From Rhodes we took a day trip to the island of Symi. This is an excursion that we highly recommend since Symi is an absolutely charming island and it is also a good break from the tourists of Rhodes. The tour began at 9AM and we arrived back in Rhodes at about 5PM. For much of the boat ride we sunbathed and watched Turkish shoreline.
If it is true that there is beauty in simplicity, then tiny, sweet Symi is the perfect example of that, when it comes to discussing the beauties of the Greek Islands. This little gem of an island of only 58 square kilometers in size (and with 85 kilometers of coastline!) lies very near to Asia Minor and only 21 nautical miles north of Rhodes in the Dodecanese. Today the population numbers about 2,500, mostly involved in light farming, shipbuilding and repair, fishing, and tourism.
Our excursion was a guided tour where we stopped at the historic port of Yialos on the northern tip to explore the island by your own and later to a remote spot on the southern shore to visit Panormitis monastery.
The amazingly scenic port town of Yialos was dedicated as a historic site in 1971 by the Greek government. The port has plenty of lovely 19th century mansions with red-tiled roofs, some accommodation, restaurants, bars, the old shipyards (still in use today), plus a variety of monuments attesting to historical moments of Symi’s past. In the dock area there was a number of tourists hanging around. However, just a few blocks away, you can see the Symiots going about their daily business.
Panormitis is a Greek Orthodox Monastery built on the southwest coast of Symi in the early 18th century. Monastery overlooks a bay, and is still inhabited by monks. In order to go inside the Monastery shoulders and knees should be covered, for that you can borrow skirt there.
As usually with the tanning at the ferry, we got quite sunburned at that day.