Entertainment and nightlife in Symi

symi-nightlife Symi’s nightlife is fairly low key so don’t come here expecting to find booming night clubs and brash Brit bars. If you’re after all-night “anything goes” partying you’ll be better off in frantic Faliraki on the neighbouring island of Rhodes.

A typical evening out in Symi consists of a sundowner on the harbour front followed by a meal in one of the port’s excellent tavernas.

If you’re visiting between July and September you’ll be able to enjoy the annual Symi Festival which has become an important event in the Greek cultural calendar since its inception in 1995.

Start your evening off with a drink and snack in one of the good quality, authentic ouzeris in Gialos.

To Amoni, on the inland side of the main square, is an inexpensive ouzeri where you can enjoy an early evening aperitif with tasty seafood nibbles. Or try Dhimitris, on the south quay, which serves up some innovative items including hokhlioalo (sea snails) and the miniature shrimps which are caught in local waters.

The finest taverna in town is without doubt the Hellenikon Restaurant and Wine Cellar, named by Olympic Airways in-flight magazine as one of the top 10 best restaurants in the whole of Greece. You’ll find it opposite the town square behind the bridge in Gialos.

Every meal here starts with a personal consultation with wine master and chef Nikos Psarros who will help you to make a selection from his cellar which has more than 150 organic wines from independent vineyards all over Greece.

The restaurant offers an exotic array of wine-based cocktails – whet your appetite with a Hellenikon Special (dry white wine with lemon sorbet) before savouring one of the mouthwatering dishes from Nikos’ imaginative menu.

Seafood specials include lobster spaghetti, baked lavraki fish stuffed with pesto and wrapped in vine leaves and black pasta with shrimps, tomatoes, feta and saffron. If you’re not a fish fan, try the delicious Chicken Smyrnia with white wine, olive oil, cardamom, coriander and dill.

If you dine outside here during the summer months you’ll be able to enjoy live performances courtesy of the Symi Festival.

There are nightly events during the summer-long festival which attracts big name artists to the island – singer Nana Mouskouri and composer Yannis Markopoulos have been among the many famous guests who have participated in the past.

The varied programme of cultural events includes classical and modern music, poetry, dancing, theatre and film shows.

When it comes to late night entertainment you’ll find a few lively bars in the streets behind the south side of the harbour including the White House Café which sometimes has live music.

Climb the Kali Strata steps to the old town of Horio to visit Jean and Tonic – a bustling Brit bar which throngs with locals and ex-pats till the early hours.