Chorio, οr Horio as it is also written, means ‘village’ and, on Symi, is traditionally where most of the island’s inhabitants lived. Some of the earliest houses were built up around the Kastro area, the acropolis, where there is a good view of the surrounding sea and the mountains. As the village grew and spread so the village became what it is today; an area of winding lanes, small houses, and steps.
Map of Chorio
Symi Dream provides a free Map of Horio (left0 which you can download and print and bring with you. We also have some available in our shop and you can even buy a T Shirt with the map on it. (Upside down so you can read it without getting undressed.) This is a very basic map that will lead you to the Castro, the museum, and through the main lanes of the village. [Click Here for large free map.]
You can find much holiday accommodation in Chorio, there are two hotels, plus apartments and houses to rent. Contact us if you need any help deciding where to stay and we can put you in touch with accommodation agencies, or see our links list to the right. You will find more of a family atmosphere and more traditional way of life in Chorio, things tend to be quieter and more laid back, there is less traffic, apart from the donkeys perhaps, and plenty of places to eat and socialise. [See also our Symi holiday ideas and accommodation pages.]
Things to do
There are many things to do and see in Chorio:
Symi Folk Museum
Chorio also plays host to the Symi Folk Museum. This is situated in an old mansion house at the top of the village in the parish of Agia Triatha (The Church of the Holy Trinity). The museum houses artefacts dating back to pre-Christian times, all found on Symi. There are also traditional island costumes, and items of household use, a photograph showing a Simi panorama from about 1900, bell stones and sponge diving history, and many other items of interest.
The Symi Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 pm during the summer season and is also open during the winter months. (Current cost €2.00) Tip: if you climb up to the museum during these times and find it closed, knock on the door, or the office door just below as there is usually someone there who will be happy to show you around.
Also in the area of the museum, in fact linked to it through the gardens, is the Sala, the old mansion house now restored to its original beauty. This is not always open to the public but you may be lucky enough to get a personal visit if the museum staff can arrange it.
Both buildings are in the traditional Simi mansion style, with the museum building consisting of the old kitchen, where you can still see the fireplace, the dining room, with tiny steps to the mousandra above, the hall, the main saloni and the servants’ quarters building outside across the pebbled courtyard.
For more ideas of things to do on Symi check our ‘Things to do on Symi’ page.
Places to eat and drink.
See our full list down the page, beneath the gallery of village photos. Basically there are plenty of places to eat and drink when you are socialising in Horio and they are mostly away from the roads, traditional and not expensive.
Walking on Symi – Chorio area
You can buy books of walks when you are on Symi, there are currently at least two available. Or you can take guided walks.
The famous Hugo guided walks
Check in with the Triton, the boat in Yialos, or with Symi Tours and ask if Hugo is leading any walks this season. The famous Harrods carrier bag and a man who knows all there is to know about the island may be available.
Some of the holiday reps also provide walk excursions, so ask your rep or ask at Symi Tours.
Exclusively from Symi Dream you can now take guided walks of Horio with Neil, the island photographer. These are not strenuous, they are good fun and you learn about your digital camera and how to see Symi from a different angle. Neil is registered for photography walks, and events. See more details here.
Below is a gallery showing some of the features you can find on a walk through Chorio with Neil, the old village area of Simi.[See also our main gallery area.]
In the gallery (which you can run as a slideshow) you will see photos of the Old Pharmacy, the village lanes, the traditional doors and their furniture and some of the village churches.
Places to eat and drink in Chorio, (2011)
- Kali Strata bar on the big turn up the steps with the famous view. Tends to be open evenings only and only in the height of summer.
- Grande, the new bar with the roof terrace and view. Open daily, towards the top of the Kali Strata
- Rainbow Bar, the one and only Yiannis and his comfortable seating, the famous Bar Cat on duty, James in the afternoons in the summer, and open all hours.
- Lefteris & Yiannis’ kafeneion, right next door in the village square. Traditional, down to earth and a taste of the real Symi – snacks also available all day
- Mantelo, the café by the play park. Take the children and let them play in safety while you sit on the large terrace looking down to Pedi. Great views, great people, internet access and good prices with mezethes also available.
- Ringo’s, on the corner by Campos supermarket; good atmosphere, outside seating, open all year round.
- Sunrise cafe for drinks, snacks, breakfasts – look for the blackboard by the Village Hotel
- Two A’s, cocktails from 6pm and open until ‘late’ (or early depending on how you see it!). Friendly, German run bar with courtyard.
Places to eat
- Taverna Giorgio & Maria (also now as Giorgio’s). Probably one of the most traditional tavernas on the island; a large menu, plenty of space and a traditional pebbled courtyard. Symi style home cooking with lots of variety.
- Syllogos, in the village square. Again traditional fare with specials, good prices, a terrace looking down to Pedi and good company. The restaurant is housed in the old social hall, the meeting room.
- Taverna Zoi. Upstairs and outside seating, great views, traditional family run taverna with a friendly hostess and great company. An extensive menu with specials is available.
- The Olive Tree. British owned and run serving cakes, snacks, juices, healthy stuff, homemade goodies and coffee through the day from morning to afternoon., Some special evening events are also available as is wireless internet. A great place for a coffee and a chat.
- The Windmill: Mediterranean cooking, outside seating something different and special. You will be made welcome here, opposite the village hotel.
Getting to Horio
- Take a taxi from Yialos.
- Take the bus from Yialos on the hour, and on the half hour from Pedi. You can get off at the windmills and walk down (the narrower lane, not the main road), or you can get off at Campos supermarket, where the bus turns round. Ask the driver, he will tell you. All journeys cost €1.00 at the moment.
- Walk up the main road.
- Walk up the Kali Strata, which you can find on the south side of the harbour, behind ‘Trawler Square’, near the Kalodoukas office, behind the Harani and Vapori bars… just ask, take some water, take it slowly and you’ll be in Chorio after only 360 or so steps.