Niriides Hotel & Apartments

SIMI ISLAND

Simi island Geography

 

Simi island is part of the Dodecanese island chain, located about 41 kilometres (25 miles) north-northwest of Rhodes (and 425 km (264 mi) from Piraeus, the port of Athens), with 58.1 square kilometres (22.4 sq mi) of mountainous terrain. Its nearest land neighbors are the Datça and Bozburun peninsulas of Muğla Province in Turkey. Its interior is dotted with small valleys, and its coastline alternates between rocky cliffs and beaches, and isolated coves. Its main town, located on the northeast coast, is also named Symi and consists of the lower town around the harbour, typically referred to as Yialos, and the upper town is called Horio or Ano Simi. Other inhabited localities are Pedi, Nimborio, Marathounda and Panormitis. Panormitis is the location of the island’s famous monastery which is visited by people from all over the world, and many Greeks pay homage to St Michael of Panormitis each year. The island has 2,580 inhabitants, mostly engaged in tourism, fishing, and trade. In the tourist season which lasts from Easter until Panormitis Day in early November, tourists and day-trippers increase the number of people on the island to as much as 6000. In addition to its many historical sites, the island’s isolated beaches, many reachable only with small boats, are popular with tourists. The Municipality of Sými includes the uninhabited offshore islets of Gialesíno, Diavátes, Kouloúndros, Marmarás, Nímos, Sesklío, and Chondrós. Its total land area is 65.754 square kilometres (25.388 sq mi).

History

In Greek mythology, Simi island is reputed to be the birthplace of the Charites and to take its name from the nymph Syme (in antiquity the island was known as Aigli and Metapontis), though Pliny the Elder and some later writers claimed that the name was derived from scimmia “a monkey”. In Homer’s Iliad the island is mentioned as the domain of King Nireus, who fought in the Trojan War on the side of the Greeks. Thucydides writes that during the Peloponnesian War there was a Battle of Syme near the island in January, 411 BC, in which an unspecified number of Spartan ships defeated a squadron of Athenian vessels. Little was known about the island until the 14th century, but archaeological evidence indicates that it was continuously inhabited, and ruins of citadels suggest that it was an important location. It was first part of the Roman Empire and then the Byzantine Empire, until its conquest by the Knights of St. John in 1373.


Landmarks

  • The Monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis is a Greek Orthodox monastery built on the southwest coast in the early 18th century. It overlooks a bay, and is still inhabited by monks.
  • The Kastro overlooks the main town of Symi, Ano Symi. It was built by the Knights of St. John as an expansion of a Byzantine castle on the same site, many parts of which are still visible. There are also remnants of an ancient citadel on which the two later castles were built.
  • The municipal clock tower which was built circa 1880
  • The War memorial in the harbour consists of a monument "the Dove of Peace" in front of a bas-relief sculpture of a Trireme
  • The town of Symi alone has thirteen major churches and dozens of chapels, some dating back to the Byzantine era.
  • The village of Nimborio has surviving ancient Pelasgian walls and a set of twelve domes remaining from workshops used by artists.

 
 

How to arrive in Simi

You can come to Simi by ferry boat from Piraeus, the island of Rhodes, the islands of the northern and eastern Aegean, and the other Dodecanese islands.

BY BOAT:
By ferry boat from Piraeus to Simi there are many sailings in the summer. Distance 171 nautical miles. For exact sea schedules CLICK HERE

Blue Star Ferries,
Dodecanisos Seaways (from Rhodes and other Dodecanese islands).