Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: sys-001
Enjoy an enlightening driving tour through classic villages and then wander about the capital’s historical center, admiring the architecture and an original El Greco painting.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a brief drive through the streets of Hermoupolis, the handsome capital of the Cyclades. Arriving at the domed Church of the Assumption, you will see its greatest treasure, an original icon painted by El Greco, which depicts the assent of Mary into heaven. It was found in the church in 1983, although it had been painted more than 450 years before, when the Greek artist was in his mid-20s. You can clearly see his real name, Domenicos Theotokopoulos, signed at the base of the painting’s candelabrum.
Continuing on across the island of Syros, whose name is derived from an ancient Phoenician word meaning “rocky,” you will drive through several of the southern coastal villages. Each one is a classic in its own way. More natural beauty lies ahead on the island’s western shore, as you pass more picture-perfect villages before returning to Hermoupolis.
In the historical city center, you will commence a walking tour of notable sights that include the beautiful Orthodox cathedral of Saint Nicolas, the imposing City Hall and 19th-century Apollon Theatre, the first opera house in Greece, which was modeled after Milan’s famed La Scala. Neoclassical mansions are among the most enthralling aspects in the Vaporia district. Following your walking tour, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those guests with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.