Chances are that if you’ve heard of Milos island, you’ve also heard of Sarakiniko beach. You may even have heard of Sarakiniko before knowing anything about Milos. The picturesque “moonscape” beach is a stunner and it’s become an Instagram darling.
As one of the most photographed (and photogenic) attractions in the Aegean Sea, this unique beach has arguably put Milos on the map as a bucket-list-worthy Greek island.
During my time on the island, I visited Sarakiniko beach six times – what can I say, I really loved it! Full disclosure, I stayed in Milos for more than two weeks for a working holiday, so I had plenty of time toreturn.
I went back at different times of day, in various weather conditions and from the sea during a sailing tour around Milos. This beach has so much to offer – my experience was different each time. There’s a reason this beach is one of my favorite beaches in Milos.
Here’s my guide to everything you need to know about visiting Sarakiniko beach.
The Best of Sarakiniko
Even though it’s categorized as a beach, Sarakiniko isn’t the typical “beach”. It does have a sandy area, but it’s only a small surface at the end of an inlet which divides Sarakiniko in half mangificently.
The remaining 90% of the surface is a combination of various geological materials, including eroded volcanic rock, sandstone, and pumice stone and ash.
This gives it the white “lunar” landscape it’s known for. It also doesn’t make it the most comfortable beach on the island, but it is the most unique.
Once you get to the beach, there is a gravel parking lot, which also serves as the only bus stop.
From this viewpoint, the beach doesn’t look like much or as large as you’d expect, but Milos is full of surprises, and Sarakiniko is no different.
Walk through the parking lot and down towards the sea. The first thing that will catch your eye is the crystal blue inlet. I recommend exploring the right side before settling in on the left for swimming, cliff diving or beach time.
Walk around the cliffs on the right side of the inlet. Keep your eye out for the shipwreck sticking out from the sea. It’s subtle, can you see it above?
Explore the coast and look around as there are many caves and rock formations you can only see from this angle!
The surface is quite spectacular. It looks smooth in photos or from above, but when it comes to walking it, it’s uneven at best and filled with groves and hollows.
The most distinguishable parts of Sarakiniko are visible once you cross the sand beach and get to the left side of the inlet.
There’s a very popular area for cliff diving on the left side as well. The diving rocks are on an incline so you can jump from a smaller height and work up the courage to jump from the top. If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate being able to warm up and “test the waters” before going all in.
You will also see interesting rock formations created by volcanic activity and carved by Mother Nature over the years.
Old Mine Tunnels
If you’re looking for an escape from the sun, you can explore the abandoned mine tunnels.
They are accessible from the sand beach. Make sure you have a flashlight available, they’re dark and unmaintained.
You can kayak around Sarakiniko on days with low winds (typically under 20kph (12mph). You’ll be able to explore the coastline and mesmerizing rock formations from an angle that’s not accessible in any other way.
I recommend Sea Kayak Milos, based out of Triovasalos. They run daily tours kayak tours and they adjust their routes based on the weather as needed.
Milos is one of the most unique islands in Greece with ample opportunities for kayaking. Despite the weather, there’s always a great route available.
Tanning and Relaxing
Sarakiniko beach is great if you’re looking for some beach time. You have 74 other options in Milos but Sarakiniko is absolutely worth your time.
There are rocks everywhere that are perfect for sunbathing, but there’s also a small sand beach you can hang out on. The beach is your best bet if you prefer to forego the cliff jumping and get in the water gradually.
As you can imagine, Sarakiniko gets super busy. If you want to avoid the crowds, take some pictures or set up for a relaxing beach day, get here before 9 am. On a sunny day without strong winds from the north, the beach will start getting busy after that time. You’ll get some time to explore the surroundings (and take pictures!) before everyone else gets there.
Here are some tips for things to bring with you if you’re planning on spending a few hours of sunbathing and swimming here.
Early-birds will love this beach. Sunrises at Sarakiniko are pretty spectacular.
It’s worth the effort of getting up.
Sunsets at Sarakiniko beach are another experience you won’t soon forget. The beach is perfectly positioned for admiring those perfect Milos sunsets.
With great sunrises and sunsets, it’s no wonder I love this beach!
The sun sets right behind the rocks, providing a front seat to the color dance in the sky.
I had a chance to visit the beach twice at sunset time and it was everything I expect from a Greek sunset, and more!.
Pro tip: I recommend The Weather Network app for checking sunset time. Aim to get there at least an hour before to catch the golden hour and the best colors. Time permitting, stay for the blue hour as well, which is typically about 45 minutes after the sun goes down. The same app is great for tracking the speed and direction of the wind.
Stargazing at Sarakiniko
There aren’t many beaches out there that get better after sundown. Yet, nighttime at Sarakiniko is a game-changer.
You can pretty much have the beach to yourself if you come after sunset or at night.
Here are some tips for what to bring for the best nighttime experience at Sarakiniko beach.
When To Go
As with everything in Greece, if you can avoid the August crowds, it’s best you do so.
If that’s unavoidable, I recommend getting there early in the morning on sunny and low-wind days, as I’ve suggested before. Alternatively, go during a windy day, for sunset or for stargazing.
Late May, June, September, and early October are perfect for visiting Milos and seeing Sarakiniko beach. The weather is nice, the winds are lower than in July and August, and the water is relatively pleasant for swimming.
How To Get To Sarakiniko Beach
Sarakiniko beach is located on the northern coast of Milos. It’s 2.2 km (1.4 miles) from Adamas, 5 km (3 miles) from the capital, Plaka, and 9 km (5.6 miles) from Pollonia.
It’s just 4 km (2.5 miles) east of Mandrakia, one of the most picturesque villages in Milos. Mandrakia is a perfect lunch-stop after your time at Sarakiniko, especially if you have your own wheels.
The easiest way to get to Sarakiniko is by car or ATV. I rented my car from Tourlakis.
Sarakiniko Beach Bus
There is also a Milos bus that runs between Adamas and Sarakiniko between May 25 and October 6. The frequency of buses doubles between July 1 and September 23. Here’s the schedule.
Pro tip: Take a screenshot of the schedule for future reference. Sarakiniko doesn’t have great reception once you pass the parking lot and there is no WiFi nearby.
Taxi Sarakiniko Beach
You can also call a taxi if you’re using a local SIM card (there’s a Verifone in Triovassalos) or if you have your own WiFi.
The main taxi station is in Adamas. You can reach them at (+30) 22870 22219.
Taxis will likely charge you extra for coming to get you from Adamas and dropping you off in a different location. However, it’s a good option if you have no other choices.
For information on how to get to Milos, check out my practical information guide.
How Long Do You Need at Sarakiniko?
If you are lucky to have a day without Northern winds, I recommend spending at least half a day relaxing at Sarakiniko. Without winds, you can make the most of your time here. You can cliff dive, swim, tan, relax, and explore.
If you have to visit when the Northern winds are strong, you can walk around but won’t be able to swim or sit. In that case, an hour or less will suffice. However, if this is the only opportunity you have to see it, at least you won’t be sharing it with hundreds of people — most stay away when it’s windy.
Be careful of standing at the edge of cliffs, the waves can come crashing in-land unexpectedly, making the rocks slippery.
Hotels Close to Sarakiniko Beach
There aren’t a ton of hotels close by to Sarakiniko due to its rocky surface and remote location.
However, there are a couple of hotels that are a short 10-minute walk away and perfect if you plan on making it to the beach for sunrise or star gazing.
I stayed at Hotel Agnanti in Katifora, a short 5-minute drive from the beach. It only took me 30-minutes to walk to Sarakiniko for sunrise and a beach day one morning. I took the bus to Adamas for lunch afterward.
What To Bring
The beach is in a fairly remote location. Sometimes there’s a food truck at the entrance, but it’s not something you can count on.
You should bring everything you need for your visit with you.
For daytime visits to Sarakiniko beach, consider bringing the following items in your day pack:
- Water bottle(s) – bring enough to last you for your intended stay. You won’t be able to get drinking water here.
- Snack(s) – you may end up staying more than you initially plan. It’s a great idea to bring snacks with you. There’s a grocery store close by if you want to grab something on your way to the beach. I usually take a few WOLO protein bars on all my trips for situations like this. Mint chocolate is my weakness.
- Sunscreen – aside from a couple of trees and caves that can provide shade, the beach has no protection from the sun
- Thick towel – if you are planning on sun tanning, borrow a towel from your hotel, you’ll appreciate sitting on something thicker. The rocky surface is beautiful but isn’t winning any comfort awards. You may want to also bring a travel towel in case you go cliff jumping or swimming.
- Comfortable shoes – the first time I came I had flip flops and I quickly learned I couldn’t climb the rocks to explore properly. It looks like a quick climb but it’s deceiving and very challenging in anything but proper anti-slip, closed toe shoes. People get stuck often, even the ones that are barefoot.
- Water shoes (optional) – this is obviously personal preference but if you have them, it’s your chance to use them. A lot of the surfaces you can swim from are rocky and slippery. It’s easier to get in the water than back up. Sometimes the rocks are sharp and uncomfortable.
- Camera & needed accessories – you’ll likely want to take a ton of pictures, so be ready with charged batteries and SD cards. If you have a drone, you’ll love this beach even more!
- Waterproof dry bag for electronics (optional) – if you visit when the northern winds are strong, you will likely get wet. The waves can get aggressive and fairly high.
For sunset or nighttime visits, you can skip the sunscreen and bring the following instead:
- Flashlight – it’s pitch dark aside from the starlight and it’s rocky as hell. You shouldn’t come here unless you have a good flashlight (or a fully-charged phone you can use instead).
- Warm clothing – it’s shocking how cold it can get at night, especially if you catch some wind or visit outside of July & August. The last thing you want is to have to get all the way there and go back because you’re cold.
- Blanket or towel to sit on – the beauty of this beach at night is that the rocks make awesome ‘hangout’ holes that protect you from the elements. You’ll want to sit down and look up, and you’ll definitely want something warm to sit on.
- Snacks or drinks – I came across so many people having star-lit picnics at night. Just be responsible if you bring booze, the surface is hard to walk on during the day, let alone when it’s pitch black out. Safety first!