The island’s main town of Symi is like a picture postcard with tavernas, bakeries, and cafes lining the waterfront. It gets busy with day-trippers during high season.
Symi also has a hidden gem that recently beat out the world’s most luxurious, fancy spots for the title of the most beautiful restaurant in the world.
Despite its rich history, Symi is still a sleepy island idyll. Visitors enjoy its gorgeous beaches, quaint villages and friendly locals. Symi has passed through many hands over the years and each of them left their mark on its culture, food and traditions.
The most popular beaches on the island include Nos, Emporios and Pedi. You can also visit secluded coves and bays to take a dip in the crystal clear azure waters. After spending your day relaxing on the beach, you can head to one of the waterfront taverns for a bite to eat. Try the grilled octopus and a refreshing glass of ouzo on ice!
The most famous landmarks on Symi are the town of Symi and the Panormitis Monastery. You can take a boat tour to see these sites or you can rent a car or scooter in the city and explore the island on your own!
Symi’s rich maritime heritage is celebrated at the Nautical Museum, housed in a neoclassical building. Its collections of maps, models and tools demonstrate how the island has long been a centre for ship-building and sponge fishing.
Taverna Dafnes, a little way west of the town and close to Pedi beach, is one of the best places for seafood on the island. Their signature Symi shrimp are famous and they also serve delectable calamari, fish and other shellfish.
Another taverna that has become popular with visitors is Apostoli’s – a traditional taverna, beach and mini market. It’s a bit more sophisticated than it used to be with cocktails and Illy coffee but it retains its traditional mezze menu. It’s the last stop on the taxi boat run from Symi harbour or if you walk there from Nimborio or Chorio, and has sunbeds and umbrellas for hire as well as two clean modern toilets. It’s a great choice for families with younger children.
The restaurant offers a wide range of Greek and Mediterranean dishes. Its food is delicious and affordable. Its location is convenient for travelers and the staff is friendly. It also has a nice atmosphere and excellent decor.
The most famous dish on the island is symiako garidaki, tiny shrimps fried to delicate and sweet perfection. Away from seafood, the restaurant serves traditional dishes such as misokofti – a type of moustalevria made with ripe fragosika and corn starch.
Symi is a popular destination, especially during peak tourist season from May to early November. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid the crowds and save money. For example, traveling during the shoulder season from Easter to the end of June or September is less expensive and has cooler temperatures. It is also the best time to enjoy hiking on the island.
One of the most beautiful restaurants in the world, The Secret Garden, is located on the tiny Greek island of Symi. The quaint restaurant has won the hearts of many travelers, and its humble surroundings have made it a favorite among foodies. The tavern features a variety of dishes that will delight your taste buds, including grilled mushrooms and fresh ceviche.
A trip to Symi isn’t complete without taking a boat tour around the island. These trips are offered down by the port and can provide a new perspective of the island’s landmarks such as the Kastro.
Another great option for foodies is the local bakeries, where you can find a variety of tasty cookies and breads. You can also try some of the famous pies. In addition, there are plenty of bars where you can drink a cup of coffee and listen to live music. Some of these include Yialos Harbor, the traditional Lefteris’ Kafenion and Porte cafe-bar in Ano Symi.