So you’ve done Mykonos (can one seriously go each and every year?). And Santorini, albeit having risen back into jet-set fame over the last few years is bucket-list checked over and over. Even Folegandros, once the ‘off the beaten track’ darling of the Cyclades has become more heavily touristed. But you still yearn for that Cycladic sunshine, azure sea and charming, laid back life, don’t you. What’s an OutThere traveller to do? We checked in with our friends at Five Star Greece for a solution. After all, if anyone knows about luxury Greece, it’ll be them – the ultimate matchmakers when it comes to a luxury villa or yacht rentals in the land of legends. And without even batting their eyelids, the answer came through instantly. Syros.
Small, but perfectly well-formed Syros is endearing, a fusion of that traditional bouganvila clad taverna style Greece with all that is and can be contemporary about the Aegean. It is one of the smallest islands in the region and apart from the capital, most of it is rural. Yet, it is a fully bustling, working island because it is the administrative capital of the archipelago, thus providing that Greek energy all year round. It is the place that the Greek holiday-makers stay in, even when the tourists depart. The country’s biggest yachting names (think Jackie O fame) have all set up their palatial second homes here.
Ermoupoli is where the magic happens, said to be the grandest of all Cycladic towns. The Venetians had their say here, as there’s a touch of Italian sophistication in everything from the crumbling facades of old-town Vaporia to the Appollon Opera House (a tribute to Milan’s La Scala – go figure). It’s a magical place and firmly our top tip for those looking for a unique escape this year away from the madding crowd.