Into the Blue with the Poseidon.

Analipsi - the monastery at the entrance to Nimborio bay.  The arched door leads into a large boatshed under the monastery.  Like many other small monasteries on Symi, this monastery is extremely difficult to reach except by sea as the shoreline is too steep for a road or path.

Into the blue - a swimming stop on the western side of the island.

The broad sweep of Panormitis bay on the south western side of Symi  Until about 30 years ago this too was mainly accessed by sea but now there is a reasonable motor road along the spine of the island, connecting Yialos, Chorio and Pedi at the northern end of the island with Panormitis in the south.  By car this is about 45 minutes.  On foot, however, it is closer to 4 hours!  It is worth hiring a car for the day to drive from one end of Symi to the other, simply to enjoy the views from the top and see some surprisingly wooded mountain tops.

A closer view of the monastery with its tavernas and rooms for pilgrims - bustling at this time of the year as many Greeks come here for a few weeks in the summer.   The rooms are very simple and don't have cooking facilities, hence the tavernas. When I first came back in 1993 there was a bakery with a wood oven and I sometimes used to see women taking trays of stuffed vegetables along to the bakery to be cooked in his oven.  Unfortunately the bakery is now closed.

The Metropolitan's carpet, out for an airing.

Putting the previous photograph into context, this is the entrance to the monastery church, offices, museums and souvenir shop.

This is the chapel of St Paul on the small island of Sesklia where we stopped for lunch.  The story has it that St Paul stopped on Sesklia for the night en route to Ephesus which is on what is now the Turkish coast.  

Not quite so romantic - a bit further along the road on Sesklia we came across these sheep, sheltering in a narrow strip of shade in front of a barn where they are evidently fed.

The rest of the flock were sheltering under this old olive tree in the middle of a wheat field. There is some agricultural activity on Sesklia and the island belongs to Panormitis monastery. Note how neatly the sheep have trimmed the tree to an even length.

Symi's two longest established excursion boats, the Diagoras (left) and the Poseidon (right) on the jetty at Sesklia. The Diagoras is usually rented by the day by small parties of friends and family groups whereas anyone can buy a ticket for the Poseidon subject to availability. As the boat is very popular and has a strong repeat clientele it is a good idea to book your seats the evening before when the booth opens on the quay at 6 p.m.

The calm waters off Sesklia bay make for irresistible swimming on a hot day.

Rotisseried chicken for the lunch time buffet.

Captain Yanni putting the finishing touches to lunch for 50 people.

The sparkling waters of St George's bay - the last swimming stop before heading back into Yialos. This too is a bay that can only be reached by sea.
I had a rare opportunity to play the tourist this week, accompanying my stepmother on a round the island trip on the Poseidon on Tuesday. These photographs give you some idea of what you can see and do on a typical round the island trip with this boat.  It is a full day out, from 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and as you can see, the boat visits places that you may not otherwise be able to access during your stay.  It is an excellent way to orientate yourself and get an idea of the island's layout as there is no coastal road and many places are literally inaccessible by any other means. The price is 35 euros per head which includes unlimited wine, water, retsina, ouzo and coffee as well as a generous buffet lunch, making it excellent value for money.  Put it on the wish list for your next visit.

Have a good week.


Jackie  – (Monday, September 12, 2016)  

I'm sad that the bakery at Panormitis is closed. The pies were lovely.

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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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