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Discovering Magical Symi Island Greece.

A visit to magical Symi Island, Greece (also known as Syme or Simi) is a must! A little island full of colour and originality on the edge of the Aegean, in the Dodencanese (opposite Rhodes Island).

This beautiful island is known for its cosmopolitan feel, defined ambience, glamour and tradition with a unique beauty waiting for you to discover.

It is a popular destination spot that has many holiday makers coming back by ship or ferry. Unlike other Greek Islands as you enter the stunning harbour, called Yialos, you are welcomed by beautiful neoclassical multi-coloured homes.

So, apart from relaxing what are some wonderful things to discover on the magical island of Symi.

1: Symi is Famous for its Fresh Shrimp

Famous for its delicious shrimp, small and tasty a local delicacy. Freshly caught straight out of the Aegean Sea, usually pan fried and eaten whole, available at most restaurants and taverna’s, a must taste!

2: Don’t Miss the 18th Century Monastery

Symi Island Monastery Greek Islands Greece

Panormitis, a large Monastery which is situated on the southern side of the island. The church is famous for its icon the archangel Michael Panormitis. Considered, the island’s patron saint and also the guardian of sailors in the entire Dodecanese area.

Legend tells us and my father (who was born in Symi) confirms the legend that a plaque (buried) with Panormitis was found and removed and then found again in the same spot. It was located under a shrub and from that the Monastery was found to be built in the 18th century.

Here you can experience the locals taking part in religious practices from all over the island – you can also light a candle.

3: Beautiful Pedi Bay, Beaches and Hidden Gems

Symi Island Beaches Greek Islands Greece

En-route and a must visit Pedi Bay is where my parents grew up. This is divided into various parts which are accessible on foot, bus or scooter. This part of the island is home to rugged, steep topography.

The first is Apostle’s Taverna and beach, the taverna is old fashioned and food is usually served mezzethes (entree’s) style. Don’t expect hot plates, designer coffee or a dessert menu just delicious traditional Greek food. It’s a popular spot for locals, yachtsmen and anyone returning to this beautiful side of the island.

The second is Pedi Beach Hotel which has its own water frontage for their guests. Further to the right of the hotel you will find Katsaras Taverna, mini market and beach. A little more sophisticated, serving cocktails and of course all the favourites like moussaka and keftedes, traditional Greek food.

If you continue around Pedi Bay, there is a path that takes you to Agios Nikolaos Beach, a sandy beach surrounded by hills and, of course, the odd friendly goat.

Around the other side of Pedi Bay is also Agia Marina which is secluded and can only be entered through the heads of Pedi Bay. Getting there can be tricky. We recommend catching a water taxi to discover this beautiful hidden gem.

4: Stroll to Beaches Near Yialos Harbour

Yialos Harbour Symi Island Greek Islands Greece

If you’re staying in the harbour (Yialos), Paradise Beach is an easy walk. Located near the point at Harani. Petalo boardwalk. It’s lined with sun beds, gazebos, a bar and a waterside restaurant. Another little spot we can highly recommend from personal experience. It can be a bit pricey but worth it, especially at sunset as we experienced.

Nimborio Bay, which is about a 40-minute walk from Yialos (harbour). If you are going to walk, always remember to take a hat as it can reach high temperatures and it doesn’t provide much shade.

5: Symi Known for its Amazing Sponges

Famous Sea Sponges of Symi Island Greek Islands Greece

The beautiful sea sponges which can be seen everywhere are an iconic part of the Island Symi.

Known to be the first Greeks to free dive for sponges, they taught other islanders to free dive, and trade these sponges. The first free diver from Symi, Michael Karanikis, dove to the bottom of the sea holding a 15-kilogram stone to help reach the sponges. Be sure to purchase your souvenir sponge.

6: The Hidden Secret Garden

While travelling over the island we came across The Secret Garden, a chic little restaurant that serves you a cold drink, lunch, dinner or a traditional mezethes. A local family run eatery and garden with a beautiful atmosphere. If you’re lucky you can join in the live music and singing.

7: Money, Accommodation and Getting Around on Symi Island

Motorbikes Travelling around Symi Island Greek Islands Greece

Apart from our top things to do on Symi Island Greece, here are tips to make your stay more enjoyable.

There are only two banks on the whole island and both have ATMs. So, stock up with local cash before you travel to the other side of the island.

To experience traditional local life hire a scooter, car or take the public bus from one side of the island to the other.

There is plenty to choose from on this little island and can range from a simple room to a hotel suite but be sure to pre-book in the high season.

Wherever you decide to stay won’t impact your holiday, everyone that lives in Symi is welcoming, honest and most of all joyful to have you as their guest.

So, apart from just relaxing that’s our top things to do on Symi Island, Greece!