SYMI – THE SECRET GEM
Last, but surely not least (of our Greek experiences) – Symi.
This little gem of an island has no reputation as (or desire, for that matter, to become) a cosmopolitan island and does not compete with islands such as Mykonos and Santorini, known for their nightlife and expensive hotels.
It is said that Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones once stepped off their luxurious yacht on Symi island to stretch their sea-legs and went to one of the many restaurants on the island – and were quite surprised to be able to walk freely there without masses of people and paparazzi tagging along.
Although the island offers several exclusive boutiques, also found on the more popular, exciting, cosmopolitan islands, Symi comes without the decadence of many of the other ports. Summer is very hot and humid and well-dressed Europeans and other fashion conscious guests temporarily occupy Symi, but there is no jet setting. Visitors are chic but friendly and respectful towards the local environment. Lisandro from Muses once told a journalist, “Princess Caroline of Monaco was here and people thought to themselves: You might be a princess, but you’re not from Symi.”
The harbour welcomes you like a mother welcomes her long lost children – whether you are famous or not. Many famous actors, politicians, ship owners and models have visited the island – Symi is chosen by all who do not want to attract the attention of others and prefer an authentic Greek holiday experience. This is evidenced in the summer by the numerous yachts docking at the port of Symi.
The island oozes Mediterranean charm, 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.
It may not be Mykonos or Santorini but it has been a top island for some time – fortunately too small to be noticed by too many people.