If you were to list the three most famous places in Greece, it’s likely your list would read; Athens, Santorini and Mykonos.
Santorini and Mykonos are both islands in the Cyclades, a group of Greek islands southeast of the mainland in the Aegean Sea. Known for the white houses perched atop the blue waters, these two dreamy islands have been tourist favorites for many years.
However, my friend and I had visited both Santorini and Mykonos, so we were looking for a new island to discover and we decided on Milos, another island in the Cyclades.
Milos is about halfway between Crete and Athens and is roughly 58 square miles, making it bigger than Santorini and Mykonos. Major towns of Milos include Adamas – the major port town, Plaka – the capital of Milos located 220m above sea level, and Pollonia on the far eastern tip of the island.
Perhaps Milos’ largest claim to fame is that this island is where Venus de Milo was discovered in 1820. The statue is now on display at the Louvre in Paris, France.
Although not nearly as famous as it’s cousins Santorini and Mykonos, Milos offers some of the best beaches in the area. In fact, there are more than 40 beaches in Milos. Some sources site more than 70 beaches on Milos. By contract, Santorini has only a handful and is in fact, not known for it's beaches.
In just a few days we were able to visit roughly a dozen beaches since we had an ATV. You can also get to many beaches by bus, but if you’d like to see more beaches and some that are more remote it’s best to rent a dune buggie or ATV.
While on Milos, here are 17 of the best beaches on the stunning Greek island.
Firiplaka (aka Fyriplaka) is a narrow, volcanic beach squeezed between pink and white cliffs and the sea. Here the water is shallow, warm and clear – you can walk out in the sea for seemingly a mile without being fully submerged. You’ll also find a restaurant/bar and lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent.
Firiplaka is the longest beach on Milos and is one of the most exotic beaches I’ve ever seen with the dramatic, unique colored cliffs. Since it’s south facing, it makes for a great beach escape when the northern winds blow. Be prepared to park quite far away, but don’t worry the entire walk is a stunning adventure!
traveler’s tip: Beaches in Greece are often classified into organized, where you can rent lounge chairs, tables or umbrellas, restrooms and food are nearby, semi-organized (also called partly organized) where rentals are available but you’ll also be able to casually drop a towel for the day, and unorganized where there are no tourist facilities like chairs, umbrellas, bathrooms or a place to buy food and drinks so be sure to bring your own towel and lunch!
Sarakiniko beach is a white moonscape volcanic rock eroded by sea and the most famous beach on Milos due to it’s stunning white rock and blue ocean contrast, good accessibility, and shallow waters. Located on the northern part of the island, making it very susceptible to rough winds. We were not able to visit this beach due to harsh winds. Prepare yourself for ample amounts of tourists, especially on calm, windless days.
Provatas is a beautiful golden sand beach on the southern side of Milos. It’s also semi-organized so you’ll find lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent on one side, and empty space to set up your own towel on the other.
Paleochori is a popular tourist spot on the southeastern part of the island with it’s organized beaches, wide range of water sport facilities, and vivid red rock cliffs due to their volcanic origin. It’s the longest stretch of beach, and actually consists of three separate beaches, with many dining options, such as taverns with fresh fish, and cafes. Since it’s located on the south, it’s wonderfully protected from the northern winds.
In north-eastern Milos just 2km (1.2 miles) west of the town of Pollonia, Papafragkas (aka Papafragkas) beach resembles a giant swimming pool. It’s difficult to reach and you might even miss the entrance like we did. Once you find the entrance be careful going down as it’s a bit slippery. While at the beach make sure to head a little further down as there’s a cave that beautifully reflects the sunlight on the turquoise, clear waters.
Pollonia is another absolutely picturesque fishing village, located on the very northeastern tip of the island. Although it’s a quiet tourist resort town, Pollonia is one of the largest and most well known on the island. The Pollonia beach is sandy beach lined with traditional tavernas by the waterfront, fishing boats, and white washed buildings fundamental of Greek island architecture.
The vibrant yet tiny fishing village of Mandrakia feels like more of a port than a beach due to the pavement by the water. However, it’s a stunning place to swim right next to the charming boat garages.
traveler’s tip: Have lunch at Medusa for unbeatable views and delicious, fresh seafood.
Another picturesque fishing village and port that is similar to Mandrakia with it’s boat garages built into the cliffs yet Firopotamos has more sand. Firopotamos beach is good for swimming, fishing and snorkeling around the rocks surrounding the beach.
Only accessible by boat excursions, Kleftiko is nonetheless a landmark of Milos. From Adamas many excursions are offered, especially during the summer. As part of the boat tour, you’ll be provided with snorkel gear.
I mean, this water is ridiculously blue!!!
The beach of Agia Kiriaki is located on the southern side of Milos near Paleochori. The organized beach is distinguished for it’s lovely sand, smooth white pebbles and crystal waters; the combination of which create a specific “glass” effect on the water.
A secluded beach on the eastern shore of Milos, Kastanas is clean with clear water and colorful rocks. Due to it’s secluded nature it feels isolated and non-touristy. It’s an unorganized beach, meaning no restrooms or other facilities so come prepared.
A small beach located just next to an adorable fishing village. It’s a very local, authentic beach. It’s unorganized so there are no lounge chairs or other tourist facilities here.
Once in Kapros, head west for the beach of Alogomantra (aka Alogomandra). Another unorganized beach, you won’t find loungers or a restaurant immediately here but there is a restaurant close, roughly 250m (820 feet) away.
Right next to Firiplaka beach, Tsigrado is easily accessible by road but perhaps the most inaccessible by foot after you park as you’ll descend about 50 meters (164 feet) to get to the water. Tsigrado beach is a sandy cove with white soft sand and light blue waters, surrounded by high rocky cliffs, which form a dramatic scenery.
Triades is located on the very west end of Milos, and is primarily a natural reserve, making this beach feel rugged and natural. The road to get here can be quite bumpy and even treacherous towards the end. Since it’s so remote, the beach is often empty compared to others on the island. The sand here is soft, but be careful as the water gets very deep close to shore.
A lovely beach with clear water and a sandy coast, Mytakas beach makes for a nice environment for swimming. Here you’ll find a few fishing houses with boat garages, typical architecture of Milos. However, since it’s located on the north side of the island, it is often affected by strong winds.
Papakino (aka Papikinou) is a large sandy beach located very close to the main port town of Adamas. It’s central location, ample shade and many tourist amenities around the beach, such as fish taverns and rooms to rent make this a popular beach on Milos.
With only three days on the island, we asked some of the locals which beaches we should check out and the resounding favorites were Firiplaka, Mandrakia, Pollonio, Sarakiniko and Kleftiko. We made it to 4 of the top 5 beaches in three days, while seeing a few more, doing some wine tasting and sunset chasing.
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