The villages and settlements of Syros are full of wonderful contrasts. Each offers a different window into the soul of the island, yet together they form a single multi-dimensional identity. A short stroll will take you from the elegance of Ermoupoli, with its neoclassical buildings and cosmopolitan aura, to the medieval atmosphere of Ano Syros, with its combination of Venetian and Cycladic architecture and elevated views of the Aegean. Similarly, coastal villages such as Vari, Finikas, Azolimnos, Galissas and Kini have their own cosmopolitan charm and attract visitors because of their popular beaches and seaside tavernas. On the other hand, Posidonia, another seaside settlement on the west coast, stands out for its architectural gems. Away from the coastal settlements, the mountain villages of Syros, such as Chroussa and Episkopio, are also well worth exploring. And for the ultimate contrast, head north to the rugged and remote region of Apano Meria, where the wild Cycladic landscape gives way to endless views of the Aegean and traditional settlements such as San Michali, lost in time with its stone houses and age-old ways.