Greece has so many special places to visit, and many of them are in the Dodecanese Islands! One gem that should be on every traveler’s list to this region is Symi. From the moment your ferry pulls in you will be mesmerized by the colors and magic of this island. So whether you’re just making a day trip to Symi Island or staying overnight, we got you covered. Here are 12 amazing things to do on Symi Island in Greece!
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Greece Travel Inspiration
- Halki Greece: Why You Need to Go to This Historic Island Paradise
- Planning a Trip to Rhodes Greece: 10 Step Easy to Follow Travel Guide
- 30 Fun Facts About Greece and its Incredible Ancient History
- 11 Best Beaches on Rhodes Greece: Anthony Quinn to St. Paul’s Bay
- 5 Helpful Tips for Renting a Car in Rhodes & Why You Should!
Best Things to do on Symi Island in Greece
1. Picture Perfect Port
Get your cameras out! Believe it or not, the best place to get a photo of Symi island in Greece is from the water. Trust us, as soon as you see the colorful buildings of the harbor you’ll be completely blown away. Snap some photos but still leave yourself time to take it all in before exiting the boat.
2. Walk Along the Symi Island Harbor
Once you’ve arrived on Symi Island you’ll surely be ready to explore the town. Honestly, we’ve never seen such a place exploding with colors!
The different reds, yellows, oranges, and blues hover above the restaurants and cafes of the harbor. They surround a beautiful bay filled with small boats and the sparkling blue water of the Aegean Sea.
3. See the Symi Island Castle
Up for a hike? A visit to Symi Castle is the perfect way to end your day! We recommend going for sunset as you’ll get spectacular views of Symi Island.
Also, in the back streets above the town are some local tavernas to go for a drink or meal. Some popular places to eat are Taverna Zoe, Georgio & Maria, and the Secret Garden.
Have a motorbike?? Even better! You’ll save yourself time hiking 30 minutes to the top of the mountain. The ruins are from a castle built in 1407 by the Knights of St. John, and you will also see the Church of Agios Nikolaos here.
4. Rent a Vehicle
Although it’s a small island, one of the best things to do in Symi is to rent a car or motorbike. The shops in town have scooters, cars, and even ATVs for you to explore more of Symi island in Greece.
For as beautiful as the harbor is, you’ll need to get out on the road if you really want to experience the beaches and more of Symi!
5. Swim at the Beautiful Beaches
Got your vehicle? It’s time to see all of the magical beaches of Symi Island! Below you’ll find some of our favorite places to swim with the locations linked. They range from small rocky enclaves to long pebbly beaches. Yet, they all have one thing in common… And that’s of course the crystal clear water!
6. Stop at the Symi Island Lookouts
At this point, it should be no surprise that Symi Island has incredible views everywhere you look. In some places, you can even see Turkey from the shores!
Take your time searching for each lookout and peer out over the ocean and other Greek islands. Once you get up in the mountains there will amazing views at almost every turn.
→ Costantinos View is a great spot to grab a sunset drink or lunch overlooking the island!
7. Visit the Panormitis Monastery
For as much as travelers rave about the beaches, Symi has plenty of history and culture to see as well. No place is this better exemplified than at the Panormitis Monastery. Built in the late 18th century, this masterpiece is certainly worth the trip from town.
The colors alone will wow you, and the setting on the water of the Panormitis Port is breathtaking. Visit the museum inside and grab a refreshing drink at the cafe next door before continuing on.
8. Shop for Local Goods in Town
On any Greek island, you should be sure to sample and experience the local goods. Symi is famous for its sea sponges and there are even a few places that sell them as souvenirs in town.
Other things you’ll find are oils, honey, spices, and wild herbs. Symi Island in Greece is also known for its high-quality wines that they have been producing here for centuries. Stroll the harbor but also cut into the backstreets of town to see it all.
9. Hop on a Symi Island Boat Tour
If you weren’t brave enough to rent a motorbike on Symi don’t worry! There are plenty of great boat tours to get to the Symi beaches from town.
Walk along the harbor and check out your options so you can pick the right boat tour for you. This is a great way to see all the secluded beaches and coves if you’re not going to get a vehicle.
10. Spend One or More Nights
Most travelers head to Symi Island in Greece for just a day trip. However, we really recommend you spend at least one night! We stayed at Iapetos Village and it was the perfect place to base our Symi adventures from. We loved the balcony, garden and jungle-like atmosphere, and the lovely pool area.
There’s nothing like waking up on Symi, grabbing a coffee and a local cafe, and jumping straight in the ocean. Honestly, watching the sunset on Symi island in Greece is worth the overnight stay in itself! So if you have time definitely spend one or two nights in town.
Symi Island Tip: If you’d rather stay outside of town near the beach check out the Niriides Hotel Apartments. It’s run by the same family as Iapetos Village and has stunning views of the ocean.
11. Eat a Traditional Meal
Now that you’ve read about some of the great activities, you should know that one of the best things to do in Symi is to eat! The port of Symi is filled with traditional tavernas and restaurants, all with great views of the harbor.
If there’s one local food you should try here it’s the delightful Symi shrimp. This juicy seafood may be smaller than normal shrimp yet doesn’t lack any flavor. You can find them on Rhodes and other islands as well, but they’ll never be fresher than in Symi!
12. See Symi Island at Night
Although the colors of Symi are extraordinary during the day, there’s something so special about seeing it at night! We couldn’t believe the way the port lit up as we sat down for dinner one evening.
It was also interesting to see the locals come out after a long day of work, and sit side by side with them as we enjoyed our meal. Most of the tourists on day trips had gone back to Rhodes which left a quiet and peaceful scene in town. Just another reason to stay overnight on Symi!
Have any questions on the Symi beaches, or want to share your own favorite things to do on Symi Island in Greece? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Greece Travel Planning
When island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies.
Rental Car: You can book a rental car for around $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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