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The heart of Greece is the Aegean, and the heart of the Aegean is the Cylades (Kyklades). The city of Ermoupoli (City of Hermes) on the island of Syros is the capital of this region. At one time Ermoupoli was the principal port of entry for all of Greece, and continues to be an important window upon the world. As such, Syros was never dependent on tourism for its livelihood, and still isn't. It remains a city, and island, self contained and independent. Nearby Naxos island is even less developed for tourism. Its beaches seem to run on for miles of unpeopled white sand purity. Holy Delos island has long been a place of pilgrimage and ...

The heart of Greece is the Aegean, and the heart of the Aegean is the Cylades (Kyklades). The city of Ermoupoli (City of Hermes) on the island of Syros is the capital of this region. At one time Ermoupoli was the principal port of entry for all of Greece, and continues to be an important window upon the world. As such, Syros was never dependent on tourism for its livelihood, and still isn't. It remains a city, and island, self contained and independent. Nearby Naxos island is even less developed for tourism. Its beaches seem to run on for miles of unpeopled white sand purity. Holy Delos island has long been a place of pilgrimage and pleasure. Cleopatra had a summer house here. The Athenean alliance, known as the Delian League, kept its treasure here. Today it is strictly protected, and no one but the guards may spend the night on the island. Then there is the island of Paros, among others. If Mykonos breaks your budget, head to Paros. It looks very similar, has the same type of architecture, better food, and great ferry connections. But the cool kids haven't found it yet. Shhhhh.

Richard Sterling
About the Expert

Richard Sterling is the author of Lonely Planet's World Food: Greece, Eyewitness Travel Guide Vietnam, and many other books.

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Richard Sterling for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Greek island group in Aegean Sea southeast of mainland Greece.
  • Language: Greek
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time, depending on the island