Symi also transliterated Syme or Simi (Greek: Σύμη) is a Greek island and municipality. The majority of the land is rocky and mountainous. Symi is part of the Rhodes peripheral unit.

Geographically, it is part of the Dodecanese island chain, located about 41 km north-northwest of Rhodes (and 425 km from Piraeus, the port of Athens), with 58.1 km² of mountainous terrain. Its nearest land neighbors are the Datça and Reşadiye peninsulas of Muğla Province in Turkey.


Dodecanese map

Its interior is dotted with small valleys, and its coastline alternates between rocky cliffs and beaches, and isolated coves. Its main town, located on the northeast coast, is also named Symi and consists of the lower town around the harbour, typically referred to as Yialos, and the upper town is called Horio or Ano Symi. Other inhabited localities are Pedi, Nimborio, Marathounda and Panormitis.

Panormitis is the location of the island’s famous monastery which is visited by people from all over the world, and many Greeks pay homage to St Michael of Panormitis each year. The island has 2,800 inhabitants, mostly engaged in tourism, fishing, and trade. In the tourist season which lasts from Easter until Panormitis Day in early November, tourists and day-trippers increase the number of people on the island to as much as 6000. In addition to its many historical sites, the island’s isolated beaches, many reachable only with small boats, are popular with tourists. The Municipality of Sými includes the uninhabited offshore islets of Gialesíno, Diavátes, Kouloúndros, Marmarás, Nímos, Sesklío, and Chondrós. Its total land area is 65.754 km².

At Yialos you may find a medical centre, a post office, the police station, the port police, the town hall, telephone service (OTE), two banks : Alpha Bank and National Bank of Greece, hotels, rooms to let, restaurants, taverns, fast food, goldsmiths, bakeries, tourist shops, supermarkets, confectioners, bars, tourist agencies, fruit shops, corner shops, a fitness center, a flower shop, bus and taxi terminals.

At Horio, you may find a medical centre, hotels, rooms to let, restaurants, taverns, bakeries, tourist shops, supermarkets, bars, fruit shops, corner shops, a flower shop, bus and taxi stations.

Symi mao

Map of Symi island

There are a number of islets around Symi, such as Nimos, which is the largest one, as well as Sesklia, Artikonisi, Koulountro, Troubeto, Chondros, Plati, Oxia, Diabates, Marmaras. All these small islands can be visited with caiques, or small boats.

Half of the current active population is engaged in the building industry, as well as in commerce and tourism including restaurants, hotels and transport. At present, tourism in Symi is dependent on daily visitors who come from Rhodes and visitors who stay in Symi for a couple of days. Symiots who live abroad visit Symi for their vacations during the summer months as well. The duration of the touristic season lasts 7 months (April – October). High season lasts three months July – September. A few number of people are engaged in agriculture, farming and fishery. Boat building and wood carving (furniture, decorative motives in interior architecture) flourished in the past. Nowadays two small boat – yards are operating mainly for the construction and repair of the fishing boats.