Symi is a cosmopolitan island, where one of the prettiest and largest neoclassical towns of the country has been developed. It has rich, mythological tradition, since it has been firstly inhabited during the prehistoric age. The king Nireas took part in the Trojan War and became a legend. The inhabitants devoted themselves to sponge-fishing and ship-building, activities which provided decrees (firmans) of favorable treatment on behalf of the Sultan, during Turkish occupation (since 1522). It was at that time when the School of Aghia Marina and the Anagnostirio Aigli (Reading-Room) have been founded. The island reached its peak during 19th century, when it counted 25,000 inhabitants. In 1945, the delivery of Dodecanese to the Allies was signed on the island of Symi. Symi was officially united with Greece in 1948. It can be reached by ferry from Rhodes’ port. The island extends over a surface of 58 km2, its coastline is 85 km long and it has 2,500 inhabitants.
The surrounding islands:
Around Lipsoi there are several islands and rock-islets. The most distinguishing ones are: Makronisi and Frago SW, Refoulia NW, Aspronisia E and Kalapodia SE.