View of the port of the island with fishing boats and vessels and with traditional buildings and shops
Ⓒ P. Merakos


NOW 22 °C

Next 5 days

  • SUN 35 °C
  • MON 38 °C
  • TUES 34 °C
  • WED 31 °C
  • THURS 35 °C

Source: National Observatory of Athens /

A Fairytale-like Island

While approaching the port of Symi, one has the overwhelming feeling of entering a perfectly painted image of a scenic traditional village. As a rule, people remain agape and cannot take their eyes off the spectacular sight. A galore of two and three-storey traditional stone houses, painted in all colours but mostly in indigo, ochre and terracotta, with red tiled roofs and cute little balconies with railings set up the peculiarity of the island.

The few who can resist the superb spectacle of the town of Symi stretching its impeccable architecture – all of the buildings there have been listed - on the slopes of the surrounding hills, take off their eyes to look at their book guides. They see the picture of the port of Symi printed on their books. They know it might have been photoshopped; in all likelihood, they expected it to be better than the real thing. Still, when they lift their eyes again to marvel at the breathtaking sight, they realise it belies their expectations: Symi is more than words or photos can say!
View of the colorful houses in the port and at the center there is a large fishing boat
Two and three-storey traditional stone houses, painted in all colours but mostly in indigo, ochre and terracotta, with red tiled roofs and cute little balconies with railings set up the peculiarity of Symi.

Around the island

The main town of Symi, commonly referred to by the same name as the island itself, is divided in two parts: the harbourside one, called Gialos, and the adjacent one on the slopes of the hills, called Chorio (village).

The entrance of the horseshoe-shaped port is dominated by Roloi, a clock tower. Right in front of it there is the statue of the fisher boy, Michalaki (little Michael), which seems to be welcoming the visitors to the island. The Town Hall, the cathedral, the square and the Naval Museum of Symi are the main attractions on this side. The latter lends an insight to the naval tradition of the island and boasts, amongst other things, exhibits representing the evolution of sponge fishing through the years. Visit the island’s main church Agios Ioannis with its marvelous pebble-stone courtyard and stone-built bell tower. Relax in a traditional cafe in one of Symi’s main squares - Kampos, Tarsanas, Skala - or enjoy shopping in the nearby stores.

Head to the upper part of the town to Chorio (aka Ano Symi) from a stony 500 steps stairway. The locals call it Kali Strata (good way!) with a wonderful walkway under the trees and a breathtaking view over Gialos. The charming colourful houses with their tiled roofs and the small alleys create a stunning locale. The interior of the houses are also of great interest; elaborately decorated ceilings, skylights, neoclassical decor on doors and windows as well as pebble stone floors are just some of the details you’ll see on these beautiful man made structures.

The highest spot of the town is Kastro (= castle) on the west, the remnants of a castle built by the knights of St John (14th c.). In its interior you will see the church Panagia (Virgin Mary) of Kastro.

Tip: The best time of the day to walk around the town is in the afternoon when the sunlight highlights the colours and the island's noble style.

At the location Myloi, visit Pontikokastro (the castle of mice!); there is a prehistoric tomb as well as remnants of old mills, used in the past for crushing grains into flour, yet some of them are households today. Behind the highest mountain of the island (560m) lies a beautiful cypress and pine tree forest.

The forest at Kourkouniotis is home to 120 byzantine wine presses of which eleven have been restored. The island held a fine tradition in winemaking up to the 18th c.

The most significant event is Symi’s Festival that hosts a large number of cultural events such as classical and modern music concerts, dance, theater, cinema, and literature evenings from July to September every year.

Filming in Symi



On a Greek island in 1908, a Turkish spy becomes involved with a British archaeologist's suspicious activities.




Anna, the daughter of a Spanish mother and Greek father, returns to her family's house in Greece with the intention of selling it. However, as she begins to pack up her memories and belongings, she starts to feel a strong connection to the house. Her plans to sell the house are thrown into question as she begins to find comfort and healing in the memories and connections she has with the space. She learns to live with her melancholic memories and finds peace in the place where she once felt lost.


Symi is connected to Piraeus and other ports of the Aegean. The conventional ships make the route ""Piraeus - Symi"" in about 15 hours while the high-speed ones in about 14.The connections are made from both ports of the island (Panormitis, Symi Port).

Other destinations

Arrive by Sea
There is a connection with the port of Rhodes Island. You can also reach Symi with your own boat. You can anchor at Gialos(there is also a refueling station here), Emporio, Pedi, Panormitis and Ag. Emilianos.
Catch a flight to Rhodes Island and then by boat. The journey from Rhodes to Symi does not take more than an hour.

Ferry routes