Visiting Milos and looking for info on Sarakiniko Beach, the most unique beach in all of Greece? Well keep on reading, because I’m sharing everything you need to know about this stunning lunar landscape.
Diving off the white volcanic cliffs. Sunbathing on the dramatic desert landscape and the sun-drenched shores. Swimming in the emerald-colored Aegean sea. That’s what a morning at Sarakiniko Beach is all about! And it was easily one of our favorites on our trip to Milos.
It’s by far the most talked about beach on all of the island (all my favorite beaches in Milos here!), and quite possibly the most unique in all of the Cyclades! What’s so special about it anyways? You’ll feel like you landed right on the MOON! Kinda like the surface of the moon meets a tropical paradise all in one. So in other words, you NEED to visit Sarakiniko at least once during your stay in Milos.
Sarakiniko is the ultimate lunar landscape and by far one of the most unique beaches in Milos. The chalky white, moon-like surface was built by white volcanic cliffs, and it’s absolutely remarkable. The topography is incredible — I swear it doesn’t look real!
Definitely bring your camera here — Sarakiniko is easily the most photographed spot on Milos Island. With that being said, if you hope to get some epic shots sans people, come early, like really early. It is one of the most popular destinations on Milos after all. I’ve heard sunrise is pretty epic.
Before visiting the lunar landscape of Sarakiniko, be sure to familiarize yourself with the beach and all my info below. I’m sharing everything you need to know — from how to get there and where to park, what to bring, how to spend your time, etc.
How Sarakiniko Beach Was Formed
The wild landscape of Sarakiniko was formed by lava being poured and then frozen after a volcanic eruption. This volcanic white rock was then carved and eroded into strange, curved shapes by the wind and waves.
And since there’s hardly any vegetation, it gives the illusion of a moonscape! Mother Nature, you sure are amazing!
Where is Sarakiniko
Sarakiniko Beach is located in Milos, Greece, an island in the Greek Cyclade archipelago in the Aegean Sea not far from Sifnos and Folegandros (two other islands I’m itching to get to).
The beach is on the north shore of the island, pretty close to both Adamas and Plaka. It’s between the traditional fishing village of Mandrakia and the Papafragas Caves, so I’d definitely recommend hitting up both spots after you’re done at Sarakiniko!
How to Get to Sarakiniko Beach
Unlike other beaches in Milos (I’m looking at you Tsigrado and Gerakas), Sarakiniko is super easy to access! And there’s quite a few ways to get there!
You’ll of course first need to get yourself over to Milos, which isn’t terribly hard if you’re already in Greece. From Athens, you can reach Milos by plane in a little over an hour, or 2-3 hours via high speed ferry. You can also take a ferry from other islands in the Cyclades, like Santorini or Mykonos, which is what we did!
Car/ATV/Scooter Rental: Thankfully, Sarakiniko isn’t too far from where most people stay on the island. It’s on the northern stretch of coastline on Milos, only about 10 minutes from Adamas (the port town where we stayed!), 15 minutes from Pollonia (a cute seaside town), and 10 minutes from Plaka (the island’s capital city). Renting a car, ATV, or scooter will be by far the easiest way to get to Sarakiniko. Renting your own wheels is definitely the way to go for convenience.
We booked a car rental in advance, and I recommend doing so as well to ensure you’ve got what you want/need. Psst — there’s not many automatic cars on Milos, so if you can’t drive a manual transmission/stick, book ASAP. You may need to show your International Drivers License when picking up the car, so get that in advance back at home at AAA for $20.
- Parking at Sarakiniko: Parking is free, although if you get there past 9:30am or so you’ll probably miss out on a spot in the actual lot and have to walk a bit. There were plenty of cars parked on the shoulder when we left Sarakiniko, so don’t fret if you don’t get a spot in the small lot. Once you park, it’s about a 10 minute walk to the beach! Scooters and ATVs will have an easier time parking since they’re smaller.
Walking: If you’re up for an early morning workout and wanna see some of the island by foot, you can even walk the 45 minutes from Adamas (approximately 3.5km). While it sounds like an adventure, I wouldn’t recommend it in the intense heat of the summer (June-August). The walk is about an hour from Plaka, so doable as well when it’s not terribly hot.
But definitely don’t attempt this from Pollonia — the walk is far too long at 9km and almost 2 hours.
Just FYI — I haven’t walked to Sarakiniko Beach from any of these spots, so I’m not entirely sure what the terrain is like and if it’s flat or not. Go with caution, and I’d definitely ask your hotel their thoughts before heading out. But whatever you do, take way more water than you think you’ll need!
Public Transportation: Don’t wanna rent a car and/or worry about parking? Milos has a public bus system, and conveniently, there’s a bus station just 100 meters from the ferry terminal in Adamas. If I was traveling solo, this is what I probably would have done since most cars on the island are manual transmission and ya girl cannot drive stick.
You can really only take the public bus in the summer months (from May to September), although you’ll be limited to the bus schedule which I don’t recommend either. Find the schedule here, but do note I read that times change without notice so you may be waiting a bit longer than expected.
Taxi: You can easily find a taxi in Adamas (they typically hang out over there by the ferry port), but getting one back will be much trickier. There’s only 15 taxis in all of Milos, so good luck finding one at Sarakiniko! You’ll most likely need to call for one (with your own cell, granted you have service), and it’ll definitely cost you a pretty penny and probably a long wait, especially in the summer months. Find more information about Milos Taxis here.
Boat: Wanna see Sarakiniko’s lunar landscape from the water? Book a boat trip to Sarakiniko! Boats are a common way to see multiple spots on the coast of the island — and we saw quite a few drop anchor here at Sarakiniko. But they typically don’t stay long enough for you to actually walk on the white rock or do any exploring. The people we saw were simply swimming in the water nearby. If you wanna spend ample time at Sarakiniko really exploring all its nooks and crannies, I’d opt out of arriving via boat (or just go yourself another time).
Facilities at Sarakiniko
There’s honestly not much there. The facilities are minimal at best; Sarakiniko is not an organized beach like some other beaches in Milos (like say, Fyriplaka). We saw a small truck selling cold drinks and snacks near the parking lot, but that was it.
You’ll need to bring whatever you need with you, hence the next section on this guide to Sarakiniko!
What to Bring to Sarakiniko
Since there’s not really much at Sarakiniko (well, besides the stunning landscape and milky-blue waters of course), you gotta come prepared. We try to pack light and avoid bringing unnecessary things to the beach. Thankfully, we had our car so we were able to keep all our stuff in there when we didn’t need it at other stops.
- Quick Dry Towel: For both laying out (especially on the white rock here at Sarakiniko) and drying off after a swim! A thin sheet won’t really cut it here, since the rock is hard and not the comfiest after a little while.
- Waterproof camera: the beaches in Milos are some of the most stunning I’ve seen — you’ll definitely wanna capture the beauty on camera! An action camera like a GoPro (with underwater housing of course) is perfect for exploring the sea caves and clear water at Sarakiniko! New iPhones are waterproof as well, although I much prefer to keep them safe in a sealable waterproof pouch.
- Reusable water bottle: There’s no drinking water at Sarakiniko — you’ll wanna carry your own water (gotta stay hydrated in the hot sun)
- Non-perishable snacks: besides a small spot with cold drinks and some snacks, there’s nothing within walking distance. Bring at least a little bit of nourishment so you don’t get hangry if you’re visiting before breakfast or within a few hours of mealtime!
- Sunscreen: and lots of it! Slather on that SPF — the sun is strong here at the beaches in Milos! There’s not much shade at Sarakiniko, besides what the cliffs provide, and that’s not a lot.
- Beach hat: you’ll love the bit of shade a hat provides, I promise.
- Water shoes: The white rock is more difficult to walk on than it looks, and I kinda wished I had some cute water shoes. My husband wore his waterproof Tevas and definitely didn’t regret it.
- Mask and Snorkel (optional): the water in Milos is some of the clearest we’ve EVER seen, so you won’t be disappointed with a snorkel! While there’s not a ton of sea life below the surface (there’s still some!), the rocks and colorful water make for an impressive site!
- Backpack/beach bag: gotta carry all your belongings somehow!
What to do at Sarakiniko Beach
Cliff jump, relax, explore the chalky white rocks, sunbathe! Really though, be as active or sedentary as you want; it’s your vacation!
When you walk over from the parking lot, you’ll see you can kinda go two different ways:
Right Side of Parking Lot: white rocky landscape
Take a look at all the jagged white rocks — it’s an absolutely wild landscape! No wonder it feels like you transported straight to the moon! We took a few photos here and moved on to the beach and water. It’s cool but all kinda looks the same after a bit.
Left Side of Parking Lot: water, cliff jumping, swimming, beach
Now this is where all the action takes place! Note that the beach is hella small, so you’ll see everyone laying out on the white rocks near the water. Definitely bring a towel to lay on — the rock isn’t always the most comfortable after a long period of time.
But don’t sit around for too long — there’s cliff jumping and exploring to do! We didn’t jump into the water, but it was super fun watching others. If you still wanna cool off but don’t wanna cliff jump, you can easily access the water from the small beach area.
The cliffs gradually slope, meaning you can first jump from lower spots before building up the courage to jump from the top!
How Long to Stay
You could honestly stay all day, jumping into the cool waters and exploring the white, rocky surfaces. But you probably won’t want to — there’s little to no shade here at Sarakiniko, and zero facilities. If you don’t bring your own food, you’ll need to leave to get some lunch eventually! We visited in the morning and stayed for about 2 hours or so, and felt that was enough time for a leisurely wander, some cliff-jump watching, wading in the water, and laying out for some sun.
When to Go
Season: High season in Milos is July and August, so I’d opt to visit in the shoulder season if at all possible (May – June or September – October). Besides less people, hotels will be a bit cheaper and you won’t have to wait as long at popular restaurants! I’d avoid visiting in other months as temps may be too chilly to enjoy the water. And plus, it rains a few times a month in the winter, so if this is a bucket-list trip, you don’t wanna get rained out!
Time of Day: Definitely hit up Sarakiniko ASAP, like right after breakfast. As the day progresses it gets busier and busier, although the sun heats up fast. If you’re looking for less crowds, 100% visit before 9AM. We arrived around 9:45 or so and there were already loads of people; although when we left around 11:30 it was absolutely packed!
Weather at Sarakiniko and Milos in General
Two words — (extremely) hot and sunny! It was a sizzling 90°F or so when we visited in mid-July, and the sun was constantly shining. No really though, there’s little to no shade over here at Sarakiniko (tons of wide open spaces). If you really need some shade like us, you’ll find some along the canyon walls depending on the time of day of course.
On Milos, like other islands in the Cyclades, there’s a Meditteranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and warm, sunny summers. Temps are comfortable year round, although the humidity picks up in the summer. If you can’t stand intense heat, I’d avoid July and August, as they’re the hottest months in Milos. Although that high heat just makes the water feel absolutely perfect — cool but not chilly. So super refreshing!
Make sure to read the bit below about the northern Meltemi winds as they can ruin any beach day!
Like other Greek Islands, Milos experiences high winds most commonly in July and August, although they can occur in June or September too (albeit less frequently). These are the Meltemi winds — strong, dry, seasonal winds that appear all over the Aegean. Unfortunately, these high winds can completely spoil your beach day at Sarakiniko, so it’s important to plan ahead in order to know when to go vs. choose another beach.
You can use WindFinder and/or Windy to help predict which days will be the windiest (numbers in green are pretty windy!). However, it’s best to figure out where on the island the winds are coming from — our lovely hotel receptionist told us each morning how the winds were looking for the day. This will help determine which beaches in Milos you go to on a certain day. I mean, not only is it dangerous to swim in high waves, but no one likes sand blowing in their mouth and hair!
The wind will likely be coming from the north, so you’ll wanna avoid the beaches facing north — exactly where Sarakiniko is! Sorry! Use this day to visit the beaches in the south, like Tsigrado and/or Fyriplaka (our favorite), and visit Sarakiniko another day.
Sunrise and Sunset at Sarakiniko Beach
I’ve heard that sunrise is absolutely breathtaking at Sarakiniko Beach — I can’t even imagine watching the skies turn all shades of pastel against the chalky white rocks as the sun comes up. If you’re visiting Milos as one of the first stops on your Greece itinerary, use your jet lag to your advantage and make the short drive over. And even better — there’ll probably be no one else there!
Sunset is another great time to visit Sarakiniko Beach — the white cliffs essentially turn orange and there’s little to no people. I think I wanna do this next time we’re in Milos (hopefully sooner than later).
So there ya have it — everything you need to know about Sarakiniko Beach in Milos! Have you heard of this spectacular lunar landscape before?!