Here’s a brief guide to beaches on Symi and the transport options you have to get there:
Nos/Paradise – fine shingle – taverna, beach-bar, sunbeds – easy walk around the north side of the harbour
Petalo – concrete – taverna and sunbeds – walk around south side of the harbour.
Then the slightly more distant ones:
Yiali – fine shingle, cantina for light refreshments. Walk around north side of harbour, then about 10 minutes walk beyond on coast road. May be able to get a lift on tourist train.
Nimborio – mostly concrete – taverna, sunbeds. Extended this year. Attractive village atmosphere. Waterbus from Yialos, walk along coast road, or more strenuous walk over the ridge from the back of the square in Yialos. Path is surfaced.
Pedi – fine shingle – two separate serviced areas each with sunbeds and taverna. Shops. Lots of small boats to look at. Symi Bus every hour from Yialos and Chorio. Also walkable from Chorio.
Agia Marina – concrete – sunbeds, beachbar and rather upmarket taverna. Waterbuses from both Yialos and Pedi. There’s a roughish track from Pedi for walkers.
Agia Nikolaos – sand and fine shingle – sunbeds, beachbar and taverna. Waterbuses from both Yialos and Pedi. Much improved track from Pedi for walkers.
Agios Yiorgos – shingle. No facilities. Cliff bound – access by sea only, with waterbuses from Yialos and Pedi
Nanou – medium shingle – sunbeds and taverna. Waterbuses from Yialos and Pedi, path suitable only for fit and experienced walkers.
Marathounda – large shingle – sunbeds and taverna specialising in locally grown organic food. Waterbus from Yialos. Driveable unsurfaced track from main Panormitis road, walkable from the road junction (catch the Panormitis bus to get there). Minibus excursions from Yialos/Chorio.
Toli – medium shingle – sunbeds and taverna. Theoretically has waterbus service from Yialos but sea conditions round the north end of the island often make this impossible. Road access (partly unsurfaced). Minibus excursions from Yialos/Chorio – transfer to truck for the unsurfaced bit.
Then there are the remote west coast beaches accessible only to hikers and passengers on the Round The Island boat excursions – Agios Emilianos; Maroni; Agios Vassilios. None of these have any beach facilities.
Finally comes the beach on Sesklia Island, large shingle, used as the barbeque stop on Round the Island boat excursions.
You’ll also find a few tiny coves accessible by scrambling down from the Yialos-Nimborio coast road, a short stretch of sand at Panormitis Monastery, and a cove on Nimos Island. Panormitis has daily bus service from Yialos and Chorio, Nimos is rarely visited and requires a boat.