That Old Charm

The view from the area of the Two Fishes.  The Cottage is in the group of houses in front.  The Little Blue House and Zoe's apartments are in the group of houses on the hill to the left of the picture.  That is Pedi Bay in the background - no where is very far from anywhere else on Symi.

Symi's Acropolis with the remnants of the old Kastro built by the Knights of St John,
as seen from the same vantage point.  This is a very old part of Chorio which is
 now being extensively restored.

A quiet lane in Chorio.  The Museum is behind the walls on the left with the hibiscus growing out of it, and Hatziagapitos House is behind the wall on the right with the vine tendril.

Early morning in Yialos.  That is the Hellenikon apartment in the centre, with the blue pediment.  In a few hours the gyros bar will be busy but at seven on a July morning there is hardly a soul in the harbour apart from fishermen and street cleaners.

It is the last week of July and Symi is very hot and very busy. Yialos, the main harbour is bustling with yachts, gulets, water taxis and excursion boats, not to mention ferries of all sizes. The Blue Star Diagoras squeezed in this morning, only about 2 hours late. Something worth remembering when planning ferry trips at this time of the year is that the more stops there are between the point of departure and the place of arrival the less likely one is to arrive on time, particularly when catching a car ferry from Piraeus that takes in such popular islands as Santorini and Kos.

While the harbour is humming, Chorio, the village is much quieter, particularly during the day when most visitors staying there are away on the beach. As most of Symi’s beaches are surrounded by steep cliffs they are only accessible either by water taxis operating out of Yialos and Pedi or by some fairly energetic walking over rugged terrain. Their charm lies in their spectacular settings and astonishingly clear water. For those who have hired a car or bike or don’t mind a serious walk with a swim at the end of the trail, Toli Bay is worth the hike, particularly with the promise of lunch at Dafne’s Taverna as a reward. Other beaches that can be reached on foot or by car include Pedi bay, Nimborio and Marathounda. For more beach information please see our beach guide on Symi-beaches.htm.

Symi’s main attraction is the island’s beautifully preserved architecture and spectacular scenery, all on a small scale that gives the place a magical air enhanced by the fact that so little of the habitation can be seen when approaching from the sea. Visitors in the past used to enjoy the evening arrivals on the Symi I, watching the sparkling lights of Yialos and Chorio appear out of the darkness as the boat came round the headland and the whole panorama unfolded. These days connections tend to be high speed catamarans so arrivals are more efficient with less of the magic, but returning from a day out on one of the excursion boats still captures some of that old charm.

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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