Top greek islands photo guide: Symi


Located just some minutes away from Rhodes, Symi is an ideal destination for those who prefer to enjoy crystal clear water and calmness, living in a traditional environment. The island is famous for its sponge industry, and its main village's architecture immediately leaves its visitors with a smile, as it is unique among most of the greek islands, making Symi often being refered to as one of the best greek islands. 
Symi is a great destination for a day trip, or for extended vacation. What we are going through here though is, a photo album from a day trip and touching upon:
  • The location of the island.
  • How to reach Symi
  • Major history points
  • Main landmarks
  • Best beaches
  • Overal review


Geographically, Symi is part of the Dodecanese (literally translating into "the twelve islands") island chain, located about 41 kilometres (25 miles) north-northwest of Rhodes. It is also one of the islands closest to the turisk shore. 
Its main town, located on the northeast coast, is named after the island (Symi) and consists of the lower town around the harbour (referred to also as "Yialos"), and the upper town is called "Horio" or "Ano Symi".
Being on the southern side of Europe, Symi enjoes high tempetures most of the year, and summer vacation to the island can safely be booked at least until September, expecting sunshine and warmth. 


Symi is a relatively small island, and in combination with its small population and the location of Rhodes as a big island right next to it, means no airport for it. 
Even though there is a (very long) ferry ride from Athens (17 hours), the best way to reach Symi is by flying to Rhodes, and then hop on to one of the ferries or catamaran that depart daily to the island. The ride is very quick, less than an hour, and tickets can be purschased on the spot (even though you might want to make sure you buy your ticket the day before during high season). 


Symi enjoyes several references in Greek mythology, include all the timeline until Byzantine times. It has been strategic and important location for wars, and domain of King Nireus, according to Homer's Iliad. According to Greek mythology, Symi is reputed to be the birthplace of the Charites, taking its name from the nypth "Syme". 
In early-modern and modern times, Symi has been influenced by a plethora of civilizations, changing hands often (something evident by its architecture, alongside with Rhodes). Turkey, Italy, Germany, English were among the countries that have left their influence on the island, until finally returning to Greek hands. 


While Symi is a dream destination for relaxation and enjoying clean calm waters, there are still some landmarks worth visiting during your time in the town:
  • The Monastery of "Archangel Michael Panormitis". With its highlight being its beautiful clock tower, it is located on the southwest coast. The monstary is still inhabited by monks, and a must-see for tourists.
  • The castle (kastro) in the main town (ano symi).
  • The municipal clock tower at the bay
  • Churches and chapels (imagine that, for a small town of 2,500 people, there are thirteen churches and chapels in the main town alone). For the lovers of architecture and byzantine rythm, these are a must see.


Symi provides with several options when it comes to beaches, and they are all worth checking out. It is not required to rent a car or a motorbike, as there are sea-taxis and busses that can help you move around. Ask a local or a tourist center for more information. The best beaches on the island include:
  • Nos beach - 300 meters from Symi town. Organized with sunbeds and umbrellas.
  • Nimborio (or Emborios) beach. 3km from Symi Town. The beach is narrow, but trees among the beach provide shade, being a cheap solution for staying at a beach without depending on a bar.
  • Pedi beach. 2km from Symi town. Partially organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, and small fish taverns nearby.
  • Gialos beach. 1km from Symi town. Good option if you want to avoid a windy day. Walkable distance from the main town.
  • Panormitis beach. 12km from Symi. Long and sandy beach, possibly the most picturesque beach on the island.


Symi is a fantastic destination that will not dissapoint you. It has everything you need from a summer or get-away destination, if you are not up for partying. You will find great food, calmness, amazing beaches, picturesque towns and warm people. Symi is easily in the top 10 greek islands.  

Town Charm: 
Siteseeing Opportunities: 

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