Old Houses and Mansions

Chorio as seen looking down from the road to Panormitis. The big church in the foreground is Agia Triada. The conical mound behind that is the Kastro, Symi's acropolis and the promontory with a church on it behind that is Evangelissmos at Harani. The island in the background is Nimos.

It is a hot sunny day on the small island of Symi in the Dodecanese. It is the peak week of the summer holiday season with thousands of Greeks leaving Athens and Thessalonica and heading for the Aegean islands for the 15 August holiday. The following item appeared in Saturday’s edition of Ekathimerini Online:


Patrols boosted on roads, ports and airports crowded

Traffic police yesterday intensified patrols on the country’s national road network as thousands of city dwellers abandoned the capital to begin their summer holidays. The country’s ports and airports were crowded yesterday afternoon as thousands more vacationers waited for ferries or planes. According to authorities at the country’s main port of Piraeus, 13,300 passengers boarded ferries to Aegean islands yesterday. Officials at Athens International Airport said that 2,177 outbound flights were scheduled between Friday and Monday morning. Another major exodus of holidaymakers is due on Friday, August 13, ahead of the August 15 national holiday.

This is for those who ask how far it is from Yialos to the Hotel Fiona.  The Hotel is the blue gabled building on the skyline.  The Proteus and the Symi II usually dock where the small yellow car is parked on the right.
While Symi is not as popular a destination as Mykonos or Santorini, the island does attract a certain number of Greek visitors each year, many on the strength of travel programs about the Greek islands on Greek television. Symi’s beautifully preserved and restored neo-classical houses are a unique attraction as so many places in Greece have lost their traditional architecture and replaced old houses and mansions with concrete apartment blocks instead. Symi’s pocket-handkerchief size beaches are picturesque but Symi’s unique selling point is still the island’s architectural heritage.

Climbing up the Kali Strata.

Have a good week.



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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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