With its elegant white-stucco buildings clinging to precipitous cliffs, famous black-sand beaches, and ancient mountaintop ruins, it’s easy to see why Santorini tops so many bucket lists. But the island is falling victim to its own success — Santorini’s permanent population stands at just 15,000, yet some two million tourists visit every year. Unsurprisingly, its infrastructure simply isn’t equipped to deal with this influx, from water supply to garbage disposal.
Yet, 75 miles to the north, you’ll find another of the Cyclades Islands that’s every bit as beautiful, while attracting just 10 percent as many tourists. Syros is the capital island of the Cyclades, but it scarcely registers on the agenda of most visitors to the region. Here are nine reasons why travelers should trade Santorini for Syros.