Guide of SYMI
On the small and little known island of Symi, you can get away from mass tourism and find the real Greece. The island is rocky and rugged and is inhabited by just over two thousand people that keep it alive thanks to tourism in the summer. In the port of Gialos, you can admire yachts and boats of all kinds during the summer season.
The history of the island is similar to the rest of the Cycladic and Dodecanese islands. First, there were the Dorians, then the Romans, Venetians, Turks and finally the Italians. The island has been home to many shipyards since ancient times thanks to the high-quality boats produced during the Trojan War, by the Knights of St. John and later by the Turks. This made Symi an important communication hub between the East and West.
Places to visit
The port of the island, also called 'Portofino of Greece', has colourful neoclassical houses and a monastery of the Archangel Michael. The castle of the Knights of St. John has a great fortress that surrounds the whole town. Traditions have remained intact here and the residents were granted permission to fish sponges up until the mid-nineteenth century and the sponges were fished using an ancient system.
Symi is an island where tourism has had a relatively low impact on the environment so be sure to visit it before it is discovered by international tourism. It currently has very wild coasts, pebble beaches and hidden coves that can only be reached by boat. The beaches have wonderful clear, turquoise water and the bays of Agios Giogios and Pedi are the most beautiful. Marathounda and Sesklia are also real paradises, even if they are more remote and without amenities.