m ft
The most impressive spot of Simi island is the port.
Greece » Dodecanese

Why Visit
On the hill slopes above the port, there are elegant stone mansions that create an fabulous scene. From any corner of the town, visitors get breathtaking view to the Aegean Sea. The beaches of the island are small but relaxing, surrounded by tourist facilities and accommodation. The most popular sight is the Monastery of Panormitis, located on the southern side of the island. A hike around Simi will bring you to lovely spots with view and nice chapels. This is a wonderful island for families and romantic couples, generally for peaceful holidays.

Despite its small size, the history of Simi dates back to the ancient times. It is mentioned in the Illiad of Homer for its role on the Trojan War, as it was headed by the Simian King Nireas. In addition, Herodotus referred to Simi as a member of the Dorian Hexapolis, meaning 6 cities. In fact, since 480 B.C. Simi belonged to the Athenian League, while in the Roman and Byzantine periods its luck was more signed by the close Rhodes, which keeps on being related to Simi until present.

The island of Simi was not always known by its current name, as it was formally called Kirki, Metapontis and Aigli. The name we use today is related to mythology, and is taken from the nymph Simi, who married Poseidon, the god of the sea and gave birth to the later leader of the island's inhabitants, Hithonios.

Simi was conquered by the knights of Saint John in 1309. But after this event, a blossoming period began due to the improvement of sponge commerce, shipping, and ship building among others. In fact, many of these disciplines characterize the island of Simi with urban constructions that can be seen to this day. This great development consisted of a nice collection of houses, this time away from the castle, as well as the abandonment of many traditional settlements. In addition, most of the churches were obviously built during this time, as a reflection of the increasing prosperity. Then, in 1832 Simi fell under the Turkish domination again, causing many damages; and in 1912 this was ended by the Italian domination.

Not all the periods of the island were signed by prosperity, as the replacement of sailing with motor-ships caused sponge diving to decrease. Besides, the 2nd World War implicated a huge migration of inhabitants. However, when the Italian domination finished in 1943, Simi started to be on the English side, and then changed to the Germans, several times, although the English took the island in 1944 for the third time. The following year, the Germans signed the treaty of the Dodecanese surrender and finally in 1947 a British Military Administration handed over to Greece.

After much power struggle and internal turmoil, Simi was included in the Protocol of Integration of all Dodecanese islands to the state of Greek in 1948. Simi, although not as prosperous as it used to be, has enjoyed peace since then. The history of Simi is shown in the marvellous settlements and historical monuments.

Museums - Archeological
In the beautiful Town of Simi where thousands of visitors travel every year there are two small museums, presenting the history of the island.

The Archaeological Collection of Simi is housed in a traditional Symian mansion, in Ano Symi. Entering the museum are many amphoraes and sculptures from the variosu periods. The exhibition is spread out in the five rooms of the house and includes findings from the Hellenistic, Classical,Roman and Byzantine period with many items of folk art.

The Museum of Naval Art is housed in one of the most beautiful neoclassical buildings of Symi. It is well-equipped with naval accessories, diving machinery and shipyard tools. Symi used to be an important port and it owns a great naval history. There is a special section dedicated to sponge diving.

Nos, Nimborio or Emborios beach, Pedi beach, Beach between town and Nimborio, Gialos, Panormitis beach

Religious Monasteries and Churches
Simi is home to spectacular spiritual sites that preserve their sacred character through the ages. Churches with mosaic floors and dozens of Byzantine chapels are scattered in the town and the villages of the island. Today most of them are closed.

One of the best examples of ecclesiastical architecture is the monastery of Archangel Michael located in the seafront of Panormitis village. Its interior is adorned with Byzantine frescoes and the monastery's library includes a fine collection of books and manuscripts from the 16th, 17th and 18th century. The sanctuary contains offerings from all Symiots. Today two museums are hosted within its premises that display ecclesiastical objects and an excellent exhibition of folklore art.

The oldest monastery of Symi is the Monastery of Michael Roukouniotis built by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century over the ancient ruins of a 5th century monastery. It is located close to Chora right next to 100-year old tree. On the highest point of the hill, close to the medieval castle lies the small chapel Virgin of Our Lady. Other lovely churches found in the wider area of Symi are Agios Ioannis Tsangrias and Agia Marina Neras (15th century).