Symi is perhaps the most “Greek” of the Greek Islands. We say this because it has retained its Greekness and continues to preserve the local way of life so very well, that many people choose to retire here, just to enjoyer a slower pace of life.
If you have decided to see Rhodes during your cruise, then it is highly likely that your cruise itinerary will include a visit to Symi, this jewel of a place being only a few short hours’ motoring away. The first port of call when arriving into Symi from Rhodes is a bay with a seafront monastery known as the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Taxiarchis Mihail Panormitis. It was built in 18th Century Venetian style and is said to have the highest baroque bell tower in the world! Panormitis Bay also has a bakehouse where you can buy some Greek cookies and pastries.
It is fun to sail up the eastern side of the Symi while on a best yacht charter Greece and drop anchor in the main harbour, “Yialos”. This is one of the most beautiful Greek ports in all of Greece, with beautiful neo-classical styled houses, a vast array of shops and boutiques, and a fair sprinkling of Greek tavernas.
If you have more time to spend on Symi, be sure to visit some of the picture-perfect bays along the eastern side of the island, such as the bay known as “Agios Georgios Disalonas” – with its dramatic backdrop of soaring cliffs and ragged gorges. It’s no wonder that this bay was chosen as a location setting for the film, “The Guns of Navarone”.
Symi harbour is where all the action is in the summertime: shops, cafes, bars, sweet-treat eateries, restaurants, even more restaurants and the ever-present Greek bakehouse. There is a walkway up to the old town, Chorio, located on the hill above the harbour and once you are up there, it's easy to get lost exploring alleyways as well as archways leading into the long-abandoned gardens of houses ruined during World War II. It's also fun to seek out the various churches and chapels up on the hill, whose courtyards provide endless vantage points from which to take the perfect photograph of Symi's harbour for the memory box called Gulet holidays Greek islands.
Symi can be visited in a day, but that would mean you would have to come back for a gulet cruise Greece. We recommend at least two days spent in the main harbour and anchored in one of the islands' many beautiful bays.