Syros uniqueness lies in the fact that it can combine the rural landscape – in the north of Syros or Apano Meria – with the residential tourist area to the south of the island.
On a tour to northern Syros, Cycladic landscape enthusiasts will be left to the tranquility of the barren nature with low vegetation and dry stone. This tranquility is also enjoyed by the migratory birds gathered in the area and classifying it as one of the most important in Greece, which is why the mountain Syringa belongs to the NATURA 2000 Network of Protected Areas, with the following locations:
- Area Name: MOUNTAIN SYRINGAS TO THE BEACH
Area Code: GR4220018 Type: B Geographical Length: 24o 54 Geographical Width: 37o 28 Maximum Altitude (m): 434 Area (ha): 700,
while two other areas of Syros have been also included in the NATURA 2000 network:
- Area name: GYAROS ISLAND
Area Code: AG0010077 Maximum Altitude (m): 447 Area (ha): 2700
- Area Name: NORTHERN SYROS
Area Code: GR4220018 Type: B Geographical Length: 24o 54 Geographical Width: 37o 28 Maximum Altitude (m): 434 Area (ha): 700
And where the landscape looks dry, right at this point you can meet a wide variety of plants and herbs. The unique microclimate, the strong sunlight, the sea breeze and the strong winds make the herbs of Syros acquire intense flavors, aromas and colors. The most common species are thyme, asphodel and sage, and if you visit the area in spring you will surely see them blooming. In the area, you will also find rare plant species, such mandrake which has laxative properties, as well as three species of saffron that are endemic in Syros.
In the southern part of the island, the residential development becomes more apparent and coexists with lush vegetation, the dominant feature being the local pine thickets.
The Syros’ fauna is also of great interest. In addition to the goats climbing on the dry-stone walls and roam on rocks to the sea, the most experienced visitors can see birds, reptiles, amphibian hares and rabbits. Across the island, and especially in Ano Meria, there are 11 species of reptiles, green toad (amphibian species) and 47 bird species.
And of course you could not leave out the coastline of the island, regardless of the season you visit the island. There is a wide variety of beaches, from secure beaches and beautiful beaches such as Hermoupolis, Phoinikas, Vari, Galissas, Kini, Delfini and, of course, Agathopes, the most popular beach of the island, also known for the lilies that bloom in summer. You can also rent a boat to discover unique beaches that are almost untouched because of the difficult access and explore caves that really fascinate every visitor.
Finally, for adventure lovers, renting a boat and sailing around Gyaros’s island will definitely be a life experience! Gyaros, an island north of Syros, remains uninhabited after the closure of one of the largest prison complexes where political prisoners were displaced after the civil war. In summer the island’s sole inhabitants are the endangered migratory bird Manx shearwater and Eleonora’s falcon, many birds of prey and the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus). In fact, in 2011, the region joined the Natura 2000 network as it is one of the most important breeding sites for seals across the Mediterranean.
Walking along the coastline of the island, the spectacle overwhelms you; small beaches, steep cliffs, turquoise crystal clear waters. There you will definitely meet some of the rare and beautiful “inhabitants” of this island!