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A mountainous and craggy island, sitting to the north of Rhodes, within sight of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, Symi once had a population of over 20,000 souls working in the boat building and sponge industries. Now a somewhat off the beaten track island, the population of 2,500 is mostly based around the main town and harbour (Symi Town) which is widely regarded as one of the prettiest places in the Dodecanese.

The main town is divided into two sections – the waterfront area of Gialos and Chorio where old colourful mansions rising up the hillside are picture perfect. Wherever you are the views are quite spectacular. This is where the crowds meet in the evening in the harbour tavernas – in particular to try the local delicacy, Symi Shrimps, pan-fried and eaten whole.

During the day most visitors head for the beaches, none of which are very big but they’re clean and have a relaxed vibe. Some are quiet and secluded, others livelier with bars and tavernas. Alternatively hike the valleys and hillsides for some authentic island views. It’s well worth making your way to the south of the island to visit the monastery at Panormitis.

Our recommendation: If you’re island-hopping you should definitely come here for a couple of days and nights and enjoy Symi’s unspoiled charms.

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