SYMI



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Symi - The port (Gialos) and the old town (Chorio) and their vicinity - The area of Chorio - The 'Drakou'Archeological site

To the east of Pontikokastro and of Chorio, the fertile valley behind Pedhi Bay descends gently to the sea. On the lower slope of the steep hills that form the south side of this valley is another archaeological curiosity, referred to by its popular local name ‘Drakou’ (‘dragon’s lair’). (Sited half way up the southern slope of the valley and level with a line about 100m back from the shore. Not easy to find. Access by the rough track (signed) leading east from the first hairpin bend after the habitation of Chorio ends on the Panormiis road. 20 min. by foot). There are two elements here, both ancient: an unidentified but very cleanly constructed edifice in ashlar masonry; and an area of walling, terracing or fortification, just beyond (east) and further up the hill. The latter has been modified by mediaeval and later walling in small irregular stones which has been raised up on top of it. The former—a building of uncertain purpose—is more remarkable because of the very fine cutting and finishing of it large limestone elements. Earth has filled so much of the area that it is difficult to get a sense of the whole. What is visible consists of two chambers: one larger, sunk in the ground, and one smaller, above it to the south. The south door of the main chamber is beautifully finished and mounted. On the north wall are two curious, deep rectangular indentations: the whole area is scattered with cleanly cut blocks with architectural elements—protrusions and recesses. The precision with which they are worked would suggest a 4th century bc date for the masonry. Although the building’s unusual form, with its sunken elements, over looking virtually the only fertile area of the island and facing east, brings to mind a place for the cult of Demeter, more plausibly these remains belong to a large, secular building relating to the agricultural work of the valley. The wider area has yielded evidence of Late Bronze Age settlement.


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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