An Enjoyable Excursion to Symi

wonderful Greece. Symi island , Dodecanese

Rhodes, the jewel of the Dodecanese, is a destination that perfectly combines rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. Staying at the luxurious Electra Palace Rhodes, you will immerse yourself in the authentic charm and beauty that this island offers. As an added delight, an excursion to Symi island awaits. Nestled between Rhodes and Turkey, this small gem remains largely undiscovered by tourists. Symi’s enchanting, genuine Greek atmosphere provides a delightful escape, just a short boat trip from the captivating allure of Rhodes. 

What to discover on an excursion to Symi:

The History

Symi’s history reads like a novel. It has been mentioned in Homer’s 8th century B.C ‘Iliad’ as the domain of King Nireus, who participated in the Trojan War as well as being referenced by the great historian Herodotus. Over the centuries, Symi flourished under the Delian League and was later controlled by the Byzantine empire. Following this, it came under the rule of the Knights of St. John and then the Ottoman Turks. During the 20th century, Symi changed hands between the Italians, Germans, and British during and after World War II, before finally being returned to Greece in 1948. Historically, its principal sources of income were shipbuilding and sponge diving, although today tourism is the mainstay of its economy.

The Harbor

This island exudes a tranquil calm that lets your mind roam free. Getting to it by boat – the only mode of transport (and one of the main reasons it has retained much of its allure), affords you the chance to come face to face with its beguiling harbor – dotted with a multitude of ochre and indigo coloured Venetian-style mansions. An excursion to Symi will definitely open your eyes to a different side of Greece. The quaint port of Symi, Gialos, is positively postcard-perfect. Visitors can explore charming boutiques, browse local art galleries, and enjoy waterfront cafes and restaurants. The lively market offers unique souvenirs, traditional crafts, and fresh local produce, making it an ideal spot to soak up the island’s vibrant atmosphere. You must visit the notable clock tower built in 1881, a reflection of the architectural style from the period of Italian rule over the island.

More to see & do

Make your excursion to Symi even more comprehensive with these two interesting places to check out.

Pontikokastro, located in Myloi and just a 25 minutes walk from Gialos harbor. It is an ancient circular stone structure whose age remains undetermined. Believed to be a prehistoric tomb, it is also known as the “tomb of Nireus.” Visitors can explore the area, which includes ruins of old windmills and offers stunning panoramic views.

Kourkouniotis is notable for its historical and natural attractions. It features an idyllic cypress forest and eleven restored traditional stone wine presses, reflecting Symi’s rich viticulture tradition from the Byzantine era. This area is a popular spot for hiking and exploring the island’s past. The distance from Gialos is approximately 5-6 kilometers, making it accessible for visitors interested in a scenic walk (of about an hour) or a short drive.

Boat Excursion to Symi: Details

An excursion to Symi is definitely among the top things to do in Rhodes, and through Electra Palace Rhodes you can book your high-speed boat transfer for a seamless journey that takes about an hour each way. If you want the luxury treatment, you can have it with an open bar serving free beers, wine, soft drinks and snacks on board a luxury RIB powerboat.

On this 6-hour transfer trip and boat excursion to Symi, you get to spend 3 hours of free time on the island to explore and discover at your leisure. Wander through the quaint streets, enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the traditional tavernas, and soak up the charm of this little island that is truly one of a kind.

After that, the boat sets sail for the stunning Saint George’s Bay where we stop for a 30-minute swim in the pristine, azure waters – a perfect way to soak up the Mediterranean sun on your way back.

Returning to Rhodes island and Mandraki harbor by 5 pm, you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy a wonderful evening and delectable dinner at some of the best restaurants in Rhodes.

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