SYMI



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

On the ridge of the hill (called ‘Noulia’) to the northeast of Chorio is a line of more than 15 windmills in varying states of decay, which once produced the rough flour used for Symi’s famous breads and for the biscuits which were the staple of the island’s mariners while at sea. Beyond them, and just above, is an enigmatic ancient construction known as the -Pontikokastro—a circular drum of massive, roughly finished, ashlar masonry. Seventeen metres in diameter, and on average about 1.5m high, it has the masonry typical of the 5th century bc. A few metres to the west of it, is a slightly flattened rectangular stone area which may be related to it. In the Peloponnesian War (Book VIII, 42) Thucydides mentions that the Spartans and their allies, after their naval victory over the Athenians off Cnidos in 411 bc, ‘sailed with combined fleet to Syme and there set up a trophy, and anchored again at Cnidos’. A construction at this particular point makes no clear sense as a defensive or look-out post because its view is too restricted. More plausible is the idea that this massive, circular platform should be the base for a victory monument displaying the spoils of battle, such as that mentioned by Thucydides.


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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