The atmosphere of this special island state charms from the very first moment: a historical preservable settlement unique in size and elegance that reminds us of the bloom it experienced in the 19th century when it had 25.000 residents. The “humanlike” mansions with their doors-mouths and windows-eyes are all located overlooking the sea, with daring color combinations and layouts which highlight their origin. You will admire them upon arriving at the port by ship and you will enjoy panoramic views from Kali Strata which connects Gialos with Horio or from the route towards Pedi. Additionally you will enjoy the unique route of the small island, 22 km full of surprises, which leads to the renowned monastery of Panormitis, with the miraculous icon for which many pilgrims come here throughout the year.
The longest route of the island is 22 km and ends up in Panormitis. It is uphill in its beginning and it offers a great view of Gialos and Horio. Further away the rocky landscape gives way to an unusual large forest of pine and cypress trees which grow alongside on the rocks. You will count churches and monasteries all the way up: Agia Marina, Agia Triada, Profitis Ilias, Agia Aikaterini, Agios Efraim, Agios Prokopios (besides, there are 135 in total on the island, most of which were votive offerings of sponge divers and sailors).
The fort-monastery of Michaeles (Michael Roukouniotis) is important with its old wall paintings in both of its churches. Outside the monastery there is a cypress-phenomenon: It is over 850 years old, according to the locals, and it has grown in the shape of a big hug resembling that of a plane.
Just before Panormitis you will see the road that leads to the quiet beach of Marathounta on your left and afterwards you will go downhill towards the bay and the monastery of Taxiarchis Michael.
How to get there
Symi is 12 miles away from Rhodes. You will go via Rhodes by flying dolphins and ships. There are some itineraries from Piraeus, which are more often during the summer.
USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS
Municipality of Symi: +30 22463 60403
Port Authority: +30 22460 71205
Customs office: +30 22460 71249
Police station: +30 22460 71111
Health centre of Gialos: +30 22460 71290
Health centre of Horio: + 30 22460 71316
USEFUL LINKS www.symi.gr