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The Symi Travel Guide

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Symi Travel Guide

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Symi Travel Guide > Symi Villages > Yialos (Gialos)

Yialos (Gialos)

Back to Top of Page Overview

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide
Yialos, as the harbour of Symi is called, comes to life each day between the hours of 11.00 and 15.00 with the arrival of excursion boats from neighbouring islands such as Rhodes, bringing an influx of visitors. For a few hours the quayside is crowded with tourists from all over the world, and people-watching becomes one way of passing the time, though many people who are spending an entire holiday there choose to take themselves off to one of the many local beaches that are accessible by boat or on foot. When evening comes, however, the day trippers have left, and the harbour area reverts to its more relaxed character, a delightful place for a meal and drinks and an evening stroll. Evening entertainment is simple but varied and not by any means intrusive.

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide
Around the harbour, houses with the precise lines and colours of dolls'-houses are connected by cobbled lanes and steps, where slim cats drowse in the sun. Over the years, many of these houses fell into ruin, and great damage was caused by bombing and burning when the island was occupied during WWII. Growing interest from Greek and foreign purchasers means that many of the properties have now found a new lease of life as desirable holiday homes or accommodation for visitors.

Back to Top of Page Houses in Yialos

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide
Grouped around the great horseshoe curve of a superb natural harbour are tiers of pastel and ochre-coloured houses, interspersed with the white walls and bright red roofs of churches. The houses are not typical Greek village houses, but two-and three-storey neo-classical structures, in fact buildings of dignity and stature. It is these houses, built in Symi's golden days when the islanders grew wealthy on sponge-diving and boat-building, that are now being restored, one by one, for the island's growing numbers of visitors. Thankfully, the Greek authorities have placed a preservation order on the whole town to ensure that its unique beauty is not lost.

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide

Back to Top of Page What you will find

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide
Yialos is the centre of the island's activity, with restaurants and tavernas, bakeries, tourist shops, supermarkets, bars, fruit shops, a flower shop, the medical centre, police station, port police, Town hall, telephone service, banks and the bus and taxi stations.

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide
Yialos Beach
Right at the edge of the main village of Yialos, the sandy beach of the same name is to be found. This is a wonderful place for snorkelling to view an abundance of sea life. You will also find a fleet of water taxis available for day trips to other beaches.

Back to Top of Page Tavernas and Bars

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One of the great pleasures of the Greek islands is that of eating a pleasant meal, out of doors, right at the water's edge of some colourful and pretty little port. Symi is no exception. The quaysides of Yialos are perhaps overcrowded with day trippers at lunchtime, but come back in the evening, when they have gone, and enjoy a more leisurely meal, watching the yachts tie up for their overnight stay in the harbour.

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide

Back to Top of Page Spnnge diving

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide
Yialos (Gialos) was once famous for its sponge-divers, and you can still buy big fluffy sponges in its waterfront shops, though they are likely, nowadays, to be imported. In former times when the sponge trade was at its height, Symi went through a period of great prosperity. The construction of traditional wooden fishing boats, the last vestige of Symi's shipbuilding industry, can still be seen in the yards at the west end of the harbour.

Back to Top of Page Who is the resort for

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide
Yialos is the place for those who prefer to escape the crowds of the larger Greek islands, and to enjoy the local character and charm of the island of Symi.
There could hardly be a better place for anyone who paints or enjoys taking photos. Walkers, too, will find some very unspoilt routes here - some of them quite challenging, thanks to the hilly terrain.

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide

Back to Top of Page What to See and Do in Yialos

 - Yialos  (Gialos) - Symi Villages - Symi Travel Guide
On the harbour front is the place called Katarinettes, which is where the Germans signed the surrender of the Dodecanese islands at the end of World War II.
The Nautical Museum is at the back of the Town Square and can easily be identified by the canons outside. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 15.00.Fine collection of old maps, ship models and other maritime mementoes.
The Cathedral of St John with a wonderful pebble-mosaic courtyard, recently restored.
The Folklore Museum, with paintings, photographs and costumes, open Tuesday to Sunday 08.30 to 15.00. Nearby is a beautifully restored old house with fine wall-paintings.
The 'Kataraktis', an ancient, steep footpath that connected Yialos with Chorio prior to the construction of the Kali Strata in the nineteenth century.
The Kali Strata itself is a long climb, but one that is very worthwhile for the sight of the elegant old houses that line it, for the many friendly greetings you will gather as you make your way up or down, for the superb views and glimpses of old gardens and courtyards, and not least for the wonderful peace and quiet you will find once you reach Chorio.
Just outside Yialos, on a ridge, there is a row of old windmills. From here it is possible to walk to Pontikokastro (Mouse Castle), where there is a partially excavated stone circle, probably Neolithic.

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