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WorldMediterraneanAegean SeaGreeceDodecaneseSými
There are Port(s) of Entry here
36°35.410'N, 027°50.340'E Chart icon.png
lat=36.59017 | lon=27.839 | zoom=11 | y
Symi harb2.jpg
Entering Yialós, Sými's Harbor

Sými or Sími or Syme (Σύμη) used to be off the beaten track and its harbor Yialos, is a jewel of a town with colorful houses built up the steep slopes. Unfortunately this lovely island has been "discovered." Now it is an "in" place and in the summer it is crowded and the lovely harbor now sports the usual bars with their loud music. On the other hand, many of the abandoned houses have been restored. In the last few years, however, the level of tourism has been upgraded, featuring some upscale restaurants and less loud bars, along with more restorations.

Symi along with Kalymnos and Chálki is famous for its sponge divers and at the height of the sponge trace in the early 20th century was very wealthy. Sponge diving in Symi has been going on since ancient times.


1055 Rhodes Channel and Gökova Körfezi
G35 Dodecanese and Coast of Turkey
54400 Samos to Rodhos
451 Leros to Rhodos


See Aegean Sea.



Seskli Island

Seskli Island/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#Seskli_Island
Island icon Seskli Island [[Sými#Seskli Island|Seskli Island]] 36°31.3′N, 27°52.2′E
Seskli Island is S of Sými. On the S side of the island there is an attractive deserted anchorage with good protection from the meltemi. Anchor in 5-6 m over sand, good holding.


  • Coast Guard - VHF channel 12
  • Olympia Radio - no signal

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


All approaches to Sými are without danger.


Symi is a port of entry in/out Greece. Clear formalities at Yialós.


Sými has one good harbor, Yialos, and several very attractive anchorages.


Chart of Yialós


Harbour icon Yialós [[Sými#Yialós|Yialós]] (Γιαλός) 36°36.989'N, 027°50.282'E
Port of Entry

Yialós or sometimes just Symi, is a beautiful harbor. While it is well protected from the meltemi, it can become problematic with strong S winds. It is also a busy harbor and subject to considerable ferry wash. It is not an easy harbor for yachts because it is deep and its bottom of mud and rock does not always provide good holding.

It is best to moor side-to, if there is room, although this is unlikely in busy periods. Otherwise drop the anchor in around 15-20 m and after testing its holding come stern-to. Stay clear of the ferry and hydrofoil area. Anchor west of the Coast Guard on the north side or on the south side. >2.5m alongside. Often, there is an attendant who will direct you, catch your stern lines, and collect 5€ for his trouble. The harbourmaster office is 1/2 mile east on the south side of the harbour. The port is managed by the town hall, so normal Greece costs apply.

Water is provided by a Water man (his phone number is on the pillars). Sillcocks are locked and will be opened for 5€ (no matter the quantity). Electricity is provided by IP44 connections (red connector).

There are several good restaurants and good provision shopping.
The Harbor of Yialós

Marinas & Yacht Clubs



Chart of yia Marina

Ayia Marina

Ayia Marina/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#Ayia_Marina
Anchorage icon Ayia Marina [[Sými#Ayia Marina|Ayia Marina]] 36°37.43′N, 27°52.3′E
There is an attractive anchorage behind the islet of Ayia Marina just S from the Cape Ayia Marina. Anchor in 4-5 m over sand. There is only a taverna here with umbrellas and beach chairs, otherwise it is very quiet. Very clear green water.
Chart of Pédi


Anchorage icon Pédi [[Sými#Pédi|Pédi]] (Πέδη) 36°36.877'N, 027°51.457'E

Pédi or Péthi or Pédhi is a deep inlet S of Ayia Marina and Yialos. It affords good shelter from the meltemi although it can be gusty. You can either dock either side at the pier or anchor off in 6-10 m.

Note: Cargo Ships berth regularly on the starboard side of pier looking to the land. Free to use. Alternatively, also free to use is anywhere along the northern sea wall. The bottom is sand and weed, good holding once through the weed.

There is a new (2015) cement pier in the north with about 4m depth: it is not completed (pillars are missing).

There is a bus to to Yialós which seems to depart at half past each hour in summer (last from Yialos at 0:00). There is a mini market at the end of the pier and fuel tankers can deliver. Taverna.


Anchorage icon Thessalona [[Sými#Thessalona|Thessalona]] 36°35.845'N, 027°52.343'E
This is a very beautiful cove with dramatic cliffs. It is well protected from the meltemi but it is very gusty. Anchor, in the middle of the cove, if possible, to allow for swinging, in 7-10 m over sand, avoid the patches of weed. Good holding.


Anchorage icon Nanou-Maria [[Sými#Nanou-Maria|Nanou-Maria]] 36°34.9′N, 27°51.88′E
This is also a lovely and large sandy cove. Despite what many pilot books say, it is a good and well protected anchorage. Anchor in 10-12 m near the shore over sand. Good holding. June 2017 - can get close into shore, use long lines to rocks on beach as many boats use this anchorage
Beowulf at anchor for night

Marathouda Bay

Marathouda Bay/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#Marathouda_Bay
Anchorage icon Marathouda Bay [[Sými#Marathouda Bay|Marathouda Bay]] 36°34′N, 27°51.8′E
Marathouda Bay is about 3 nM S of Pédi. It is subject to gusts from the hills, but it is very attractive with just a small hamlet with bar. Anchor in 4-5 m on patchy sand and weed. June 2017 - weekends extemely busy with 20+ boats anchored on both N & South shore with long lines.

Faneromeni Bay

Faneromeni Bay/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#Faneromeni_Bay
Anchorage icon Faneromeni Bay [[Sými#Faneromeni Bay|Faneromeni Bay]] 36°33.1′N, 27°52.4′E
Faneromeni Bay or Phaneromeni (Φανερωμένη) is a deep and narrow inlet 1 nM S of Marathouda Bay. No people. It too, is subject to strong gusts. Anchor at the head of the bay in 16 m. It is best to take 2 lines ashore to keep the boat in the middle of the inlet.
Chart of Panormitis


Anchorage icon Panormitis [[Sými#Panormitis|Panormitis]] (Πανορμήτης) 36°33.002'N, 027°50.713'E

Panormitis is a bay on the SW of the island. It is almost completely enclosed and offers good shelter in the prevailing northerly winds in a very pleasant environment. However, strong winds from W round to WNW can send in an unpleasant short swell and gusts will be experienced in the anchorage. Anchor wherever there is space in 5-7 metres. The bottom is sand and weed and once the anchor has penetrated it provides good holding. It is also possible to take a line to the N shore. Beware of bees. Water is not so clean.

Be aware that in the summer the pier is used by a big Ferry and another smaller Ferry.

The monastery is very famous but its buildings are not very attractive. There is a bad taverna ashore, a small market, and a good bakery. June 2017 - Taverna was inexpensive and served simple (and delicious) food. It's not haute cuisine but found it to be very good
Entering Panormitis
The Anchorage of Panormitis
Anchored on the S side
Chart of Ayios Emilianos

Ayios Emilianos

Ayios Emilianos/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#Ayios_Emilianos
Anchorage icon Ayios Emilianos [[Sými#Ayios Emilianos|Ayios Emilianos]] 36°36.4′N, 27°46.6′E
Ayios Emilianos is lovely cove on the W coast of the island. It is deserted save for the monastery. The cove provides some shelter from the 'meltemi'. Anchor in 8-10 m S of the headland.


Anchorage icon Nimborios [[Sými#Nimborios|Nimborios]] 36°37.4′N, 27°49.2′E
Nimborios is a cove just N of Yialós.


Water N/A (Not Available)
Electricity Yialós: Community box a bit short on connections
Toilets N/A
Showers N/A
Laundry ?
Garbage There are bins around the harbors and in several anchorages
Fuel Yialós: fuel dock on south side of harbour. Also tanker ready to re-fuel
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers None, except a fishing supply store
Repairs N/A
Internet In Internet cafés
Mobile connectivity 3G in most of the island
Vehicle rentals Yialós motorbikes can be rented there


There are several stores in Yialós.

Eating out

Ellinikon/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#EllinikonEatingout icon Ellinikon [[Sými#Ellinikon|Ellinikon]] recommended.
Manos/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#ManosEatingout icon Manos [[Sými#Manos|Manos]] (expensive) - total ripoff --Summercruise 10 July 2009 (UTC).
'Les Katerinettes/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#.27Les_KaterinettesEatingout icon 'Les Katerinettes [[Sými#'Les Katerinettes|'Les Katerinettes]] recommended.
Neraida/wiki/S%C3%BDmi#NeraidaEatingout icon Neraida [[Sými#Neraida|Neraida]] recommended.


There are twice a week ferries to Athens and daily hydrofoils to Kos and Rhodes.



According to the mythology the island was named after princess Symi, the daughter of the king of Rhodes Ialysos. She was abducted by Glaukos the famous builder of Jason's Argo who brought her to the island. Her descendants were renowned ship builders. According to another myth, the Titan Prometheus modeled a man from clay from the island. This angered Zeus so much, that he turned Prometheus into a monkey. Since then the word "simian" is connected with monkeys.

Pelasgian walls found in Chorio attest to the long history of the island. In the Iliad, Homer tells how Symi mastered three ships which were led by king [Nireus Nireus]. In later times the island was part of the Dorian Hexapolis (six cities) and dominated by Rhodes. The Romans fortified the acropolis at Chorio and the Byzantines converted it into a fort. Later this fort was renovated by the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, Foulques de Villaret. During the knight period the island prospered.

When the Ottoman sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, attacked Rhodes, the Symiotes avoided the attack by offering their most precious sponges for his harem. He granted the island some independence and made it into a free port. The island continued to prosper under the Ottomans and the islanders in turn sent to Istanbul sponges every year. After the Greek revolution, some of the privileges were withdrawn but the island still remained prosperous.

The island was occupied by the Italians from 1912 until the second World War. During this period because the Italians closed the island to the Asia Minor markets and because of the competition from steam ships, the fortunes of Symi declined. Its population dropped from 23,000 to 600.

On May 8 1945 the treaty granting all of the Dodecanese to Greece was signed in Symi, and the island became part of Greece in 1948. Today, with tourism and with wealthy Athenians and Rhodians buying and reconstructing it old houses, the island is regaining its former wealth.

Places to Visit

Symi twn.jpg
Chora in Sými
Greece Symi Pan4.jpg
The Panormites Monastery
Greece Symi Pan5.jpg
To the Bakery in Panormites
Yialós and Chorio

Yialós is a very picturesque town with many colorful neoclassical buildings. Unfortunately, the Nautical Museum has been closed since the financial problems.

Nearby Chorio has many older houses. It can be reached from Yialós by climbing the 375 steps. At Chorio there is a Museum (open Tues -Sun, 10-2).

On top of Chorio is the Kastro, the site of the ancient and Byzantine acropolis. Within the Kastro there is a post-Byzantine church with some icons and frescoes.

The Monastery of Taxiarchis Michael Panormites

The Monastery of the Archangel (Taxiarchis) Michael at Panormites is famous throughout the Dodecanese. It is believed that when a seaman is in danger, wherever that may be, all he has to do is pray to Michael put some money in a bottle and toss it into the sea. Michael will protect the seaman and his boat while the bottle will eventually wash ashore here at Panormites. There thousands of bottles on display that have come from all over the world to attest this.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Greece.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Istioploos, Athene of Lymington, Summercruise, Nereus, Monterey, Francescor

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