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Symi Island Holidays
Information about Symi holidays, Dodecanese - Greece

Symi island: Symi information - Symi holidays - Dodecanese, Greece As you glimpse the perfectly formed harbour of Symi island town for the first time you are confronted with a beautiful picture-postcard Venetian village. Wonderfully well-preserved houses huddled together as they cling to the steeply rising hills beyond. Symi island in the Dodecanese of Greece, has a true romantic charm enhanced by the lack of any high-rise hotel developments that can be found on other islands.
On Symi island, you will enjoy beautiful bays and pebbled beaches that are best reached by small boats that leave frequently. A week on Rhodos and a week on Symi island are the perfect match for a fortnight in the Dodecanese islands of Greece.
Symi island: Symi information - Symi holidays - Dodecanese, Greece

About Symi island!

Symi island: Symi information - Symi holidays - Dodecanese, Greece Symi belongs to the Dodecanese islands and lies across the Asia Minor coast and just a few nautical miles NW of Rhodes. Aristocratic and far off the model of mass tourism, Symi pleasantly surprises its visitors with its plain, aristocratic yet wild beauty.
As you glimpse the perfectly formed harbor of Symi, Gialos, you are confronted with a beautiful picture-postcard Venetian village. Wonderfully well-preserved two and three storey mansions with their facades painted in bright and vivid colors reflect the island's rich past isnce Symi was once one of the richest islands with a tradition in sponge diving, ship building and wookd carving. The island's two main settlements are Gialos and Chorio or otherwise known as Ano Symi. Gialos settlement starts from the portand stretches on the outskirts of the surrounding hills. Its continuation all the way up the hill and around the Old Castle of Symi is known as Ano Symi. Take a stroll on the port's central road to admire the Municipal Clock Tower built in 1881, the statue of the young fisherman "Michalaki" by the famous Symiot sculptor C. Valsamis and the historical "Kampsopoulou" building where the surrender of the Dodecanese islands by the Germans to the Allies was signed. Walking towards the island's central square "Kambos", you will come upon the Monument of the Fallen Soldier, the recently renovated Naval Museum and the church of Ag. Ioannis with its magnificent pebbled yard.
Continue your tour on the other side of the port (behind the Clock Tower) where you will find the island's shipyard and the church "Panaghia tou Evangelismou" that stands above it welcoming boats and visitors. Following the road you will come upon Nos, one of the island's most popular beaches, and right accross it standing midseas, you will see the little islet of Nimos. The stroll ends at Nimborios, a seaside settlement where one can enjoy its crystal clear waters.
500 wide, stone steps make up the "Kali Strata" (Good Path) that joins the port withSymi island: Symi information - Symi holidays - Dodecanese, Greece Chorio. A path lined with two-storeyed, old, neoclassical mansions painted in warm colours and covered with tiled roofs. This used to be the island's old commercial road where the captains and merchants had their houses. In Chorio which is split into districts, you will visit the remains of the Castle of the Knights of St. John inside which lies the church of the Virgin of the Castle ("Panaghia tou Kastrou"). Take long wlaks through the cobbled streets of Chorio and spend some time visiting the beautiful churches that present great interest for their frescoes and icon screens. Visit "Pontikokastro" (at the windmills) which are a circular construcion which could be a prehistoric tumulus. Admire the windmills which are what is left of the 20 windmills from when Symi numbered around 30,000 inhabitants. From up there you will have a wonderful view to the verdant plains of the seaside settlement of Pedi. On the piazzas of Aleminas (with its historic cafe) and Ai-Thanassis, enjoy the colors of Symi, there...

About Symi history

Symi island: Symi information - Symi holidays - Dodecanese, Greece The history of Symi goes back to ancient times. Aigli, Metapontis and Kariki are some of Symi's ancient names where according to mythology the Graces were born. Symi got its current name from the nymph Symi, who according to the myth mated with Poseidon, God of the Seas, and brought to life Hthonios who became the leader of the island's first inhabitants.
Symi, small and barren,associated its name to the nautical tradition from the very ancient years. Glafkos who is considered the first inhabitant of the island was a very good swimmer and sailor, who taught his abilities to the island's inhabitants who as first, are considered to be the Kares and the Leleges. Homer mentions Symi in the "Iliad" where he refers to the Symi's first King, Nireus, who participated in the Trojan War with 3 of his ships.
In 1309 the island is conquered by the Knights of St. John while at the same time begins a time of prosperity for the island wher shipping, sponge commerce, boat building and other crafts flourish. The Symiots became known as sailors, fishermen and sponge divers and brought wealth and fame to their island. Symi was conquered by the Turks in 1522 but the Symiots gained the grant of many special privileges such as the freedom of religious expression and speech which allowed them to mark great progress in letters and crafts and build shcools such as the Aghia Marina Academy (1756-1821), etc.


At Nos beach, in the bay of Nimborios and a bit further away at Pedi beach. In the bay of Panormitis and across on the island of Seskli.

Symi island useful information

Area code: +30 22460
Hospital: 71290, 71316, 70090
Harbourmaster: 22460
Police: 71111
Municipality: 72515, 71817


Symi Sailing/Yachting information

On Symi island you can moor your boat in Gialos, Nimborio, Pedi, Panormitis and Aghios Aimilianos. In Gialos fuel is available. You can also seek information there about possible repair facilities.


Some of the most important sites of Symi worth visiting are the following:

  • Symi town Castle-Ano Symi
  • Monastery of the Archangel Michael in Panormos
  • The monastery of the Archangel Michael Roukouniotis
  • The church of the prophet Elijah
  • The islet of Nimos
  • "Pontikokastro" near the windmills of Ano Symi
  • The church of PROFITIS ILIAS
  • The church of ST. NEKTARIOS


There are two major museums on Symi - the Archaeological/Folkore and the Naval Museum.

Symi Archaeological & Folklore Museum
The Archaeological museum of Symi is situated in Chorio and is housed in an old, restored traditional Symiot mansion that belongs to the Hatziagapiditis family. In the museum's pebbled yard there are ancient and Early Christian sculptures on display, as well as urns from various periods. The museum is split into 5 sections (each one dedicated to a different period of time) and presents an archaeological, a Byzantine and a folklore collection. The representation of the inside of a traditional Symiot house with its dinning and living room as well as a collection of local costumes complement the exhibits.

Symi Naval Museum
The Naval Museum of Symi was establishe in 1983 and in 1990 it was housed in one of the most representative neoclassical houses of Gialos, there where the central shipyard of the island used to be in the past. It preserves part of Symi's brilliant naval history in the form of various exhibits. The museum disposes of a special section dedicated to sponge diving with exhibits such as: diving suits, diving machines for oxygen production, a collection of sponges, diving stones and other equipment that were used in sponge diving, as well as a collection of models of sponge fishing vessels. A visit to the Naval Museum of Symi is a pilgrimage to the naval tradition of the island where through the exhibits the visitor will travel the depths of history and get acquainted with the life of the Symiot fisherman, sailor and merchant.

Symi Excursions

Local 'caiques' (little fishing boats) take you from Gialos to the beaches of Aghios Georgios Disalonas, Nanou, Marathounta, Aghios Isidoros, Aghios Aimilianos, Aghios Vasilios and on the islands of Aghia Marina and Nimos.

Symi Festivals/Feasts
  • Aghia Trias (Holy Trinity) - June 4th
  • St. John -June 24th
  • St. Panteleimonas - July 27th
  • Panagia - August 23 rd
Transportation on Symi island

For your holidays on Symi island, you can rent motorcycles or cars.
The island of Symi also disposes of buses that have very regular schedules from Gialos to Ano Symi and Pedi. By little boats you will go from Gialos to Panormitis.

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::: How to get to Symi island information

Airplane schedules:
There is no air connection to Symi island. Connection via Rhodes.

::: Ferry Boat and hydrofoil information for Symi:

There are usually 3 weekly scheduled departures from Piraeus to Symi island year-round.
Travel time from Piraeus is approximately 16 hours.

More information and schedules on Symi ferry boats and hydrofoils:
Greek TravelPages
Piraeus Port Authority
Tel: +30 210 4226000
Rhodes Port Authority
Tel: +30 22410 28888/22410 22220

::: Ferry boat connections from Symi to other islands:

Dodecanese Islands: Astypalea, Chalki, Kalimnos, Karpathos, Kastelorizo, Kos, Leros, Symi, Tilos
Cyclades Islands: Amorgos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Syros
Other Ports: Alexandroupolis (Northern Greece), Chios (North Aegean island), Crete,Lesvos (North Aegean island), Limnos, Samos (North Aegean island)

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