Symi, sometimes spelt Simi, is one of the smaller holiday islands in the Dodecanese group just 9km off the Turkish coast north of Rhodes. On this page you may find where is Symi island, how to get there, things to do and see, what to do in Symi, beaches and villages, where to stay, hotels and accommodation and more.
Symi in Greece is a tiny island of Dodecanese that amazes visitors with the calm atmosphere and the fabulous architecture. In fact, Symi island has one of the most impressive ports in the Greek islands, with elegant mansions constructed amphitheatrically on the slopes of a hill and offering breathtaking view to the sea from any spot. A promenade along the port is fabulous for a romantic evening. The beaches of the island are small but clean. Some can be organized and others are secluded, but they all provide a relaxing atmosphere for your Symi holidays. An interesting sight is the Monastery of Panormitis, on the southern side of the island. Ideal for families and couples, Symi can be visited for vacations or for a day trip from Rhodes.
Where is Symi
Symi is located in the Southern Dodecanese, situated between the larger island of Rhodes and the Turkish coast (Opposite of Marmaris – Datca village). Arriving at the main harbour sees Symi at its most spectacular; with its outstanding architecture and beautiful hills surrounding it.
How to get to Symi
There is no airport in Symi. The closest airport is located in Rhodes, which receives many internal flights from Athens and Thessaloniki as well as direct international flights. The airport of Rhodes is located 16 km from Rhodes Town. Ferries from Rhodes to Symi operate daily and the trip is only 1 hour.
Ferries to Symi from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, run 3 times per week. Due to the large distance, the trip from Athens to Symi lasts 20 hours. This is why many visitors choose to fly to Rhodes and take the ferry to Symi from there, which takes only 1 hour. Ferries also connect Symi with other islands of Dodecanese, such as Rhodes, Kalymnos, Patmos, Leros and Tilos.
Travel guide to Symi, Greece
A tiny island only an hour ferry ride from Rhodes, Symi Greece distinguishes for its picturesque architecture and the relaxing atmosphere. Especially the main town is a true marvel, with brown and yellow houses constructed on the slopes of a hill and offering fantastic view to the sea. Lovely villages and beaches are found in a walking distance from the port, offering nice chances for hiking. An interesting places to visit in Symi is the Monastery of Taxiarches, on the south of the island, that is considered the protector of the locals.
With its sophisticated ambience and period architecture, Symi promises a different island experience on the edge of the Aegean, filled with old world glamour. Greece holiday in Symi island.
You know that it’s a special island, far away, near bustling Rhodes in the Dodecanese. What you may not know is that Symi ranks as one of the most popular summer destinations in the Mediterranan for those seeking a holiday with style, one that combines cosmopolitan flavour with old-world glamour, class and tradition. It’s an island rich with history and culture, with expensive yachts along the harbour and sailboats that make their way daily from nearby Turkey.
Thanks to its unique elegance and special ambience, Symi has become a second home for people from all over the world. Whether you arrive at Gialos by ferry or cruise ship, you will be welcomed by the imposing homes of this multicoloured, listed neoclassical settlement. In its tavernas and restaurants you’ll sample the famous Symi shrimps. While on the other side of the island you’ll light a candle and say a prayer at Taxiarchis Michael of Panormitis, the famous miracle worker. Welcome to Symi!
Things to do and see in Symi
Gialos: colour, glamour and old-world charm
Ochre, salmon, red, blue, turquoise, grey: the stately neoclassical buildings at Symi’s port, Gialo, preserve the colour and glamour of its glorious past. A place that looks as if it were taken straight from the pages of an old book. Don’t forget to visit the sights and attractions: Timiou Prodromou Monastery, founded in 1838, the old Customs House, the Fish Market, the stone bridge, the statue of a young fisherman, the Clock Tower (built in 1881) and the old boatyard in Harani.
Higher and higher: Kali Strata
No fewer than 500 steps guide you from Gialo to Horio, in Ano (Upper) Symi. It was once the only way to get from one town to the other. Now, as you make your way up, imagine the old days when you’d pass well-dressed ladies in crinolines and gentlemen in tails. This is Kali Strata: homes and boutiques in the most beautiful, wealthiest part of town. At the top, an oasis, an outdoor cafe awaits. From here, watch the setting sun bathe Gialos in its technicolour glory.
Horio: glamour and nobility
You’ve arrived at Horio (meaning village). Here, the locals will show you everything there is to see: Spetsaria, the old community pharmacy with its glass containers and its 1884 architectural details. The impressive Hatziagapitou-Hatzioanou mansion. The Farmaki mansion which houses the Archaeological & Folklore museum. Stroll through the cobblestone streets to the Kastro and take in the view of the Aegean.
Monastery of Taxiarchis Michael Panormitis
Here devotees queue to get in, and it’s worth the wait: mystical energy pervades the church. Famous for its miracles, Panormitis is a major pilgrimage site. The monastery has existed since the 15th century and the icon of the Archangel Michael (the patron saint) is considered miraculous. Feel like staying the night? The monastery rents out some of its spartan rooms.
What to do in Symi
This is the most famous and traditional dish in Symi. Small and flavourful, you’ll eat them fried in the tavernas of Gialo and Horio.
The Nautical Museum
Sponge diving and other underwater stories await you at this museum which is housed in an impressive neoclassical building in Symi’s old shipyard. Put this on the top of things to do during your holiday on the island.
Set sail for the beaches of Symi
Day cruises will take you to whatever beach you chose: Ai-Giorgi, Dysalona, Agia Marina, Nanou, Fokospilia. And, as Gialos recedes in the distance, you will once again admire its neoclassical splendour.
Villages of Symi
Symi Town impresses visitors with the amphitheatrical architecture, the earth colors and the paved streets along a hillside. Another village on Symi is Panormitis, famous for the Monastery of Archangel Michael.
Beaches of Symi
Beaches in Symi are actually small coves but attract many visitors for their picturesque environment. Some Symi beaches are organized with tourist facilities, like taverns, bars, umbrellas, and sunbeds, like Nos, Emporios, and Pedi. The rest of Symi beaches are secluded and ideal for privacy. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Symi island.
List of all beaches in Symi, Greece
- Nos beach, map
- Nimborio or Emborios beach, map
- Pedi beach, map
- Gialos beach, map
- Panormitis beach, map
- Nanou beach, map
- Agiou Georgiou Bay, map
- Beaches between town and Nimborio
Where to stay in Symi
Symi Hotels: Look and search island of Symi hotels, accommodation, rooms, apartments, studios and pensions.
Hotels in Symi Town, Symi
- Myrtia, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- House on the Hill, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Penelope Studio Down, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Marias Sea House, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Pitini, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Evgenias House, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Infinity View, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Castello Venetsiana, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Nireus Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Harani Apartment, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
Hotels in Emporio village, Symi
- Maravelia Mare, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Emporio, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Chryssa Rooms, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Fofi Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Metapontis Studios (Nimporio), Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com