The island's most strikingly beautiful beach, Agios Sostis, is a 40-minute walk northeast of Livadi. It occupies a sandy spit terminating in a headland topped with a blue-vaulted church and craggy golden rock formations. On each side are gravelly golden beaches abutting crystal-clear waters, perfectly framing views of distant islands. It's best reached on foot as the access road is rough and there's only parking for a handful of cars.
Next up is pretty little Psili Ammos, tucked below the main road, offering good swimming and a couple of tavernas. Reached by a steep side road, Platys Gialos in the north has gravelly sand and a good seasonal taverna. Near the turnoff, look out for the Monastery of the Taxiarches (a title referring to the archangels Michael and Gabriel), built in 1572 and fortified to protect it from pirates and other raiders. If it's open, it's worth exploring.
Sykamia is one of the island’s best beaches, with a dramatic approach along a steep, windy, sealed road through terraced hills. There's a good taverna set back from its pebble-strewn, grey-brown sands.
Tiny Megalo Livadi, on the southwest coast, is interesting for its crumbling neoclassical buildings (remnants of the mining era) and seaside tavernas but the beach is a little muddy and rocky. The cave where the Cyclops was said to dwell is near here.
The best beaches on the south coast tend to be broad and sandy, and deserted out of high season. It’s a wild landscape, punctuated by derelict mining machinery. Three of them share a large sheltered bay: Koutalas, a small fishing village with a pebble-strewn beach; Ganema, a tamarisk-edged beach with vivid green waters giving way to deep-blue depths; and, best of all, Vagia, a horseshoe of golden sand and shingle embracing iridescent waters.