Symi is a small island of the Dodecanese group, located between Rhodes and mainland Turkey. Its main village is considered to be one of the most beautiful and picturesque ports of Greece, with its houses in vivid colors perched on the slopes of a high hill. Most people come to Symi for a day trip from Rhodes but the island is worth visiting for a couple of days.
Symi has only a few settlements and major part of it is rocky, barren and not populated. The distance from the southernmost to the northernmost point accessible by car is less than 30 km. The main village and port in the north is sometimes called just Symi but in fact it consists of Gialos, the port and the lower area of the village, and Ano Symi, the upper area above the port, referred to as Chorio. Gialos and Ano Symi are connected with a long pedestrian street which starts from the port and goes to the top of the settlement. The street is called Kali Strata and it has numerous stairs walking on which could be exhausting, especially in the summer heat. Except for Gialos, there is one more port in the south - Panormitis. It is a small seaside village known for the Monastery of Archangel Michael at the seafront. Big ferries from Piraeus arrive at Gialos but in the summer months the local ferry line Dodekanisos Seaways stops at Panormitis as well. There are many organized trips and boats from Rhodes to Symi for a day.
The largest choice of accommodation, restaurants and services is in the main village but there are also hotels in the two small and quiet resorts of Pedi and Emborios (Nimborio).
Since Symi is small and rocky, it has only a couple of beaches which can be reached by car. The most popular beach on the island is Nos, close to Gialos, renting sunbeds and parasols. It has coarse sand mixed with shingle. Other beaches are those of Emporios and Pedi, both with small pebbles. There are other beaches and coves suitable for swimming around the island but they can be reached by taxi boat from Gialos or by a long walk on foot, and some of them have beach facilities - Agios Nikolaos, Agia Marina and Nanou.