Exploring Symi

After a wonderful stay on Rhodes we hopped on a boat over to the tiny, colourful island of Symi.

A world heritage site, life on Symi is beautiful, simple and feels a little like stepping back in time.

No lavish hotels, high rises, golf courses, nightclubs or even swimming pools.

Just you, the cobbled streets, the sea and all that Greek food!

We found a little old hotel in the harbour and it was love at first sight. Every day!

We’d awake to the sound of the sea, sunlight glittering into the room and the smell of fresh pastries wafting up the stairs.

Dressing quickly (there’s no call for makeup on Symi) we’d follow our noses down to the kitchen, floating on a waft of coffee like a couple of Disney mice.

Then, every day, we’d have breakfast together. Right here –

On the water’s edge, overlooking the pretty pastel houses of Symi.

Aliki Hotel was built in 1895 and has been passed down through the family ever since.

Now Mario and his brother run it while they’re mother sits crocheting in the reception.

It’s one of the few hotels on the island that you don’t have to climb any steps to get to, which is a relief as you’ll be clambering up and down them around town on your adventures all day long!

Symi Harbour is the biggest town on Symi (and it’s not all that big).

It is a technicolour dream.

Oversized sunnies

Button up mini dress – from a brand called Kimchi Blue I cannot get enough of! (More picks below)

Shell basket clutch // Woven sandals

Be sure to spend a little time exploring, you can get lost among some of the pretties streets in the world.

Stop and chat to locals along the way.

A quick “kali mera!” (good morning) will go a long way.

Talking of a long way, did I mention the steps?

Comfy shoes are a plus and shady corners become a god-send.

Be sure to stop and try some cheese from the chap who roams around selling it from his boot.

Even just for the novelty of it!

Spend a little time on the water’s edge just taking it all in.

There are plenty of bars to draw you in for a coffee in the morning and a few cocktails at night.

Be sure to slip past the front line of shops, selling a dizzying array of sponges and baskets, and head for the back streets. That’s where you’ll find the local shops.

You’ll be glad you wore comfy shoes after a morning spent getting well and truly lost!

Grab a cooling drink on the front.

Maybe even a cooling dip?

Or hop onto a water taxi and make for the beach.

Gliding out through glittering, glass like water.

This time we made our way to Agia Marina, a short 5min ride away from town.

A turquoise blue bay, flanked by waving white parasols, almost to ourselves.

We ordered coffees from the bougainvillea covered kiosk and took them to the sea.

Blue & white swimsuit

It sure beats a quick starbucks back in London!

Striped swimsuit

We wallowed until lunch.

Which we ate at the little taverna on the water.

Saganaki (fried cheese), Greek salad,

Symi shrimp (little ones cooked in garlic that you eat whole. They’re almost like a cross between prawns and crisps and taste best dunked in tsatziki.)

We ate gazing out to sea and sipping on ice cold Greek wine.

Utter bliss.

Sparkler earrings

Having spent the afternoon reading, swimming to and from the little island (with the prettiest little white church on it), we headed home shortly before sunset.

Freshly cleaned, de-salted and ready for supper.

We grabbed a drink at Tsati Cocktail Bar (one of the prettiest in town, if you ask me).

Then had a little nibble at a restaurant further along the harbour.

^ You might recognise this snap from May’s touching post. A must read for anyone thinking of giving up on something they’ve longed for.

My clever, wise and very beautiful mamma.

Together we watched the sun set over the town.

Off the shoulder dress

Pom pom basket bag // Striped espadrilles

And had an excellent supper at Pantelis.

Garlic prawns.

Aubergine moussaka.

Greek salad.

Fried cod with the best, thickest, tastiest garlic sauce.

It kept us going, grazing, and chatting late into the night.

I don’t think days come much better than that!

Come and Symi tomorrow for some more Greek adventures…


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  • It looks like a beautiful place! X

  • This post makes me just want to call in sick at work and jump on a plane to Greece to explore! Love the pictures and the dresses. I have to stay that my dress envy continues big time on here 🙂


  • The slow pace

    I’m in my coffee break and this post has made me felt a little bit on holidays! Back to work now but I wanted to tell you that you should go to Formentera! Those clear waters have reminded me of Formentera… You will enjoy it!

  • Peppermint Dolly

    Coffee whilst sitting in the sea – major yes please!!


  • These posts couldn’t come at a more perfect time as I have just booked to go to Lindos in September. Thank you Rose for the inspiration, Symi has definitely been added to the activities list!x

  • We visited Rhodes a few times when I was growing up, but I’ve never heard of Symi before! It looks absolutely stunning – especially all the colourful cobblestone streets! It looks like you had an amazing time there – the food looks amazing too.
    xo April | April Everday

  • looking at those food pics make me hungry! Looks like an amazing trip!

  • Kari Guastella

    What a stunning place to visit! I love that clear water!

  • What a wonderful vacation! I’m loving your posts from Greece 🙂 They remind me the cruise around the Greek Isles I went on last summer.


  • Emma F

    I have visited Rhodes twice, but never made it to Symi and you really make me wish I had! I’m going to Corfu this year, hopefully it’ll be just as beautiful as Symi x


  • Oh wow, it looks amazing and the pictures are incredible!! I think Greece has the most beautiful waters I’ve ever seen, so clear <3

  • Kelly

    Wow, it really doesn’t get much better than this! Does your Mom take all of these photos of you? If so, she does a terrific job!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • I adore Symi, we fell in love with it a few years ago and I’m glad to see it hasn’t changed too much. Read your mum’s Instagram too, such beautiful words and it’s so lovely you were able to take her back! I am 100% going to take my mum on a little trip this year. As one of four two, she definitely deserves it after the 27 years we’ve all put her through!

    Katie <3


  • Melissa

    So beautiful

  • Shahin

    Coffie table on sea is most attractive. It will be more for magaluf boat party

  • This little town looks gorgeous! I have only been to the very populated spots in Greece – Athens, Santorini & Mykonos. My husband and I have been discussing another trip to Greece because it is still one of our favorite places to visit. I think i may need to add this to our list! x michelle