Symi

HISTORY

According to mythology the island was named Metapontida or Aigli from the homonym Nymph, which gave birth there, to 3 Graces.
Another version is that Symis’ name is given from the princess of Rhodes that Glaukus eloped there, because the King and father didn’t want to approve their wedding.
Glaukus, who is considered as the first inhabitant of Symi, was a keen swimmer and naval architect, abilities and skills that taught to the inhabitants of the island.
 
Another myth, according to Diodorus Siculus says that the first that settled at Symi was Chthonius, the son of Poseidon and Symi, when exiled from Dotio of Thessaly settled on the island, and gave the name of his mother.
 
From the island passed the Leleges, the Rhodians, the Argii, the Lacedaemonians and later the Romans, the Byzantines to be followed by the Knights of St. John and from 1522 the Turks. The people of Symi became known as shipbuilders, fishermen and sponges and brought wealth and glory to the island.
 
He took an active part in the Revolution of 1821 and from 1912 came under Italian occupation. In Symi, the protocol of the surrender of the Dodecanese by the Germans to the Allies was signed (March 8, 1945) and the island was incorporated into Greece in 1948.
 
GEOGRAPHY
 
Symi is the eighth largest Greek island in the Dodecanese complex. It is located about 12 miles NW of Rhodes, in front of the homonymous Asia Minor gulf of Symi, or Sybeki gulf according to the Turks.
It is 255 miles from Piraeus, about 27 miles east of Nisyros and 3.7 miles off the coast of Turkey.
 
The island of Symi has an area of ​​58 km2 and with the surrounding small islands a total of 65 Km2 (Nymos, Sesklia, the islands of Ares and Diavates) 13 km long and 8 km wide with a perimeter of 86 km and the population is 2.590 inhabitants.
 
MORPHOLOGY
 
The island is mountainous, rocky, barren and arid. The highest mountain of the island is Vigla (616m) and the rocks consist mainly of limestone.
On the central part of the island, there are forests with native cypress tre es, as well as pines, barbs and the Greek strawberry tree. The shrubs are predominantly sage, Erica (tree Heath), thyme and mastic, while there is a local type of (Origanum symes) aromatic oregano.
As far as crops are concerned, there are figs, apples, plums, o lives, vines, almonds.
 
There are few sources of water on the island with small amounts of water that cannot meet the water needs. In recent years, Symi has been one of the islands that have been giv en a desalination plant for drinking water.
 
CLIMATE
 
The climate of Symi is characterized by bright sunshine, warm and dry summers, sparse rain i n winter.
 
ECONOMY
 
The inhabitants of the island are engaged in fishing and tourism.