Symi is one of Greece’s best kept secrets. The island lies 40 kms north west of Rhodes in the Dodecanese, and is approximately 13 kms in length and 9.5 kms across at its widest point. The long deep harbour is like an amphi-theatre, with multi coloured two and three storey 19th century neo-classical grand old houses of the former sponge trading merchants, and churches with coloured domes tiered up the steep hillsides. The high hill overlooking the harbour is Kastro, with the original settlement of Chorio and dominated by the Church of Megali Panagia, and the ruins of the castle. Surrounding the harbour area is the town of Yialos, which was built in the 19th century and prospered during the affluent sponge fishing era.