Symi's Special Magic

Looking along the quay from Harani towards the Clock tower.  The three storey building with blue trim and white panels catching the light is the well known Nireus Hotel.  Immediately to the right of that is Sofia's House, followed by the Vaporetto restaurant and the Aliki Hotel.  The Merchant House is one tier up, behind the Aliki Hotel.  In the distance, on the opposite side you can see the row of old windmills in Chorio.  Among the houses on that hillside you will find Charitomeni restaurant and Villa Rose.

The road along the water's edge between the Clock Tower and NOS beach is exceedingly narrow, really just the quayside, and it has bites out of it with steps down to make accessing the boats easier.  This narrow strip is actually also the road to Nimborio so it is hardly surprising that there is no public transport out to Nimborio bay.

As September slips towards the autumn equinox the number of clouds is increasing and we had a brief spattering of rain on Sunday.  The air is clearing, revealing more rows of hills on the distant shores of Turkey, opposite Pedi Bay.

The same row of old windmills that I pointed out to you in the earlier photograph of Harani, but this time seen from across the Pedi Valley.  Nowhere on Symi is very far from anywhere else and it is the many hills and valleys that makes this tiny island so fascinating. The whole island is only about 8 miles long.

A harmonious line up of colours on the Kali Strata washing line.  

An appeal in Greek and English for people not to dump their rubbish outside this old house on the Kali Strata. For logistical reasons there is no system of 'dustbin men' collecting refuse directly from the houses.  Instead, as is common in this part of the world, there are skips placed in convenient locations that can be accessed either by the big municipal dump truck or by a tiny little Piaggio mini dump truck that can squeeze through some of the lanes.  Householders take their rubbish with them when they go out and drop it off in the nearest skip. The skips are emptied every day in the winter and often twice a day in the height of the season.  Unfortunately at this stage there is no viable system for recycling plastic and glass on the island so this all goes into the landfill up on the top of the mountain.

Fishing boats, yachts and a small ferry, the Nikolaos X. The harbour seems strangely empty with the Panagia Skiadeni still off the schedule for repairs.  Her return has now been put back to the 22 September.  Please keep an eye on Andy's excellent travel blog for regular updates.

The Greek flag, high on a rocky hillside overlooking Yialos.
September on Symi brings many familiar faces back to the island and our little office has been full to overflowing this morning with people coming in to say 'hello'.   Symi's uniquely authentic Greek island atmosphere has many loyal fans.  Visitors who have been coming for decades and can remember when there were no cars and, indeed, no roads.  Visitors who came with their children every summer for years and can now enjoy the peace and quiet of holidaying outside the school holiday period.  Visitors who came on holiday with their parents and now come as adults, sometimes with their own small children too.  Visitors who bring friends to share Symi's special magic.  When will you visit Symi and with whom will you share your special Symi holiday?

Have a good week.


Sandra Tomlinson –   – (Tuesday, September 09, 2014)  

We booked our holiday in January, this will be our first visit, having read your blog(on the advice of a frequent Symi visitor)religiously twice a week since booking, you have really whetted our appetite and with only 3 weeks to go, can't wait now, thank you very much

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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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