A Geography Lesson

Today’s report is a bit of a geography lesson as many first time visitors find Symi’s topography confusing and while the banner at the heading of this blog does give some idea of the lie of the land, it does not clarify where the different houses are in the harbour and environs. Symi is a very small island and nowhere is actually very far from anywhere else. Symi has very little shoreline so most beaches are surrounded by steep cliffs and can only be accessed by water taxis which operate out of Yialos (the main harbour) and Pedi Bay. I am focusing on Yialos, Symi’s main harbour, and Harani, the small bay to the side of it.

The clock tower on the corner of the quay marks the official dividing line between Yialos (the main harbour) and Harani.  It is the docking point for the big ferries from Pireaus and also for the Dodecanese Seaways catamarans.  The white building with the arches is the police station. Symi's only post office is also in this building. The long building to the right of that, with the blue balconies, is the Nireus Hotel. To the right of that is Sofia's House with Sofia's apartment beneath it.  To the right of that is the Aliki restaurant and Aliki Hotel..  The Merchant House is above and behind the Aliki.

Continuing on from the picture above, this is also Harani, showing the boatyard area.  Despina's apartment is in the building immediately behind the boatyard. Also in this picture, on the hill on the right, are Villa Nicola, the Kostas Kleanthi studios and Villa Karnayo.  NOS beach and the road to Nimborio continue off to the right.

This is looking into the amphitheatre harbour, to the left of the clock tower.  The side of the harbour closest to the clock tower is often referred to as Mouragio.  The small building right on the water on the left of the picture is the customs house and the Symi Visitor Accommodation office is nearby.  You can see the view looking from our office out to the bay on our webcam. The water taxis to the various beaches leave from the stretch of quay next to the customs house and their comings and goings can be seen on our webcam. The excursion boats Diagoras, Triton and Poseidon also leave from this part of the harbour.

Accommodation that we have in Yialos includes the Gate House which is on the hill at the back, Spiti Grande Helene, Villa Iris and Villa Gabrielle which is further along on the hill on the right and the Hellenikon apartment which, like Symi Visitor Accommodation, looks straight down the length of the harbour.

This general photograph shows the Kali Strata side of the amphitheatre harbour on the left, with Lemonitissa church, the hills at the back of Yialos and then round to Harani. The Lemonitissa studio and apartment arre next to the church, the red dome of which one can see among the trees on the right.  The small buildings just visible amongst the trees at the top in the middle are actually along the road to Roukoniotis monastery and Toli Bay and are accessed from the motor road which follows a spectacular route up through Chorio and around the Vigla mountain.

I took these photographs from  Symi's fuel station and bunkering jetty which is just off the only motor road out of the town.

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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