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If you’re planning a trip to Milos, then a visit to the island’s most beautiful beach should be at the top of your itinerary. Sarakiniko Beach has a unique moon-like landscape with white volcanic rock formations. It is quite literally one of the most beautiful beaches, and most unique, beaches in the world. I thought the water in Praiano and Positano, Italy were clear, but Milos tops anything that I’ve seen before.
The contrast of the sweeping white rocks against the blue waters is simply magical. Exploring Sarakiniko feels like you’re landing on the moon, making it a must-visit destination for both beach lovers and photographers. This guide will dive into everything you need to know about spending a day at Sarakiniko Beach in Milos, Greece.
The Geological Wonders of Sarakiniko
Sarakiniko Beach is famous for its surreal and moon-like landscape, resembling something out of a science fiction movie. Erosion caused by the winds and water over the years has created some of the coolest rock formations, arches and caves at Sarakiniko. The irregular rock formations have created shallow pools filled with crystal-clear seawater – perfect for swimming.
The rock itself is ‘pumice’, a lightweight volcanic rock filled with air bubbles. It looks super smooth but it is actually really sharp. I wouldn’t advise trying to walk barefoot!
What to expect when visiting Sarakiniko
If you’re planning to visit Sarakiniko while on the island of Milos you can expect unique rock formations, sweeping white volcanic rock, crystal-clear swimming water, endless photo opportunities, and probably lots of other beach goers.
Sarakiniko isn’t known for being a traditional sandy beach, but you’ll find lots of flat areas on the white rocks where you can lay down a towel and soak up the sun. There is technically a sandy beach area, but it’s not the reason that you visit Sarakiniko. In my opinion, if you’re looking for a long sandy stretch of beach then there are better beaches on Milos for you to check out!
Prepare for your trip to Greece
Things to do at Sarakiniko
- Explore the various rock caves and extraordinary moon-like rock formations
- Find a flat area on the rock to lay out and sunbathe
- Brave the water and jump for the smooth white rocks into the crystal clear water below
Best time of year to visit
The peak season in Milos is from June to August. This is when you can expect the sunniest days and warmest waters. This is also, however, when you can expect the most tourists.
In my opinion, the best time to visit Milos is in late May. We visited during the last week of May and the weather was perfect, the water was chilly but still swimmable, and the crowds were still minimal. There were enough people around that the island felt lively, but the beaches weren’t overcrowded.
Similarly, I would recommend visiting in the shoulder season of early to mid-September, when you can expect to experience similar weather to May, but with warmer water.
What time of day to visit Sarakiniko
Sarakiniko Beach is beautiful at any hour of the day. Although I admittedly never made it over that early, it is rumored to have one of the best sunrises on the island. The perfect time of day to experience the beach without the crowds.
In general I would recommend visiting on the earlier side as the beach can get very crowded during the summer months. An early arrival will ensure that you can scope out the best spots – ideally with access to jump right into the clear water below! Luckily though, Sarakiniko is pretty large so it should never feel overly crowded.
Additionally, Sarakiniko is not the best choice on a super windy day. Since the rockface is directly exposed to the sun, it will get a lot of wind! This will also mean that the water will be super rough, which isn’t ideal for swimming. It can also make taking photos hard, as the sea spray can quickly damage your electronics.
How to get there
Sarakiniko Beach is located on the northern coast of Milos, about a 15 minute drive from Adamas, the main port town of Milos. On Google Maps you will find it at ‘Paralia Sarakiniko’ or ‘Παραλία Σαρακήνικο’.
Here are the driving distances from a few other towns on Milos:
Plaka – Sarakiniko: 10 minutes
Pollonia – Sarakiniko: 15 minutes
Klima – Sarakiniko: 12 minutes
By far the easiest way to get to the beach is in your own rental car or scooter/ATV. This will give you the most flexibility to come and go as you please, without having to adhere to the local bus schedule. The drive from Adamas, and other parts of the island, is an easy one. Once you arrive there is a decent sized parking lot. You’ll have to walk a bit from the parking lot to reach the start of the “beach” regardless, but if you arrive earlier in the day you have a better chance at finding a closer parking spot.
Like many of the other beaches on Milos, there is no fee to park your car!
By public transportation
Luckily, if you are relying on public transportation for getting around Milos you’ll be in good hands as Milos has a reliable public bus network that connects major towns and beaches.
From Adamas, you can take the bus in the direction of Pollonia and get off at the Sarakiniko bus stop. Make sure to check the bus schedules in advance, as it may not run as often depending on the season.
How to get to Milos
Assuming you are planning to get to Milos from Greece’s capital city, Athens, there are two ways to get to the island.
The most popular, and usually most affordable way, to get to Milos from Athens is by ferry from Piraeus Port. The port is located about 6 miles southwest of the city center in Piraeus. The port is easily accessible from the city center by metro or taxi .
The average journey from Athens to Milos takes 3-5 hours, depending on sea conditions. However, there is also an option to take a longer, overnight ferry for the budget conscious travelers. There are a number of ferry operators on the route. A few of the popular ones include SeaJets, Hellenic Seaways, and Aegean Speed Lines. Definitely make sure to book your tickets in advance. While the prices seem to stay rather consistent, they definitely book out quickly in the summer months (the high season).
There is actually an airport on the island of Milos, with the flight from Athens taking only 30 minutes. If you are already flying into Athens and connecting then this is easily the fastest way to get to the island. The tickets, however, can be quite pricey if not booked well in advance.
If you are already in the Athens city center it is good to consider that the airport is quite far outside of the center, so once you add up travel time to the airport, waiting time and flight time, the length of the journey may not be all that different.
What to pack for a visit to Sarakiniko
There are limited facilities at Sarakiniko Beach, so you’ll want to make sure that you come prepared. Since there is no proper sandy beach, you won’t find any beach chairs or umbrellas available to rent. Instead you’ll want to bring your own towel. The rocks are quite sharp so I recommend bringing an extra towel if you have one to layer up.
We saw a small food cart by the entrance selling snacks, cold drinks, and ice cream, but I’ld recommend packing your own snacks and sufficient water for your way in the sun.
With no shaded areas at Sarakiniko Beach, and no beach umbrellas, the sun can be extremely strong by midday. It is super important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun. Make sure to apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring enough drinking water for the day.
Sarakiniko Packing Checklist
- Cover up
- Towel (plus an extra one for protection from the rocks)
- Walking shoes – I’d recommend a sneaker or more secure shoe over sandals if you plan to walk around a lot, otherwise sandals are fine
- Flip flops or water shoes – these are a great option for protecting your feet from the rocks
- A hat
- A good book
Responsible Tourism at Sarakiniko
- Respect the natural surroundings and do not disturb the delicate coastal ecosystem.
- Leave nothing but footprints and take all your trash with you, or leave it one of the two garbage cans on the beach. Everything you carry in, be sure to carry out.
- Keep noise levels to a minimum to preserve the tranquility of the beach and the surrounding environment. Sarakiniko can get busy during the high season. Be mindful of others to keep it an enjoyable destination for everyone.