What are the best beaches in Symi

The coastline of Symi is peppered with pretty pebble beaches many of which can only be reached by boat or by some hard walking and a hazardous scramble over the rocks. Excursion boats run right round the island and regular water taxis transport day trippers to all the most popular beaches during high season.

The nearest beach to the port town of Gialos is Nos (Navtikos Omilos Symis) which is a five minute walk north past the bell tower and boatyards of Harani. It’s a tiny beach and tends to get over crowded during July and August.

Head two kilometres downhill east of Horio and you’ll come to the fishing village of Pedhi which has a narrow beach lined with hotels, domatia and tavernas.

There’s a regular bus service from Gialos, via Horio, to this burgeoning resort which is popular with local families and visiting yachties. You might prefer to walk another 20 minutes east of Pedhi to the better beach of Agios Nikolaos.

The path is quite rocky and involves a steep descent over large rocks so if you don’t fancy the hike take a water taxi from Pedhi. The beach (the only sandy one on the island) is shaded by tamarisk trees and is well served with sun beds, shades, a taverna and toilets. The gently shelving sand makes it ideal for children.

From Pedhi you can also take a water taxi or follow the paint splodged-path out to the tiny shingle beach of Agia Marina at the north east tip of the island. The walk will take you about 45 minutes. The beach has a taverna, sun beds and shades and overlooks a monastery-capped islet which is easy to swim to.

One of the most popular beaches is at Nanou Bay nestling at the base of some imposing cliffs on the island’s east coast. It’s a 200-metre sand and pebble beach with a scenic backdrop of pine trees.

You can reach it by water taxi or if you’re feeling fit it’s a wonderful three-hour walk from Horio – head out to Panagia Strateri in the centre of the island then veer off to the left and descend for about 45 minutes through a forested gorge. Reward yourself with lunch in the beachside taverna then take a water taxi back.

A three-hour walk west of the port town will take through pine forests to remote Agios Emilanos Beach where a tiny monastery is tethered to the island by a causeway.

A hike of about 90 minutes will get you to the island’s most beautiful bay at Agios Vasillios where you’ll find unspoilt Lapathos Beach.

There’s a spectacular and very steep descent to the beach – if you go on an organised boat trip be prepared to swim to the beach as there’s no jetty here.

There are regular boat excursions to the Taxiarchis Mihail Panormitis monastery at the southern end of the island. Some organised tours take in a visit to the monastery, a swim in the harbour below and a barbecue lunch.

Excursion boats also visit some of the island’s more remote beaches and the islet of Sesklia, off the southern coast of Symi, where there’s a lovely tree-lined beach but no tourist facilities.

Be aware the sea urchins can be a problem at certain times of the year so if you’re planning to swim off the rocks it’s advisable to wear plastic shoes.

Beach of Agios Georgios

The steep vertical rocks are the only ones that offer shade and that only for some hours of the day. The scenery, however, is so impressive that you will enjoy every dip in this beach of Symi.

Blue-green waters, pebbles and few people. After all, the beach is only accessible by sea and you will find boats in the port making the journey.

The beach is not organized and you should bring supplies and an umbrella. After noon, it has plenty of shade since it is an eastern beach and the sun moves behind the 110-meter-high rock.


Marathounda beach

It is one of the few beaches on the island that you can reach by car, so you can meet a lot of people, especially in August. The waters, however, are crystal clear and the small bay, dreamlike.

The coarse pebbles require beach shoes while there are some umbrellas and sunbeds provided by the tavern located on the right side of the beach. An attraction are the free-range goats that often come down to the beach.


Agios Nikolaos beach

One of the closest beaches to the port with crystal clear waters and pebbles. You will drive to Pedi beach and from there, you will take a boat that will take you to the beach in 5 minutes.

Alternatively, there is a passable path with a nice view of the sea and you will need 15 minutes from Pedi to reach Agios Nikolaos.

The beach takes its name from the small, white church located on its right edge. It has some trees for shade but also umbrellas and sunbeds from the cafe-tavern that operates there.


Toli beach

This is the right beach for those who love peace and seclusion. You will need to drive about 8 km from the port, but the road is relatively good except for the last part which gets very narrow and has some dirt road. Pebble, turquoise waters and a tavern with umbrellas and sunbeds.


Nanou beach

It is one of the largest and most beloved beaches in Symi. It has coarse pebbles and you better bring beach shoes.

The waters are crystal clear and blue-green and deepen quickly. The beach has a tavern, umbrellas and sunbeds. Access is only by sea boat from the port.


Seskli beach

The islet Seskli is located southwest of Symi and is a paradise on earth with clear blue waters, rich seabed and beautiful landscapes.
The boat starts from the harbor and reaches a beautiful beach with sand, pebbles and quite a few tamarisks.

The waters are shallow and crystal clear and the beach is not organized, nor are there any shops.

The islet is an archaeological site, just like the whole of Symi and the surrounding islets due to the importance of the area and the 159 points and monuments that record the history of the area from the Prehistoric era onwards.