- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Monastery of Taxiarchis Michael Panormitis
Monastery of Taxiarchis Michael Panormitis Review
The main reason to venture to the atypically green, pine-covered hills surrounding the little gulf of Panormitis is to visit the Monastery of Taxiarchis Michael Panormitis, dedicated to Symi's patron saint, the protector of sailors. The site's entrance is surmounted by an elaborate bell tower, of the multilevel wedding-cake variety on display in Yialos and Chorio. A black-and-white pebble mosaic adorns the floor of the courtyard, which is surrounded by a vaulted stoa. The interior of the church, entirely frescoed in the 18th century, contains a marvelously ornate wooden iconostasis, which is flanked by a heroic-size 18th-century representation of Michael, all but his face covered with silver. There are two small museums devoted to Byzantine and folk art. The Byzantine includes a collection of votive offerings, including an enchanting collection of wooden ship models and bottles with notes containing wishes and money in them, which, according to local lore, travel to Symi on their own after having been thrown into the sea. A trip to the monastery can be accompanied by a refreshing swim at the designated edges of the deep-blue harbor. There's bus service twice a day from Yialos, which passes through Chorio, and boats from Yialos and Rhodes daily. You can also hike to the monastery along a well-marked route from Chorio; the distance is about 10 km (6 mi) but can certainly seem longer if you don't set out early enough to avoid the heat of the day. Several tour companies organize day trips to the monastery, with time for a swim and a hike in the surrounding countryside, for about €15, including lunch.
If a day trip isn't enough for you, the monastery, which no longer houses monks but is staffed by two clergy people, rents 60 spartan rooms (22460/72414) with kitchens and private baths for about €20. Though the price doesn't include a towel or air-conditioning and there are insects (some rather large), the spiritual aspect makes for an enriching experience. A market, bakery, and a few other business make up the rest of the settlement. The monastery is at its busiest for the week leading up to November 8, Michael's feast day., an event that draws the faithful from throughout the Dodecanese and beyond.
- Address: Symi's south side, at harbor, Symi 85600
- Phone: 22460/71581
- Cost: Monastery free; museums €1.50
- Hours: Monastery: daily 7–8; museums: Apr.–Oct. 8:30–1 and 3–4; Nov.–Apr. by appointment
- Location: Monastery of Taxiarchis Michael Panormitis
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
My film "I Follow Apollo” presents the highlights of Greece, including Athens, Olympia, Meteora, Sparta, the Byzantine Empire, and a cruise to the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, & Rhodes, Read more
Greek Islands in November on Constelation, weather great, should have been memorable for good things.
After sailing on Infiniti last year and really enjoying it we booked this cruise, would have though Read more
We have been invited to a wedding on the island in mid-May and have been working through Fodors Greece for information. Read more
· News & Features
Ask around and most people will tell you to spend as short a layover as possible in Athens before booking ... Read more
With the Aegean Sea as its backdrop, Greece serves a heavy hand of magical Mediterranean living.... Read more
A week in the Greek isles?... Read more