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Overview

Sými is a small but popular island, about two hours by ferry from Rhodes, and renowned for having one of the prettiest harbors in Greece. Pastel-colored houses, many of them old mansions that have been modernized, crowd the steep slopes either side of the harbor, and arriving in Sými, especially at night, is a magical experience. The island can seem less magical during the day, when crowds of day-trippers pour in from Rhodes and fill the streets of Sými’s one small main town, but by late afternoon the visitors have left. The mansions hint at this little island’s former glory, as at one time it had a population of 30,000, larger than ...

Sými is a small but popular island, about two hours by ferry from Rhodes, and renowned for having one of the prettiest harbors in Greece. Pastel-colored houses, many of them old mansions that have been modernized, crowd the steep slopes either side of the harbor, and arriving in Sými, especially at night, is a magical experience. The island can seem less magical during the day, when crowds of day-trippers pour in from Rhodes and fill the streets of Sými’s one small main town, but by late afternoon the visitors have left. The mansions hint at this little island’s former glory, as at one time it had a population of 30,000, larger than neighboring Rhodes, and prospered through the sponge-fishing trade. There is not a great deal to do on Sými, which is part of its charm. The beaches are nothing special, and the only notable sight as such is the Monastery of St. Michael of Panormitis at the far end of the island. Nevertheless, Sými has a pretty charm all its own.

Mike Gerrard
About the Expert

Mike Gerrard is the author of the National Geographic Traveler Guide to Greece, as well as guides to Athens, Crete, Corfu, the Greek Mainland, and the Greek islands for publishers including AA, AAA, Thomas Cook, Dorling Kindersley, Michelin, and New Holland. With his wife Donna Dailey, he also publishes the Greece Travel Secrets website.

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Mike Gerrard for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Symi or Simi is a small island, north of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, approximately 300 miles east of Athens.
  • Language: Greek
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Hot and busy in midsummer, Sými makes a wonderful destination in spring and autumn.