So, you’re on the hunt for the best beaches in Milos for swimming? First off – well done on picking this island over the others in the Cyclades chain. It’s something special. Those gleaming white cliffs and mind-blowing lunar landscapes, those ancient history dig sites and carved coastal grottoes all help it stand out from the crowd. You’re going to have a blast of a time, no matter if you’re staying a whole week or dropping in on a longer island-hopping itinerary.
The good news is that there are loads of awesome spots to dive into the cooling Aegean Sea here. We won’t lie – they’re not like the Greece you’ve seen in the brochures. You don’t come to Milos for endless runs of powdery sand and lapping waters over a soft seabed. Nope. Milos is where stone reigns supreme. The water is all the clearer for it, and the coves are spectacular, but you’re more likely to be doing your sunbathing on a clifftop than a sunbed.
This guide will reveal all the top beaches in Milos for swimming. It will range from the cave-covered coves of the east coast to the strange lagoons surrounded by creamy cliffs up north, searching for sublime bays and bathing points for all sorts of travelers…
Sarakiniko Beach – the top pick among the best beaches in Milos for swimming!
Sarakiniko Beach is the piece de resistance of Milos. This is the one that’s on the postcards. It’s the place where the Instagrammers flock to straight after the ferry pulls in. To put it another way – you WILL NOT be disappointed by Sarakiniko. It’s a symphony of cloud-white volcanic stone and shallow, turquoise lagoons that pierce inland through the crevices of the north coast. 100% stunning.
Don’t head here expecting a long sweeping arc of sand. That’s just not Milos’s style. Instead, Sarakiniko Beach is all about seeking secret nooks and crannies, finding daring cliff jumps (some pretty terrifying), and splashing around in natural rock pools.
The main swimming spot is at the end of a deep, gorge-like inlet. Surrounded by three-meter-high walls of alabaster stone, it’s protected from the oncoming winds, so the water there tends to be still and reflective, even if the sea outside is sloshing around. You can go there if you want to wade in, or clamber around the headland to look for places where you can dive straight into the Aegean. Our advice? Go early! Sarakiniko Beach is by far the main attraction on Milos and there are always the crowds to match.
Firiplaka Beach is the stand-out option on the south coast of Milos. We don’t say that lightly, because there are loads of pretty wild and rugged coves in that corner of the island. This one trumps the bunch with its combo of high, ochre-tinged cliffs and a shallow swimming shelf, which helps the seawater roll over and warm up as the sun creeps higher into the sky throughout the morning.
Firiplaka is noticeable for the huge boulder that’s planted smack dab in the middle of the bay. That draws in the snorkelers, because it’s often plumed with strange fish of all shapes and sizes and colors. There are also some great rock pooling spots on the south end of the bay. Bring the reef boots to explore those to the full.
There’s a solitary beach bar on Firiplaka but it’s not got the best reviews. We’re not the sort to pay for sunbeds anyhow, so be sure to bring your own towels and umbrellas if you plan on setting up camp for the day, not least of all because the best areas of the beach are to the north-west, where you can sometimes find a couple of secluded points under the cliffs. Just beware of falling rocks!
Paleochori Beach is just about as close as it’s possible to get to that quintessential idea of a Greek vacation beach on Milos. It fringes a wide, big bay on the southern side of the island, some 20 minutes’ drive from the port on fairly decent roads. As you come in, you’ll pass a couple of family hotels and see a cluster of breeze-kissed tavernas by the shore.
The sands at Paleochori Beach are nice and wide, nice and soft, and dotted with regimented rows of sunbeds and thatched umbrellas, so long as you visit in the middle of the summer when the season is in full swing. Despite that, there’s usually some space to spread out and call your own, largely because this isn’t one of the main pitstops for boat tourers on their circuit around the island.
Paleochori Beach is one of the top destinations on Milos for watersports. There are sea kayak rentals here, along with snorkeling outfitters. Parking is also easy, set just above by the taverna. Talking of the local taverna…that’s Sirocco, an all-day lunch venue that serves fantastic seafood pastas and lemon-doused fish fresh off the boat.
Papafragas Beach is one that’ll make the jaw drop and the breath stop. It’s another of the north-coast stars, just 2.5km from the very north-eastern tip of the island and less than 5.5km from the main harbor in Adamantas. Like Sarakiniko before it, Papa – as many a traveler calls it for short – is about stark, shimmering, white cliffs, only they rise here like walls of ice that go vertically for several meters before leveling off.
The swimming is done at the base of the cove. It can feel more like taking a dip in a gorge deep in the mountains. Nope – it is the Aegean Sea. You’ll need to navigate a narrow path that takes you to the small strip of sand before you can jump in. There’s parking just above.
There are actually two spots to swim in Papafragas Beach. One’s narrower than the other and shrouded by higher cliffs. That’s a great place to come in the evening or the early morning, when the changing light can create strange and ethereal patterns on the chalky walls. The larger beach is along to the west. That’s got more space and powdery sand.
An hour’s hike or a 10-minute drive from the port town of Adamantas can bring you to the lovely beach of Alogomandra. It’s another of the gems on the north coast of Milos, which is by far the most popular part of the island. However, this one rarely gets the same booming crowds as other places in the area,
It’s well-built for swimmers, with a set of concrete stairs laid directly into the cliffside that will take you to the water’s edge. Because of the dominant NE wind direction and N swells in the Aegean, you’ll need to be careful here. The waves can be high and powerful, particularly in the winter, and they crash straight up against a scaly wall of stone. Basically, it’s more of an adrenaline swim than a relaxation one!
For lunch, head south to the Galini Sea View Restaurant. It does precisely what it says on the tin, with a breezy terrace that gazes north across Alogomandra Beach. The menu has some taste-bud-tingling local specialties, including fried crab, BBQ sardines, and tomato-doused meatballs. Mmm.
Blink and you’ll miss Sikia Beach. It’s concealed from the rest of the Milos shoreline by high walls of rugged stone. More than that, it’s out on the eastern coast, far from the main visitor hubs in Adamantas town, Plaka, and Tripiti. It’s also not really a beach at all. Instead, it’s the interior of an ancient cave, only the roof has collapsed and the sunlight now beams on through. Cool, huh?
Not only is Sikia Beach tricky to spot – it’s tricky to get to. The only real option is to go by boat. There are no paved roads in the vicinity and even the hiking paths don’t find their way across. Most tourist boats aren’t small enough to squeeze through the opening to Sikia itself. That’s why you’ll see visitors hopping into dinghies and going through the entrance. Others can swim it, but it’s a bit of a challenge.
Once inside the old cave of Sikia, you’ll be treated to a truly secluded dash of coarse sand that’s hemmed in by high walls on all sides. There’s a small area to splash around in but it’s not really about smashing out the lengths. It’s more about admiring the setting. Bring the drone if you’ve got one – the potential shots here are fantastic.
You might need to ask a few times to be pointed in the right direction for Plathiena Beach. It’s not the most popular stretch of coast on the island, but therein lies the charm. Less fame means smaller crowds. Smaller crowds add a dash of seclusion and quietude. All that on the north coast, too, within striking distance of the popular town of Plaka.
We’d put it up there with the very best beaches in Milos for swimming for two reasons. Number one: It’s got a sandy bottom, which is pretty rare on this rock-ribbed island. Number two: The water stays shallow for quite some time, so you can wade out and bob around without needing to do any real paddling.
The beach itself is a wide and charming affair. It’s dotted with a few hardy acacia trees and has a big headland rising to the north. That helps to protect it from the dominant swell direction, which is why it rarely gets wavy on Plathiena.