The island of Nireus
At the edge of the Aegean there is a small cosmopolitan island that many call it the gem of the Dodecanese. The beauty of Symi enchants every visitor from the very first moment that the ship enters its harbor. The multi colored traditional houses stretched amphitheatrically up to the top of the hill combined with the deep blue color of the sea create a unique and memorable scenery.
Symi consists of 5 basic settlements: the Capital is Chora that includes Gialos, the harbor with the colorful houses and the picturesque Chorio. Other settlements are Emporios, Marathounta, Pedi and Panormitis.
A touch of mythology...
Nireus, the King of Symi, was a very handsome young man and one of the suitors of Helen of Troy. Nireus is mentioned in the Iliad as the commander of three ships, who got killed during the Trojan War by Eurypylous, son of Telephus and nephew of Priamos.
Strolling in Gialos and Kali Strata
Before any excursion to the island, a stroll in the harbor is a must! In Gialos you can admire the majesty and beauty of the island. You definitely won’t miss “Michalaki”, the statue of a young fisherman, while few meters away you will meet the imposing building of the Clock Tower since 1881 and the Police building.
Finish your walk to the island, by going up 500 stone and wide steps of Kali Strata that will lead you to the upper part of Symi. The view from this spot is amazing, especially during sunset, as the sun light shines on Gialos.
Visit to the Byzantine Castle
At the highest spot of the island its Castle is located, built on the ruins of the ancient byzantine castle at the top of which is the church of Megali Panagia or Kyra and the remnants of the ancient temple of Athena. It was built on the 14th century by the Knights of St. John. Here you will find remains of an ancient fortress, and the breathtaking view of the enchanting city and harbor.
Wandering on the island’s history
The Archaeological – Folklore Museum is housed on a traditional residence in Lieni, on the upper part of Symi. It consists of 5 rooms with exhibits from different eras, as well as many folklore exhibits such as traditional costumes. The Museum narrates the story of the island, with paintings and photographic material, Hellenistic tombstones, inscriptions and handwritten codes.
Monastery of Archangel Michael in Panormitis
In a beautiful small inlet, the greatest religious monument of the island is located. You can visit the monastery either by car, following an enjoyable route through a pine tree forest, or with ship day cruises that make a stop to the monastery. The impressive high bell tower of the Church boasts even at a great distance. There are also two museums in the area, a folklore and a religious museum.
Don’t forget to make a stop at the traditional bakery of Panormitis where you can taste the traditional “tourtes” (cheese pies) as well as various fresh local products.
Monastery of Michael Roukouniotis
Impressive and interesting murals are waiting for you to discover in the Monastery of Michael Roukouniotis which consists of two churches, the old or lower church and the new or upper church. A tall umbrella-like cypress tree offers the perfect shade for moments of relaxation and peacefulness.
- Agios Nikolaos: sandy beach with thin pebbles and turquoise waters. It is organized with umbrellas and sun beds. It also has a taverna and beach bar.
- Nanou: beautiful, picturesque beach at a lush bay with cypress trees, hidden behind tall hills and rocks. Light blue waters and magnificent seabed. Organized with umbrellas, sun beds and a taverna.
- Nos: located next to Gialos and easily accessible. Organized beach with umbrellas and sun beds.
- Pedi: it is located next to the settlement and it is one of the most famous and cosmopolitan beaches of Symi. Clear blue waters and many amenities for visitors.
- Agia Marina: small, sandy beach with aquamarine and crystal clear waters. It is located within a bay at the entrance of which there is a small rocky island with a church. It is organized with sun beds, umbrellas and bar-restaurant.
- Marathounda: a small bay with crystal clear waters and pebbles. Although it is quite isolated, the beach has amenities and shops.
- Emborios (Niborio): This is the second harbor of the island and has a picturesque settlement and a marvelous beach with a taverna.
- Agios Georgios Dysalonas: tall and vertical rocks around the beach and dreamy turquoise waters waiting for you to enjoy. The beach is not organized and it is accessible only through sea.
- Agios Vasileios: picturesque and quiet beach with big rocks. It is located on a beautiful location and has crystal clear waters, dark sand and few trees with some shade. The beach is quite isolated and is offered for nudism. It is accessible only through sea.
- Maroni: enchanting beach accessible only by boat. Behind the beach there is an impressive pine tree forest.
- Seskli: a paradise island that is the ideal destination for one day excursion and sea exploration, due to its rich seabed and beautiful waters.
Local products & delicacies
- Shrimp of Symi
- Akoumia, Symian donuts
- Prickly pear liquor
- Traditional cheese pies – “tourtes”