SYMI



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

(Open Apr–Oct 8–2.30, closed Mon. Entrance 200m from the main Panormiis road at the top of the inhabited area of Chorio: no access by taxi.) The combined Folklore and Archaeological Museum of Symi is high up at the southeastern extremity of the town indicated by an (occasionally unreliable) paper-chase of wooden signs through a labyrinth of narrow streets. Housed in two Symiot mansions, the small and informative exhibition area is arranged in half a dozen rooms around a shaded courtyard which contains classical and early Christian fragments, grave-stones and inscriptions. One of the buildings has delightfully painted wooden eaves. The classical and prehistoric collection in Room 1 displays several interesting Classical funerary pieces—a fragment of a sepulchral lion, and a shipwrecked sailor’s tomb stone with characteristic iconography, figuring the naked sailor with his mantle spread on a rock. The Byzantine and early Christian display in Room 2 has good documentation on the various sites on the island; there is a case of early 13th century Byzantine ceramic bowls with flowing designs of extreme simplicity—remarkable (like those in Kastellorizo’s museum) for having survived complete and in such good condition. Room 3 is dominated by a painted and carved wooden epitaphios of great beauty from the Church of Aghios Athanasios, with fine painted scenes of the Passion of Christ. This would have been carried around the town once a year in the culminating procession of Holy Saturday. The several examples of 19th century ‘mousandra’ woodwork in Room 5 give a good idea of the colourfulness of Symiot interiors—primarily blues and reds, with some green—and the furniture that they contained. Across the courtyard are the house’s former service rooms with an exhibit of miscellaneous daily items. From the edge of the courtyard a stone staircase gives access to the Chatzi agapios Mansion. This is an imposing, late 18th century archontiko (mansion house) of Italian design—severe and dominating on the outside, but more gracious inside with a colonnaded and pebbled courtyard. The reception rooms are decorated with faded but delightful murals by local artists, and ornately carved wooden panels which are characteristic of the more opulent Symiot interiors.


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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