Near Symi’s southern tip, beyond the scented pine forests of the high interior, spectacular Panormitis Bay is home to this large monastery. Monasteries have stood here since the 5th century but the present building dates from the 18th century. The principal church contains an intricately carved wooden iconostasis, frescoes and an icon of St Michael, protector of sailors and patron saint of Symi.
Pilgrims who ask the saint for a favour leave an offering; you’ll see piles of these, plus prayers in bottles that have been dropped off boats and found their own way here. The large complex comprises an eccelesiastical museum and a folkloric museum, a bakery with excellent bread, a restaurant and a cafe. Visitors should dress modestly. Buses come here from Gialos, and some ferries and daily excursion boats call in, too.