As famous as neighbor Sarakiniko for its photogenic-ness, Mandraki is home to the distinctive and colorful dwellings known as syrmata, the two-story houses built into the soft volcanic rock right at the water's edge with the ground floor acting as a boat house. There are three theories as to why the fishermen painted their houses in such distinctive hues; they were inspired by the multi-colored rocks of the island, they were painted so that each fisherman could recognize his own home when returning by boat, or they were in defiance of a decree from Prime Minister Metaxas in the 1930s that all island houses should be painted white and blue. The fishing hamlet of Klima on the opposite coast has similar kaleidoscopic buildings and they are sometimes available to rent through Airbnb.

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