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4 Best things to see & do in Symi

  • Symi, Greek Islands, Greece

Last updated: 19 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Rachel Howard
  • Symi, Greek Islands, Greece

Boat trips to remote beaches are a major highlight of a visit to Symi – notably the dazzling pebble beaches along the island’s east coast.

Nanou, Marathounda and Agios Giorgos Dysalona all have translucent water and a ravishingly wild setting (albeit with sunbeds and umbrellas for shade).

Agios Giorgos Dysalona is the wildest of all, backed by a 300-metre sheer cliff, which means the shade comes early here. Nanou is a long stretch of white pebbles with an excellent little canteen for lunch.

The taverna at sheltered Marathouda Bay is equally lovely. A herd of peckish (and very friendly) goats roam the pebble beach in search of snacks. Marathouda is also accessible by car; the bus that takes you to the Panormitis Monastery also stops here.

More easily accessible on foot from Yalos, Nos, Nimborio, and Pedi are also pleasant swimming spots, but likely to be a lot more crowded.

Local Symi travel specialist Kalodoukas arrange excursions aboard the Agios Nikolaos, a beautiful wooden caique. The fare includes a buffet lunch.

Good for age: 8+

Chorio

  • Symi, Greek Islands, Greece

the towns of Gialos and Chorio on the greek island of symi

Experience

Chorio

Chorio, the upper town, offers a glimpse of bygone Greece with its faded 18th-century mansions and narrow stone archways, and is ideal for a lazy wander.

Simply walk up the 500-odd steps of Kali Strata, the handsome walkway that connects Yialos to Chorio. Once there, stop by for a look at the fine collection of Byzantine and medieval artefacts in the local museum. Nearby, the Hatziagapitos mansion contains ornately carved wooden chests and frescoes.

At the pinnacle is Symi’s ancient acropolis, with vertiginous views of the harbour.

Good for age: 18+

Marathounda Tavern

  • Symi, Greek Islands, Greece

Marathounda Tavern

Experience

Located in wind-protected Marathounda Bay in the southeast corner of the island, this authentic beach-side taverna serves up excellent home-cooked Greek food. Dine on the terrace overlooking the pebbly beach and idyllic-blue water, then relax on sunbeds after. Just beware the inquisitive local goats. Access by road or water taxi.

Good for age: 18+

Boat tours on the Agios Nicolaos

  • Symi, Greek Islands, Greece

Sea level photo from iconic beach of Agios Georgios with turquoise clear waters, Symi island, Dodecanese, Greece

Experience

Local Symi travel specialist Kalodoukas arrange excursions aboard the Agios Nicolaos, a beautiful wooden caique. The fare includes a buffet lunch.

Adult price: £35

Good for age: 8+