at the town of Symi

at the town of Symi

[ Sept.2019 ] After visiting Panormitis Monastery on Symi Island in Greece, we came back to the ferry at around 12:15 pm.

I had thought it would be a short trip to Gialos, the main port town in Symi, but it took about 45 minutes, so it was already about 1 pm when we arrived there.

Greece-Symi Island-Gialos-old town-colourful houses-hill
the colourful houses

We could see the lovely view of colourful houses on the hill surrounding the port from the boat.

According to our guidebook, people on Symi has a long tradition of sponge diving, wood carving and shipbuilding.

After the island was occupied by Ottman Turkey in 1522, they were allowed to fish for sponges in Turkish water, too and in return, the top engineers for shipbuilding were sent to the Sultan and the finest sponges were sent to Turkey.

This arrangement made Symi prosperous.

The beautiful mansions were built, the culture blossomed and the level of education went up.

Apparently as many as 500 new ships were launched a year.

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many slopes and staircases in the old town

But later in its history, when the steamships became popular and Kaymnos Island took over the position of the top sponge producer, Symi’s wealth declined.

Between 1912 and 1945, it was under Italy.

Here, we had about three hours to spend.

Originally we were hoping to go to a beach and enjoy bathing, but when we asked a taxi driver, he told us that we had to take a boat to get to any of the beaches.

We went to the port but the nothing was available for us, so we had to give that idea up.

We regretted that we did not do more homework beforehand.

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the lovely local restaurant

Alternatively, we could have lunch here, but because we ate the rich bread at the monastery, we were not hungry.

And it was too hot to walk around the town with many slopes and staircases.

We felt lost, but in the end, just because we came across the restaurant with the tables in the shade, which looked lovely and it seemed that the local people were eating there, we decided to have a light lunch there.

I could see the name of the restaurant only in Greek writing, so I am not 100% sure, but I think it was Taverna Meraklis.

We had a dish of Symi shrimps and the grilled sward fish with their house wine.

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dried flowers in the old town

They all were nice and simple and as a light lunch it was satisfactory.

And because of this lunch, we got our energy back, so we walked around the old town aimlessly after lunch.

In fact, our guidebook recommends that one of the things to do in the old town is to walk around and get lost.

I found that every corner was photogenic, so we took many shots.

On top of the hill, apparently there is a ruin of the castle of the Knights of St John, but we did not reach there and came down back after a while.

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the relaxing local cafe

Before going back to the ferry we had a rest at a very local cafe and had a cup of Greek coffee.

There the time passed very slowly.

Before getting on the ferry, I looked into the clear water of the sea and found many fish.

Our ferry started at 4:30 pm.

Well, this Symi island as well as Lindos we had been the day before are the places that we should stay one week or so to enjoy the place thoroughly.

I decided to take this trip as the preliminary inspection for our future holiday.