Symi Travel News

Latest Travel News for Visitors to Symi by Andy Ward

Symi Visitor Travel blog

Earthquake news

Last night an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale happened with its epicentre under the sea between Kos and Bodrum. Two people were killed on Kos when the roof and walls of the bar in Kos Town they were drinking in collapsed, and 9 people have been evacuated to hospital in Heraklion or Athens with serious injuries. Others with minor injuries are being treated locally. Bodrum saw some building damage and a mini tidal wave flooded streets. Around 100 people are reported injured there, most when they jumped from the windows of buildings to get out quicker.

The quake was felt on Symi and in parts of Rhodes, but there are no reports of any injuries or damage to buildings on either island.

Rhodes and Kos airports are operating normally, as are ferries between Rhodes and Symi. There has been damage to the port installations in Kos town, where the mooring areas for large ferries are cracked and broken, and there is a fear that debris that fell into the sea has reduced the available depth of water below safety levels for big ships. As a result calls by the large Blue Star ferries have been transferred to the port of Kefalos on Kos until further notice. There will be a bus connection from Kos Town.

Dodekanisos Seaways will continue to serve Kos Town as their catamarans have enough clear depth of water, and don’t require access for large trucks.

The rest of Kos, outside Kos Town and its suburbs, is completely undamaged.

Extra Sunday evening ferry – more same-day to Symi

The Sunday evening extra trip by Sea Dream’s “Symi” finally happened today, and she’s sitting in Yialos at the moment. The timetable shows Rhodes-Symi at 19:00 and Symi to Rhodes at 21;15, though it looks like she’s a few minutes late. This will continue until early September.

So here’s the updated high season combined ferry timetable.

And with another evening sailing, there are more flights that allow people to get from their local airport to Symi on the same day. Not as many as you’d think though as there’s no corresponding morning sailing from Symi, making it difficult to get home again the same day. Still we can add 8 flights, including some additional airports and one new country to our Same Day Symi chart here.

Same Day to Symi?

My colleagues at Symi Visitor Accommodation set me a challenge to see what flights existed that allowed people to travel to Symi from their home countries all in one day, and to return home all in one day. They were amazed to see how many options there were. These mostly use the Blue Star ferries from Rhodes – including the new Monday departure from Rhodes that will sail in July and August, a few that arrive especially early in the morning into Rhodes or leave especially late in the evening make use of Dodekanisos Seaways.
None use Sea Dreams -if they ever get their ferry fixed and try some evening sailings I’ll consider repeating the exercise.
I’ve stretched one point by including return flights that leave Rhodes before midnight but get you back home early the following morning.

So don’t ignore Symi because you need to spend a night in Rhodes – here are 23 different airports with same-day service in July and August, and the flight details you need to make a reservation.

Mid-June ferry update

The exciting news is that Blue Star will start calling at Symi three days a week from June 25th to September 4th. The change is accompanied by another ship swap, the Blue Star Paros will serve Symi during this period. Fans of the Blue Star Patmos needn’t worry, she’ll be back in September, but then the timetable returns to twice weekly through Symi.

The extra sailing will be from Piraeus on a Sunday morning at 8am, calling at Paros, Naxos, Astypalea, Kalymnos, Kos, Nissyros and Tilos and reaching Symi at 01:40 Monday morning, finally reaching Rhodes at 03:05 and continuing to Kastellorizo.

In the other direction she leaves Rhodes at 16:00 Monday, calling at Symi 20:40, then Tilos, Nissyros, Kos, Kalymnos, Astypalea, and Piraeus 10:20 Tuesday. The sailing starts at Kastellorizo, and does not stop at Naxos or Paros in this direction. Instead, on three dates, the Friday evening sailing from Symi will call at these two islands (18th and 25th August, 1st September).

Other ferry situations remain confused, as the “Symi” is still not in service. Friday looks like the earliest she will be seen on her namesake island again. Sea Dreams published timetable is still unworkable as printed, with no sign of any correction. Evening services from Rhodes are not bookable at all, though the 19:00 Sunday Rhodes to Symi appears in online timetables as operating on 25 June only, returning immediately to Rhodes, leaving Symi at 21:15. No sign yet that it will sail in July, though we hope it will.

The promised Datca-Symi daily service by Phoenix Marine/Dodecanese Flying Dolphins  is conspicuous by its absence, just like the previous two years when it was promised to begin from 1 June and didn’t. Whether it will ever start is debatable, it no longer even appears on their website.

The suggestion that the Symi II might reappear locally is wrong for this year as she has now completed her annual overhaul and entered service in the Sporades, and the Sea Star continues to be out of the water at the Spanopoulos shipyard, Salamina receiving a protracted overhaul.

Updated combined Symi to Rhodes and Kos timetable for summer

“Symi” ferry confusion and breakdown continues.

"Symi" on a day when she was in working order. The Nikolaos X is making a rare visit to the South side of the harbour.

Sea Dreams have now issued another new timetable which says that the Symi ferry is out of service until 23 June 18 June, along with a reprint of the “normal” timetable which says it starts on 23 June18 June. So is it running on 18 June 23 June or not? The booking system suggests it is not.

And the reprinted bit hasn’t corrected any of the mistakes. So a ferry leaves Rhodes at 19:00 on a Saturday night, arrives at Symi at 21:00 and stays over night. Mysteriously we find it next at Rhodes on Sunday morning. On a Monday morning a sailing departs Symi at 06:30 for Rhodes, but on Sundays the sailings finish up at Rhodes overnight. So my advice remains – make no arrangements involving travelling on the “Symi” until she returns to service, and the errors in the timetable are sorted out. You can’t book anything but the regular Rhodes-Symi-Panormitis-Rhodes sailings anyway, though these (from 19 June onwards) are bookable as day return, one way, or open return.

UPDATE 10/6/17 – the return to service date is now 24 June, according to their online booking system.