Greek Dodecanese Islands Symi
East of Nisyros, nestled within the towering Turkish Hisaronou Peninsular, is the little Greek island of Symi. Frequently topping bloggers lists and travel sites, Symi’s reputation spans the globe.
On the north east side of the island is Symi town, home to the main port and arguably the most beautiful harbour in Greece. The fjord like inlet is lined with restaurants, and colourful, neo classical houses blanketing the hills. Arriving by yacht is a sight to behold and I was in awe when I first arrived here in the 80’s.
Once inside the harbour, you will find that it’s stern-to anchoring here, just like the rest of Greece. However the harbor is deeper than I expected, around 6 meters, with a mud and rock bottom – needless to say anchoring can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing!
The walk to the top of the town requires some serious exertion on foot, which I opted for on my first visit given my less than successful exploits on powered wheels in Nisyros! The view certainly justifies the exertion.
On closer inspection of these beautiful houses, you will see that some are actually abandoned and quite derelict. A sad reminder of World War II when the German’s expressed their military might as retribution for Symi’s support of the local militia. I recall reading somewhere (the National Bank of Greece in town perhaps?) the total cost of war damage, but speaking to locals it is evident that no-one is holding their breath waiting for it be paid.
Symi also has a long history steeped in viniculture and there are plenty of wineries operating on the island today. There is no better place to sample these Symian wines than in Symi town itself which offers a plethora of bars and restaurants; some of which boast a Michelin star or two!
The real star of Symi however, in my opinion, is Thessalona; a bay on the east coast. Thessalona has no road access and the sheer cliffs behind the beach are at least 200 meters high, maybe more. A small Greek flag has been painted onto the face of the cliff, roughly one third of the way down, presumably to dispel any doubts about ownership. The depth here is similar to that of Symi harbour, around 6 metres, however on my first visit I recall thinking I could just about stand up if I jumped off the boat.
Thessalona is an absolutely extraordinary place and it’s a must do if you go to Symi. In fact pretty, much every aspect of Symi is extraordinary.
Find out how you can experience Symi on the Aegean Yacht Rally 2018.
Read more about the Dodecanese Islands here
The town of Symi