About 1.5km north of Livadi, pretty little Psili Ammos Beach offers the best swimming close to Livadi, and has two excellent tavernas. Platys Gialos Beach in the north has a good summer-only taverna of the same name.
Sykamia is one of the island’s best beaches, with a dramatic approach along a steep, windy road through terraced hills. The beach itself is grey-brown sand full of stones, with an excellent tavern above it. To reach Sykamia you will pass through the quaint village of Panagia, or on the east coast, Kendarhos (also known as Kallitsos, the ‘most beautiful’).
Tiny Megalo Livadi, on the southwest coast, is a fun visit for its sparkling bay, crumbling neoclassical buildings (remnants of the mining era), shallow, calm waters and two seaside taverns. 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. Stop for a swim at sheltered Vagia, long and narrow Ganema and Koutalas fishing bay.