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Adventures Ashore: A Stroll Through Symi, Greece

Today we’re in a gorgeous Greek town known as Symi. We’re going to hop on the island’s only tour bus with a local guide, head up to the upper town, walk along some narrow streets, visit a beautiful church and an abandoned fortress, and then make our way back down to the waterfront. We’ve got a lot to see, so let’s get going.

Situated just 25 miles northwest of Rhodes, Symi feels about as authentic as you can get when it comes to a traditional Greek fishing village.

Actually, Symi is known for its sponges, and many a Symian has been active in sponge diving in his lifetime. Those who operate the sponge shops along the waterfront have some great stories to tell about the prosperous days of the sponge industry. Don’t be shy about chatting with them.

We headed uphill for some gorgeous views over the island. We walked along with a guide who told us about life in Symi and about some of its history. The island (and town by the same name) was first part of the Roman Empire and then the Byzantine Empire, until its conquest by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century.

Along with the history, there were a lot of picture perfect moments, and at one point a surprise welcome by a canine host. He was harmless by the way. Around every corner was a surprise. Talk about narrow passages. I found one of the narrowest I’ve ever experienced. Symi was absolutely beautiful and I appreciated the chance to stretch my legs.

We visited a beautiful church where the caretakers welcomed us inside. There were no crowds in Symi, which is refreshing after visiting so many places that have been overrun by mass tourism. Symi is one of those special places that you won’t forget. It leaves lasting impressions of an idyllic little island at the far reaches of the Aegean Sea.

We had a great time in Symi. Now, you might ask yourself why you need a guide in such a small town like this one. Our guide was a local with a lot of knowledge who showed us some of the nooks and crannies that we might not have found on our own. I’m Ralph Grizzle, and I’ll see you in the next beautiful destination.


ralphgrizzleAn avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.

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