Symi – A Boutique Island

  • by XpatAthens
  • Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Symi – A Boutique Island

“I don’t need much. Just give me a glass of Ouzo, an octopus to grill, a small boat to take me to a remote beach and nothing else. No trendy beach clubs, no seen and be seen. Just a simple life.” My travel companions interrupt me immediately. “And what about your parties in Amsterdam, your lounge bars, city breaks, Nikki Beach and Body Combat training?” After five days I managed to prove myself and I invite everyone to take part in my undemanding, low-key and yet unforgettable experience on Symi, possibly my favourite small island in Europe. No trendsetters allowed.

It had been fifteen years since I last visited Symi, a Mediterranean destination that leaves a lasting impression. As you arrive in Symi’s harbour you’ll feel like you’re melting into a picture-perfect postcard; it’s truly breathtaking. The harbour welcomes you like a mother welcomes her long lost children.

My “Back to Basics” holiday happened to be far from basic. Many expats have further enhanced this little paradise with bars, boutique hotels, shops and restaurants but Symi’s unique character has remained intact.

The island has 7 taxis and 1 bus that leaves on the hour and will take you uphill to Panormitis, a beautiful monastery. Pastel, neo-classical houses are scattered around the hills and overlook the harbour. This setting oozes Mediterranean allure, as if a stylist has designed it that way and the harbour extends towards crystal clear water where blue chairs and tables are covered with white linen, set symmetrically giving the illusion that you can fall in. Taxi boats depart each morning to a beach of your choice. For just nine euros per person you can get a return ticket, which allows you to truly get away from it all.

We met the charming Italian Christina who runs the beach of Agia Marina with her French Husband. Their daily offerings of fresh food are fantastic; a winning combination of Italian, French and Greek that will truly tickle your taste buds. For three euros you can hire a sun bed and it is the only beach on the island where you enter the sea by walking over imported sand as opposed to pebbles and stones.

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By Fred van Eijk