SYMI



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Symi - The port (Gialos) and the old town (Chorio) and their vicinity - The area of Chorio - general

There are several routes up from Gialos to Chorio by foot, but the Kali Strata, whose broad steps begin just inland of the southwest corner of the harbour, is the most impressive. It passes the finest neoclassical mansions— many ruined, some roofless, some lived-in, some semi detached (designed as symmetric double habitations), and a few with gardens and venerable trees. Within the limits of the theme, their variety and elegance is remark able. The summit of the stairs is the beginning of Ano Chorio, the Upper Town, which occupies a saddle in the slope of Mount Vigla,which slopes slowly down to the bay of Pedhi to the east, at the end of its fjord-like en trance from the sea. The fertile slope of this valley was the main area of cultivation for the island. The town above spreads around a central eminence topped by the castle (the ancient acropolis). The area immediately around the castle has small, closely clustered houses, narrow stone alleys, and few open spaces. Around the edge of this nucleus are the earliest neoclassical houses added at the perimeter of the older area in the early years of the 19th century, before Gialos began to be developed. Here the older tempera colours can be seen on ruined buildings, often—where the plaster is damaged—revealing many layers of different colours, following the various changes in taste and fashion from blue, to red, to yellow. The stone ornamentation and plaster decoration are also more extravagant here than in Gialos.


Symi Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.



Symi Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.


access

Symi Island, Greece.

 

The island has no airport, and only three or four ferry services a week from Piraeus (16 hrs). Access is easy from Rhodes, however, where there is a selection of fast daily (c. 1 hr) services by hydrofoil (Aigli), and catamaran (Dode kanisos Express), or by regular ferry (Symi I and II): these are all managed by ANES Co., T. (Rhodes) 22410 37769; (Symi) 22460 71444. F/B Kalymnos runs local routes to Kos, Kalymnos, Astypalaia, Rhodes and Kastellorizo, once a week
Symi Travel Guide

eating

Symi Island, Greece.

 

On the south waterfront of Gialós are two good eateries of quite different character: Mythos serves ambitious variants on traditional Greek dishes—mostly imaginative and successful (especially with simpleredients such as courgettes and aubergines): both chef and wine-list are acclaimed. Further out along the same waterfront is Dimitri, for those seeking a simple, unostentatious mezedopoleion, serving fresh fish mezes, expressly prepared. Similar in style, Meraklis (set back from the port near the Metropoli tan Church of Aghios Ioan nis) has good home-cooked dishes that are less specifically fish-oriented.
Symi Travel Guide

further reading

Symi Island, Greece.

William Travis, Bus Stop Symi, Readers Union, Newton Ab bot, 1973.
Symi Travel Guide

lodging

Symi Island, Greece.

Historic, with painted ceilings and delightful views from the rooms, the Hotel Les Catherinettes (T. 22460 72698 & 71671) on the north water front of the harbour (close to where the ferries dock) is not expensive, but the comfort is basic and the balconied rooms can be noisy at night. Garden Studios (T. 22460 72429)—quiet, in a Symiot house surrounded by a garden—are set some way back from the southwest corner of the harbour; just beyond this, Opera House Hotel is similar in concept, but is larger and less intimate (T. 22460 72035). Both have comfortable studio apartments at moderate price. More expensive and stylish is the Hotel Aliki (Apr–Oct only) in a restored mansion on the south waterfront (T. 22460 71655), with a pleasant roof terrace. Monastic lodgings can be arranged at the Monastery of Panormítis in the south of the island (T. 22460 71354).Symi Travel Guide

practical info

Symi Island, Greece.

856 00 Symi: area 57sq. km; perimeter 88km; resident population 2594; max. altitude 617m. Port Authority: 22460 71205. Travel and Information: 22460 71397, www.symi-island.com
Symi Travel Guide

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