Le cose da vedere a Symi

What to see in Symi, the sponge island of the Dodecanese

It’s a small one arid and barren islandlittle more than a rock known for a long time only for having been one of the capitals of the sponge fishermen. Yet even if, apparently, there are not many things to see in Symi, this is one of those places that have a gift: they conquer whoever arrives. Just what happens to whoever they land at Symi, an island of Dodecanese a short distance from the most famous Rhodeswhich behind its apparently calm appearance reveals a bewitching soul that pleases those in search of authentic holidaysquiet corners and glimpses of true Greece.

A colorful capital on the hill

Disembarking from the ferry never fails to leave visitors amazed. The cozy and colorful capital of the island, although small, has the luxury of splitting in two. And to offer yourself with different faces. There lower partthe one to understand the port, is called Gialos and can only please with with his colorful houses in the neoclassical style which seem like a warm embrace for those who disembark.

Further up, spread out on the hill and marked by long stairways, is the other part, called Chorio. TOHere, too, many low colored or white houses count for little, and it’s nice to walk among its streets (better when the sun has set) and discover Symi: streets, alleys from which emerge the domes of the churchesbeautiful balconies, terraces and some pleasant locales along with a pervading sense of beauty that arises from the fact that besides the sponge divers here were to be found shipowners And ship builders. And in the past the wealth of this small island was probably even higher than that of Rhodes.

Things to see in Symi

Things to see in Symi: the monastery of Archangel Panormitis

One of the most iconic, and certainly the most revered, landmarks on the island is the monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis, located on the southwest coast. Built in XVIII century, on the foundations of an ancient place of worship, the imposing monastery with the bell tower that can be seen from afar, is dedicated to the patron saint of the island. Seat of two small museums, the monastery is open for visits by the faithful and tourists. But you are looking for absolute peace you can try to ask. Sometimes the monks rent some cells for a very modest donation for those looking for an alternative place to meditate.

Things to see in Symi

The village dominated by the ruins of the knights

On the other hand, returning towards the port, one can only raise one’s gaze and turn one’s attention to the kastro which dominates the town occupying part of the space of what was once the ancient one acropolis. Built in 1407 by Knights of the Order of St John – to understand us those who ruled over Rhodes but which are also known as Knights of Cyprus and later how Knights of Malta – overlooks the houses of Chorio and Gialos. The original purpose of the castle, which represents the expansion of a pre-existing Byzantine fortress, was evidently to protect the inhabitants from the frequent pirate raids but not only. The kastro indeed fell into the hands of the gods Turks when they invaded the island in 1522.

Continuing the list of things to see in Symi we come to archaeological Museum which is located at Chorio and was established in 1961. It now occupies a traditional local style house in the area of Agios Athanasios, at the heart of the old part of the city and houses an archaeological collection of artefacts dating back to Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods and Byzantine and a small collection of objects related to local folklore which includes traditional clothing, utensils and even furniture.

Things to see in Symi

Things to do and see in Symi: the festival

Every year the Dodecanese island hosts the Symi Festival, a cultural event that takes place from July to September. The event includes music shows and dance, theatrical performances and events but also the projection of movie screened outdoors for free for the duration of the event. Don’t let the small size of Symi fool you: the event is quite well organised, some events are really interesting and there are visitors from other parts of the Greece because of this.

Things to see in Symi

Things to see in Symi: first of all the sea

We talked about sacred places and traditions. ma the reason why so many decide to come to this arid island is certainly not its peaks and valleys: but of course the sea. The island indeed boasts some really nice beaches but precisely because of its conformation they are often not easy to reach and are rather suitable for those who travel by boat or at least with boat to act as a taxi. The island offers sandy and pebbly beaches as well as secluded bays. For example, Nimporio, Lapathos, Agia Marina, Agios Nikolaos, Nanou or Marathounta they are definitely worth a visit for an unforgettable day at the beach. If exploration is what you’re after, you’ll also find numerous beaches on the nearby islets of Nimos, Agia Marina or Agios Emilios.

If, on the other hand, you are sporty to the core and instead of the classic scooter rental you want to test your level of training, you will find the right one for you: even if you need a little caution. Indeed there are many trails but don’t expect to find well-drawn directions or maps. Some of the paths are actually old tracks used to reach churches or sheep tracks used by shepherds. Remember to bring sunscreen, plenty of water and wear proper shoes. Someone excursions they might be challenging, but you will always be rewarded with spectacular views. And sometimes from a nice beach to rest on.

Two villages lost in the trees

Finally, on the island there are a couple of other villages about a couple of kilometers from the port-capital. The first is Pedi, a small port among vineyards and fruit trees where a few dozen people live with a beautiful beach around which there are also some accommodations. The second is Emborium: here too few people, turquoise water and some caves to visit that tell of the distant past of the island. Now, however, rented rooms and studios are also springing up. And this is the future.

Things to see in Symi: a Rhodes day trip

A good idea during a holiday in Symi is certainly to dedicate at least one day to a trip to Rhodes and to its old city. It is probably from Rhodes that you arrived but do not miss the opportunity to visit the Island of the Knights. One day will be just enough to discover how many historical sites and fascinating places there are. Without forgetting that Rhodes also offers a lot for entertainment in the strict sense with shops, clubs and restaurants of all kinds.

How to get to Symi

The island of Symi does not have a airport and therefore can only be reached with ferries and catamarans departing from Rhodes. The journey time for fluctuates between i fifty minutes at the hour and a quarter depending on the type of vessel. It is possible to get to Symi by ferry also from the other islands of the Dodecanese how Kalymnos, Kos , Leros, Lipsi And Patmos with journeys lasting from two to four hours. Of course you can also come from Athens. ma must not be in a hurry: it can take up to 20 hours.

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