The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Rhodes to Symi Day Trip: Plan the Perfect Greek-Island-Hopping Adventure


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The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Rhodes to Symi Day Trip: Plan the Perfect Greek-Island-Hopping Adventure


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When I was initially planning my European babymoon, I debated whether my husband and I should do the popular Rhodes to Symi day trip.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I didn’t want to visit Symi. In fact, this Greek gem had been on my bucket-list for years, I just wasn’t sure if a quick popover would ultimately feel rushed. I also didn’t know if it would be a hassle to hop from one island to another without an overnight stay.

Well, I’m happy to share that a day trip to Symi wasn’t only super simple, but also super enjoyable as well! Plus, it gave us more time to soak up one of the best Rhodes hotels with a pool as well as one of the most primely-located boutique hotels in Lindos.

Not to mention, Symi has to be one of the most stunning – and most underrated – Greek islands I’ve ever been to, so I’m on a mission to spread the word about this gem!

I’ve compiled everything you need for a smooth Rhodes to Symi day trip so that you can cover more ground with less hassle.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

FAQ for a Rhodes to Symi Day Trip

Can You Do a Day Trip from Rhodes to Symi?

You most certainly can! This is actually one of the best ways to get a preview of the vastly underrated island of Symi, which many would otherwise skip.

Symi is closer to Rhodes than many people realize, and the ferry that travels between the two is a direct ride. Also, given that the island doesn’t have its own airport, a day trip from Rhodes is actually one of the most convenient ways to visit.

Where Is Symi Island?

Symi is a Greek island located northwest of Rhodes (and just off the Turkish coast) in the Dodecanese archipelago. It’s part of the “Dodecanese dozen”.

(Though the name “Dodecanese” translates to “12 islands” in Greek, there are actually quite a few more than that. The name refers to the 12 largest islands in the group.)

How Long Is the Ferry Ride from Rhodes to Symi?

You can reach Symi in under two hours from Rhodes! In fact, some ferry rides are as quick as 50 minutes, whereas the longest ride is one hour and 20 minutes.

Is a Day Trip to Symi Worth It?

Now that I’ve made the trip myself, I can unequivocally say that a day trip to Symi is worth it. Rhodes is such a convenient jumping off point and the island is small enough where you can get a good lay of the land in a short stint.

How Much Is the Boat Trip to Symi from Rhodes?

The cost of a boat between Rhodes and Symi will depend on a number of factors, including whether you’re traveling as a foot passenger or with a car, the type of vessel, as well as the ferry company itself. There are also a number of deals offered at less popular travel times, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.

Generally tickets can range anywhere from about $33/pp up to over $100/pp depending on the factors mentioned.

Getting from Rhodes to Symi by Ferry

Regardless of how you decide to make the journey to Symi, you’ll travel by sea, as there’s no airport on Symi island. We traveled by passenger ferry.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

The Rhodes to Symi ferry operates year-round, but offers the most journeys during the high season (May through September).

You can either travel by ferry with a car or as a foot passenger. Since hubby and I were traveling without a car for this particular trip, we booked a passenger ferry.

The ferry companies that serve this route are Dodekanisos Seaways, Sea Dreams, Blue Star Ferries, and Sebeco Lines (which I read some choice words about and would personally avoid).

FUN FACT: Dodekanisos Seaways operates the fastest ferry from Rhodes to Symi in just 50 minutes.

We took Sea Dreams for the initial ride from Rhodes to Symi (for a duration of one hour and 5 minutes) and then Dodekanisos Seaways back to Rhodes (for a duration of 50 minutes).

While I normally prefer to stick with one company, the ferry times offered at Dodekanisos Seaways were better for our return trip and gave us more time on Symi.

You can check out the current ferry schedules and pricing here.

I recommend booking your tickets as soon as you’re sure on the timing for the best deal, as prices tend to increase as your departure looms closer.

Getting from Rhodes to Symi by Organized Tour

If you’d enjoy a more hands-off approach to your Rhodes to Symi day trip, an organized day tour to this lovely Greek gem may be more your speed.

There are numerous tours to choose from that run for about eight hours, on average. Each offers its own perks, whether that be swim stops along the way, meal/beverage services, and/or hotel pick-up for added convenience.

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Determining How to Get Around Symi

There are several different options for getting around Symi, depending on what you’d like to see and do.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Here are a few factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Would you like to cover a lot of ground or prefer to take it slow and savor?
  • Are you interested in exploring remote villages or prefer the buzz of a main harbor?
  • Are you interested in some hiking (and climbing steep steps) or would you prefer to avoid it?

Getting Around Symi on Foot

If you’d prefer a slower experience and less of a jam-packed itinerary, you may enjoy exploring the island on foot.

Given its compact size, Symi is ideal for exploring on foot. The main harbor area is very walkable and won’t involve any strenuous climbing.

That said, if you’re looking to venture out beyond the area where the ferry drops you off, it will involve some steeper climbs, walking up numerous steps, etc.

Although I was initially a little uncertain about how it would be to visit the island without a car, I truly enjoyed a leisurely day of slow travel on my own two (heavily-pregnant!) feet.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland
The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

While we personally stayed close to the main port of Gialos (also known as Symi Port) for the majority of our day, we did stroll through most of the shops, relaxed on the beach, ate a delicious lunch (more on this later!), and even stopped for a pick-me-up before catching our evening ferry back to Rhodes.

Granted, I was 30+ weeks pregnant at the time and didn’t want to overdo it with the activities, but even so, I didn’t feel like I was majorly missing out by not having a vehicle.

All of this to say, don’t feel bad about not renting a car to see Symi. You can still enjoy this small island on foot if you’re just visiting for the day.

Getting Around Symi by Rental Car

Despite Symi’s small size, this Dodecanese island isn’t car-free. So if you’d like more flexibility for your day trip to Symi (and you’re willing to bring a car over on the ferry from Rhodes or rent one once you arrive), getting around by car might be the best way to go.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

There are two ferry operators that can accommodate car transports: Dodekanisos Seaways and Blue Star Ferries.

Keep in mind that Sea Dreams and Sebeco are exclusively for foot passengers and cannot accommodate cars.

Alternatively, you can rent a car on Symi itself along the main port of Gailos. One of the popular agencies is Glaros Car and Bike Rentals.

PRO TIP: If possible, hire a small car, as this will make it easier to navigate the island as well as park.

Getting Around Symi by Taxi

If you’d prefer the freedom of being a passenger without the hassle of navigating, you may consider taking a taxi instead. Just keep in mind that there isn’t a great availability of taxis, so booking ahead will be to your benefit.

You’ll find the taxi stand near the bus terminal by the main port of Gialos.

Getting Around Symi by Public Bus

Traveling by bus can be a convenient way to get around the island, depending on your desired itinerary. There are two bus routes available, and both leave from the terminal in the main port.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

The most popular bus route (and the one offering more frequent service) goes from Gialos to Chorio (located atop the hill) and Pedi, while the other runs from Gialos to Panormitis Monastery (the famous monastery on the island).

Single bus tickets run as cheap as 2EUR for a one-way journey and between 8EUR – 10EUR for the trip to Panormitis Monastery. Only cash is accepted.

Unfortunately, bus schedules are not available online; you’ll need to refer to the printed bus schedule by the bus stop. 

Getting Around Symi by Boat

While perhaps a bit more complicated to arrange than the other options, a beautiful way to experience Symi island is by boat.

(Not to mention, this is also the only way to access some of the island’s most remote beaches!)

There are several boat rental agencies located along (or near) the harbor.

Fun Things to Do in Symi

Capture the Beauty of Gialos

Without exaggeration, Symi is one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever set foot on.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Despite seeing the island pictured on numerous postcards and in magazines, nothing compares to seeing this Greek gem in person! It was a truly jaw-dropping moment for me as we pulled up to the port on our ferry.

I must have snapped about 200 photos just along the main port of Gialos alone!

Although pictures don’t do this beautiful island justice, you’d still be amiss by not bringing your camera along (or at the very least, your phone) to capture it.

Climb Up to Chorio

While I’m normally gung-ho on a healthy climb with a rewarding view on my travels, I was feeling decidedly less ambitious at 30+ weeks pregnant.

That said, I still wanted to include the popular climb up to Chorio via Kali Strata in this guide, as I’m sure it’s well worth it!

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

If you’re not familiar, the Kali Strata refers to a staircase of approximately 500(!) steps leading up from the port area to Chorio, Symi’s old town, and the Kastro (ruins of the a former castle).

Hit the Beach

Beaches on Symi (at least those by the main harbor area) are pebbly, low-key, and pleasant.

We found ourselves as Paradeisos Beach (a.k.a Nos) by following the sign.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Here, we enjoyed the chill vibe and gorgeous mountain backdrop.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Just keep in mind that there are no facilities here (as evidenced by the fact that I changed into my swimsuit behind what looked like a former beach shack).

Beyond Paradeisos, there are a couple of other beaches you can check out. One of the easiest ways to hop about them is by taxi boat, which you can hire along the main port.

How to Get Here:

You can reach Paradeisos Beach with a brief (and slightly uphill) walk from the harbor. Just continue past the bus station and keep an eye out for the beach sign that I included above.

You can find the exact location on Google Maps here.

Dine Along the Water

Waterside dining is always a must for me when in Greece, and Symi was no exception. Here, there’s a smattering of inviting seaside restaurants to choose from, both along the port and just off of it as well.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

We ended up at Tholos Restaurant where I had, without exaggeration, the best tuna fish salad of my life. The food here is super fresh and tastes like it was caught just before being served. (I’m sure it was!)

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland
The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

One of my favorite parts of dining here is that nothing goes to waste. One of the servers tossed the final remains of a nearby table’s meal into the water for eager fish to enjoy as well. It was delightful to watch and oh-so-Greek.

Beyond the sea-level dining spots, there’s another fantastic restaurant option I read about (that I’m sad we missed out on), Zoe’s Taverna. This one is located atop a hilltop offering stunning views of the bay.

My (formerly) pregnant self was absolutely not making the noble climb when we were there, but you could also head up by bus or public taxi.

If you manage to dine here, please let me know how it is!

Shop for Local Goodies

As you stroll along the main port, you’ll discover a bunch of local shops selling souvenirs and island treasures. Here, you’ll find plenty of trinkets to pick up for your loved ones back home. Plus, it’s always nice to support the local economy in this way.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

(At the time, I was actually on the hunt for a onesie for our baby-to-be but couldn’t find one that was small enough for a newborn.)

FUN FACT: One of the staple souvenirs on the island is natural sponge, as the first Greeks who engaged in sponge diving were from Symi.

Insider Tips for Traveling to Symi

Here are some helpful tips to help you prep for your Rhodes to Symi day trip:

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

  • You need to pick up paper ferry tickets if you book online – While I’m a huge proponent of booking ferry tickets online in advance so you don’t get shut out, keep in mind that you’ll need to pick up paper tickets in person in order to board. When you make your online reservation, your e-ticket will list the ferry office address and hours. I recommend picking up your paper tickets at least a day in advance of your departure, especially if you’re on an earlier ferry. This will help ensure the office is actually open.
  • Arrive to the port early so you don’t miss your departure – If you’re traveling to Symi aboard a ferry as a foot passenger, you’ll generally need to arrive one hour before your departure time. Alternatively, if you’re traveling with a vehicle, you’ll typically need to arrive one hour and 30 minutes in advance.
  • Book an early morning departure and a late return trip – If you want to enjoy the fullest day possible on Symi, I suggest booking one of the earliest departure times and one of the latest return trips. (This may involve booking tickets via two providers, which is what we did.)

Best Places to Stay on Symi

Although this guide is geared toward a Rhodes to Symi day trip, you may inevitably fall under Symi’s spell and decide to spend a night there (or two or three).

If so, you can check out available accommodations here.

 

I hope this post has inspired you to jump on the increasingly-popular Rhodes-to-Symi-day-trip-bandwagon. What questions do you have for me about this stunning island?

Let me know in the comments below!

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards!

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland
The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland
The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

When I was initially planning my European babymoon, I debated whether my husband and I should do the popular Rhodes to Symi day trip.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I didn’t want to visit Symi. In fact, this Greek gem had been on my bucket-list for years, I just wasn’t sure if a quick popover would ultimately feel rushed. I also didn’t know if it would be a hassle to hop from one island to another without an overnight stay.

Well, I’m happy to share that a day trip to Symi wasn’t only super simple, but also super enjoyable as well! Plus, it gave us more time to soak up one of the best Rhodes hotels with a pool as well as one of the most primely-located boutique hotels in Lindos.

Not to mention, Symi has to be one of the most stunning – and most underrated – Greek islands I’ve ever been to, so I’m on a mission to spread the word about this gem!

I’ve compiled everything you need for a smooth Rhodes to Symi day trip so that you can cover more ground with less hassle.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

FAQ for a Rhodes to Symi Day Trip

Can You Do a Day Trip from Rhodes to Symi?

You most certainly can! This is actually one of the best ways to get a preview of the vastly underrated island of Symi, which many would otherwise skip.

Symi is closer to Rhodes than many people realize, and the ferry that travels between the two is a direct ride. Also, given that the island doesn’t have its own airport, a day trip from Rhodes is actually one of the most convenient ways to visit.

Where Is Symi Island?

Symi is a Greek island located northwest of Rhodes (and just off the Turkish coast) in the Dodecanese archipelago. It’s part of the “Dodecanese dozen”.

(Though the name “Dodecanese” translates to “12 islands” in Greek, there are actually quite a few more than that. The name refers to the 12 largest islands in the group.)

How Long Is the Ferry Ride from Rhodes to Symi?

You can reach Symi in under two hours from Rhodes! In fact, some ferry rides are as quick as 50 minutes, whereas the longest ride is one hour and 20 minutes.

Is a Day Trip to Symi Worth It?

Now that I’ve made the trip myself, I can unequivocally say that a day trip to Symi is worth it. Rhodes is such a convenient jumping off point and the island is small enough where you can get a good lay of the land in a short stint.

How Much Is the Boat Trip to Symi from Rhodes?

The cost of a boat between Rhodes and Symi will depend on a number of factors, including whether you’re traveling as a foot passenger or with a car, the type of vessel, as well as the ferry company itself. There are also a number of deals offered at less popular travel times, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.

Generally tickets can range anywhere from about $33/pp up to over $100/pp depending on the factors mentioned.

Getting from Rhodes to Symi by Ferry

Regardless of how you decide to make the journey to Symi, you’ll travel by sea, as there’s no airport on Symi island. We traveled by passenger ferry.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

The Rhodes to Symi ferry operates year-round, but offers the most journeys during the high season (May through September).

You can either travel by ferry with a car or as a foot passenger. Since hubby and I were traveling without a car for this particular trip, we booked a passenger ferry.

The ferry companies that serve this route are Dodekanisos Seaways, Sea Dreams, Blue Star Ferries, and Sebeco Lines (which I read some choice words about and would personally avoid).

FUN FACT: Dodekanisos Seaways operates the fastest ferry from Rhodes to Symi in just 50 minutes.

We took Sea Dreams for the initial ride from Rhodes to Symi (for a duration of one hour and 5 minutes) and then Dodekanisos Seaways back to Rhodes (for a duration of 50 minutes).

While I normally prefer to stick with one company, the ferry times offered at Dodekanisos Seaways were better for our return trip and gave us more time on Symi.

You can check out the current ferry schedules and pricing here.

I recommend booking your tickets as soon as you’re sure on the timing for the best deal, as prices tend to increase as your departure looms closer.

Getting from Rhodes to Symi by Organized Tour

If you’d enjoy a more hands-off approach to your Rhodes to Symi day trip, an organized day tour to this lovely Greek gem may be more your speed.

There are numerous tours to choose from that run for about eight hours, on average. Each offers its own perks, whether that be swim stops along the way, meal/beverage services, and/or hotel pick-up for added convenience.

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Determining How to Get Around Symi

There are several different options for getting around Symi, depending on what you’d like to see and do.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Here are a few factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Would you like to cover a lot of ground or prefer to take it slow and savor?
  • Are you interested in exploring remote villages or prefer the buzz of a main harbor?
  • Are you interested in some hiking (and climbing steep steps) or would you prefer to avoid it?

Getting Around Symi on Foot

If you’d prefer a slower experience and less of a jam-packed itinerary, you may enjoy exploring the island on foot.

Given its compact size, Symi is ideal for exploring on foot. The main harbor area is very walkable and won’t involve any strenuous climbing.

That said, if you’re looking to venture out beyond the area where the ferry drops you off, it will involve some steeper climbs, walking up numerous steps, etc.

Although I was initially a little uncertain about how it would be to visit the island without a car, I truly enjoyed a leisurely day of slow travel on my own two (heavily-pregnant!) feet.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland
The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

While we personally stayed close to the main port of Gialos (also known as Symi Port) for the majority of our day, we did stroll through most of the shops, relaxed on the beach, ate a delicious lunch (more on this later!), and even stopped for a pick-me-up before catching our evening ferry back to Rhodes.

Granted, I was 30+ weeks pregnant at the time and didn’t want to overdo it with the activities, but even so, I didn’t feel like I was majorly missing out by not having a vehicle.

All of this to say, don’t feel bad about not renting a car to see Symi. You can still enjoy this small island on foot if you’re just visiting for the day.

Getting Around Symi by Rental Car

Despite Symi’s small size, this Dodecanese island isn’t car-free. So if you’d like more flexibility for your day trip to Symi (and you’re willing to bring a car over on the ferry from Rhodes or rent one once you arrive), getting around by car might be the best way to go.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

There are two ferry operators that can accommodate car transports: Dodekanisos Seaways and Blue Star Ferries.

Keep in mind that Sea Dreams and Sebeco are exclusively for foot passengers and cannot accommodate cars.

Alternatively, you can rent a car on Symi itself along the main port of Gailos. One of the popular agencies is Glaros Car and Bike Rentals.

PRO TIP: If possible, hire a small car, as this will make it easier to navigate the island as well as park.

Getting Around Symi by Taxi

If you’d prefer the freedom of being a passenger without the hassle of navigating, you may consider taking a taxi instead. Just keep in mind that there isn’t a great availability of taxis, so booking ahead will be to your benefit.

You’ll find the taxi stand near the bus terminal by the main port of Gialos.

Getting Around Symi by Public Bus

Traveling by bus can be a convenient way to get around the island, depending on your desired itinerary. There are two bus routes available, and both leave from the terminal in the main port.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

The most popular bus route (and the one offering more frequent service) goes from Gialos to Chorio (located atop the hill) and Pedi, while the other runs from Gialos to Panormitis Monastery (the famous monastery on the island).

Single bus tickets run as cheap as 2EUR for a one-way journey and between 8EUR – 10EUR for the trip to Panormitis Monastery. Only cash is accepted.

Unfortunately, bus schedules are not available online; you’ll need to refer to the printed bus schedule by the bus stop. 

Getting Around Symi by Boat

While perhaps a bit more complicated to arrange than the other options, a beautiful way to experience Symi island is by boat.

(Not to mention, this is also the only way to access some of the island’s most remote beaches!)

There are several boat rental agencies located along (or near) the harbor.

Fun Things to Do in Symi

Capture the Beauty of Gialos

Without exaggeration, Symi is one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever set foot on.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Despite seeing the island pictured on numerous postcards and in magazines, nothing compares to seeing this Greek gem in person! It was a truly jaw-dropping moment for me as we pulled up to the port on our ferry.

I must have snapped about 200 photos just along the main port of Gialos alone!

Although pictures don’t do this beautiful island justice, you’d still be amiss by not bringing your camera along (or at the very least, your phone) to capture it.

Climb Up to Chorio

While I’m normally gung-ho on a healthy climb with a rewarding view on my travels, I was feeling decidedly less ambitious at 30+ weeks pregnant.

That said, I still wanted to include the popular climb up to Chorio via Kali Strata in this guide, as I’m sure it’s well worth it!

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

If you’re not familiar, the Kali Strata refers to a staircase of approximately 500(!) steps leading up from the port area to Chorio, Symi’s old town, and the Kastro (ruins of the a former castle).

Hit the Beach

Beaches on Symi (at least those by the main harbor area) are pebbly, low-key, and pleasant.

We found ourselves as Paradeisos Beach (a.k.a Nos) by following the sign.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Here, we enjoyed the chill vibe and gorgeous mountain backdrop.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

Just keep in mind that there are no facilities here (as evidenced by the fact that I changed into my swimsuit behind what looked like a former beach shack).

Beyond Paradeisos, there are a couple of other beaches you can check out. One of the easiest ways to hop about them is by taxi boat, which you can hire along the main port.

How to Get Here:

You can reach Paradeisos Beach with a brief (and slightly uphill) walk from the harbor. Just continue past the bus station and keep an eye out for the beach sign that I included above.

You can find the exact location on Google Maps here.

Dine Along the Water

Waterside dining is always a must for me when in Greece, and Symi was no exception. Here, there’s a smattering of inviting seaside restaurants to choose from, both along the port and just off of it as well.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

We ended up at Tholos Restaurant where I had, without exaggeration, the best tuna fish salad of my life. The food here is super fresh and tastes like it was caught just before being served. (I’m sure it was!)

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland
The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

One of my favorite parts of dining here is that nothing goes to waste. One of the servers tossed the final remains of a nearby table’s meal into the water for eager fish to enjoy as well. It was delightful to watch and oh-so-Greek.

Beyond the sea-level dining spots, there’s another fantastic restaurant option I read about (that I’m sad we missed out on), Zoe’s Taverna. This one is located atop a hilltop offering stunning views of the bay.

My (formerly) pregnant self was absolutely not making the noble climb when we were there, but you could also head up by bus or public taxi.

If you manage to dine here, please let me know how it is!

Shop for Local Goodies

As you stroll along the main port, you’ll discover a bunch of local shops selling souvenirs and island treasures. Here, you’ll find plenty of trinkets to pick up for your loved ones back home. Plus, it’s always nice to support the local economy in this way.

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

(At the time, I was actually on the hunt for a onesie for our baby-to-be but couldn’t find one that was small enough for a newborn.)

FUN FACT: One of the staple souvenirs on the island is natural sponge, as the first Greeks who engaged in sponge diving were from Symi.

Insider Tips for Traveling to Symi

Here are some helpful tips to help you prep for your Rhodes to Symi day trip:

The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland

  • You need to pick up paper ferry tickets if you book online – While I’m a huge proponent of booking ferry tickets online in advance so you don’t get shut out, keep in mind that you’ll need to pick up paper tickets in person in order to board. When you make your online reservation, your e-ticket will list the ferry office address and hours. I recommend picking up your paper tickets at least a day in advance of your departure, especially if you’re on an earlier ferry. This will help ensure the office is actually open.
  • Arrive to the port early so you don’t miss your departure – If you’re traveling to Symi aboard a ferry as a foot passenger, you’ll generally need to arrive one hour before your departure time. Alternatively, if you’re traveling with a vehicle, you’ll typically need to arrive one hour and 30 minutes in advance.
  • Book an early morning departure and a late return trip – If you want to enjoy the fullest day possible on Symi, I suggest booking one of the earliest departure times and one of the latest return trips. (This may involve booking tickets via two providers, which is what we did.)

Best Places to Stay on Symi

Although this guide is geared toward a Rhodes to Symi day trip, you may inevitably fall under Symi’s spell and decide to spend a night there (or two or three).

If so, you can check out available accommodations here.

 

I hope this post has inspired you to jump on the increasingly-popular Rhodes-to-Symi-day-trip-bandwagon. What questions do you have for me about this stunning island?

Let me know in the comments below!

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The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland
The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland
The island of Symi is one of the most underrated gems in Greece. Part of the dreamy Dodecanese-island group, Symi is a must-visit if you’re planning to stay in Rhodes. It’s less than a two-hour ferry ride away and offers a stunning port, fun hikes, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a seamless Rhodes to Symi day trip! #symigreece #symiisland