Experience the Real Greece

A tangle of wild clematis.
The oak in the background has lost a lot of its leaves
but in the mild weather it has already started growing new ones.

After two days of drizzly weather with sporadic showers Symi is very green indeed. Moss is growing on the Kali Strata and the verges are lush with wild flowers. The Greek islands may be very quiet and difficult to reach in the winter but from a botanical point of view this is a far more interesting time to visit if one has the time and stamina. Travelling in Greece in the winter months is not for the faint hearted. Aside from the reduced flight and ferry schedules and limited accommodation available, the weather is unpredictable and it is not always possible to plan an itinerary and stick to it. However, dedicated travelers with flexible schedules and little interest in beach culture do take the plunge and it is certainly the best time of the year to mix with the locals and experience the real Greece. For lots of information about getting to Greece, please see our dedicated travel blog.

Locals of all ages climb the 360 or so steps of the Kali Strata every day. 

It is not just the oaks that are confused.
This grape vine is still covered with leaves.

A fine example of Symi plasterwork. 
Note the little angels' faces above the windows, slightly blurred by a century of annual whitewashing.

On a seasonal note, the municipality is testing Symi’s Christmas lights. Regular visitors to Symi may remember that a few years ago bendy light tubes were wound around the street lights, creating a barber pole effect of lights in alternating white and blue during the festive season. These are left permanently in place but only switched on for the holidays. A number of these have slipped down the poles in the course of the summer, with the result that when they were switched on Wednesday the effect was more one of droopy socks than candy canes. Someone was evidently hard at work yesterday, pulling them up because last night all was neat and tidy with pretty lights all the way up the motor road through Chorio and Lieni. The light trees and other decorations are only put up a few days before Christmas. In Greece Christmas is not the commercial extravaganza it has become in the west and while Agios Vassilis (St Basil) brings presents on New Year’s Day, the period of Advent is actually a time of fasting on the church calendar and the religious aspects of the season are not forgotten.

Agios Elefterios Church in Chorio
with the spires of Agios Thannassis and Stavros Church in the background.

This will be my last blog for a while as I am leaving for South Africa to visit my family but there will be random postings on this site by my ghost writers and you can also keep up to date with James Collins’ day to day Symi diary on www.symidream.com/wp. The webcam also provides a window on the weather on Symi throughout the year. Symi Visitor Accommodation is open for booking enquiries throughout the winter so if you need to plan some Symi sunshine in your life, please email Wendy and she will be only too happy to advise you.

Wishing you all a happy festive season.



Symi Laundry - Symi's one and only laundry. Yacht service available all year round.

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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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