Symi belongs to the Dodecanese islands complex and lies 24 nautical miles NW of Rhodes and 255 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus. The highest point is Mountain Vigla at 616 metres. The island is very close to the coast of Asia Minor, just 5 miles from Alopos. It is not a very big island, only 67 square kilometres. The majority of the land is covered in rocks.
Two settlements form the town of Symi : Chorio (Village) and Gialos ( Harbour). Pedi , found in the bay of the same name and Nimporios in the bay of the same name, have a few inhabitants. There is also a big monastery complex, Panormitis , where around 30 people live and take care of the monastery.
At Gialos 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, tavernas, 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 Village, you may find a medical centre, hotels, rooms to let, restaurants, tavernas, bakeries, tourist shops, supermarkets, bars, fruit shops, corner shops, a flower shop, bus and taxi stations.
In the interior of Symi there is road that leads from Gialos to Panormitis and you can go through it either by car, or by bike or by foot through a pined, cypressed, holm - oaked forest. This is a walk you can do alone or with the help of guides, who are appointed by tourist offices.
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.
History of Symi Island
The history of the island begins in the ancient times when some of its names were Kirki, Aigli and Metapontis. The island got its current name from the nymph Symi, who according to greek mythology married the God of the seas Poseidon and brought to life Hthonios who became the leader of the islands inhabitants.
Homer mentions Symi in the Heliade, for its participation in the Trojan war, headed by the Symiot King Nireas.
Later in history, Symi was conquered in 1309 by the knights of St. John. Then a period of prosperity began for the island with the development of shipping, sponge commerce, boat building and other crafts. In 1832 Symi was found under the Turkish dominion which was followed in 1912 by the Italian dominion.
Symi confronted poverty at that time: the replacement of sailing with motor ships occurred, sponge diving decreased and world war II begun resulting in a greate migration wave of Symiots abroad.
From 1943 when the Italian dominion ceased and onwards, Symi changed hands several times between the English and the Germans, with the English taking over the island for the third time in 1944. On May 8th 1945, the Germans signed the treaty of the Dodecanese surrender, while on April 1st 1947, the British military command handed over his rights to a Greek one.
At last, it was on Symi that on March 8th 1948 the Protocol of integration of all Dodecanese islands to the Greek state was signed.
To Visit Symi Island's Official website click HERE
Accommodations in Symi Island:
CLICK->Kalodoukas Holidays www.kalodoukas.gr
Homes & Hotel Room Reservations
CLICK->Federation of Dodecanese
Tourist Family Accommodations in Greece