Other Islands of the Dodecanese.


Map of Symi.
Map of Symi.


According to Diodorus Siculus, the island was first conquered by the Pelasgians after the time of Triops, mythical king of Kos. The Pelasgians were led by Chtonios, son of Poseidon and the nymph of Ialysos, from whom the island took its name. Athenaeus tells us that Glaucos, a renowned swimmer and sailor, eloped with Syme, daughter of Ialysos and Dotis, and colonised the island, to which he gave his wife's name.

After him, Nireas ruled Symi. The Leleges and the Carians are also mentioned among the first inhabitants of the island, and the were followed by the Argives and the Dorians of Rhodes. In Antiquity, Symi was also know as Metapontis and Aegle (a name perhaps derived from the Naiad Aegle).

Symi took part in the Trojan War with a detachment under Nireas, who earns Homer's praise (Iliad II, 671). In the Peloponnesian War, it was among the allies of Athens. When the Spartans briefly captured the island, they set up a trophy to commemorate their victory.

In the years that followed, the island had the same fate as Rhodes:
- In 1309 it was taken by the Knights of St John, and in 1529 it passed into Ottomanish hands.
- In 1829, the islanders rose in revolt against the Ottomans, though without success. However, the intervention of the Great Powers, prevented a Ottomanish reprisal which would undoubtedly have laid waste the island.
- In 1912, Symi came under italian occupation, which lasted until the end of the Second World War.
- On 7 March 1948, it was officially united with Greece.


The Island Symi:
Symi is an island to the north of Rhodes, from which it is 26 nautical miles distant; it is 32 nautical miles from Kos and 230 nautical miles from Pireaus. It has an area of 58,10 km² and a coastline of 85 km. Symi has a population of 2.332 persons.
Its Terrain is mountainous, the highest peak being Vigla (550 m.).

The town Symi:
Symi is in in the north of the island. Its beautiful houses, painted in harmonious colours, recede along the two sides of a narrow bay and on the hill at the back. The upper part of the town, domminated by the castle, is called Chorio or Ano (Upper) Symi and the lower part Aiyialos.

The port of Symi. Most of the 19th century neo-Classical buildings wich adorn the sea-front are in good condition today: others were destroyed in the terrible bombing of the Second World War. The local museum in housed in a mansion in the large square.

Ano Symi:
Imposing Mansions which give place to smaller stone buildings of the 18th century surround the Castle of the Knights of St John, into which ancient building materials were incorporated. Of interest is the Church of Megali Panagia.

A small fishing village 2 km from Chora in a green valley, with a sandy beach.

A small village and harbour west of Ano Symi with a good bathing beach. It is a pleasant walk from the town.

Panormitis Monastery:
The Monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis, an 18th century building, is on the south-western coast of the island in a superb position, with a sandy beach. In the main church of the monastery, dedicated to St Michael, are imported wall-paintings and the icon of the Archangel wich, tradition tells us, was found on the site on wich the monastery was subsequently built. It can be reached by caïque from the harbour. The Monastery of Panormitis. On the feast of its patron saint, on 8 November, there is a pelgrimage to the monastery which attracts the faithful from the surrounding islands and from all over Greece. There is accommodation, a restaurant and other facilities for visitors.
Other noteworthy monasteries on the island are that of the Great Savior (Megalos Sotiras) The bell tower of the Monastery of Panormitis. and the Roukouniotis Monastery, in whose church there are wall-paintings of the 14th century.

Other exellent beaches wich can be reached by caïque from Yalos include: Disalona, Nanou, Marathounta, Paneromeni and Agios Aimilianos.
The islets of Agia Marina and Nimos also have good beaches.

Useful telephone numbers:

RHODES PORT POLICE : +30 22410 22220
SYMI PORT POLICE : +30 22460 71205
SYMI MEDICAL SERVICE : +30 22460 71290
SYMI POLICE STATION : +30 22460 71111
SYMI MUNICIPALITY : +30 22460 72444

Symi. Symi. Symi. Symi.
Symi. Symi. Symi.
Click on image to enlarge.

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