Once Greece’s ship-building centre, Syros still has a boatyard at Neorio. But the most splendid legacy of the shipping industry are the manor houses in Vaporia and Poseidonia. The beaches are slightly less splendid — with the exception of Delfini, Varvarousa, and Aetos in the wild north. But fabulous seaside tavernas abound: Ambela for fresh fish; CIliovassilemar on Galissas beach for samphire and sea-urchin salad and rockfish soup; Allou Yallou in the pretty seaside village of Kini for lobster with orzo. In Ermoupoli, the finest places to eat and drink are along Androu Street: Ousyra (ousyra.com), where the chef plates up Greek-ified pasta and beautifully balanced salads, and Django Gelato, where the smoked-hazelnut ice cream and fig sorbet sell out in 30 minutes flat. Perhaps the prettiest restaurant of all is Mazi) a vine-covered courtyard festooned with bougainvillaea. Before you leave, stock up on loukoumi (rose-tinted Turkish delight) and San Michalis cheese from Prekas delicatessen, and visit Zylo for hand-made wooden sunglasses 👍 For more recommendations, see our insider guide to Syros 😎
For the best trip to Greece, I recommend visiting Greek islands within the same island group. For example, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Corfu and Santorini on the same trip as they’re on opposite sides of the country. Instead, visit islands in the same island group: the Cyclades (the most popular), the Sporades, the Dodecanese, the Ionian, the Saronic, and the Northeastern Aegean. For one, they’re close to each other. And two, they have frequent ferry connections with other islands within the same group. For first-time visitors to Greece, the Cyclades make the most natural and convenient introduction to the Greek islands. Crete is its only island group and will have good connections to the Cyclades from May to October. (we really thank Dawne Amos from Florence, Italy for their latest revisions).
Travelandleisure.com goes on to describe how may, June, andSeptember are great months to visit the Grecian isles if you’re looking for nice weather but still hoping to avoid the crowds. The high season (mid-June to mid-September) offers more ferry routes and flight options. It’s also when you’ll find the most open restaurants and beach bars to choose from, but that comes with more tourists to compete with and higher prices. Each island group has its own weather to look into — Crete is warmest year-round, making it a great choice for late fall or winter. And while some islands, such as Hydra, are full of locals and see tourists year-round, others, such as Santorini, get very quiet in the off-season (November to March). Here, we’ve put together an overview of each group of islands (and the highlights of each archipelago) to help you plan your next Grecian adventure.
Gabriela Richey from theculturetrip.com, describes how don’t underestimate sleepy little Chios on the beauty front. Granted, it doesn’t get the press that islands such as Santorini or Corfu do, and it may not have the legendary sandy beaches of Crete, but it certainly holds its own. This relatively large island, poking into the Aegean Sea just off the Turkish coast, has charming medieval hill villages, a truly untouched shoreline and sweeping inland vistas of arid, shrub-dotted valleys. When the backcountry gets a little too beautiful to handle, you can always seek out the exquisite mosaics of the Nea Moni monastery, a Unesco World Heritage site from the days of Constantine IX.