When people ask which island has the best beaches in Greece, they expect to hear answers like “Crete” with the world-famous pink sands of Elafonisi Lagoon or “Mykonos” with the beaches named Paradise and Super Paradise. These beaches are truly beautiful, but they’re often overcrowded, hard to get to, or expensive. For equally gorgeous but more accessible beaches, I invite you to the island of Milos.
Milos, the most southwestern island in the Cyclades group, is 109 miles from the port of Piraeus making the journey on the fast ferry about three hours in duration. The island also has an airport so taking a flight is an option. Milos has over 40 beaches, and since the island is relatively small (58 square miles), you can easily go beach hopping, taking in stunning seaside after stunning seaside in a short span of time.
Below I share five beaches on Milos not to be missed, but first, a quick lesson on Greek beaches. Greek beaches are divided into two simple categories: organized and unorganized.
Organized beaches offer sunbeds, umbrellas, cantinas, and cafes so you can eat, drink, and relax on the beach without bringing much beyond a beach towel and sunscreen. Organized beaches typically charge for sunbed usage with fees ranging from €2 ($2.50) for casual remote beaches to €40 ($45+) for more glamorous beach clubs on marquee islands. And because you are renting sunbeds, organized beaches sometimes reach capacity so if you want to ensure a spot, you may need to arrive early or reserve in advance.
Unorganized beaches offer you raw Greek nature at its finest with very little extra in the way of amenities. There are typically no sunbeds for rent, no umbrellas, and few, if any, options for food or drink. You bring your own gear, and you are rewarded with unspoiled beaches with free access.
Like most Greek islands, Milos offers both, and I’ll share my top recommendations.
- Sarakiniko is like no other beach in the world with an almost lunar landscape featuring white volcanic rock formations set above the sparkling turquoise water. The vaulted rocks and otherworldly feel make it a popular spot for climbing, diving, and snorkeling. Sarakiniko is an unorganized beach so be sure to bring your own towel, water, and sunscreen. The advantage is that since you aren’t competing for limited sunbeds, you can go at any time of the day.
- Firiplaka beach is a gorgeous beach that has the advantages of being easy to reach and offering an organized beach option where you can rent sunbeds and purchase refreshments. With sand instead of pebbles, it’s the calm, clean cousin of some of the wilder beaches nearby. If you want an easy, enjoyable afternoon at the sea with an impressive backdrop, head to Firiplaka. You may want to arrive early as it is popular, and the sunbeds can sell out.
- Achivadolimni (called Chivadolimni by locals), is the longest beach in Milos, stretching on for almost 1.2 miles. This beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Milos and is located opposite the village of Adamas. This sandy beach offers both organized and unorganized options so you can get there and decide which option suits you best.
- Paleochori Beach is another favorite if you are seeking an organized beach featuring stunning natural colors, beautiful rock formations as well as restaurants for refreshments and water sports for entertainment.
- Triades is actually three sandy beaches side by side. Situated on the west side of the island, this lesser-known beach is remote and unorganized with no restaurants, cafes, or sunbeds anywhere in sight. If you are looking for an unspoiled setting off the beaten trail, this is your beach.
While the beaches are amazing, don’t think beaches are the only things to see in Milos. Plaka, the main town, is located on a hill overlooking the gulf of Milos. The village was designed with a labyrinth of streets and alleys meant to confuse invaders, and the streets are so narrow that cars are unable to pass, making it a car-free, pedestrian-friendly area. In Plaka, you’ll find shopping, art galleries, live music, tavernas, restaurants, and bars. Be sure to pay a visit to Avli-Milos, one of the best restaurants in Plaka serving classic Greek taverna dishes including grilled artichokes, fresh sea bream, and interesting twists like shrimp dolmades (stuffed grape leaves).
Beach hopping might tire you out, and Milos has great food so here are few other restaurants to keep you fueled during your stay on the island.
Gialos, in Pollonia on the northeastern side of the island, is a family-owned restaurant set beside the beach serving amazing seafood and interesting, refined dishes for all paletes. The dishes are delicious and the wine list is extensive. This restaurant is usually crowded so be sure to book a table in advance.
Alevromagiros, located between the Adamas and Pollonia, is a favorite among locals featuring Aegean cuisine with Italian twists. The chef and owner Vasilis has an eye for presentation so expect all your senses to be impressed. And for the more hands-on, you can even book a cooking class with Vasilis who will show you how to make amazing dishes with a few simple ingredients.
Astakas, located in Klima, a short drive from Plaka, is known not only for its great food but for its seaside table service and amazing sunsets. Book in advance for a beachside table. Seafood is their specialty so try the squid or the shrimp saganaki.
Milos is probably one of Greece’s best-kept secrets but now the secret is out, so … I’ll look for you on the beach.
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