Life moves at a different pace on this small island. Exotic beaches with white sands and blue-green water form an idyllic, stress-free vacation setting. Spend your days at either of the beaches at opposite ends of the island. Simos, in the gulf of Sarakiniko is one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean, reminiscent of the Caribbean. It is surrounded by sand dunes covered in cedars that offer shade from the heat. Equally beautiful is the beach at the settlement of Kato Nisi, with views of the Mani coastline to the west and the Panaghia islets just offshore.
The red deer (Cervus elaphus) that gave the island its name have long gone. The first inhabitants settled here in 1850 after the eradication of piracy in the Aegean. Now several hundred people live in the little fishing village that has grown up around the small harbour, just 570 metres from the mainland and Pounta beach, a distance covered in 10 minutes by a car ferry. A walk to the district of Fountianika will reward you with a lovely view of the islet of Pavlopetri on the one side and Cape Maleas on the other.