No words in the dictionary can fully describe the beauty of Symi Island in Greece. Beauty that leaves you breathless the instant your boat pulls into its harbor.
Jaws drop. Eyes widen. Heart explodes! Places like this are what dreams are made of.
Explore Symi Through Our Eyes
One of Greece’s warmest islands, Symi is located just off the Turkish coast. Visitors can access Symi with a quick 1 ½ hour boat ride from Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes Greece.
The magic begins when you arrive to the Panormitis Monastery, your first stop on the island of Symi. Originally built around 400 AD, this monastery is open for visitors with 2 museums to explore.
Hop back on the boat and your journey continues to the other side of the island. Soon you’ll see Symi’s famous Gialos bay in the distance. As the little specks of color become clearer, it’ll be hard to contain your excitement for what’s ahead.
When your boat docks, you’re surrounded. By pastel painted Greek homes climbing up the hillside. By turquoise water and boats of all shapes and sizes. This is paradise!
When you step off the boat, it’s almost like you don’t know where to start. The smell of seafood pulls you in one direction, the hundreds of white steps leading up to the top of the hillside pull you in another. And you still can’t get over the scenery alone…
Taking a walk around the horseshoe bay of Gialos is a good place to begin your visit. It will allow you to explore the entire harbor, instead of just where your boat docks.
Venturing outside of the main harbor will also give you a true appreciation of where you are. Choose a white staircase and get ready to discover. Walk down alleys. Admire the homes. Explore the outskirts, and get a taste of Symi’s unique culture, beyond the eyes of a tourist.
As you walk above the harbor, snap as many photos as you can! Find that perfect view of the hillsides, the Aegean Sea and the harbor. Take a moment to stop and appreciate where you are.
The higher you get, the more epic the views will be. If you’re looking for a physical challenge, there’s a 100-stair path and a 500-stair path that take you to two high points on the island. Just ask the locals, and they’ll point you in the right direction. And trust us…the view is worth the climb!
Now that you’ve enjoyed the sites and worked up an appetite, it’s time for Symi’s famous seafood. We have 3 words for you: To Skipito Restaurant. Fresh seafood, great company (the owner is AWESOME!) and a view of the harbor make this restaurant #1 in Symi. We were so excited that Jordana’s restaurant was the first to feature our Surviving Europe sticker out front!
After a pleasant and delicious lunch, it’s time to shop! Symi was once famous for its sea sponges, so be sure to grab a sponge during your visit. There are also high quality leather shops on the island along with other unique crafts and souvenirs.
How to Get to Symi
Sigma Travel was a great resource for us and helped us choose Symi for our day excursion from Rhodes. We would’ve never stumbled upon this island if it wasn’t for their advice and recommendations. And the day could not have been more perfect! The boat trip was informative, relaxing and oh so picturesque!
So now it’s time to hop on a plane and explore the magic of Symi for yourself. Simply plan a trip to the Old Town of Rhodes (another one of our favorite destinations), and book a day long excursion to Symi from Mandraki Harbor. You’ll leave at 9:30 and be home by 6:30.
It’s rare to find a true hidden gem, especially in country as frequently traveled as Greece. Symi is that postcard-worthy destination that not many people know about.
It’s a painting that’s come to life.
A paradise will you never forget.
No matter where you’re travels take you, Symi will always be that little island that took your breath away…