Spread around the harbour, the island’s capital is distinguished by its picturesque scenery of narrow lanes and lovely stone mansions with red-tiled roofs.
Saint Nicholas’s Church
Built between 1785 and 1793 at the highest point of the town, the island’s most important church is reached via a 60-step climb and has marvellous views of the sea. The marble used in its construction was brought by Psarian seafarers from Chios and other parts of the Aegean, as well as places further afield such as Malta and Marseille.
The Monastery of the Assumption
This historic monastery, dating from 1780, houses invaluable treasures such as manuscripts and religious writings printed in Moscow and Venice. An icon of the Virgin Mary by the great Renaissance artist El Greco, now in Syros, was once kept here. From outside there is a panoramic view of the Aegean, taking in Mytilene, Skyros, and Mount Athos.
The Home of Constantine Kanaris
The national hero Constantine Kanaris, a great admiral in the War of Independence and later prime minister of Greece, was born on Psara. He is commemorated with a bust on the spot where his family home once stood.
The historic hill on the Palaiokastro Peninsula is a symbol of the heroic resistance of the islanders during the Greek struggle for independence. A simple monument at the top commemorates the Holocaust of Psara and the 120 men, women and children who sacrificed themselves by blowing up the powder magazine in the fortress that was under siege by the Ottomans. A stone path leads here, and it is worth making your visit in the evening to watch the glorious sunset.
This important archaeological site contains the remains of a Mycenaean settlement and an ancient cemetery.
The uninhabited island opposite the harbour is renowned for its outstanding beauty (it is part of the Natura 2000 network), and is a refuge for rare seabirds. Psili Ammos beach is among the finest in the Mediterranean.
This historic stone building was where sailors were placed in preventive quarantine on their return home from long voyages, and with its arched roofs and austere rooms it is still an impressive sight. It became the property of the National Tourism Organisation in 1976 and since its renovation by the great Greek architect Aris Konstantinidis has operated as a restaurant.