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Picturesque and peaceful, holidays to Symi are full of visits to secluded beaches, plates of excellent Greek food and shopping in chic boutiques. If a slice of laid-back island life sounds good to you, plan a trip to Symi to relax and unwind.
The first thing you’ll notice as you sail towards Symi’s harbour – you can’t fly to the island – is its collection of beautiful, brightly coloured neoclassical houses with terracotta roofs that cling onto the hillside. As there are regular ferries to Symi – most holidaymakers opt to arrive via Rhodes – the island can be quite busy with day-trippers in peak season. But, in the evenings, you’ll enjoy a much quieter setting.
Travelling by ferry, you’ll arrive into Gialos (or Yialos) where you can relax waterside in a taverna watching boats bobbing on sparkling, clear water. This is the gateway to Symi Town, the bustling port at the heart of the island. It’s divided into two areas – harbourside Gialos and Chorio. Chorio is the higher part of town on the slopes and is generally less crowded than Gialos. To get there, embrace a challenging climb up 500 steps, through cobbled streets, to see glorious Gialos and the sparkling sea stretching out below. You’ll find attractive churches and the ruins of a castle here.
All Symi holidays should include a visit to at least one of its secluded beaches. One way to reach them is by taxi boat, which are available from Symi harbour and Pedi. Two of the most popular bays in the area are the shingle Agios Georgios and family-friendly Agios Nikolaos.
Food is undoubtedly a highlight of any Symi break, and seafood is naturally the island’s speciality, particularly shrimps. For a simpler meal, look out for spinach pie (spanakopita), chickpeas with dill, and goats’ cheese.
Going Greek this summer? From choosing the right island to picking a hotel that suits the whole family, we reveal how to get the best out of Greece on your next holiday.Read moreabout How to do the Greek islands with kids
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