Greetings From A Quiet Island

That could be you on that water taxi, heading for Agia Marina, St Nicholas, St George, Nanou or Marathounda! The view from Symi Visitor Accommodation at 11.20 this morning.

On Symi it is always worth looking up!

This year the seagulls have been replaced by fish.  Apologies for the loss of sharpness - I cropped this from a larger photo so that you can get some idea of the detail on that mobile.

Looking through a window on the Kali Strata to the opposite side of the harbour.

The figs are plumping out nicely in the ruins.

A line up of motor yachts from Turkey.

Boats clearing in from outside the EU have to dock at the clock tower first to go through customs and immigration before being allowed to berth in Yialos or anchor in Pedi.
Symi is still very quiet considering that we have passed the halfway mark of June, a month that used to be one of the busiest in the year on Symi.  While there is a lot more boating activity in the harbour, mainly due to Ramadan as many Turkish boats come over then, there are still very few visitors actually staying on the island.  There is still plenty of accommodation of all kinds available on the island as those hotels that don't work with package holiday companies have availability and we also have houses, studios and apartments available.

Where I live, up at the top of the Pedi valley, the ambient noise in the evening is the buzz of cicadas and the tinkle of sheep bells rather then the murmur of distant conversations and snatches of music on the air.  There are far fewer people about and many houses are still closed up which is sad.  Houses with their shutters closed and no lights visible on summer nights are an unusual sight.

As I write this, the Salamis Filoxenia has just winkled her way into Symi harbour so at least the Cypriots have not forgotten us!

Have a good week.



June Postcards from Symi

Half past 8 on a Friday morning and you can already see that it is hot out there.

There are more boats in, mostly Turkish-owned as Symi is a popular cruising ground for Turks based in Datca, Bodrum, Marmaris and Bozburun.

Symi's strict architectural code means no awnings on balconies on the Kali Strata. There's no rule against ice cream parasols though as that is temporary shade.  And, of course, the colour goes nicely with the balcony rails.

The Blue Star speeding past the entrance to Pedi, en route to Rhodes, just after 8 this morning.

A bougainvillea on a smallholder's cottage in the Pedi valley provides a bright pop of colour.

There are lots more sailing yachts in Pedi these days.  On the right hand side of the bay you can see the path to St Nicholas beach quite clearly. There is a similar path to Agia Marina on the other side but as that tracks inland it is not so obvious.

The view from my desk at the Symi Visitor Accommodation office on Wednesday.

Looking across Yialos from outside the National Bank of Greece. You can just make out the ruins of the old windmills silhouetted against the skyline.  In the days of the Ottomans, Symiots had farms on the surrounding coastline of Asia Minor and brought their grain harvest over to the central hub, Symi, to grind it into flour.  Now there is a border in between and the last functioning windmill fell into disuse in the 1950s.

The view from one of my favourite 'keyholes' on the Kali Strata.

The ferry office for Blue Star ferries and Dodecanese Seaways. Symi Tours also organises tours and bus trips and is also the local agent for booking flights.

I have always loved the shopfront at Merakles taverna in Yialos.  

A modern Greek tragedy at the bottom of the Kali Strata.

An eruption of Plumbago. The locals call it Blue Jasmine but unlike its namesake it has no fragrance.  

A quiet snooze spot in Chorio.


About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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