Greek Symi Swimming Odyssey
- Duration: 7 Days (6 Nights)
- Tour Type: Island Hopping and Coastal Sea Swimming
- Average Daily Swim: 5 km
- Accommodation: Hotel on the Island
- Escort: One Large Boat, Two Dinghies, Kayak
Named after a mythical sea nymph, Symi island has a long history and has been inhabited since Ancient Greek times. It has seen many conflicts, changed hands several times and has rich traditions of shipbuilding and sponge fishing. Surrounded by smaller islands including Nimos, Seskli and Diavates, the area offers us an incredible variety of daily swimming options. The nearby Datça peninsula offers some of the best wind protection in Greek Aegean waters, helping to create ideal conditions for our open-water swimming trip.
This tour is suitable for all levels of swimmers, with three separate boat escorts for the safety and enjoyment of all guests. Please see our FAQs information regarding the expected swimming speed.
Two kayaks with paddles, SUP (Stand up paddle board) and life jackets are available to use for those who do not want to swim the entire distances. It is also suitable for partners and friends to join our trip and follow swimmers in a kayak or SUP.
– Swim in the warm and crystal clear Aegean sea
– Swim along the dramatic cliffs, mountainous terrain and valleys of Symi island
– Enjoy comfortable daily boat rides from/to swim locations
– Walk up the hills and explore some of the historical sites of Symi island
– Enjoy tasty and locally prepared Greek meals
– Four-star hotel accommodation on the seafront in Pedi bay
Local Operational Policy
All our trips ensure that in the team of guides and boat pilots there is at least one team-member who has in-depth experience and knowledge of the local waters, the main swimming routes and the alternatives as well as a fluent local language speaker.
Included in the price
Fully guided tour with comprehensive safety escort (3 boats, 2 swimming guides, 1 local boat pilot), swim coaching, technique & stroke analysis, 6 nights accommodation, all breakfasts, 2 lunches on the boat and welcome hotel dinner. Each guest receives a swim hat. Should you require other swimming gear please bring it with you.
Travel to and from the start of the tour, four evening meals and three lunches. Overnight local tourist tax. Single room supplement from 200 Eur.
KAYAK and SUP board are available on our swimming trips to use
Video Clips from Greek Symi Swimming Trips:
Pedi Beach Hotel (4* star) is located right on the seafront in the small village of Pedi on Symi island which is only 3km away from the main harbor town of Yialos (ferry port). It is locally owned and has been completely renovated two years ago. The property is right on the beach with a stunning view out on Pedi bay, so we have a fantastic setting for our daily adventures. All rooms have balconies.
Rooms are single, double, twin or triple and have en-suite facilities. Single supplements are available. Please specify your preferences (including any other guests you would like to share with) at the time of booking.
To book extra nights before or after our trip, please contact the hotel directly. Make sure you mention that you are part of our swimming group.
Pedi Beach Hotel 4*
In the 2023 season, our group will be split between the two following hotels below, as fewer rooms were available for this one week.
Hotel Pedi Beach and Hotel Opera House. 17-23 Sept, 2023.
See your booking reservation for the room (hotel) name. The trip itinerary remains the same.
Day 1: meet at Pedi Beach Hotel at 6.30pm for the trip briefing. Followed by welcome dinner.
Day 2: short acclimatisation swim at Pedi bay beach, boat drive to our swim from St. George´s bay to Nanou bay and second swim to Marathounda bay. Video stroke analysis.
Day 3: morning and afternoon swim around Nimos island.
Day 4: two swims around Seskli islands on the southern part.
Day 5: morning Diavates island hopping swim, walk up to the monastery and afternoon bay-to-bay swim.
Day 6: morning 3.5km swim from Diapori crossing towards the Nimporios (Emborio). Walk to Yiali town. Afternoon swim from Agia Marina island to Pedi bay.
Day 7: morning coastal loop in Pedi bay.
We meet at the hotel at 6.30pm in the stunning mountainous village of Pedi for the trip briefing. We will go through the week´s plan in detail. In case you are late arriving this evening, we are happy to do another briefing the next morning. Please email us about your late arrival. Welcome dinner at the hotel.
Before breakfast on the hotel´s terrace we walk 20m onto the beach for a short “acclimatisation” swim. Following breakfast, we take our first boat ride on a comfortable Greek boat to St. George´s (Agios Georgios) bay. A dramatic rocky cliff at the back of this bay makes it a perfect spot to start our first official 2km swim towards Nanou bay. We follow the high cliffs of Symi on the eastern side. Lunch on the boat at Nanou bay. After our lunches have settled down we film you with our video camera for your stroke analysis. Later on we analyse your stroke at the hotel. Our second 2.5km swim is from Nanou bay to Marathounda bay. We follow crystal clear water towards the Marathounda village. Return back to Pedi village.
Today we head north for an island hopping adventure. Our 45 minute boat drive takes us to Plati and Hondros islands where we start our first crossing swim to the larger Nimos island. Nimos island is an uninhabited island with several secluded bays along. We swim about 3km all the way until we reach the north west cape of Makria. Lunch spot at Taviri sheltered bay. After our lunch we enjoy sun-tanning on the boat and snorkelling. For the second swim we follow the coast of Nimos island from our lunch spot to the little Xilo islet. This route is usually well sheltered for the afternoon swimming. Boat drive back to Pedi. Dinner at local taverna in Pedi or Yialos.
Today we turn south towards the Seskli island. After about 1 hr boat journey we start swimming on the eastern side of Seskli towards the Artikonisi island and then onwards towards the Skomisa bay. Here we have a chance to walk off the boat and explore the natural beauty of Seskli island and get a great view back to Symi. After the walk we start our afternoon coastal swim from the Skomisa bay towards the western side of Seskli until we reach the Troumpeto island. Boat drive back to Pedi. Dinner at local taverna in Pedi.
We start our day at 8.30am, slightly earlier than usual, as we head for the “Diavates island hopping” on the western side of the Symi island. The beautiful 1.5 hr boat journey takes us via Dipari channel, passing the Fokospila blue cave until we reach the Diavetes. Diavetes is a stunning archipelago of small to mid size uninhabited islands on the west of coast of Symi. We start our 2.8km morning swim at Megalonisi and swim towards the Gialessino island until we finally reach the cape Koupi. Today´s lunch spot is at Skoumisa bay (Agios Emilianos). After we enjoy our tasty Greek lunch on-board we take a chance and walk up to the monastery to take the stunning views of the area where we just swam. Afternoon coastal 2km swim from Skoumisa bay towards Toli bay. Boat journey back. We arrive to the hotel around 5pm. Dinner out at Yialos town.
Today we do our longest 3.5km morning swim from Diapori crossing towards the Nimporios (Emborio) village. This area offers a well sheltered mountainous region and calm waters. We spend lunch time at the traditional fishing village of Nimporios. Before our afternoon swim we walk from Nimporios to Yialos town where we get picked up by boat. Afternoon 2km swim takes us from the stunning, mountainous island of Agia Marina towards Pedi bay, our hotel base. Return to hotel.
Final morning is reserved for a Pedi bay loop swim in front of our hotel. This area offers incredible valley views of the bay. Trip finishes at around 11am.
Please note that our swimming days are carried out in the natural environment and we rely on the current weather conditions. As a consequence, sometimes on-trip changes in the planned itinerary are required.
Projected swimming distances and locations
|St. George Bay – Nanou Bay||2.0 km|
|Nanou Bay – Marathounda Bay||2.5 km|
|Plati – Nimos island (Makria cape)||3.0 km|
|Taviri Bay – Xilo islet||2.4 km|
|Seskli island – Skomisa Bay||2.8 km|
|Skomisa Bay – Troumpeto Bay||2.2 km|
|Diavetes island hopping||2.5 km|
|Skoumisa Bay – Toli Bay||2.3 km|
|Diapori channel – Nimporios||3.2 km|
|Agia Marina – Pedi||2.2 km|
|Pedi Bay loop||1.5 km|
|Month||Water Temp. (°C/F)||Air Temp. (°C/F)|
|June||24 / 75||27 / 81|
|July||25 / 77||30 / 86|
|September||26 / 79||30 / 86|
|October||24 / 75||28 / 83|
Keep in mind that you can skip any of the swims you want and relax on the boat. Temperatures are indicative and can slightly change from year to year.
Keep in mind that you can skip any of the swims you want and relax on the boat.
In addition to normal items, we recommend the following:
at least 2 swimming costumes, at least 2 pairs of swimming goggles (one clear and one tinted recommended), sweater/fleece, towel, sun hat, small daypack, waterproof sun cream and jacket, walking shoes and sandals or aqua shoes. We provide swim hats for all guests.
We have a range of swimming equipment including wetsuits, fins and rash vests available on each location. We cannot guarantee all sizes, so please bear this in mind and bring your own item if your swimming depends on this.
The walking on the trip is easy. In order to enjoy the walks please bring comfortable walking shoes and suitable clothes, for summer temperatures.
Up to 16 swimmers or more if requested. Please get in touch with us.
Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. In the event of adverse weather conditions at any of our swimming locations, we may need to adapt our itinerary. Our team always includes local guides who know the safest and most picturesque places to swim, so rest assured you won’t be missing out!
Swimming in the open sea, amongst natural wildlife, is a unique experience, but you may come across certain marine life such as jellyfish, coral and sea urchins from time to time. There are very few jellyfish along Symi and so the risk of any unfortunate encounters with them is low, and we will always show you the safest areas to swim. If you are stung by a jellyfish and are unable to carry on swimming, you will never be far from an escort boat where one of the guiding team will be able to treat the affected area immediately. If you suffer from anaphylaxis or any other allergic reactions it is important to inform us at the time of booking.
Start Point: Hotel Pedi Beach, Symi Island
Start Time: 6.30pm on the 1st Day
Finish Point: Hotel Pedi Beach
Finish Time: 10.30am on the 7th Day
Hotel Pedi Beach, Symi: www.pedibeachhotel.gr
Latest travel and entry info for Greece
Getting There (Flights, Ferries)
1) Fly to Rhodes
To get to Symi island it is best to fly into Rhodes, Greece, take a bus or taxi to Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes town and then catch a ferry or hydrofoil (1hr and 30min) to Symi island. Many people need to stay 1 night in Rhodes due to most ferries leaving Rhodes to Symi in the morning hours.
2) Car or bus from Rhodes airport to Rhodes port (harbour)
Rhodes international airport (https://www.rhodes-airport.org/bus/). The airport is about 25-30 min drive (15 km) away from the main Rhodes town and Mandraki harbour. There are plenty of buses or taxis available. The bus cost is 2.50 EUR for a one-way journey (30 min), taxi is about 25-30 EUR (20 min). Book a taxi in advance: http://www.rhodes-taxi.gr.
3) Ferry schedules from Rhodes to Symi island (and return)
Five main ferry companies (Dodekanisos Seaways, Sea Dreams, Blue Star Ferries, Sebeco Lines, Anes) currently run ferry routes from Rhodes to Symi while other small firms run day trips and excursions to the island from Rhodes (Mandraki harbour) and from Turkey (www.yesilmarmarislines.com). So there is no problem to get to the island any day. Ferry prices range from 10 – 20 Euros/person. It is advisable to book a ferry ticket in advance online.
3a) Dodekanisos Seaways operates a daily sailing schedule from Rhodes to Symi and return. See the sailing times – timetable below. Please be aware that there are three vessels and all operate this route Rhodes-Symi. Dodekanisos Express and Dodekanisos Pride are fast catamarans while Panagia Skiadeni is a larger and slower ship.
3b) Sea Dreams
3c) Sebeco Lines
4) Car transfer from Symi port to hotel Pedi beach
Once you reach Symi island port (Yialos), our hotel Pedi Beach van will come and pick you up free of charge. Pedi Beach hotel van has a sign on it. Please confirm your ferry arrival time on email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +302246071870.
There are no specific vaccinations required for Greece, but you should ensure that your tetanus and polio vaccinations are up to date.
You will need enough money to cover the four evening and lunch meals which are not included in the tour price. An average dinner (including a glass of wine) costs around 20 Eur. A local market is also nearby.
Currency and ATM
The local currency is Euro. Symi island does have an ATM so you can withdraw money there in port Yialos. The hotel will also exchange money up to a limited amount. Bear in mind that most local places – shops, tavernas prefer cash vs cards.
The two guides Aoife and Toby were so professional, kind, dynamic, and always very cheerful. As I was in group number 1, they’ve let us swim a bit more a couple of times and that is very very nice of them !! Always careful about security but also they trusted us on swimming cautiously.
The hotel is amazing! Very nicely renewed, the location is perfect. The staff was very nice and welcoming.
~ Juliette, France (July, 2022)
”Sue and I enjoyed our time on Symi last week. Aofie and Toby were brilliant and made the whole trip truly memorable.”
~ Paul and Sue, Germany (October, 2021)
”It was truly one of the best vacations we have ever had, and we will definitely book another one with you!”
~ Maggie, USA (July, 2021)
“Greatly enjoyed Symi swimming experience”
~ Sam, UK (Sept, 2020)
“This was the best holiday I’ve ever had! Just so relaxing, quiet and beautiful swimming!”
~ Shazza, USA (Sept 2019)
“I enjoy swimming in the warm water very much…;). And we like the location! Symi is a nice peaceful unspoiled place on Earth.”
~ Moni, Germany (Sept 2018)
That was one of the best holidays I have ever had and I want to thank both of you for giving us all such a lovely time. It really was amazing.
~Kim, Australia (September 2017)
I really needed a fabulous swimming break and I got it and more than I could have dreamt of. The swimming was wonderful, the company such fun and you ran it in the most professional but seemingly relaxed way. It was all just perfect.
~Sarah, UK (September 2017)
It was sooo great to swim with dear Strel team :). Jussara and I are ready for more trips in the future! You really know how to motivate novice swimmers!
~Iara, USA (September 2017)