Symi is located in the Southern Dodecanese, north of Rhodes and close to the coast of South-west Turkey. The island is just over 13km north/south and about 8km east/west. Symi is divided into distinctive areas. Yialos is the main harbour, Chorio is the top town, and means literally “village”. Pedi Bay is the valley below Chorio, south of Yialos. Nimborios is the bay and settlement to the north of Yialos.
On the island there is a forested plateau with many spectacular views. There is a main road which takes you from Symi town to Panormitis, where you can see a complex of monasteries.
Things to do
In Symi there are many opportunities to walk and take excursions around the island. For those who enjoy cookery, there are cookery lessons on offer in a renowned local restaurant.
Held from July to September, the annual Symi Festival is an important cultural event on the island. There’s theatre, open air cinema, dance, traditional and classical music, literary and art exhibitions are all included in this annual extravaganza.
Around the island, there are many old churches and monasteries to be seen. The church of Constantinos and Eleni on the southern slopes of the Vigla along the Panormitis road has gardens, terraces and a well. There is a great deal of history on the island worth exploring. Symi attracts many day trippers from the island of Rhodes.
The Shoppingis general including traditional handmade items such as ceramics, textiles and sponges. These fair well as souvenirs as well as some of the local wine or sweets.
Like many of the Greek islands, handmade jewelry is available on Symi also. A very unique Art Gallery centre is located in the heart of Gialos where you’ll find fine art created by Greek artists.
Enjoy Symi Nightlife by visiting the south side of the harbour, where you’ll find several lively bars. Roloy Bar is a busy bar which is open most of the day and a large part of the night. The Roof Garden is another great place to try. It attracts the yachting crowd and sophisticated night owls. The Club in Gialos is a dancing bar which can be really good fun. Alethini Taverna on the road to Pedi offers bouzouki nights with traditional music and dance. So there is plenty to choose from to have a good night.
Symi is full of good places to eat. One of the best restaurants in Symi is Mythos, in the harbour of Gialos. The fresh fish is wonderful, but you’ll have to wait until evening dinner before you can try any of it.
Mylopetra in Gialos is quite an attractive restaurant. It serves traditional Mediterranean and Greek foods. An amazing sight here is the 2 metre long ancient tomb dating from 50BC which is visible through the thick glass under the restaurant floor. It’s quite novel to see!
Metapontis on the quayside of Emborios is a pleasant family restaurant adjoining the guesthouse with the same name. Panormion at the beginning of the quay in Panormitis is the only restaurant there. It has several tasty Greek specialities and fish.