Symi is a beautiful mountainous island covered in lush woodland. The islands most famous monastery here is in Panormitis. It dates back to 450 AD and it really is a must see. Please remember to wear modest dress when going on this excursion. You will also see some delightful silver icons of the archangel. In Yailos you will find a very good nautical museum. The harbour waterfront is very picturesque and ideal to sit and have a drink, while watching the boats come in. There is also a castle in Yailos to visit. The monastery is delightful in Panormitis and it has a very decorative archway that leads into the courtyard. The whole of the island has some delightful views and lovely places to visit.
There is lush greenery and pastel coloured houses dotted around everywhere. It’s the ideal place for a leisurely holiday. If you’re using Symi for a base to visit the other islands then it is ideal and rather tranquil. From here you can arrange different tours that can be for a day or a few days at a time. The one to Athens is a definite must do if you have the budget. Or you could take the ferry into Rhodes town. If you’re in Symi during the Easter week celebrations you will have a brilliant time. The towns are lit up and decorated to a high standard and the festivities of singing and dancing and a feast of food lining the streets are a great experience, and a good way of trying out the Greek traditional cuisine.
There are some nice beaches around Symi and delightful coves. Not all the beaches are made of soft sand; they seem to be mostly made up of shingle, but they are peaceful with just a few water sports available. They are ideal beaches for those just wanting to read a novel and top up their tan, or for the kids to safely play and have a dip in the warm turquoise waters. Taxi boats are available to make some of the more secluded beaches accessible. Most of the beaches have very good facilities with cafes close by for a drink and a spot of lunch.
There are no lively nightclubs in Symi booming out the latest music. All you will get here is pleasant restaurants to eat and drink in to pass your evening away. There are one or two discotheques behind the harbour for the younger age group but if you’re looking to dance to the light fantastic then you’re in the wrong place you would be better off in Rhodes town.
Eating on this island can be rather interesting. Amongst the usual Greek cuisine you can have miniature shrimps or snails that are caught in the local waters, along with other sea food nibbles. If you’re not a great fan of fish then there are plenty of meat dishes to try. Chicken smyrnia, which is tender chicken cooked in a white wine is very tasty and suitable for most palettes. There are no burger joints or pizza huts on the island but you find some international cuisine served in a few of the restaurants.