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Symi

'Greece's Portofino'

The majestic island of Symi, in Dodecanese, Greece.

‘Greece’s Portofino’ lives up to its nickname: it’s a beauty. The arid, crisp light illuminates Symi’s splendid amphitheatre of neoclassical houses, stacked one on top of the other right up the barren hillsides.

The yachting fraternity adores it, and there’s a fair sprinkling of excellent restaurants to feed and water them. And, like the real Portofino in Italy, Symi has two distinct personalities: daytripper from Rhodes time, when pandemonium reigns around the harbour, and early morning and evening, when serenity rules – at night, when the lights come on, it is pure romance.

Symi, however, is about ten times as big as Portofino. Old houses are still being bought up and restored. It ’s also a frying pan from July to September. On the other hand, it stays wonderfully warm into October and is particularly lovely in the cooler months of spring.

History

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Dodecanese

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by BIG ALBERT, charley1965, Chris Parker, Dimitris Kiriakakis on Unsplash, INDALOMANIA, Jastrow (2006), Stephen Reed, Szilas, Wikimapia