Close your eyes and picture a dream-like coastal setting with endless white cliffs that meet a cerulean sea. This place exists IRL and it’s called Kleftiko, Milos’ most idyllic spot.

If you’re planning a trip to Milos, you already know you’re going to spend a lot of time on the beach. Kleftiko is the pièce de résistance on an island known for some of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe.

Make no mistake about it – Kleftiko’s natural beauty is stunning. Imagine snow-white rock formations peering out of sparkling blue waters where the land meets the sea. 

Kleftiko rock formations

The legends of the Kleftiko of centuries past are equally intriguing. I dare you not to get excited by hearing tales of pirates hiding out in the caves and docking along the hidden coves.

But alas, the best spots require a bit more effort than others and this is no exception. Only accessible by boat, getting to Kleftiko may be a bit more difficult than simply driving over and bedding down, but it’s worth the effort. 

Want to know how to get to Kleftiko, what to bring along, and when you should go? Read this in-depth guide and I’ll fill you in on everything you need to make the most of your visit.

Why Visit Kleftiko? 

Boat Trip to Kleftiko

Milos boasts so many amazing beaches that it is hard to narrow down your choices… So how about one that you can only reach by boat?

Even with the ever-increasing visitors on this small Greek Island, the fact that you need to hire a catamaran or speedboat to reach Kleftiko’s hidden coves keeps it less crowded than it should be. 

Look, I’ll level with you – Kleftiko is spectacular. Thousands of years of erosion formed the layered cliffs towering high over the coves. Also, look for caves etched into unexpected nooks and crannies and natural tunnels carved into the white volcanic rocks in the clear blue sea.

The incredible scenery makes it an adventure lover’s dream, with endless places to explore above and below the water.

What to Do in Kleftiko 


One of the most popular things in Kleftiko is dropping an anchor, jumping off the side of a yacht or sailboat and basking in the Aegean Sea. You’ll quickly see why if you visit.

And when you go snorkelling in the clear blue waters, you can’t help but imagine a gold coin or rare ruby revealing itself in the white volcanic rocks and sand below the surface. 

Exploring the Caves and Coves

Can you think of anything more intriguing than spending an afternoon exploring old pirate hangouts? Me either. I love any chance I get to just vibe out in the ocean in a hidden spot. Kleftiko has these in abundance.

Top Tip

Swim near the shores to discover little beaches and caves tucked away and claim it as your own (if just for an afternoon).

Cliff Jumping

Sarakiniko is the most famous place to go cliff jumping in Milos. But that doesn’t mean people don’t seek out adventure when they go to Kleftiko. There are more than a few places you can climb up and jump down in the hidden coves. 

The conditions here tend to favour more advanced swimmers and divers, so don’t take safety lightly. While I saw other people jumping from the large rocky shores, I didn’t do it myself.


Sailing around Kleftiko is easily the coolest thing to do in the area. Approaching the secluded coves from the open sea is just magical.

There are lots of little areas you can sail around. Our tour guide took us past the crowded section and over to a secluded little stretch that we had completely to ourselves. 

It was a great way to really feel like you got to know the island and the ocean surrounding it firsthand.

Keep an Eye Out For… 

Spectacular Sunsets

Imagine the fiery orange sun setting below the blue-green waters in Milos. Now, just think for a moment what that sun looks like, bouncing off the chalky white volcanic cliffs stretching into the skies from below. It’s amazing.

Sunsets in Kleftiko take on a life of their own, combining natural beauty and pirate folklore, adding a splash of mystery to an already captivating scene. 

Weird Rock Formations

Kleftiko rock formations

The rock formations in Kleftiko are a big reason why it’s such a popular stop when you visit Milos. You’ll notice powder-white sea stacks and natural arches towering high above the blue waters.

But if you explore a bit more, you can find numerous sea caves waiting for you to explore. I didn’t get to see all of them ( some are too small for more than a couple of people to enter at a time,) but there are plenty for you to discover.

Abundant Wildlife

While this area used to be home to sea lions, you won’t find any nowadays. But you may see sea turtles, fish, and even an octopus occasionally at Kleftiko.

If you end up hiking on the small beaches, keep your eyes wide open for the Milos Viper. It’s a deadly snake, although most of them live on the island’s west side.

Calm Waters

Calm waters

Because Kleftiko is tucked away on the southside of the island and protected by coves and large rocky islands, the waters here are often very calm.That said, always check the weather before swimming and watch the tide charts if you’re worried about waves.

Delve into Kleftiko’s History

cliffs and coves

Like Milos’ other showstopper, Sarakiniko, Kleftiko has volcanic origins. Volcanoes erupted for a couple of million years, leaving the white coastline for which Milos, and Kleftiko in particular is so famous, in their wake. 

After that, it was a matter of wind, rain and crashing waves working their magic over thousands of years, shaping the rocky shores like an artist working a clay pot with their hands. The result? It’s one of the most stunning collections of caves and coves anywhere in Europe.

But the history of Kleftiko doesn’t stop there. Because nature carved out such perfect coves along the southwestern Milos shores, humans (as they do) found pretty interesting ways to take advantage of the land.

And as you’ll hear about at a few of the most famous beaches in the Cyclades, pirates called this area home due to its strategic location out of plain sight. This wasn’t a quick stopover, either. Experts say it was an active pirate lair for hundreds of years and was pretty dangerous for sailors passing by.

You won’t need to worry about pirates today: pirates haven’t called this area home since the early 19th century.

Top Tips for Planning Your Visit to Kleftiko 

  • Of the 90 (or more) beaches in Milos, the very best, like Kleftiko, are located in the south. Why? You’re the most protected from the notorious Meltemi winds, which can tend to wreak a bit of havoc in the north from time to time. 
  • Milos gets extremely windy. Before you book your boat ride, check the forecast and how the wind looks, as it can cause rough waters (even in the mellow coves).
  • Bring everything you might need, including water, snacks, and sunscreen.
  • I recommend carrying a coverup and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the scorching sun.
  • There are no bars or restaurants at the “beach,” but many tours offer food.
  • Boats fill up fast, especially in the summer. But if you miss out on a chance to book ahead, you can sometimes find available tours on the day in the port of Adamas.
  • Pack a good pair of swim shoes if you plan to walk around shore. It’s very rocky, so you’ll want good footwear.

Getting There

The boat we took to Kleftiko

As I said, you’re only getting to this cove by water. Ok, some people hike here, but it’s pretty sketchy. 

Why? It’s hard to find a trailhead (there’s no signage), and there are legitimately poisonous snakes in the area. Not to mention, the climb down to the waters isn’t conducive to hiking.

Instead, rent a boat or hop onto a guided tour. You can find quite a few rental companies around Adamas offering large tours. You can also rent small boats to navigate your way along the coast to Kleftiko (no need for a licence) at Agia Kiriaki beach – though I’d only recommend doing this on calm days. 

I opted for this boat tour of Kleftiko, and was impressed by the brother and sister team who led 10 of us around the island. We stopped in Kleftiko and also some hidden coves nearby.

Alternatively, check out some great tour options in the section further on in this guide.

When to Visit? 

Most people head to Milos in the summertime, as the temperatures are perfect for swimming – but July and August can get windy thanks to the Meltemi wind system that blows over the Aegean during that period. 

The days are really hot from May through August, as temperatures can easily top 29°C (85°F). Summer is also the most crowded time of year to visit, so you’ll want to book your tour as early as possible.

My advice? I just returned from a trip in early October, and I think it’s the best time to go to Kleftiko. It was relatively easy for me to find a tour and I didn’t have to share the boat with dozens of travellers. 

Book your visit for September or early October to avoid peak tourist season and still get warm enough weather to enjoy a few hours of exploring. Go later than this and you risk many of the restaurants and hotels being closed. 


Julianna Barnaby on the boat

The tour I took couldn’t have been any better. We had a small group of 12 (compared to many, which have up to 25) and didn’t regret it.

Your boat will leave early in the morning (weather permitting) and take you to bizarre rock formations and secret coves you can’t access by car. The guides were local and knew the island like the back of their hand. You also get some perks like snorkelling gear, snacks and restrooms on board. 

But check with your tour for specifics, as they change from boat to boat.

Initially, our tour was going to run from Adamas, but it was still a bit windy after a storm the last few days. So, instead, they drove us to Paliochori Beach to meet the boat, and then we sailed along the south coast to finish in Adamas. 

We found the famous coves at Kleftiko, and our captain tucked us into a quieter cove so we could have it all to ourselves. It was truly brilliant.

Check Out the Small Group Tour of Kleftiko and Other Secret Beaches

Alternatively, you can try one of these tours: 


Read More Milos Guides

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