Greece, Syros Island –  Hiking in the Princess of the Aegean

Whilst Syros will not be as effectively often called its extra well-known neighbours (Mykonos, Paros, Naxos or Santorini), it’s the capital and administrative centre of this group of Greek islands, the Cyclades (aka in Greek as Kyklades). It will not be a preferred vacationer vacation spot – however that’s in itself a very compelling motive to go to.

Syros Ermoupolis
Ermoupolis city Syros c. Hans Peter Schaefer, Wikipedia

The island’s historical past, notably the fundamental city of Ermoupoli (aka Hermoupoli) is the capital of the Cyclades. With its cobbled streets and wonderful neoclassical and Venetian structure is way more attention-grabbing and culturally various than most of the different Cycladic islands mixed. (The group includes 56 islands, 24 of that are inhabited).

Beyond the city, there’s an astonishing landscaped that begs to be explored.

Drive to Fish Hook

Fish Hook Syros
Fish Hook

From my house on the midwest facet of the island, I look north up the coast and might see the “Fish Hook” prime finish, approx 10 kms away. I had thus at all times wonderlusted about this very distant uninhabited, rugged and rocky top-end – Syros/Syra means rock. I had rounded this mysterious and alluring level many instances on the ferry however by no means ventured to this point by foot.

So when my adventurous, intrepid English mate (I’m an Aussie) and skilled hiker (Gordon) stated he knew the approach, I jumped at the probability. We set out on a heat and sunny May spring day.

From our village of Kini we would have liked to drive to the northernmost accessible highway’s finish of the island, being the rural space of Kambos. The half-hour drive up, up, up, is fascinating in itself, taking you previous the well-known archaeological website of Chalandriani.

It is from right here that Cycladic artefacts (carbon-dated at round 2,500 BC) have been found and are actually on show at the Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London, and different museums.

This northern half is the most elevated half of the island, which, along with its rugged remoteness, presents a very otherworldly expertise. Think lunar landscapes and the like particularly round Grammata Bay. The sense of isolation right here is all-pervading.

Grammata Bay
Grammata Bay

2-hour trek from Kambos to the prime

At Kambos, we deserted the automotive and commenced the 2-hour hike in direction of the islands prime finish, alongside a slender monitor frequented extra by wild feral goats than curious people.

The path is in most elements undulating and rocky, so care is required in find out how to go and the place to position your ft. All the approach alongside the central ridge that the path follows, the views are superb, searching on the close by islands of Andros, Tinos and Mykonos to the east, and Yaros, Kea and Kythnos in the west.

Venomous Vipers in these elements are very toxic and might result in demise

Being springtime, we have been acutely aware of not disturbing snakes and goannas popping out of their winter hibernation, with our shuffling ft on the slender monitor.

The venomous Vipers in these elements are very toxic and might result in demise if a chunk will not be handled shortly. This wouldn’t be attainable in such a distant location. Being an Australian, one is at all times cautious of such prospects.

The harsh and barren topography and flora are succesful of surviving the sweltering dry, windy summers. The space was nonetheless in bloom, with some low peak resilient floor cowl and shrubs being springtime. Sage and Thyme are a pure native right here, and their fantastic scent provides to the stark magnificence.

We may see herds of half a dozen or extra wild goats roaming the mountainside, having fun with the heat sunshine and abundance of floor cowl. After the chilly and windy winters, this have to be their most pleasing time of the yr.

They are a singular species apparently, bigger and furrier than the goats seen in most different elements. This very distant location presents them security from pure predators, so that is their area.

We reached our vacation spot of the fish hook land’s finish the late afternoon, with the solar heading for a western sundown. It was an unusually windless day, and with the sea beneath us so calm and tranquil, it was a surreal setting. A passing ferry about one kilometre away was the solely reminder of civilisation and our intrusion on this chic place.

Fish Hook, Syros
Final vacation spot – different finish of fish hook

From this spot, I may look again in a southerly course down the coast and make out the faint define of my house, from whence, we got here a number of hours earlier.

The lengthy trek again

With “mission accomplished” (and having one other field ticked on exploring this glorious island), we commenced the lengthy and difficult trek again. It was nightfall after we arrived again at the welcome sight of our ready automotive.

Physically fatigued however in excessive spirits from the journey, we drove to an area Taverna at the close by village of Sa Michalis. There we joined our different much less adventurous pals, for a effectively earnt genuine conventional Greek supper, of mountain delicacies.

An exquisite and exhilarating day on sunny Syros. They generally say it’s not the vacation spot that counts, however the journey. On this event, it was each.

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