A Haven of Peace and Charm

The blue skies of Greece are unmarred by any crisis.

Shops and businesses make a huge effort every year to make their premises as attractive and welcoming as possible to visitors.

Lavender in Yialos, Symi's main harbour.

The post office cat taking a nap.

Mavrovouni, the 'black mountain' that forms part of Symi's famous amphitheatre harbour.  Villa Iris and Spiti Grand Helene are located on this hill.  Although it is steep, the road to the helipad passes from the back of the square up to the top and runs along the top of this hill so it does have close vehicle access from above  It is also a pleasant walk across the top of this hill, through the Drakounta valley, to Nimborio bay, by passing Yialos altogether.

Looking at Mavrovouni from the Kali Strata steps, the 19th century street of steps that connects Chorio, the old upper town, with Yialos, the port.  The Kali Strata is lined with many neo-classical mansions, some of which have been restored and others of which remain in a ruined state.

Spot the cat.  This pretty restaurant in an 18th century windmill in Chorio will be opening shortly, now that the weather is more settled.

Tidying fishing nets and painting a small boat - there is always something to look at from the office window.

Those furry objects are almonds, ripening on the trees in Chorio.

Prettily painted town houses at the back of the town square in Yialos...

... where you can also find another hardware store and a second tinsmith, selling gifts made from brass and copper sheet...

... as well as the island's old ice factory which is now a boutique selling hand made knitted and crocheted items, all made on Symi.
It is a warm and hazy June day on the idyllic island of Symi in the Dodecanese.  A boutique cruise ship has been here overnight and is still tied up in Yialos.  Day trippers from Rhodes are strolling about lazily in the summer sunshine.  The water taxis have set off for the beaches and the Poseidon is off, round the island, with visitors who are staying on the island.  Many of Symi's secret places can only be found by taking a boat as the island's precipitously steep and rocky shoreline denies access by any other means.  There is only one real motor road on Symi, connecting Yialos, Chorio and Pedi with Panormitis monastery at the south side of the island, with a branch road off to the hamlet of Xisos, Roukoniotis monastery and Toli bay taverna.  Symi is not an easy island with her water shortages, steep hillsides and many steps, but she is undoubtedly beautiful and many visitors make the effort, year after year, because they know Symi is something special. The views are always worth the climb and in this time of economic crisis Symi remains a haven of peace and charm.

Have a good weekend.


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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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