (Asteria, Taliro, Kimata) and cosmopolitan beaches Angafopes, Delfini, and Azolimnos, Komita , Kini, Lotus, and Galissas Kokkina, especially suitable for family holidays.   Prehistorical period   According to archaeological discoveries in Halandriani and Castries, the island had been inhabited since prehistoric times (3,000 BC). Thus, in Halandriani archaeologists found more than 600 graves with funerary objects. Also, in Castries they found a fortified settlement with intense activity and urban community development of trade relations (in particular, with the coastal part of Asia Minor).   In the 2nd millennium BC, Syros was under the control of the Phoenicians, Minoan Crete, Mycenae and the Ionians (at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC).   On the hill of Agia Paku (Hypakoi) in Galissas, as well as in the west of Ermoupolis archaeologists found traces of settlements of the 7th century BC.   In the 6th century BC, island was captured by residents of Samos. At that period of time, there was born a famous poet, philosopher, scientist of antiquity and teacher of Pythagoras – Pherecydes, who had later moved to the island of Samos.   Pherecydes is considered the inventor of heliotrope, which was the first sun clock. Two caves in Syros, Rihopu and Alifini, are given his name.   Classical and Hellenistic era   In the classical period, Syros was a member of the Athens Symmachus (Delian League). It was an autonomous state with Parliament and municipality. Although it had its own minted silver coin, it paid tribute to the Athenians. After the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), Cyclades were conquered by the Macedonians.   In the Hellenistic period, the island was flourishing as it is evidenced by the architectural remains of temples’ kabiris in Alifini and Galissas, while the other discoveries were made in the north of Syros (Grammata), indicate the existence of the sanctuary of Asclepius.   Roman and Byzantine period   During the period of the Roman rule (184 BC-324 AD), the capital of Syros was on the site of modern Ermoupolis.   During the Byzantine times, due to the threat of devastating pirate raids, Syros, alongside with other small vulnerable islands, was virtually completely deserted, despite the fact that the internal parts of the island still had a few settlements.   During this period, at that time already a Christian island of Samos, along with the other islands of the Cyclades in the Aegean, had been a part of Tema (military-administrative district of the Byzantine era) controlled by the Governor General (stratigos), and later by a duke (Ducas).   In 1204, with the strengthening of the Venetians in the Aegean, the first large settlement called Ano Syros was created. Its inhabitants followed the Catholic faith whilst preserving the Greek language. In addition, an orthodox parish of Agios Nikolaos the Ftohu (St. Nicholas the Poor) was also saved.   Ottoman period   In 1579, the island was conquered for the Great Ports by Hayreddin Barbarossa and later Capuchin monks (1635) came here, being followed by Jesuits (1744).   Foundation of Ermoupolis   During the Greek Revolution of 1821, Syros took a neutral position, and therefore, in 1822, after the destruction of Chios and expulsion of Greeks from the islands of Samos, Rhodes, Psara and Kasos as well as Smyrna (Izmir) and Kidonies (Aivali), which caused a massive wave of immigration, refugees in Syros found relative safety, thanks to the privileges granted to the island at that time by the sultan Ports, and also because of its large natural and windless harbour.   During that period, some wealthy residents of Syros built their first houses, where Ermoupolis is based today, whilst refugees received a built Transfiguration Church (1824) as well as houses of stone erected up across the hill, with the creation of areas of Vrontado, Psaryana and Idreika.   Very quickly, a city was created at the foot of Ano Syros, which was full of life and magnificent buildings.   The development of Ermoupolis had contributed, respectively, to the development of the port, with transportation of cargo and wheat. By 1828, the urban population of the city was 14,000. Ermoupolis became a major urban centre, and soon the largest industrial and commercial centre freed by that time from the Turks in Greece.   Along with the trade and industry, the rapid development had happened in shipping, construction and leather industry, while plantar leather from Syros was delivered to the Balkans and Turkey.   It is worth noting also that the shipyards of Syros played an important role in the restoration of the merchant fleet, which was destroyed during the military events of the time.   In early May 1941, Italian troops landed in Syros, and in September 1943 the island passed into the hands of the German army.   Syros realised its new prosperity only after 90 years of the last century, when it became one of the popular destinations of Greek tourists. Ermoupolis gained a reputation as "a living museum", thanks to hundreds of impressive private houses and public buildings, as well as to its beautiful squares. At the same time, the island's coastal settlements (such as Gallisas, Finikas, Posidonia, Vari, Kini, Angafopes and others) underwent rapid development.   It is noteworthy that modern Ermoupolis is crowded and busy throughout the year, from winter to summer.   Religion   The island is characterized by harmonious coexistence of Christians who profess the Catholic and the Orthodox faith, with a large number of mixed marriages. It should be noted that the Catholic and Orthodox churches celebrate Easter together – according to the Orthodox calendar.   The island has the Archdiocese of Syros, which includes many of the nearby islands – Tinos, Andros, Kea, Milos, Mykonos, Delos, and others.   There are many Orthodox churches, including the Church of Transfiguration of the Saviour (Metropolis of Syros), the Church of Assumption of the Virgin, which keeps canvases of Dominic Theotokopoulos (El Greco), the Church of Resurrection, the Church of St. Nicholas – patron saint of Hermoupolis and so forth.   Syros also has many Catholic churches and chapels located in all parts of the island.   What to see   · Town Hall Hermoupolis The majestic building, designed by German architect Ernest Chiller at the end of the 19th century, is located in the Myauli the square.   · Municipal Library of Hermoupolis, consisting of 45,000 books; located on the first floor of the Cultural Centre (Pneumatiko Kentro). The official date of establishment is 1926. There are rare books stored here, such as “Argonautica” of Apollonius of Rhodes, “Onomastics of Pollux” of Rakin, “Justinian” of Dimitri Rodokanakisa and many others.  · The Apollo Theatre is one of the famous Greek theatres, which was built in 1862 by architect Pietro Sambi. It represents a miniature of Milan’s La Scala. The official opening of the theatre building took place on 20 April 1864, in the presence of Michalis Salvagu, who was the initiator of the project.   · The Archaeological Museum of Syros Initially, the museum was housed in the building of the school. Its exposition was based on the archaeological collection consisting mainly of the inscriptions collected by Ioannis Kokkonisom in 1834. From 1899 to 1901, the museum was transferred to the building of the City Hall. Today, there are a large number of artefacts from Halandriani, as well as some interesting sculptures of the Hellenistic and Roman periods.   · Industrial Museum – Centre for Technical Culture It was founded in 1985; consists of four buildings located in the heart of the industrial area of Ermoupolis: dyeing factory of Katsimanti, shot foundry of Anerussi, tannery of Kornilaki and textile factory of Velissaropulu.   The official opening of the museum took place on 12 May 2002 in the presence of the President of Greece Konstantinos Stephanopoulos.   · Historical Archive of Syros It is located in the Ladopulos building, which stands on the Myauli square. The archive stores important documents related to the history of the city and, in general, to the entire island.   ·  Museum of Cycladic Art copies It began operating from 1993, with funding supplied by the family of Yannis and Eleni Vathi. It is located in the halls of the Cultural Centre of Hermoupolis.   ·      Ethnographic Museum of Syros It is located in the area of Vapor, in the vicinity of the church of St. Nicholas.   · Museum of Markos Vamvakaris The museum is located in Ano Syros, in a traditional house, which is typical of the island and which was built in 1995. The museum exposition consists of photographs, art works as well as personal belongings of the composer.  · Showrooms There are three exhibition halls on the island: Ermoupoli, Pinacoteca of Cyclades and Emmanuel Rhoides. This place hosts major art exhibitions.   · Historical shipyards: - Neorio is the oldest mechanical workshop of Greece (1861); - Tarsanas is the place where traditional art of wooden shipbuilding was carefully preserved during the last 200 years; - Carnago is one of the first and largest shipyards (Carnago) of Syros in past years.   Apart from that, Syros has its own philharmonic, the creation of which dates back to 1872, with its first music teacher Delfino Spinelli. There is also a modern cinema “Pallas” (adapted for both winter and summer), several yacht clubs, indoor and outdoor stadiums, two local TV channels and six radio stations. It produces a daily newspaper “Koini Gnomi” (general opinion) and weekly newspaper “Logos ton Kikladon” (The Word of the Cyclades); there is a monthly published magazine “Serious”, plus some electronic media.   With regard to education, Syros has many public and private kindergartens and primary schools as well as high schools, colleges and vocational training establishments. There are also institutions of higher education: the faculty of mechanical engineering products and systems of Aegean University and Merchant Marine Academy.   Marine traffic Syros has one of the best harbours in Greece, which, thanks to its unique location, are protected from strong Cycladic winds.   There are daily flights to Piraeus and to the islands of the Cyclades. In addition, travel routes are carried out in the direction of the Dodecanese and north-eastern islands of the Aegean Sea.   Air connection The state airport of Syros “Dimitrios Vikelas”, which is located three kilometres from the centre of Hermoupolis, was established in 1992.   The airport is named after prominent Greek poet, writer and author Vikelas Dimitrios who was born in Syros. In addition, Dimitrios Vikelas was one of the organizers of the modern Olympic Games, being the first president of the International Olympic Committee (1894-1896).   There are daily Athens-Syros-Athens (Olympic Air) flights conducted from Athens airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”.   Bus station (KTEL Siru) The bus station in Syros came into existence in 1946 and moved to a new location in 1990.   The bus fleet consists of constantly updated machines in order to better serve its passengers. At the same time, the route network is expanding covering an increasing number of settlements and resorts on the island. In summer time, buses operate around the clock.   Public transport Mini buses are widely used as public transport from 2003. They pass through the main points of the city centre in order to avoid overloading local resort, with free transportation around the city.   The island also has taxis, which can be used for movement within the settlements as well as for long-distance intercity communications. In addition, here you can rent a car or moped. In recent times much attention is given to creation of bicycle lanes.   There are tourist train (on wheels) and chaise for the use of visitors of Syros.     View More »