Sailing into Symi from Rhodes is a sweet surprise with its red roofs, white-washed and pastel neo-classical villas that adorn the rocky hills around its tranquil harbour. Due to a restriction on the number of hotels, Symi is uncrowded and elegant. The streets that climb the hills above the port are still stepped in the old fashion, and too steep for cars, making the island a great retreat from the hustle and bustle. There is one road that leads to the beaches at Pedi Bay and beyond, but it is best explored on foot. Walking along the series of small plateaux leads one past tiny Aegean chapels and through fields of oregano and thyme, all the way to the imposing Monastery of Panormitis at the southern end of the island. The lively tavernas that crowd the port are perfect for watching the small boats and yachts sailing to this tiny Aegean island which is simple and serene.