Symi is a beautiful island that conjures the phrase “love at first sight”. Situated within the Dodecanese Islands of Greece and very close to the southwest coast of Turkey, Symi is a must for travellers within the coastal area. It is often called the “Jewel of the Dodecanese Islands” because of its picturesque harbor that guarantees to evoke sighs and smiles from visitors coming by sea.
Gulet yachts docked at Symi Port
Symi, the Jewel of the Dodecanese Islands
Symi has a rich history that stretches back to the 12th or 13th century BC. Many invaders occupied and left Symi throughout its history and it only became part of Greece in 1947. After its bombing in WWII, much care has been devoted by its residents to restore Symi to its former beauty. Visitors will appreciate that there are no modern structures in the island.
4 areas of the Island
Cream and brick-colored buildings line the façade of Symi, making it a stunning sight. The island is divided into four areas: Gialos or the harbor, Chorio or top town, Pedi Bay, and the Nimborios/ Marathounda/ Panormitis area. Chorio is accessible via the Kali Strata, a 500-step cobble stone stairway that is an experience to climb. The steep Kali Strata is worth the effort and the muscle ache because of the quaint restaurants and taverns that will greet you at Chorio.
The number one destination in Symi for any foodie is The Olive Tree on top of the Kali Strata. The Olive Tree is the perfect place for a nice, relaxing brunch. It offers a hearty breakfast menu, sandwiches, home made cakes and muffins, and excellent coffee. It has a good view of the harbor below and the two owners are always available to give advice on how to spend the day in Symi. It is a must for visitors with strong leg muscles and discerning taste palettes.
Next on the foodies’ list is the Tholos Restaurant. It is near the harbor and is great for lunch or dinner. It offers authentic and fresh Greek food so be prepared to eat a lot and remember to wear loose fitting clothes. The sea breeze and the sound of waves perfect the ambiance and create an experience worth blogging about.
For the traveller interested in Symi’s culture, drop by the Lefteris’ Kafenion Restaurant. It’s right at the main thoroughfare so there are interesting local scenes to appreciate. Locals and visitors like to hangout in Lefteris’ to drink wine and mingle.
There are also many activities in Symi available for the adventurous traveller. Daily Excursions offer wonderful tours around the Symi islands.
The Panormitis Monastery will always be the absolute must when visiting Symi. It is accessible by boat, but those who want a thrill can try using the bus to speed through the small streets. It is better to avoid the throng of tourists when visiting to appreciate the beauty and serenity of the Monastery. Greek artifacts and many religious paintings are displayed in the small but exquisitely adorned chapel. Other tourist destinations are the Archeological & Folklore Museum in Chorio and Saint George Bay, a stunning secluded beach accessible by boat only.
Turkish gulet cruising,Symi Island
Visit the Symi Island by a Gulet yacht
For those interested to visit Symi, a trip can be scheduled with the weekly Gulet Cruises that start from the Turkish coastlines. Symi is also a departure point for the Gulet yacht if travellers what to cruise around the Turkish coasts and the South Dodecanese Islands of Greece.
For a custom route to Dodecanese Islands including the Symi Island, ask for the available private gulets by contacting us from here.