Island of Symi Greece: 18 Amazing Things To Do

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The Dodecanese island of Symi is a tiny, hilly place best known for its sea sponge and shipbuilding industries. With a length of just over 13 kilometres and a width of 8 km, Symi is one of the more compact tourist islands in the Dodecanese group.

You will be in awe of the island’s beauty when you enter the port of Symi, where vibrant Venetian mansions line the mountainside and azure seas lap at the coast.

You’ll find isolated beaches, towering monasteries, breathtaking scenery, and pristine waterways that occasionally even turtles of the harbour as you continue your exploration!

Symi Greece
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

The Symi island can accommodate all your travel needs, whether you’re a yachtie stopping by for a few days, a writer searching for a pristine paradise to inspire your next piece, or just a tourist looking for the romantic getaway.

The monastery of Panormitis, Pedi beach, Chorio, and Nos beach in Gialos port are all destinations of the island bus service, which departs from the town every hour on hour. This implies that you can access all of the major attractions and beaches even if you don’t have a car.

Things To Do In Symi Greece

Here are some fantastic things to do in Symi Greece!

1. Explore The Well-Known Panormitis Monastery

The Archangel Michael Panormitis monastery, situated on the far southwest shore of the island, is among Symi’s most well-known locations. Monks have resided in this expansive structure constantly since it was constructed in the 18th century.

Visitors can visit the majestic church and a bell tower, find the two modest museums (one presenting things showcasing the folk culture and the other featuring religious symbols and relics), and even buy baked delicacies from the fourno (bakery) on the premises. A great area to take a plunge is directly next to the monastery, situated on the seaside.

Panormitis Monastery
Image by Reznichenko Yehor from Pixabay

Each year on November 8th, the Panormitis monastery holds its largest festival in honour of Archangel Michael, drawing a sizable number of visitors from across the island and beyond.

No other location better demonstrates this than the Panormitis Monastery. It is the best place to visit in Symi Greece.

2. Explore the Venetian Castle’s remains in Chorio

Symi has a long and rich history and has been inhabited for many centuries, like the majority of the island of the Greek. In modern-day Chorio, there is always been an Acropolis on a hill above the town.

During the 14th century, Venetian Castle was constructed by the Knights of Saint John.

Venetian Castle
Image by John from Pixabay

Over the ruins of the ancient acropolis, the Knights of Saint John constructed a castle in the fifteenth century. Although there aren’t many of the castle grounds intact, you may still take in the wonderful views of the harbour.

The castle is not well marked, and Google Maps does not always give you the most precise directions. You can easily get lost here for a short period while walking away from the stresses of the world because the streets are so beautiful. It is the best place to visit in Symi Greece.

3. Jump On A Boat Tour of the Island of Symi Greece

Don’t worry if you lacked the courage to rent a motorcycle on Symi. To reach the Symi beaches from town, there are several fantastic boat cruises available.

To choose the best boat excursion for you, stroll along the waterfront and consider your possibilities. If you don’t plan to rent a car, this is a great way to discover all the hidden coves and beaches.

Boat Tour in Symi Greece
Image by Giorgos from Pixabay

The most breathtaking beach on the island, St. George Bay, is accessible quickly from the point of departure. This location is well-known for its turquoise sea and vertical 300-meter bluff surrounding the shore.

Don’t forget to pause, take a swim, and take in the scenery. Additionally, pack supplies and water since there is nothing else nearby! It is the best thing to do in Symi Greece.

4. Enjoy The Scenery From Kastro Castle

The Venetian Castle, constructed by the Knights of the Order of Saint John in the fourteenth century, will come into view as you ascend Chorio.

This castle was built to defend the neighbourhood from invasions, but the Turks captured it following their siege in 1522. Although there is not much to do or see, you can still wander about the ruins.

Panagia Church
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Next, within the castle grounds, you’ll find the lovely little Panagia Church with a view of Gialos and the Aegean Sea. After relaxing for a while, go to the lookout to capture the town’s most stunning images.

Visit the castle during sunset, while the sun is setting behind the mountains if you have the time. It is the best thing to do in Symi Greece.

5. Explore Around The Symi Town’s Harbour Area By Foot

Upon reaching Symi Island, you will undoubtedly be eager to explore the town. In all honesty, we’ve never seen a place that vibrant!

Different shades of red, yellow, orange, and blue float above the harbour’s eateries and cafes. They encircle a lovely bay with a multitude of small boats and the Aegean Sea.

Symi Town's Harbour
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

With kafenions strewn all throughout the harbour and providing Greek coffee and snacks, it’s a tranquil area to observe the world go. It is the best thing to do in Symi Greece.

6. A Day Trip To Rhodes

If Symi island is where you want to spend your vacation, you should visit Rhodes for the day. The ferries depart early in the day and arrive back in the late afternoon.

As Rhodes’s old town and the port area are packed with tavernas and coffee shops, historical sites, and retail stalls, you’ll have plenty of time to explore them. Don’t make any other plans because you will be able to see all of it on a day trip to Rhodes.

Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay

It is the best thing to do in Symi Greece.

7. A Night Tour of the Symi Island, Greece

Even though Symi has stunning hues during the day, there is something particularly magical about witnessing it at night. When we went down for supper one night, we couldn’t believe how the port lit up.

It’s intriguing to watch the locals leave their homes after a hard day’s work and sit next to them as we dined. The majority of day-trip visitors had returned back to Rhodes, leaving the village in peace and quiet. Another justification for spending the night on Symi! It is the best thing to do at night in Symi Greece.

8. Obtain A Taste Of The Cuisine In The Area

Seafood and fresh fish are usually your first choice on the island. The most well-known food seems to be the Greek Salad, or ‘Guladaki Cimiako’ or Popcorn Shrimp.

This is a dish of crispy, sweet shrimp fried and served whole with a lemon wedge. Simple and delicious! Also try grilled octopus, mussels, calamari, salad, and baked feta cheese.

Greek Salad
Image by Julia from Pixabay
Head to Gianni Tavern for the best savory chicken and pork souvlaki served with homemade salad and fries. This place is on the harbor and just above the bridge. Best thing you can eat in Symi, Greece.

9. Discover Gialos, The Main Town On Symi Island

You will be in awe of the colourful houses that border the shore as you approach the port of Symi. One of the nicest things to do on Symi Island is to explore this harbour, which is one of the prettiest in all of Greece.

Take lots of pictures, get lost in the tiny streets, stroll around the port, and observe the stunning architecture. Even a replica of the renowned Big Ben, a clock tower constructed in 1881, can be found here. It is the best place to visit in Symi Greece.

10. Visit Takis Leather And Look At The Artwork There

Takis Leather Store, which is situated in the main port town, is a store filled with exquisite leather items, but behind the eye-catching shoes, belts, wallets, and purses are an even more artistic invention. Takis uses soldering iron strokes and dots to burn elaborate, precise designs into the leather to create his works of art, which are inspired by the island and Greece in general.

Takis refers to his creations as “leather pixels” since the fabric is scorched with millions of small dotwork marks to add depth and texture. His creations are incredibly distinctive and lovely, and they merit serious inspection.

It is the best thing to observe the beautiful artwork in Symi Greece.

11. Visit The Symi Island Castle

Want to go hiking? The ideal way to cap off your day is with a trip to Symi Castle! Going to sunset will provide you with stunning views of Symi Island, thus we highly recommend it.

There are also some neighbourhood tavernas where you may get a drink or a meal on the back streets above the town. Taverna Zoe, Georgio & Maria, and the Secret Garden are a few of the well-liked restaurants.

Possess a motorcycle? Better still! You can hike to the mountain’s summit for 30 minutes faster. The Church of Agios Nikolaos has located nearby the remnants of a fortification that the Knights of St. John constructed in 1407. It is the best thing to do in Symi Greece.

12. Let Pedi Village Pass You By Without A Thought

The charming village of Pedi is a short bus or scooter ride from Symi town, or a 30-minute walk. Away from the heart of the island, you’ll find the peace you’ve been looking for.
There are several taverns and lodging facilities. Explore small settlements before arriving at the beach, just a 10-minute walk south. Follow the coast until you reach the gate, then climb up and down hills to a stunning uninhabited beach.
A modest cafe and umbrellas are here. Best thing to do in Symi, Greece.
13. Give A Stray Cat Food

I am aware that it is not the kind of activity that should be on schedule. But regrettably, Symi Island, like many other Greek islands, is well-known for the numerous stray cats that loiter outside homestays, prowl around quaint tavernas, and guard them.

Image by Surprise from Pixabay

It was difficult to resist having feelings for them. Many cats roam the streets in quest of food while the residents take care of them. They survive at the mercy of tourists who feed them, so if you can, leave some food or cool water outside your lodging. It is a lovely thing to do in Symi Greece.

14. Take A Look At The Gift Shops

After seeing the main attractions of Symi Island, you might wish to purchase a memento to take back home. Many of the well-known Greek souvenirs are available, but if you want something special, I recommend looking into real sea sponges.

One of the things Symi Island used to be known for was sponge diving. Hundreds of sponge divers once called the two Dodecanese islands, together with Kalymnos, home.

Sea Sponges
Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

Visit one of the shops where they are sold if you want to learn more about sea sponges. You will learn more about the various sponge varieties, their characteristics, and their numerous applications.

Additionally, you will have the opportunity to view the gear that divers from a few decades ago utilised! It is the best idea to shop in Symi Greece.

15. Crossing Symi Island Via Hiking

The Vigla, at 616 meters, is Symi Island’s highest point, in case you didn’t know. Therefore, one of the best activities to do on Symi Island is trekking.

Image by Ales Krivec from Pixabay

You can’t go lost even if there aren’t any well-marked walking pathways. Any path can be taken to reach a town or village. Bring plenty of water, put on comfortable shoes, and protect your skin with sunscreen.

The vistas are breathtaking, and you may find some quiet areas very quickly. It is the best thing to enjoy hiking in Symi Greece.

16. Plan To Stay One Or More Nights

Most visitors only stay overnight on Symi Island in Greece. You should stay at least one night, though, in our opinion. Iapetos Village offers lodging options, and it was a great home base for our travels on Symi.

We adored the balcony, the setting of the garden and jungle, and the gorgeous pool area. Nothing compares to waking up on Symi, grabbing a coffee at a nearby cafe, and diving right into the water.

On Symi Island in Greece, the sunset alone is worth the overnight stay, I’ll be honest. Spend a night or two in the city if you have the time. It is the best thing to do in Symi Greece.

Symi Island Suggestion: The Niriides Hotel Apartments are a good option if you’d want to stay outside of the city close to the beach. The same family that manages Iapetos Village also oversees this gorgeous oceanfront property.

17. Swim In the Lovely Beaches

Do you have your car? It’s time to explore all of Symi Island’s enchanted beaches! Some of our favourite swimming spots are included here, along with links to their locations.

Small rocky outcrops and lengthy pebbly beaches are among them. Nevertheless, they all share a characteristic… Of sure, the water is absolutely pure!

Agia Marina
Image by Alexander Grishin from Pixabay

Symi Island’s enchanting beaches are as follows:-

  • Nimborio Beach
  • Marathounda Bay
  • Nos Beach
  • Agia Marina
  • Pedi Beach

It is the best thing to visit different beaches in Symi Greece.

18. Speak with the people!

Some of Greece’s nicest and chattiest folks reside in Symi! I learned a lot about the island’s recent past and way of life.

You will find a lot of lovely people who told you their stories about life on the island. For instance, the first car landed on Symi in the 1980s, and the island didn’t have electricity until 1966! It is the best thing to know the different lifestyles of others in Symi Greece.

As a side note, a large portion of those who reside permanently in Symi has immigrated from other countries. Since English is commonly spoken, we highly recommend engaging in conversation with locals to learn more about the beautiful island.

Final Remark

In conclusion, there are many things to do on the Island of Symi Greece.

Visitors can enjoy the island’s natural beauty, relax on the beach, or explore the island’s history and culture.


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