When you’ve got not one but two stretches of paradise to choose from, you know you’ve found a bucket list beach. Simos, on the little island of Elafonisos, just off the southern tip of the Peloponnese, is just that: a twin set of sandy beaches that join at a narrow peninsula and whose reputation for exotic beauty does nothing to lessen the wow-factor of first laying eyes on them.
Talk about being spoilt for choice? On the one side is Megalos (Big) Simos - or Sarakiniko – a 1km stretch of fine sand, and to the other Mikros (Small) Simos – where small might just mean even more beautiful. Behind each of them stretch sand dunes that rise to 10m in height and back onto a forest of cedar trees that frames all those watercolours of blues, beige and green.
Apparently, Simos got its name from a sponge diver from the island of Kalymnos, and Sarakiniko from the Saracen pirates who used the bay as a shelter during less tranquil times. But don’t let such trivia distract you. Spending a day here is about thinking of nothing else but lazing on the white sand (flecked with the pink of crushed shells) and swimming in the gloriously coloured sea, with views towards the island of Kythira, just opposite.
You’ll find all the facilities to spend the whole day here. And at night, there’s the added spectacle of the moon reflecting off the water and the white sand.