Symi, A sea-wrapped jewel

_01DSC9568 Chorio con i mulini

A tiny dot in the Aegean, Symi bewitches its visitors with unsurpassed charm from the very first glance, with its scenic harbour, its vividly-painted neoclassical houses seeming to emerge from the sea, the unadorned rocky landscape, the emerald-blue of the sea, the scent of history combined with Anatolian aromas that reach the island from the coast opposite. Symi attracts well-to-do Europeans, who fall in love with the island and renovate houses, making the island their second home, as well as yachters from neighboring Turkey who visit the island again and again.

Once an island of shipowners, seafarers and the largest sea-sponge harvesting center of Greece, with offices as far away as Miami, Symi is inhabited today by sailors and frequented by sophisticated travelers, offering its visitors fascinating aquarelle-like scenery, the beauty of well-preserved 19th-century captains’ mansions decorated with pediments and pilasters on the façades and painted in red, indigo and ochre colours that defy time. Breathtaking slopes that plunge steeply into the sea, spectacular, off-the-beaten-track sandy or pebbly beaches, accessible only by boats leaving every hour from Yialos, crystal cool waters where one can swim in the company of seals, comfortable accommodation at elegantly furnished two-storey dwellings with high ceilings, haute cuisine dishes to sample at fine restaurants under the starry sky rubbing elbows with the international jet-setters, atmospheric bars where one can enjoy an aperitif “pieds dans l’eau”, and impossible-to-resist boutiques with designer clothes.
Rumours about the celebrities run from table to table at the coffee houses when prominent VIPs visit Symi, as when Jordan’s King Abdullah and Queen Rania were seen cruising around the island, or actor Tom Hanks and his Greek wife, Rita Wilson, went strolling about hand in hand. Then there were the stories about how elegantly Sarah Jessica Parker waved at the tourists when she and her company arrived at the harbour with a mega yacht, or about Diego Della Valle and the history of his vintage yacht when he turned up with the cruiser, ‘Marlin”, that once belonged to John F. Kennedy.
Symi’s summer is a parade of big names, yet despite all that, also offers shelter and seclusion to actors, designers, ultra-chic English women and Italians who love the beauty of the island and have bought homes during low spread periods. The island from noon onwards is teeming with people, as the big tourist ferries arrive from nearby Rhodes and hordes of red, sun-baked human lobsters, disembark.
Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon the island regains its calm and aristocratic splendor, and then at sunset, yachts proudly enter the port of Yialos one after the other, while some drop anchor in the protected eastern and northern bays, to enjoy serenity and the scent of resin from the surrounding pine-cloaked islets. Symi is an elegant diamond, just a breath away from the coast of Turkey, with regal beauty in a harmonious environment.

Julia Klimi

Translation Vicky Anastasiadou
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_05DSC0844 Marathounda

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_07DSC0226 Il cantiere di fratelli Haska a Pedi

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_09DSC0030 Tsati bar

_10DSC0068 Mylopetra rest

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_12DSC0122

_13DSC0271 La spiaggia di Nos

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_15aDSC9345 da Vigla

_15DSC0677 Ieri Petra

_16DSC9039 Gialos il pomeriggio

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_20DSC0605 Ieri Petra Symi

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_22DSC9475 Il cafe fuori del monastero Panormitis

_23DSC9412 Pavimento in un cortile di Panormitis

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_25DSC0285 Gialos Symi

_26DSC0432 Villa Kataraktis

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_28DSC1216 isola di Agios Emilianos

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_30DSC0820 Marathounda

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_033DSC8725 Villa Selina

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_39DSC1194 Pedi

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_41DSC1341 Cantiere navale di Yiannis Manoleskos

_42DSC8785 Il famoso gamberetto di Symi

_44DSC9719 Vaporetta rest

_45DSC8766 Vista di villa Selina

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_46DSC9108 Muses rest

_47DSC9482 Il fornaio di Panormitis_

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_49DSC9632 Quartiere Harani Symi

_52DSC0294 La spiaggia di Nos, l' isola di Ag Emilianos

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_54DSC0348 Porticciolo di Nimborio

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_60DSC_0835 Agia Marina

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_62DSC8554 Quartiere Harani

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_64DSC9496 La montagna di Vigla la mattina

_65DSC3657_House Chora Simi

_70DSC8945 The Old markets hotel

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_72DSC9586 Symi

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_78DSC0831 Il monastero di Panormitis

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_86DSC9986 Tsati bar

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