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:
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