The beautiful island of Symi is located in the Dodecanese, very close to Rhodes. It’s one of the most amazing islands in the Aegean Sea and it’s ideal for relaxing vacation in a quaint setting.
Here, you can find useful information about beaches in Symi, top sights and attractions, must-visit villages, as well as all ferry schedules. Book cheap ferry tickets to Symi on Ferryhopper at the same prices as ferry companies!
Beautiful neoclassical buildings at the port of Symi in Chora
Vacation in Symi
Symi is famous for its cosmopolitan vibe and is one of the most popular destinations in the Dodecanese. The small island stands out for its impressive architecture, as there are many colorful neoclassical buildings and wonderful mansions in its picturesque villages.
Symi is also one of the top destinations in the Aegean Sea for cultural sightseeing and is world-renowned for its unspoilt beaches and luxury experiences.
How to get to Symi
You can get to Symi from the port of Piraeus in Athens throughout the year. There are regular ferry crossings from Piraeus to Symi, usually operated by Blue Star Ferries.
Many travelers also travel to Rhodes first and catch the ferry to Symi from there.
For more information on ferries to Symi, have a look below.
What to do in Symi
During your stay in Symi, you can swim in remote beaches that are only accessible by boat, such as Maroni and Agios Georgios Dysalonas. Moreover, you can take beautiful hikes leading to secluded coasts and cultural sites, attend one of the cultural festivals taking place in the summer, or kick back and enjoy the ambient atmosphere of the island at one of the local restaurants. Don’t miss out on the delicious Symi shrimp and many more local delicacies!
Beaches in Symi
Symi is famous for its exquisite beaches with reinvigorating clear waters. There are many beaches with visitor amenities and easy car access, as well as several secluded coasts that are only accessible by boat.
Here are 11 of our favorite beaches in Symi:
- Saint George (Agios Georgios Dysalonas): this is the most impressive and famous beach in Symi, that stands out for its tall rocks and dreamy turquoise waters. It is only accessible by boat and there are no visitor amenities, so make sure you come prepared.
- Saint Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos): the beach is close to the village of Pedi and it has shallow waters, trees, shops, and local restaurants. It also has umbrellas and is popular with families.
- Agios Vasilios: it’s one of the nicest beaches on the island, in an idyllic location. It has crystal-clear waters and a few trees for shade. It takes a 2-hour hike to get to this secluded beach. Bear in mind that Agios Vasilios beach is clothing-optional.
- Nanou: this is an impressive beach located in a green cove with cypress trees. It has blue waters and a marvelous seabed, perfect for underwater exploration. There are visitor amenities, umbrellas and tavernes.
- Nos: it is right next to Gialos, the island port, and is easily accessible. There are umbrellas and sun loungers, as well as a small taverna.
- Pedi: this is the beach of Pedi village, located next to the largest hotel in Symi. It is one of the most frequented beaches on the island, popular with travelers of all ages. It has clear blue waters and many visitor amenities.
- Agia Marina: it is a sandy beach close to Pedi. There are sun loungers, umbrellas and a bar-restaurant. There’s also a beautiful islet off the coast of Agia Marina, which is great for diving.
- Toli: it’s on the north side of the island and it has umbrellas, sun loungers and a taverna. Toli is famous for its amazing waters and you can get there either by car or on foot if you’re into hiking and adventure.
- Maroni: this is a charming beach with perfect waters by a pine-tree forest. The beach is only accessible by boat.
- Marathounda: it is a small cove with crystal-clear waters and pebbles. It is ideal for relaxation and there are some visitor amenities and shops.
- Seskli: this is a small green islet off the south coast of Symi. The beach of the islet has crystal-clear waters and pebbles. We recommend bringing an umbrella, even though there are some trees for shade.
Yachts and sailing boats at the majestic Nanou bay in Symi
Sightseeing and activities in Symi
There are many restored neoclassical buildings and mansions in Symi that give the island a touch of grandeur. Apart from the cosmopolitan atmosphere, Symi is also known for its cultural offering. The Monastery of Panormitis is one of the top attractions on the island and attracts many local and foreign visitors.
If you are wondering what to see and do in Symi, Ferryhopper suggests that you don’t miss the following experiences:
- Visit the impressive Monastery of Panormitis.
- Get to know the island at the Archaeological and Folklore Museum of Symi.
- Discover local traditions at the Maritime Museum of Symi.
- Visit the Cathedral of Timios Prodromos.
- Shop fresh seafood at the local fish market.
- Take a romantic stroll in Gialos.
- Walk up the 500 steps of Kali Strata and watch the sunset.
Tip: Symi Festival takes place every summer. During the festival, you have the chance to catch special performances, attend concerts and panigiria, and watch plays. If you happen to visit the island during the festival, don’t miss it!
The beautiful Monastery of Panormitis in Symi
Nightlife in Symi
Symi is the perfect destination for those of you who are after lively nights by the sea, delicious cocktails and lounge evenings. There are many bars, all-day cafés and restaurants, where you can enjoy an easy-going night out. Alternatively, you can join young travelers at one of the loudest party-vibe bars.
There may not be any clubs or dance venues, but you will definitely have fun. There are also some pubs if you fancy a pint while on the island. Chora, the island capital, is the heart of the action in Symi and most bars and restaurants stay open until 02:00 after midnight.
Food in Symi
Symi is a blessed island with lots of local products of superb quality. The trademark of Symi is the small shrimp that can only be found in its seas. It is fried and eaten with its shell, and it is s(hr)imply delicious! You can also try several sweet treats such as akoumia, and drink luscious wines and prickly pear liqueurs.
Here’s what to try in Symi:
- symiako garidaki: small fried Symi shrimp
- chickpeas with aubergines cooked in tomato sauce
- local biscuits and cookies
- gaelopita: sand smelt pan-fried pie
- misokofti: sweet pudding made from prickly pear juice
- akoumia: sweet deep-fried dough with rice, orange, cinnamon and ouzo
- yaprakia: vine leaves stuffed with rice
The famous miniature shrimps of Symi, “symiako garidaki”
Villages in Symi
Symi has 6 main villages. The island capital is Chora, which encompasses Gialos, the port of Symi with its quaint buildings, and the picturesque area of Chorio. You can get from Gialos to Chorio by walking 500 steps along the Kali Strata path. Most shops, restaurants and hotels are in the two villages of the capital, but there are several tavernes and local shops all over the island.
These are the main villages of Symi:
- Chorio - Ano Symi
Impressive building of neoclassical design in the capital of Symi
Useful information about Symi
Symi is one of the most popular and sought-after destinations in the Dodecanese. There are many traveler services and visitor amenities, such as supermarkets, gas stations, ATM machines, pharmacies, car rentals, and 2 medical centers in Chora. Moreover, you can find shops, restaurants, bars, and vacation rentals all over the island.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Symi
Here are some useful contacts for your trip to Symi:
- Symi Port Authority: +302246071205
- Gialos Multipurpose Regional Medical Center: +302246071290
- Chorio Multipurpose Regional Medical Center: +302246071316
- Police station: +302246071111
- Symi citizen service center (KEP): +302246072569
- European Emergency Number: 112
Transportation in Symi
You can move around Symi by car, motorcycle or bicycle, as well as by intercity bus, regular taxis and water taxis. Buses, taxis and water taxis take travelers around the island, connecting Chora with the main beaches and villages of the island.
For more flexibility during your stay, we recommend bringing your own car on the ferry from Piraeus or rent one on the island. There are car rental agencies, where you can get a car, a motorcycle or a bike to explore Symi.
Ports in Symi
There are 2 ports in Symi: Gialos (Symi Port) and Panormitis. Gialos is the main port of the island. It is located in Chora and serves ferry routes from Piraeus and to more islands of the Dodecanese and the North Aegean.
The port of Panormitis is located on the southwestern part of the island and it mainly serves routes to Rhodes, as well as to the port of Gialos. There are boats for day-trips and beach access leaving from both ports of Symi.
At the port of Gialos you can find hotels, car rentals, restaurants, grocery stores, cafés, and other visitor amenities. There are not many traveler services at the small port of Panormitis, but you can have a coffee or grab a bite at one of the few shops and restaurants.
The picture-perfect port of Symi in Gialos
Island hopping from Symi
Symi is an ideal destination for island hopping, as there are regular ferry routes to many islands of the Dodecanese and the North Aegean Sea. You can travel directly by ferry from Symi to the following islands:
On Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries, you can see all ferry routes and schedules from Symi and plan the perfect getaway. Find all island-hopping options from Symi and book your trip in the Aegean Sea in just a few clicks!
Symi ferry: schedules and tickets
You can travel to Symi by ferry from the port of Piraeus in Athens all year round. The route is normally operated by Blue Star Ferries and there are at least 2-4 weekly routes during the summer months. The ferry crossing from Piraeus to Symi lasts 15 hours on average. Ferry ticket prices start at around €63.
Tip: since the Piraeus - Symi ferry ride is long, we recommend booking a cabin in advance to enjoy the trip in privacy and comfort.
Alternatively, many travelers also choose to get to Symi from Rhodes. There are frequent ferry routes from the port of Rhodes to both ports in Symi. The ferry time from Rhodes to Symi ranges from 1 hour to 1.5 hours. There are 2-4 daily crossings during the summer and around 6 weekly Rhodes -Symi ferry routes off-season. Tickets for this route start at €8.
Tip: you can also choose Symi as a day-trip destination if you are on vacation in Rhodes (or vice versa). Find out what to do in Symi in 1 day!
Windmill in a wild remote location in Symi
Where to book ferry tickets to Symi online
Find all ferry schedules and book cheap ferry tickets to Symi online on Ferryhopper. Check available routes, compare prices from all ferry companies, and book ferry tickets to Symi at no extra cost!