Andy's Symi Travel Blog

Flights, ferries, and travel tips to help visitors to the Greek island of Symi

Symi Visitor Travel blog

Getting to Symi 2018 – from Scandanavia and Finland

So here, completing the international flight schedule to Rhodes and Kos, is the flight summary for Scandanavia and Finland. One of the curious features of this region is that the Europe-wide package tour operators TUI and Thomas Cook still operate their flights to Rhodes and Kos totally as charters, despite happily selling one-way and mix-and-match flights from other parts of Europe. You can still book their charters as flight only on the appropriate company website for their flights from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, but you need to book returns and either one or two week stays. Thomas Cook, but (for no obvious reason) not TUI also sell their charters flight only from Finland.

The other major tour operator selling holidays from this part of Europe, the Apollo group, used to do flight onlyin the same way, but this year the option is missing from their website, except as last-minute sales, so these are not in the tables.

Flights from Scandanavia and Finland to Rhodes and Kos, Summer 2018
Flights from Austria to Rhodes and Kos, Summer 2018
Flights from Russia to Rhodes, Summer 2018
Flights from Cyprus, Czech Republic,Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Germany to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Italy to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from France to Rhodes summer 2018
Flights from the Netherlands to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from the UK and Ireland to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018

Getting to Symi 2018 – Austria

And here is my best attempt at flights from Austria. Basically flights previously operated by Niki are now being flown by Eurowings. I’ve a strong suspicion some will end up as LaudaMotion flights (the new name for Niki after purchase by Niki Lauda).
Flights from Austria to Rhodes and Kos, Summer 2018
Flights from Russia to Rhodes, Summer 2018
Flights from Cyprus, Czech Republic,Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Germany to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Italy to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from France to Rhodes summer 2018
Flights from the Netherlands to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from the UK and Ireland to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018

Getting to Symi 2018 – from Russia

Another day, and here are the flights from Russia. Note that there are lots and lots of flights from Russia to Rhodes, but most are pure charters, bookable only as part of  a package holiday, so I don’t list them here as these guides are intended for people putting their own holidays together. Now bizarrely it is perfectly possible to operate lots of scheduled flights between Rhodes and Israel, Israel has a treaty with the EU that permits this, and there is no need for these to be charters, they can be sold to the general public. But for summer 2018 no company is offering seats on non-stop flights between Israel and Rhodes, except as part of a package holiday.  Why, I don’t know. But you can still get to Rhodes, you’ll just need to change planes in Athens or Larnaca.

Also included in this blog post are updated flight summaries for France (with extra flights from Paris and Lyon by Smartwings) and for Italy (where it is clear airlines such as Mistral and Meridiana won’t be doing scheduled flights to Rhodes and Kos this year).

Flights from Russia to Rhodes, Summer 2018
Flights from Cyprus, Czech Republic,Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Germany to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Italy to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from France to Rhodes summer 2018
Flights from the Netherlands to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from the UK and Ireland to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018

Getting to Symi 2018 – from Cyprus, Czech Republic,Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia

Here’s the latest installment in the list of flights to Rhodes and Kos for this summer, covering EU member countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Still to come are Scandanavia/Finland; Austria (still in Niki-induced confusion); and non-EU countries, plus updates for France and Italy, so we’re getting close to the end.

Flights from Cyprus, Czech Republic,Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Germany to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Italy to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from France to Rhodes summer 2018
Flights from the Netherlands to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from the UK and Ireland to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018

Getting to Symi 2018 – Germany

With the possible exception of a couple of flights from Dusseldorf, this looks likes the complete service from German airports non-stop to Rhodes or Kos for this summer. Again the Air Berlin/Niki dust has mostly settled, but expect a few planes in the “wrong” colours in the early part of the season as repainting from old liveries to those of new owners won;t be finished on time. Germanwings has now been completely swallowed up into Eurowings (but the odd unrepainted plane may still be about). No airport has lost all its flights to Rhodes/Kos, Germania continues to grow.

Flights from Germany to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from Italy to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from France to Rhodes summer 2018
Flights from the Netherlands to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from the UK and Ireland to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018

Getting to Symi 2018 – Switzerland

The chaos caused by the collapse of Air Berlin and the disputed sale of its subsidiary Niki seems to be dispersing a little and I believe we now have the complete set of flights from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos. The shortage of flights caused by Niki not operating from Zurich this year has been solved with extra departures by Germania and by Eidelweiss (the leisure airline subsidiary of Swiss). So here is the Switzerland flight list:

Flights from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018

Flights from Italy to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from France to Rhodes summer 2018
Flights from the Netherlands to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from the UK and Ireland to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018

Summer ferry schedules (and a bit of spring too)

Now that all three of the ferry operators who serve Symi have published timetables for summer 2018 it is possible to compile summary timetables for the April to October period. These will be useful in planning visits to Symi, but please bear in mind that Greek ferry timetables are very prone to change. I’d really like readers to understand that booking months in advance as a an ordinary passenger (not needing cabins for overnight journeys to/from Piraeus, or space for a vehicle) is a complete waste of money as crossings between Rhodes and Symi or Kos and Symi and return do not sell out much more than a week in advance, if then, even in high season.

Unless you are determined to make interest free loans to Greek ferry operators, wait until nearer the time, then see what services are on offer – ferry times may have changed, or indeed flight times may have changed meaning you need a different ferry crossing.  If you try to book on line on a Dodekanisos Seaways service via Panormitis Monastery, you’ll discover that tickets from Rhodes to Symi seem to be sold out. They almost certainly aren’t, in fact you need to book the Rhodes-Panormitis and Panormitis-Symi sections separately, they won’t charge for Panormitis-Symi.

So here are the combined timetables

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018 to September 3 2018

September 4 to 30 2018

October 2018

A few other items of ferry news: Sea Dreams are going to offer a Sunday service from Rhodes to Symi, returning via Panormitis, on 25 February, 3, 18 and 25 March.

When Dodekanisos Express goes into overhaul at the end of February, and Dodekanisos Pride takes over to run the winter timetable, the Express is scheduled to have all her engines replaced.

Return of the Patmos

The Blue Star Patmos has emerged from the repair docks, carried out a sea trial yesterday, and is expected to return to service this afternoon at 16:00, and pass through Symi tomorrow morning. She’s then expected to operate the Piraeus-Symi-Rhodes service until at least the end of October, as the annual overhaul has sensibly been carried out at the same time as the accident damage repairs. This means meal service is back, which will delight Symi residents who are unhappy with having just hamburgers, cheese pies, and doughnuts to eat on the 14-16 hour journeys between Symi and Piraeus and back. Meals are also served (both self service and waiter service) between Rhodes and Symi or vice versa! The number of cabins available for the long overnight crossings will also increase significantly.

In other shipping news, Panagia Skiadeni and Dodekanisos Pride are in dock at Piraeus for annual overhaul, the Ostria (former Symi I) has gone from its usual home in Crete to Kalymnos for annual overhaul, and the entire Greek shipping industry is pushing ships through overhaul as fast as the yards can take them, as in just two months time the first major traffic peak of the year, Greek Easter, will be upon them.

 

 

 

Late January update

A mixture of flight and ferry news:

Dodekanisos Seaways timetable for the period up to 15 October is now available on their website, but still subject to alteration and not bookable past 31 March – but then as I repeatedly say, there’s no need to book any great time in advance. I’m sure their boss George Spanos appreciates the interest-free loans from people who insist they must book for September in February, but it really and truly isn’t necessary. If the sailing is going to sell out at all, it won’t do so until a week or less before departure. Greeks don’t believe in booking months in advance, day trippers often only decide the day before.

The Blue Star Patmos won’t be ready to resume her place on their routes through Symi until about 8 February, and the Blue Star Delos will cover the route in the meantime, assuming that the weather calms down enough for normal sailings to operate.

Ryanair have just announced a new route with two flights a week between Manchester and Rhodes, on Mondays and Fridays from 1 June to 26 October. Planes leave Manchester at 14:30 arriving Rhodes 20:55, returning from Rhodes at 21:20 and getting back to Manchester at 23:55. I suspect this replaces the route from Liverpool which still isn’t visible in their timetable.

After the legal shenanigans over the airline Niki, it has now been sold to a consortium of its founder Niki Lauda, and the Thomas Cook group. It wouldn’t be surprising if IAG’s Vueling subsidiary, who had bid and had their bid accepted, now retaliate by taking action in Spain (their home country) to block the airport slots Niki needs to operate there. Expect flights to Greece from Dusseldorf and Vienna, using the brand name LaudaMotion. The pilots are very unhappy about this takeover and 90% of Niki’s former pilots have applied for jobs to other airlines, so it remains to be seen how many flights can be operated. There’s somewhat of a Europe-wide shortage of experienced senior pilots capable of being graded as Captain.

This weekend should see me uploading flight summary tables and ferry timetable summaries to the blog, look for flights from Scandanavia/Finland, and from Central/Eastern Europe, as well as the summer’s ferries.

Getting to Symi 2018 – Italy

Here are the summary flight tables for flights from Italy to Rhodes and Kos. A lot remains to be finalised and entries in Red are flights that operated last year but so far aren’t available for this year and may never be. I’ll check regularly and either insert the update in black in a later edition, or delete the flight altogether.

Flights from Italy to Rhodes and Kos Summer 2018
Flights from France to Rhodes summer 2018
Flights from the Netherlands to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018
Flights from the UK and Ireland to Rhodes and Kos summer 2018