Symi, the Lady of the Dodecanese

Symi is the eighth-largest Greek island in the Dodecanese complex. It is located about 12 miles northwest of Rhodes, off the coast of Asia Minor, in the Symi or Symiakos Gulf, as known by the Turks. It covers a total area of 57.865 square kilometers and is situated 255 miles from Piraeus, approximately 27 miles east of Nisyros, and 3.7 miles from the nearest coast of Turkey.

Its natural harbor is Yialos (from "Aigialos"), where the town is built in an amphitheatrical manner. According to the 2001 census, Symi had a population of 2,606 residents, with 2,427 of them concentrated in the upper part of the town, known as "Chorio," which is built on the slope of Mount Vigla. There are also resorts like Nimborios (from "Emporeio") to the north and Pedhi to the east. About 5% of the permanent residents are foreign European citizens, mainly British. Yialos is connected by road to Chorio, Pedhi, Nimborios, Marathounta, and the Holy Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis, which is located at the southernmost tip of the island. Symi is a world-renowned tourist destination due to its architecture. Since 2009, there has been a desalination plant operating on the island.


Today, the economy of Symi relies directly or indirectly on tourism. Economic recovery began slowly during the Dictatorship, with the development of day tourism from Rhodes. Twenty years ago, a panoramic photograph of Symi's harbor taken from the castle adorned the cover of the August 1988 issue of Condé Nast Traveler, the most authoritative international (American) magazine on tourism. The emphasis of the article was on the island's architecture, especially the mansions of Gialos.

Since then, progress has been rapid. Today, tourism on Symi is fueled by day visitors, multi-day tourists, and the unique "tourists" of the Symi diaspora. Almost all tourists to Symi pass through Rhodes. The tourist season lasts for seven months (April-October), similar to Rhodes, with high activity from July to September. Multi-day tourism has shown an upward trend over the last 10 years.


Stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters and pebbly shores await you on your summer vacation in Symi. Many of them are organized with facilities and shops. Some are accessible by road, but most can be reached by boat. Some of our favorite beaches in Symi include:

  • • Agios Georgios Dysalonas: This is the most impressive and well-known beach on the island, famous for its high vertical cliffs that frame the coastline and its dreamy turquoise waters. It can only be accessed by boat and is not organized, so make sure to bring the necessary supplies.
  • • Agios Nikolaos: Located near the village of Pedi, this beach has shallow waters, trees, shops, and taverns. The beach is organized with umbrellas and is usually preferred by families.
  • • Agios Vasileios: Definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Symi. It is situated in a stunning location and has crystal-clear waters and some trees that provide shade. The beach is quite isolated, requiring a long hike to reach (about 2 hours). For this reason, it's perfect for nudism.
  • • Nanou: An impressive beach in a cypress-covered bay. It has blue waters and a lovely seabed for exploration. The beach is organized with umbrellas and taverns.
  • • Nos: Located near Yialos, the island's harbor, this beach is easily accessible. It has umbrellas and sunbeds, as well as a snack bar serving food right on the beach.
  • • Pedi: Located near the village of Pedi and the largest hotel on the island, this beach is one of the most famous and cosmopolitan in Symi. It has clear, azure waters and plenty of amenities for visitors.
  • • Agia Marina: A small sandy beach near Pedi. It's organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, and a bar-restaurant. There's a small island at the entrance to the bay that adds to the beach's charm and is great for swimming.
  • • Toli: A small beach in the northern part of the island with an amazing sea, accessible by road or via a challenging hiking route for adventure lovers.
  • • Maroni: A charming beach with mirror-like waters, accessible only by boat. There's a lovely pine forest behind the beach. • Maroni: A charming beach with mirror-like waters, accessible only by boat. There's a lovely pine forest behind the beach.
  • • Marathounta: This beach is located on a tiny island called Marathounta to the south of Symi. It features crystal-clear waters and pebbles. It's advisable to bring an umbrella, although there are trees providing some shade.
  • • Seskli: This beach is located on a small, lush island south of Symi. There, you'll find a wonderful beach with crystal-clear waters and pebbles. We recommend bringing an umbrella, although the beach has trees offering some shade.


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