As there is no Airport in Symi, you need to travel first to Rhodes, Kos, or even Athens and then come by boat.
ANES has two ferries operating at the moment Proteus and Symi II. Check their website. The crossing time for both of these is around one hour and 45 minutes, cars can be boarded as well. There is a ticket office at the port, where all the other ships also depart. The ANES ferries also visit other islands of the Dodecanese, such as Kos and Kalymnos.
Dodecanese Seaways is the other main ferry line between Rhodes and Symi (and other islands of the Dodecanese). They have two high speed catamarans, the Dodekanisos Express and the Dodekanisos Pride. Check their schedule here. Although tickets are more expensive, crossing times are faster, whereas the journey takes only 45 minutes. Make sure you either book online first, or arrive quite early for a ticket during the high summer season. You can also board vehicles but you must check for availability in advance.
Apart from InTicket as mentioned above, another good site with Ferries schedules is Danae which you can check here. Also, other smaller boats come to Symi for day trips, in the summer, and you could book a one-way ticket on these. Look out for the Symi day trip boats as you walk along Mandraki harbour.
What Ferries are available from Athens (Piraeus) to Symi and Rhodes?
If you wish to take a ferry from Athens (Piraeus) Port (Gate E1) directly to Symi, then it is best to check online with Blue Star Ferries. The journey from Athens to Symi can take 12 to 18 hours, stopping at various other islands of the Dodecanese en route. You could also board a vehice, if you have one.
In Athens you may get to Piraeus either by Bus Line (E96 express) from the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport stopping lastly at the port or by Bus 040 from Omonia / Syntagma Square. Another convenient way is using the subway (blue line from the airport) and then change lines in Monastiraki. Board the green line whose last stop is Piraeus. Finally, there are the Taxis all over Athens which can take you to the port.
Flights to Symi?
As there is no Airport in Symi, you need to travel first to Rhodes, Kos, or even Athens and then come by boat. There are many Flight Companies which are offering flights to these destinations. Below we list some, with links, to help you find available dates (each link will open in a new window).
There is a large taxi stand immediately outside the arrival's hall at Rhodes Diagoras airport. This operates on a first-come-first-served basis and there are usually many taxis waiting. There is also a regular bus service which can take you to the port. Please check below, on Taxis and Buses for further information. Check also the google map below to get a better idea where the airport is (Rhodes Diagoras near Paradisi) and where the port is in Rhodes Town (Kolona harbour near Mandraki).
Taxis from the Diagoras Airport of Rhodes
Directly outside the arrivals area of the Airport you will see a taxi stand, it is over the road, but still inside the airport grounds. If you are heading straight for the port then ask for the appropriate harbour and tell the driver that you are heading to Symi. He will most likely know which boat you need, taking you there in less than 40 minutes.
Currently the fare from the Airport to Kolona harbour, near Mandraki, starts from around €22.00, with extra charges if you have a large number of luggage or coming in a big group. The fare should be written on a board behind the taxi stand, so check it out before you get in the taxi. Check Global Taxi Reservations Ltd for online Taxi booking, from Rhodes Airport online.
Buses from the Diagoras Airport of Rhodes
The Bus stops are just outside the Airport arrivals. The Bus will take you to Rhodes Town, and costs only a few Euros while the journey lasts for about an hour. Busses to the airport start at six in the morning and run until 23.00. The first one leaves the airport at 5.50 am, and the last at 23.40. Click here for the bus timetable. You should be looking for the bus that runs between Paradisi – Rhodes. Ask the driver let you know when you reach Mandraki, the main terminal is on Mandraki, outside the old market area. You will know when you get there, as most passengers will board out. You can also catch the bus back to the airport from this same place, at the west side bus station (Averof Street).