Where to stay in Symi

symi-accommodation Symi doesn’t have a huge selection of hotels and holiday accommodation partly because the vast majority of visitors to the island are day trippers from the much bigger and more popular neighbouring island of Rhodes.

A shortage of fresh water and a decree strictly controlling modern construction in the island’s main port town have also kept a tight rein on the development of new tourist facilities.

Funnily enough accommodation can be easier to come by in July and August than in the spring and autumn which are popular times to visit because of Symi’s searing summer heat.

Rooms owners sometimes tout their wares on the harbourfront as the ferries dock. Otherwise the Symi Visitor Office, on the north side of the harbour, may be able to help you find a place to bed down if you arrive without a reservation.

Definitely book well in advance if you want to stay at the island’s classiest hotel, the A-category Aliki on the waterfront in Gialos. This beautifully restored neoclassical mansion, built in 1895, is widely regarded as being one of the most beautiful hotels in the Greek islands.

The building was renovated and redecorated in 2000 and now offers old world elegance in sumptuous rooms furnished with Italian antiques. Some of the rooms have a sea view and there’s a lovely waterside terrace where breakfast and evening drinks are served.

The roof terrace provides spectacular 360-degree views of the town, sea and mountains. The hotel is fully air-conditioned which is unusual for Symi where much of the holiday accommodation is without either fans or AC units despite the oppressive summer heat.

As a cheaper alternative head for one of the self-catering studios or cheap and cheerful pensions which pepper the town. Pension Catherinettes, above the restaurant of the same name, offers reasonably priced spotlessly clean rooms in an historic building overlooking the harbour.

Some of the rooms have balconies with sea views and beautiful painted ceilings. The self-catering Dorian Studios, on a hillside overlooking the port, include some lovely rooms with traditional loft-style sleeping areas. Five of the studios have air conditioning.

More accommodation is available at the fishing village of Pedhi, to the east of Horio, which is a burgeoning seaside resort with several domatia and the well-equipped Pedi Beach Hotel. All the hotel bedrooms are air-conditioned and most have sea views.

To the west of Gialos at Nimborios Bay there’s the Hotel Nirides complex of self-catering apartments which all have sea views and enjoy a tranquil setting well away from the hustle and bustle of the port.

If it’s peace and quiet you’re craving, you might want to check into a pilgrim’s room at the Taxiarchis Michail Panormitis monastery at the southern end of the island. You can bed down for the night at the monastery in return for a small donation.

Pedi beach Hotel

pedi-beach-hotel-symi The Hotel Pedi beach provides rooms with sea or mountain views. Each is equipped with satellite TV, radio and minibar. Wi-Fi access is available at an additional cost and the rooms are air-conditioned in summer. Daily housekeeping is provided.

The hotel’s tavern is open all day and serves a full breakfast as well as a dinner buffet. Snacks, fresh juices, cocktails and a variety of drinks are offered at the bar.

Other facilities include a games room with satellite TV and a library. The large car park is accessible free of charge and you can benefit from the free shuttle service to/from the port, on request.

Iapetos Village hotel

hotel-symi The hotel located in the heart of Symi Town, is surrounded by a 500 m² garden with palm trees and paved courtyards. It offers traditional accommodation and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. It has a free-form swimming pool with a sauna and a bar.

Each unit opens to a balcony or patio with pool and garden views. They have air conditioning and an LCD TV with satellite channels. The private bathroom includes a hydromassage shower cabin, bathrobes and slippers. Some accommodation types are self-contained, while others are split over 2 floors.

Iapetos Village offers a shuttle to and from Symi Port, 200 meters away. The organized beach of Nos is about 1.3 km away. Free private parking is available on site.

Symi Garden

symi-garden-studios Symi Garden Studios offers independent studios a few steps from the port. A bank, supermarket and taverns can be reached within a 2-minute walk.

Decorated in bright colours, the studios at Symi Garden have traditional features, such as exposed beams and built-in beds. They include a kitchenette, air conditioning, TV and hairdryer. Each also has a safe.

All studios have a panoramic view. You will find lounge chairs and hammocks in the lovely courtyard with terrace, surrounded by trees and colorful flowers.

150 meters away, water taxis will take you to the beaches of the island. Symi Garden offers free Wi-Fi throughout the property and free parking on site.