Yialos stretches around the main bay into the smaller Harani Bay, the main area for shipbuilding in times past. Some boats are still repaired here, though the majority of the vessels tied to the quay are small, multi-coloured fishing boats, piled high with nets, straight out of a photographer’s dreams. On the hill above is a Greek Orthodox Church. Heading around the headland is one of the ways to get to the community of Emborio with its quiet beach and taverna. Emborio offers great swimming and snorkelling opportunities and the water is incredibly clear – the boats almost appear to be floating on air. It’s a lovely walk to Emborio along the road overlooking the sea, but Symi Town’s land train does come in this direction too and there are also taxi-boats who call in.
There is an amazing cafe called The Olive Tree at the top of the 350 steps of the Kali Strata. Along with the views over the harbour, the cafe’s coffee, juices, sandwiches, and pastries will revive the weariest traveller. In September 1944, the retreating Germans set off an ammunition blast in Horio, levelling hundreds of houses and destroying the Knight’s Castle, the last remnant of which is one very sad looking wall near the Church of the Assumption. This is the church where visitors can ring one of the ‘bells’, which turns out to be the nose cone of a massive bomb. This church is at the very top of Horio and your navigational skills will be tested once again as you head back to Kali Strata via orthodox churches, bars, and views over the bay.