Symi is a vision of sun-drenched beaches, turquoise bays and colourful villages that cascade down to the water. The island is part of the Dodecanese archipelago and lures visitors in with its laid-back lifestyle. A bounty of freshly caught seafood adds to the island’s appeal.
Things to do in Symi
Most trips to the island start in Symi Town, a lively enclave filled with brightly-painted buildings and townhouses. The town was settled by the Italians, who pioneered the signature Neoclassical style. Today many of the buildings have been reimagined as atmospheric cafes and restaurants.
Beaches are plentiful in Symi, with some of the most popular stretches of sand including Nos, Emporios, and Pedi. Colourful sunbeds and umbrellas dot the shoreline and add to the resort-style atmosphere. Visit one of the waterfront taverns for grilled octopus and a refreshing glass of ouzo on ice. If you want to escape the crowds, there are plenty of hidden coves and bays to discover on Symi.
A trip to the southern end of the island takes you to the Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis, a Greek Orthodox pilgrimage site dating back to the 18th century. Stroll around the magnificent waterfront monastery and visit the Byzantine museum to learn more about the rich history and heritage of the site.
Symi is crisscrossed with scenic trails that lead to historic villages, postcard-perfect chapels and hilltop lookouts. Others offer access to hidden beaches where you can cool off in crystalline water after working up a sweat.
Getting around Symi
Symi Town is compact and easy to get around on foot. Public buses run to the three main towns and are a great way to explore the island. Renting a car or motorbike is another option. Ferries connect Symi with Athens, as well as other islands in the Dodecanese archipelago.