Welcome home! On the second part of my journey I am going to take you on a tour of my favorite (I'm biased) island of Greece, the gorgeous Symi!
I grew up on this island and every year I fall in love with it in a new way. This year I want to share with you some of my favorite parts of it and hope that it will inspire you to take a trip to this little drop of heaven just a hop, skip and jump away from Rhodes.
There are, I would say 7 main beaches on Symi, each of which you have to take a little taxi boat over to bar 2 of them.
Nos - Mainland - To be honest I wouldn't ever normally go to this beach as its too man made for me... BUT if you are just visiting for the day and don't fancy grabbing a taxi boat then this beach is easy to walk around to and grab a dip, ride some jet ski's if you're feeling wild and most importantly there is food so you won't die of hunger. If you are feeling a little more adventurous however hitch a ride on a scooter or Rent one from Jimmy's and head around to a little spot all the locals go to called...
Yala - This is a gorgeous little stretch of beach in-between Nos and Nimborio which is one of the most picturesque places you have ever seen, so its worth the trip. They have a little beach bar where you can get coffee, souvlaki and whatnot! For me if you're staying main land this is the winner!
St Marina (Pictured above) - The Comfortable Beach - Also another fave to the locals this is the first beach you hit on your taxi boat journey. The water here is crystal! Again not a fave of mine but I can't deny that the water is dreamy. They have a little restaurant you can grab lunch and if you do, don't forget to order the mini calamari (cause you'll die... Of Joy). Equipped with all the amenities, sun beds, bar, toilets, most tourists and families feel the most comfortable here.
St Nicholas - The kids beach! I mean its not just for kids, but basically. This is the only sandy beach on Symi and is also accessible to walk to if you're feeling over enthusiastic and fancy a trek in 40 degree heat. With little sun beds and umbrellas it's a cute little cove that parents can let their kids run havoc on. This is also a spot for some cliff jumping with friends - I mean after the walk it will be the first thing you want to do. But fear not this is also the 2nd spot on the taxi boat if you're lazy like moi! The restaurant here is one of my faves with homemade Greek yums, choose any item on the menu you can't go wrong.
St George (Pictured above) - The Rustic Beach - Pack your bag full of Spanakopita and tons of water and head to this idillic gem! The water here is insane, see through, turquoise abyss of heaven. There are no umbrellas or bars or restaurants just you and nature. I don't suggest this to anyone that has not yet got a tan, wait for a few days in to head here as the shade is limited and I would rather you didn't burn to a crisp. Put your snorkel on and get lost in all the fishes living thier lives under the sea.
Nanou (Pictured above) - Relax - This beach is one of the last on the Taxi boat journey and is also the most peaceful place on earth! This is usually my first stop when I head to Symi to unwind and shed off any stress I have brought with me on holiday. This place is most certain to make me forget all my troubles. With a tiny little restaurant with home cooked food and sun beds free of charge stay here all day and take in the deep blue.
Marathunda (Pictured above) - My Ultimate Fave - Now there are two reasons this beach gives me life - No. 1 I can drive my scooter all the way there through the mountains and No. 2 Nothing beats the setting. You can grab a taxi boat here but only at certain times so make sure to check the schedule in the harbor. Get there early grab yourself a prime position sun bed, order your coffee and dream. The water is so glorious you will never want to get out and the restaurant..... THE RESTAURANT!!! Go with an empty stomach and then proceed to fill it here - I will elaborate a little later.
Food being the thing that keeps you alive and the most delicious part of every day is the most important and these places are my favorite haunts on the island.
Pantelis - This is a gorgeous Seafood spot right next to the sea in the harbor, be sure to book a table in advance as this place is always packed because of how damn amazing the food is! Imagine giant plates off Seafood Pasta with everything you can fathom, Squid ink risotto that will melt in your mouth and let's not forget the reason I keep coming back for more, the Feta Cheese in Filo with Honey. Dreams.
Los - Run by a couple of my best friends Yiannis and Konstantinos, try something a little different from your normal Greek meal and grab some incredible, made in front of you, fresh Sushi! Not only sushi though all the trimmings along with Lobster Bruchetta, the yummiest Avacado and Crab Salad I have ever eaten. This place is a must try and if you stay late enough you can head inside as the restaurant turns into a Nightclub at night where you can dance the night away till the sun comes up.
Mythos - Always a favorite for me this gorgeous restaurant is set up above on a rooftop just as you start to make your way out of the main harbor towards Horio. I highly recommend trying Stavros's tasting menu that consists of delicious fish all the way to tender meat dishes. The best part about it is that the food will keep coming until you say stop... SO my happy place obviously! I can safely say I have only ever got through this entire menu you once... With great difficulty.... BUT it was worth every mouthful.
Marathunda - Back at it again! Like I said, heaven on heaven on heaven on the beach. Order the Symi Shrimps, Zucchini Balls and Moussaka and you will not be sorry. Overlooking the sea, chilling with some goats in the process nothing could taste better.
- Things you need to know about Symi -
There are so many little parts of it that need to be explored - Yialos (The Harbor), Chorio (Upstairs Village), Pedi and Panormidtis are just a few. You can grab the bus from the harbor that will take you almost anywhere along with the taxi's and better yet like I said you can drive grab a scooter. The other way up to Chorio is up the Kalistrata which is around 500 steps up to the Village... Now usually I would say I am too lazy for this and I not gonna lie I haven't done it in a while but if you're a first timer you have too or you will not have experienced Symi at its fullest. With all the stunning architecture on the way up and little boutique shops and bars its well worth the workout!
There are number of night spots but my top 3 are Harani bar, Katoi (Axinos) and Los. After the clock strikes midnight these places will be popping and if you want a dance and great company head to one of these and you will be welcomed with open arms. Be prepared for many shots of Tequila, learning how to Greek dance and leaving at 7am when the sun comes up.
As I am from here I always stay with family or friends but if you are looking for some wonderful accommodation I suggest you check out The Opera House and The Garden Studio's both located in Yialos (The Harbor).
I have so much to say about Symi that its's so difficult to fit into one post but I have tried to fit in all my favourite parts of it with out boring the crap out of you with my ramblings. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have ANY questions feel free to ask me in the comment box below.