Symi, Simi 856 00, Greece
Photo by Yanik Chauvin / age fotostock
SymiA 90-minute ferry ride from Rhodes and just five nautical miles from Turkey, Symi feels more like the Amalfi Coast than Greece. Elegant mansions in every hue of peach and pink are reflected in the horseshoe harbor. Built by 19th-century merchants who made their fortunes shipping sponges and spices to Asia Minor, the whole town has been designated a national monument. The 450 steps of Kali Strata lead up to Horio, a tumble of modest houses with staggering views. The only paved road careers across the island’s mountainous spine to Panormitis Monastery, a seaside mecca for Orthodox pilgrims. Venture inland and you’ll find dozens of sublime monasteries camouflaged by cypress forests, the deep silence broken only by the soft jangle of goat bells.