Meet Iris Giannakopoulou, architect and partner of LOTOS Properties

By Melina Koufakou Saturday 25 June, 2019

Images by Robert Panossian

The creative architect takes us on an alternative tour of her favorite beaches and secret spots around the island of Syros.

Iris holds a Diploma in Architecture engineering and an MSc in Architecture Design. She is currently pushing a Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture in the USA. She spends most of her time between Athens and New Haven.

‘Syros, the Sovereign of Cyclades as they say, is both cosmopolitan and Cycladic, luxurious and traditional, Orthodox and Catholic, where anyone can be on the beach in the morning and in the theatre by night.’

‘Wandering around Hermoupolis, the capital of the Cyclades, one can discover its splendid attractions: the stunning Town Hall, designed by Ernst Ziller, dominates the Miaouli square; the elegant Apollo Theatre, modelled in part on the Scala di Milano, stages artistic and cultural events all year long; the picturesque quarter of Vaporia with its breathtaking view; the marvelous details of Agios Nikolaos, a magnificent 19th century Byzantine church. Last but not least, above Hermoupolis stands Ano Syros, the medieval fortress city with its narrow winding streets, scenic restaurants and cafés, and spectacular views.’

‘While there are many different and interesting things to do and see in Syros, here are the ones I absolutely love.’

Points of Interest


‘Within a fifty-minutes hike from Chalandriani Bronze Age cemetery, is “Kastri,” a prehistoric settlement of the second Early Cycladic period (2600–2300 BC). It is located at the top of a steep hill near the sea and it’s the place where the first inhabitants of Syros settled. Also, on the way to “Kastri” there is Klisoura beach, a totally secluded and pristine beach.’

Agios Stefanos

‘Agios Stefanos in Galissas is a serene chapel built on a rock by the sea.  You can access it on foot via an easy thirty minutes hike or by boat.’

The assumption of the Virgin

‘This is the second oldest church on the island, built in 1828. What stands out is the authentic icon of the assumption from 1562, painted by Dominikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco).’


‘Syros hosts many international and domestic festivals, especially during the summers, such as Syros Film FestivalAnimasyros and “Stray Art Festival.’




‘Lotos beach is within a three-minute walk from the house and it’s one of the quietest beaches of the island. Next to Lotos is Kini beach, known for its beautiful sunsets.’



‘Katergaki beach is situated south west of Syros. It is an ideal choice for those looking for a secluded beach with sand and clear blue waters.’



‘The secluded beach of Fokiotrypes is located southeast of Hermoupolis. Deserted and rocky, it is ideal for those who prefer the beauty of raw landscapes. It is accessible via a fifteen-minute hike that starts at Azolimnos.’


Northern beaches

‘At the north-west of the island, are located various pristine beaches, accessible by hiking from “Apano Meria” or by a small private boat that you take from Kini.’


Food & Beverage


Laoutari kafreneio

‘A delicious traditional Greek tavern that organizes Greek traditional music nights.’


Perroquet tranquille

‘Located in a traditional stoned house at the heart of Poseidonia, the bistro offers a selection of tastes from the delicious cuisine of the French Provence.’


Django Gelato

‘The best natural gelatos and sorbets made daily. My favorite is the sorbet fig. It is simply addictive.’


Athimaritis patisserie

‘The almost hundred years old patisserie, uses the purest raw materials, offering some of the best delicacies I have even tried. Don’t miss the “Amygdalota,” the traditional Greek almond cookies.’



‘Located in the heart of Miaouli square, Ellinikon is a traditional “kafenio.” I love to come here to go for a double traditional Greek coffee and a Loukoumi bite.’





‘In this small shop you will find many local products produced in Syros. Don’t forget to buy “San Michali” cheese (a PDO product), local sausages and the famous capers of Syros.’


Korres / Leivadaras

‘These two brand names are the flagship of Syros local delicacies (Loukoumia & Halvadopites).’

Image by Kaspars Eglitis