Things to Do in Symi, Greece: A Complete Guide

Symi, a small island nestled in the Aegean Sea, is a hidden gem of Greece. With its picturesque harbor, colorful neoclassical houses, and stunning natural landscapes, Symi offers a unique and enchanting experience for travelers. If you’re planning a visit to this captivating island, here is a comprehensive guide to the top things to do in Symi.

1. Introduction

Symi is a small island located in the Dodecanese archipelago, just northwest of Rhodes. It is known for its untouched beauty, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and charming architecture. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation, Symi has something to offer for everyone.

2. Exploring Gialos, the Picturesque Harbor

Gialos, the main harbor of Symi, is a visual delight. Its colorful neoclassical houses, waterfront tavernas, and traditional fishing boats create a postcard-perfect setting. Take a leisurely stroll along the harbor promenade, soak in the atmosphere, and admire the stunning views of the surrounding hills.

3. Discovering Symi’s Rich History

Symi has a fascinating history that dates back to ancient times. Explore the Archaeological and Folklore Museum to learn about the island’s past and cultural heritage. Visit the Knights’ Castle, a medieval fortress perched on a hill, offering panoramic views of the island. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the Monastery of Panormitis, a significant religious site known for its stunning architecture.

4. Hiking and Exploring Nature

Symi boasts breathtaking natural landscapes and hiking trails that are worth exploring. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a journey to discover hidden gems like the Symi Viewpoint, which offers a panoramic vista of the island. The surrounding hills are adorned with fragrant pine forests and olive groves, creating a serene environment for nature enthusiasts.

5. Relaxing on Symi’s Beautiful Beaches

Symi is blessed with numerous beautiful beaches that cater to different preferences. From secluded coves to organized sandy shores, there’s a beach for everyone. Agios Georgios Beach and Nos Beach are popular choices for their crystal-clear waters and tranquil ambiance. Spend a day basking in the sun, swimming, and indulging in beachside relaxation.

6. Enjoying Traditional Greek Cuisine

No trip to Symi would be complete without savoring the delicious flavors of Greek cuisine. Explore the local tavernas and sample traditional dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki, and fresh seafood. Don’t forget to try the island’s specialty, Symi shrimp, known for its delicate taste. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine and embrace the culinary delights of Symi.

7. Shopping for Local Crafts and Souvenirs

Symi is renowned for its skilled craftsmen and traditional arts. Take a stroll through the narrow streets of Chorio, the island’s upper town, and browse the charming boutiques. Discover handmade ceramics, intricately woven textiles, and exquisite jewelry that make for perfect souvenirs. Support local artisans and take a piece of Symi’s craftsmanship home with you.

8. Participating in Festivals and Events

Immerse yourself in Symi’s vibrant culture by attending one of its festivals or events. The Symi Festival, held in the summer months, showcases traditional music, dance performances, and theatrical plays. If you’re visiting in September, don’t miss the Panormitis Festival, where locals and visitors gather to celebrate the island’s patron saint.

9. Exploring Nearby Islands and Attractions

Symi serves as a gateway to other stunning islands and attractions in the vicinity. Take a boat trip to the nearby island of Rhodes, known for its medieval Old Town and ancient ruins. Alternatively, embark on a cruise to the enchanting island of Symi’s sister, Nisyros, which is famous for its volcanic landscape and picturesque villages.

10. Experiencing Symi’s Vibrant Nightlife

Although Symi is relatively peaceful during the day, it has a vibrant nightlife scene that comes alive after sunset. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail at one of the harbor bars or dance the night away at a lively club. The island offers a blend of relaxed and energetic venues, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

11. Practical Information and Travel Tips

  • The best time to visit Symi is during the spring or fall when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are fewer.
  • Remember to bring comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and a hat for exploring the island.
  • Public transportation on Symi is limited, so consider renting a scooter or hiring a taxi to explore the island at your own pace.
  • Symi has a range of accommodations, from cozy guesthouses to luxury hotels. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially during the peak season.


Symi, Greece, is a captivating destination that offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty, rich history, and authentic Greek culture. From exploring the picturesque harbor to indulging in local cuisine and immersing in the island’s vibrant atmosphere, there are endless experiences to discover. Plan your visit to Symi and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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