For me taxis are an essential evil in this world. I’m sure there are plenty of good, honest taxi drivers around but because of the bad ones, those that hit that magic button on the dashboard that makes the fare double because you’re wearing green on a Saturday, I tend to treat all taxi drivers with suspicion.
All except the taxi drivers on the Greek Island of Symi where getting about by taxi is such a positively relaxing experience that you might even feel slightly drunk by the time the journey is over. But that’s because Symi’s taxis are a bit different; they’re water taxis.
At first, learning that if I wanted to get to the best of Symi’s beaches my best option was to walk or catch a water taxi seemed a bit of a drag. But it didn’t take me long to relish the ritual of a mid morning stroll down to Symi harbour and then almost randomly choosing a little water taxi that would take me to what was almost certainly going to be an idyllic picture postcard beach whose white shores were lapped by ridiculously clear cyan seas.
Beaches on Symi
The main beaches reached by water taxi from Symi harbour are:
Nimborios – Decent sized bay, pebble beach, sunbeds and taverna.
Marathounda – Quiet pebble beach with sunbeds and a taverna.
Nanou Bay – Gorgeous bay with pebble beach, taverna, sunbeds and cheeky goats that nick your sunbed when you leave it for a cooling swim.
Pedi Bay – A serious of small pebbly beaches with sunbeds and a good choice of tavernas
Agios Nikolaos – Beautiful little sand and shingle beach backed by trees behind which are a taverna and a small chapel.
Agia Marina – Yet another beauty spot with the most unbelievably blue water. The beach has sunbeds and a taverna.
Setting off each morning was a bit like a magical mystery tour to yet another breathtakingly beautiful beach. Catching the first water taxi usually always meant that when the boat docked I usually found myself disembarking on an empty beach – pure paradise.
Although all of the beaches are stunning I particularly liked Agia Marina (because of the intense colour of the water and the fact that a yacht playing Pure Shores sailed into the bay whilst I soaked up the sun) but Nanou Bay was exceptional even amongst these beauts. It is your classic stunner of a Greek beach. Apart from being gorgeous (for a real buzz moment climb the hill at the far end of the beach turn round and get ready to catch your breath before it’s stolen) and having goats that try to eat your rucksack the minute your back is turned it also has a wonderful little taverna.
After a heavy morning sunbathing and swimming, a meze lunch (tzatziki and taramasalata compulsory) with a chilled bottle of retsina in the shade of the shade of the taverna’s vine covered terrace is just the ultimate in chilled holiday moments. After that a sun kissed snooze on the beach helps dilute the effects of the retsina…until the water taxi back to Yialos (Symi harbour) arrives around 5.30pm and the alcohol level is topped up by a complimentary glass of ouzo courtesy of the boat’s captain. You never get that in a four wheeled taxi. Yassou!
Buzz Facts: Water taxis depart daily from Symi harbour to the beaches mentioned above and usually cost between €10 and €15.
It’s possible to walk to some of the beaches, Symi to Pedi Bay via the Kali Strata and Chorio is a particularly good walk – if a hot one.
There is a beach beside Symi harbour called Nos beach but in our view it’s not as stunning as the island’s other offerings.