I expect most people who have stayed on Symi for any length of time, certainly if they’ve stayed in the village, will have visited the church at the top of the Castro. Like many of the large churches, it’s not very often open to look around, and the best time to visit is for a service where you will be made welcome – but not if you’re in shorts and flip-flops, of course. Well, you probably would be made welcome, but it wouldn’t be at all correct of you to turn up in summer holiday gear no matter the weather or temperature. Same applies to any church, I expect.
There are stone plaques on the outside of the church, and these are the coats of arms of some of the Grand Masters of Rhodes and the Order of the Knights of St John. If you are in Rhodes, you can see many more around the old town and the palace. There is another built into the wall on the way up to our Castro, and beside this, I was told, the wall is Byzantine in construction and part of the very early fortifications. As you go up the slow slope and steps to the top of the Castro, you can go through the gate into the church courtyard, and see the work done to pattern the courtyard stone.
After that, you’re able to walk all the way around the church (there is more than one up there) where you can see down to Pedi. Across Yialos, across the back of the village and all the way around as you follow the path. It’s unmade in places, but not difficult. There is even a place to sit in a shallow cave and have a rest from the sun. Just make sure you don’t leave any rubbish behind.