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The Greek island of Syros is one of the Cyclades group of islands and lies in the Aegean Sea, around 145 km to the south east of Athens, the Greek capital. The island's history dates back to around the 3rd millennium BC, to the reign of Halandriani and Kastri. Artefacts excavated on the island show that there must have been a metalwork laboratory on the island which it is thought had a commercial relationship with Asia Minor. During the 6th century BC, the island was occupied by the Samians, when many of the island's inhabitants moved to the island. The important physician and philosopher, Pherecydis was born on the island during this period and later went to Samos and became Pythagoras' teacher.
In addition to the island's beauty, Syros has a thriving cultural scene and a love of the arts. Tourists should take the time to visit the island's museums and galleries in addition to strolling through pretty village streets or lazing on the beach.
From the island's port there are ferry services to Rafina and Piraeus by both conventional or high speed ferry. Syros is also connected to all of the Cyclades Islands, the Dodecanese Islands, Crete, Thessaloniki and Skiathos.
The Greek island of Astypalea lies in the eastern Aegean Sea and is one of the 12 islands that make up the Dodecanese group of islands. The island, which sits at the point where the Dodecanese meet the Cyclades islands, has a long history and is characterised by typically Greek whitewashed villages and lovely beaches. Astypalaia is also the westernmost island of the Dodecanese and is naturally separated into Mesa Nisi (the inner island, western part) and Exo Nisi (the outer island, eastern part) by a thin strip of land less than 100 m wide.
The island's capital, and home to its port, is Chora and is regarded as one of the most picturesque towns in the Aegean. The town sits atop a rock that protrudes into the sea, forming two bays. Towering above Chora is a castle with the white domes of Evangelistria and Agios Georgios churches visible above its walls. Around the castle lie Chora’s houses with whitewashed walls, blue doors and windows, and wooden balconies.
The island is connected to the port of Piraeus and also to the other islands in the Dodecanese, the Cycladic islands and to Crete.