The Serene Islands of the Greek Aegean
Whether you're looking for unspoiled sandy beaches, unhurried island life, distinctive luxury, or unique history and culture, Greece's 230 inhabited islands - and nearly 6,000 uninhabited ones - offer something for every traveler. I recently enjoyed the opportunity to spend a week exploring the islands of the southern Aegean, including the lovely and secluded island of Symi.
Located a 90 minute boat ride from the major tourist center of Rhodes, Symi boasts one of Greece's most beautiful harbors, complete with pastel colored houses, tavernas, chic boutiques, and dozens of sandy swimming beaches - some of which are only accessible by boat. With a warm Mediterranean climate and the delights of Greek food and wine easily available, Symi offers a great escape from the bustle of some of the busier islands. The Monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis offers a glimplse into the mysteries of the Greek Orthodox faith, while a drive across the island is accompanied by the scents of wild thyme and oregano.
While the island's small harbors keep it from being a popular cruise ship port of call, luxury boutique cruise lines like Silversea and Seabourn call during the summer season, offering cruisers the opportunity to sample Symi's delights.
Symi offers the traveler a total escape, and an opportunity for serenity seldom enjoyed.
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