Rock climbing in Symi

Symi, Agios Georgios Dysalotos (or Dysalonas)

Access: Symi is an island belonging to the Dodecanese, near Rhodes. You can get to Symi either directly by boat from Pireus (18 hours) or by ferry or plane via Rhodes or Kos. It is also connected by ferry to Kalymnos (2,5 hours away by catamaran).

The beach of Agios Georgios is located on the east side of the island.

One can go to Agios Georgios using the small boats transporting tourists from Gyalos or Pedi to the island’s beaches with no road access and return in the evening, or stay and camp there. The beach is in the shade from 4pm onwards, thanks to the big east-facing cliff (300-350m). The beach is very impressive with cliffs on all sides:
The northeast cliff features two 70m sport routes; the southeast cliff features 21 sport routes between 20-70m; and the big east wall features two fully-bolted multi-pitch routes (250m and 340m).

Access to the beach of Agios Giorgios Dusalotos (or Dylsalonas) on foot

Although in the summer there are boats to Agios Georgios every day, in autumn and spring there is no such thing, so walking to Agios Georgios is the only (or the best) option. The route is beautiful and it takes about 1.5 hours to walk, including a brief scramble on easy terrain.

The access to Agios Georgios was recorded on 15/4/2017. Some ropes were fixed and red marks added in the final part of the descent by Georgis Milias, Nicholas Papandreou and Alexandros Papandreou. Some pre-existing marks (red crosses) had been made by the family of Dimitris Kyriakakis, who is in charge of the small church of Agios Georgios on the beach.

Detailed description of the walking route

From Pedi, follow the road to Panormitis by car or motorbike. After 8.2 km you will cross a junction and a sign to "Agios Konstantinos”. Immediately afterwards, turn left onto a concrete road.

Time from Pedi: About 10 minutes.

Distance from Pedi: 8.3 km.

At this junction there is a sign to "Kokkimidis", but it can be seen only when approaching from the opposite direction. Follow this small concrete road. At the next junction, do not turn right towards Kokkimidis. Instead, continue straight ahead. 2.2 km from the moment you entered the concrete road, you will come to a house, some pens and a chapel. Park there. Walking begins by the house, between pillars and pebbles. This area is called "Hames" (pronounced ha-MESS) and there are some houses and two small chapels.

Alt: 431 m

Coordinates: 36 35 57.88 N, 27 51 06.93 Ε

From the house, head east towards the sea, which is visible. Avoid going down the ravine that appears shortly afterwards. There is no trail, only goat paths. Keep to the left side of the ravine until, 1 km further, you encounter a distinctive, strange tall circular wall (a pen?) and another structure, all stone-built but without any mud or cement holding the stones together.

Coordinates of circular wall: 36 36 07.29 N, 27 51 41.41 E

On the left, the sea (by the beach of Agios Nikolaos) are visible.

From there, keep going east towards a hilltop with trees, then follow the ridge and, later on, a characteristic edge. This edge goes slightly uphill to the top, then descends to a rocky field where some easy down-climbing is required (very pleasant scrambling with barely any loose rock). Remember that the descent to the beach is from the north side of the bay, that is, the edge you follow will lead to the left of the beach (the bay and sea will always be on our right).

As the downhill scrambling steepens, there are two fixed ropes. This is primarily to confirm the correct course, not because the ropes are really necessary. You may not even notice them.

The view on the right, over the beautiful beach of Agios Giorgios and its massive east wall, is amazing. Continue to descend through rocky terrain, going slightly past the beach. With the beach behind to the right, continue downhill until you reach a characteristic col where red marks (circles, arrows and big red crosses) lead to the final descent to the beach. From now on the marks are dense, while at one point there is a fixed rope. This descent is easy, safe and fast. The hardest part of the walk is probably the previous one, to reach the col.

In essence, the signs drive us traversing the inclined rocks until it reaches lower ground and slops, so the red signals stop and we walk on inclined easy ground and rolling stones.

In fact, the route traverses the low-angle rocks until it reaches lower ground and scree, so the red signals stop. The last downhill part is obvious and markings are no longer needed.

Route time: About 1h 15’ from Hames to the col and another 15’ from the col to the beach. A total of about 1h 30’.

Distance: About 2.5 km to the col.

We can return from the same road.

Return to Hames after climbing one of the multipitch routes "Nireas" or "Vasilis Milias”.

If you climb the route "Nireas", you can follow the ravine at the end of the route for about 20-25 minutes and them turn right to find a concrete road (30-40’ in total). Follow the concrete road to the right for 5’, until you arrive at the point where you started walking.

If you climb the route "Vasilis Milias", then you can either move north-northwest and find the edge from which you approached, or descend to the ravine at the end of “Nireas" in and return from there.

Bellow you may have a look at Google maps, about the exact position :

Symi rock climbing


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Symi Dodecanese, Milias House