One Of The Most Hidden And Mesmerizing Beaches In Europe Is Only Accessible By Ladder

Milos may be less well-known than other Cycladic Islands like Mykonos or Santorini, but it has no shortage of magic. Its rich history dates all the way back to antiquity: in 1820 an unsuspecting farmer uncovered the Venus de Milo — a six-foot tall marble statue carved 2,000 years earlier and believed to represent the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The statue is now one of the three must-see works of art in the Louvre, if you want to make the most of your museum visit. The Milos of today may be missing its Aphrodite but still has a lot going for it. Its relaxed vibe pairs wonderfully with its quaint towns and striking volcanic terrain, whose violet, crimson, and ochre undertones glow in the Greek sun. With these vivid colors in the landscape along with the rainbow palettes of the fishing villages, it's no wonder Milos has earned the nickname "The Island of Colors." 

Nowhere is the vivid color more evident than on Milos' ethereal beaches. Among the whopping 70 or more beaches on Milos, Tsigrado stands out as a hidden treasure. With its towering orange cliffs and sparkling turquoise waters that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, it may very well be one of the most enchanting beaches in Europe. But getting there is not for the fainthearted: the only way to reach Tsigrado's alluring sands is by climbing down steep ladders through a narrow rock chute.  

Getting to Tsigrado

Let's just say that getting to Tsigrado Beach is an experience. First, you have to know it exists. As it's so secluded, it's not visible to someone not looking for it. The access to the beach is on the southern coast of Milos, near the village of Firiplaka. Beachgoers must enter the narrow passageway in the rocks and climb down ladders with the help of a rope. To do this safely, wear sturdy shoes, take your time, and avoid bringing large bags and equipment. Remember, anything you take down, you'll have to carry back up at day's end when you may be hot, tired, and feeling sorta like human jello. At the same time, definitely do bring a towel, sunscreen, and some water if you plan to stay a while, as there are no facilities at this beach. 

Once you arrive at Tsigrado, you'll forget all the pain it took to get there. Stretch out on the white sand and savor this little piece of paradise. This is also a great beach for snorkeling and underwater exploration, as the waters are exceptionally clear. There are also cool rock formations, caverns, and other coves to check out if you're feeling adventurous. 

More beaches on Milos

To discover more of Milos' spectacular coastline, a visit to the nearby Firiplaka Beach is a must. Like Tsigrado, it's set against striking cliffs with shallow, crystal-clear waters but offers a longer stretch of sand. In addition, it only requires a short walk to get there from the parking area, making it more suitable for families and anyone with limited mobility. The organized section of the beach offers sun beds, umbrellas, and a canteen where you can purchase drinks and snacks. But those who prefer a more natural setting can walk further down the beach.

Two other beaches not to miss on the island are Sarakniko and Kleftiko Beaches. Sarakniko is a beach like no other, a lunar landscape of undulating white rock formations and caves that provide a dramatic contrast against the blue sea. Adding to the mystery of the place, it's said that it was named after the fierce Saracen pirates who took shelter in the caves here while plotting their next move. Kleftiko is more of a series of bays than a beach, but its stunning scenery makes it one of the most visited spots on Milos. It's best experienced via a boat excursion since the only path leading there passes through an area where red vipers live. Pirates and poisonous snakes aside, it's pretty clear from all the evidence that Milos may be the perfect Greek island to escape to if you're looking for a beach vacation.