Kayaking in Symi with Trekking Hellas was a fantastic experience! Here are my thoughts after taking this lovely day trip on one of the most picturesque Dodecanese islands in Greece.
A fabulous sea kayaking tour in Symi
Symi is a small island, located close to the better-known Rhodes in Greece. It’s best known for its incredibly picturesque port town and the imposing Monastery of St Michael Panormitis. It’s also a great place to explore by sea kayak!
Most of Symi’s unique wild beaches can easily be accessed by road, either on foot or by bus / vehicle. Others, like the famous St George Disalonas, can only be reached by sea.
A boat trip is the most popular way to see Symi island and its lovely coastline. However, people who like outdoor activities will love exploring on sea kayaks!
Exploring the wild side of Symi
We had previously taken a kayak trip in Rhodes with Trekking Hellas, an outdoors activity company. At the time, they had invited us to join them on Symi for another tour in early May, weather permitting. We were lucky to join them on a beautiful, calm day!
After an early breakfast, we met our friendly kayaking guides, Dimitris and Giorgos. We met on Pedi beach, a quick bus journey out of Symi town. Our meeting point was a stone’s throw from Pedi Beach hotel.
The guys gave us our equipment for the day: safety jackets, dry bags, paddles, and spray skirts Beluga, which I had never used before.
The spray skirts attach to the kayak, and were very useful for covering our legs and preventing them from sunburning and splashing. I have to say, they look a bit ridiculous… but this is one of those occasions when practicality beats style!
Paddling around Symi’s secluded bays
The plan was to head to Nanou Bay, on Symi’s east coastline. On the way, we would stop at St George Disalonas Bay, which is the most famous beach on the island.
We started off by paddling along the coastline. In a few minutes, we saw the wonderful St Nicholas beach. You can access it on foot through an easy trail which begins at Pedi Beach.
Paddling on, we eventually came out of the protected Pedi Bay. As soon as we were out in the open sea, there was a bit of a breeze, but nothing serious. It was actually rather pleasant, given the temperature was rising!
Picnic on Nanou Beach
We eventually reached Nanou Bay, a beautiful, wild cove that is only accessible by sea. On the way, we saw Symi’s impressive coastline, with the incredible sharp limestone cliffs.
We stopped on Nanou beach for a leisurely lunch. The guys had brought with them a few salads, bread and snacks, so we had a nice picnic on the beach.
We also had a chance for a quick swim, before backtracking to Symi’s most famous beach: St George.
Swimming at St George’s Bay
St George Bay, known in Greek as St George Disalonas Bay, is the most picturesque beach in Symi.
What makes it so unique, is the magnificent rock face just behind the beach. The tall, vertical limestone cliff is really outstanding, and photos don’t really do it justice!
We were the only visitors at the time, and the turquoise waters were crystal-clear! Snorkeling was lovely – though I only managed to stay in the water for about two-and-a-half minutes as I was freezing. Yes, the sea in Greece can still be on the chilly side in early May 🙂
The end of a glorious sea kayaking tour!
Our eco-friendly trip was sadly coming to an end! The original plan included reaching Nimos island, a small, uninhabited island to the north of Symi. Due to the increasingly strong winds though, we had to skip it.
We paddled back to Pedi, and helped our lovely guides put the sea kayaks on the roof of the van – not as easy as it looks. Dimitris and Giorgos are really great company, and we had a wonderful time with them!
If you’re planning on visiting Symi island, I would definitely recommend doing this sea kayak trip. It’s a great way to see some of the more secluded beaches, and it’s also eco-friendly and good exercise!
And if you are into wild camping… don’t hesitate to get in touch with Trekking Hellas for more information 🙂
Kayaking trip vs boat tour of Symi
I should note here that kayaking might not be suitable for everyone. You will need to have some previous kayaking experience before taking this trip. There are also age limitations – the activity is not suitable for children under 14.
Total paddling time was around 4 hours, so it’s not a short trip. If you haven’t exercised in a while, you may be aching on the next day!
If you’re not into kayaking, or don’t meet the requirements, you could always do a boat tour of Symi instead. There are numerous tours, many of which depart from Rhodes. Here are a couple:
- Day trip to Symi island with free time in Symi port
- Day cruise to Symi island with full meal and drinks
My suggestion, though, is to stay on Symi for a few days. You will need to take a ferry from Rhodes, and you’ll be there in an hour!
Have you ever been kayaking in Symi, or elsewhere in Greece? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂
FAQ about kayaking in Symi
Here are a few questions that people visiting Symi often ask:
Is this kayaking activity safe?
Safety always comes first! So, in case of strong winds or otherwise unsuitable conditions, the activity will be altered, postponed or cancelled.
Do you need any previous sea kayaking experience?
For this activity, you will need to have some previous sea kayaking experience. However, the guides at Trekking Hellas will show you everything you need to know in 10-15 minutes. It’s pretty easy to pick everything up!
Is it better to take a boat tour instead of a kayak trip?
Boat tours tend to be busier, and there are more chances of finding crowds when you visit places. A kayak tour is a way more personalized way to explore Symi – plus, you are getting some exercise!
Is there another Greek island where I can do a kayak trip?
You can find kayak tours and many other watersports on most Greek islands. These include Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Kos, Naxos, and many others!
Will I see any traditional villages on the coastline?
No – apart from Pedi, there are no villages on this part of the island. This trip is a lovely way to see Symi’s unique and breathtaking scenery, and appreciate this little rocky paradise even further!
More travel guides about Symi
Here are a few more suggestions on how to experience Greek island life on this beautifully unique island:
And if you travelling around the Dodecanese, take a look at these other articles:
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens, Greece. My mission is to explore all the Greek islands by land and sea – it will take a few years! As for our next kayaking activity, or other news about Greece, stay tuned on our FB page and Instagram!