A lovely, mountainous island, Symi (or Simi) was reputed to be the birthplace of the Three Graces. While its interior is punctuated with small valleys, its coastline alternates between being steep and rocky or sandy and indented with little coves.The island took its name from the nymph Syme, who was Poseidon's wife.
After its conquest by the Knights of St. John in 1373, commerce and shipping flourished until steam replaced sail. The stately mansions in the main town date from this period, which reached its peak in the 19th century. The island was famous for ship-building and sponge-diving. Even today, you will admire the wonderful caiques at the port, but sponge-diving tends to stop.
One of the island's most famous landmarks is the monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis on the southwest coast. It was built in the 18th century, and contains marvellous frescoes and a carved iconostasis.
There is no lack of wonderful beaches on Symi. You'll find good swimming at Yialos, Pedio, Emborios, Marathounda, Nanou as well as on the nearby islets of Agia Marina and Nimos