Kleftiko Bay is one of the most iconic spots in Milos, and possibly the whole of Greece. While most people visit on a boat tour, it’s actually possible to hike to Kleftiko Bay in Milos. Here’s how to do it!
Kleftiko Beach Milos Greece
Milos in Greece is getting more and more famous. This beautiful Cycladic island combines unique landscapes with dozens of spectacular beaches.
It’s ideal if you want to explore the outdoors and experience a popular Greek island which has mostly retained its natural charm.
One of the most visited places in Milos is Kleftiko, a remote, secluded bay on the southwest side of the island. If you are planning to visit Greece, you will most likely have seen the iconic white rocks coming out of the sea.
The bay is famous for its pretty rock formations, seacaves and wild feel. It’s often included in lists of the best beaches in Greece.
Boat tours to Kleftiko Bay
Most people visit Kleftiko Bay on a boat tour. There are plenty of boat trips to choose from.
Some full-day trips begin in Adamas, the main port in the island of Milos, and stop at several other beaches on the way. Depending on weather, they may reach the nearby Polyaigos island.
In most cases, the exact itinerary will probably be decided on the day. It really depends on winds, which tend to change frequently, especially if you are visiting during the meltemi season.
Other tours begin on the south beaches of the island, like Agia Kyriaki and Kipoi. They may include a couple of other stops on the way to Kleftiko.
Not everyone knows that it’s possible to hike to Kleftiko Bay. In fact, many travel guides don’t even mention the hiking path! Here’s some more information to help you decide if this is for you.
Hiking to Kleftiko Bay
Let’s hike to Kleftiko, he said. It will be fun, he said. I actually quite enjoy hiking, so I said yes.
We had taken a full-day boat trip from Adamas port to Kleftiko back in June 2018, with Chrysovalandou boat. It was a very enjoyable day overall. We had visited many beaches and coves in Milos and the nearby Polyegos island.
When we returned to Milos in September 2020, we decided to try the more adventurous option and hike to Kleftiko Bay. In fact, we were torn between the hike and a shorter boat trip from Kipoi, but it wasn’t running on that week.
As there had been some recent rainfall, I asked some locals what the trail was like nowadays. They told me that the hiking path was in good condition, but we should definitely wear closed shoes as the island of Milos has snakes.
In fact, not just snakes, but a type of red viper, whose bite is poisonous, and potentially lethal. Yikes.
To make things worse, our landlady’s sister had been bitten by one of those a couple of years ago. She then had to be transferred to Athens to get the antidote. Yikes.
Nevermind. We decided to ignore that piece of information and go for the hike anyway. However, for once I took the hiking shoes advice very seriously.
We packed lots of water, a few snacks, my snorkelling gear, a ton of sunblock and all our cameras and gadgets, and off we were.
Beginning of hiking path to Kleftiko Bay
In order to hike to Kleftiko Bay, you first need to get to the beginning of the hiking path. This is conveniently marked on Google Maps as “Access for path to Kleftiko beach by hike”.
In order to get here, you’d need to hire some sort of vehicle. We have our own old and trusted Toyota Starlet, which seems to think it’s a 4WD.
People who don’t have their own vehicle should rent a small 4WD or maybe a quad. My article on driving in Greece should help.
You will need to follow the road all the way to the Monastery of St John Siderianos. If you are departing from Adamas, follow the asphalt road to Agia Marina church. From then on, the road is a dirt road.
At the time we drove there, the road all the way to the Monastery was in great condition, as the monastery was getting ready for a celebration. This part is roughly 10 kilometres.
The next 2 kilometres from the monastery to the beginning of the hiking path aren’t great. If you have hired a conventional car it’s probably best to leave it at the monastery’s parking and continue on foot.
I don’t thing the insurance would cover you in case of an accident or break down.
It is possible to get to the beginning of the path through the south road, passing by Kipoi, Gerontas and Xylokeratia. This road was in much worse shape when we drove around Milos, so don’t try it in a hired car, unless it’s a 4WD.
Here’s a full guide on how to get around Milos, including car and ATV rentals.
Hiking to Kleftiko beach
We dropped the car at the beginning of the path, where there were two 4WDs. There is a wooden sign saying “Kleftiko” there, so you can’t miss it.
There was also a yellow sign, informing us that hunting was allowed in the area. So now we had to watch out not only for the red vipers, but also for hunters. Very reassuring 😊
The first few minutes of the hike were very, very smooth. Now and then, we could see some rocks that had been marked with white paint, so we knew we were on the right track.
Still, this trail wasn’t as clearly marked as other hiking paths we have tried, like the hike to Katergo beach in Folegandros.
Soon, the track became quite steep, and I was glad for my lovely footwear. That said, I wished I had “worn them in” a little more before trying them on an actual hike.
Going from several months of wearing sandals to hiking in fairly new shoes is never a great idea. Oh well!
Kleftiko Beach from above
After about a half hour, we could see the famous bay from above. In fact, the hike is worth it for the views alone, as it offers a unique perspective.
There were several boats of all sorts in the bay, including a massive yacht. This was very different from the last time we had been to Milos, when there were rather few boats.
It took us about fifty minutes to an hour to get to Kleftiko, including all the necessary photo-stops. We ended up on a flat grey rock, where we put our towels. We were then off for a swim and some underwater exploration.
Unfortunately, the sea wasn’t super clear on the day we were there. There had been some strong south winds on the previous days, which made the seabed rather murky.
When there is no wind, snorkeling here is really spectacular, and the seacaves are pretty amazing.
We spent a couple of hours on the rocks, and then decided we had had too much sun, so we started making our way back. It only took us about 45 minutes to get back to the car. I guess we didn’t stop for as many photos this time.
That said, part of the path on the way back was rather steep. In combination with the unusually humid weather, I found it a lot more tiring.
Granted, we had actually managed to run out of our two big bottles of water by the time we got back! It was an excellent idea to bring a third bottle with us.
Before we returned to Adamas, we stopped at the nearby Agios Ioannis beach for an hour. This is a long, sandy beach, which seems to be little visited.
We made a new friend here – this very friendly duck with whom we shared our last water and rice cakes!
Tips for hiking to Kleftiko Milos
If you are hiking to Kleftiko, bring sunblock, hats, snorkeling gear, LOTS of water, and definitely hiking shoes. Even though we didn’t see any snakes (and I’m glad), some parts of the path wouldn’t be easy to do in sandals.
I love my hiking Teva sandals, but I was happy I left them behind on this occasion.
All things considered, I wouldn’t call it a difficult hike. Still, the humidity and zero wind on that day made it uncomfortable on the way back. Imagine that we did the hike on 25 September!
I would personally avoid it in July and August, when the weather is warmer. Here’s a little more information on the best time to visit Milos and Kimolos in Greece.
Note that there is no real beach, just a rock, and no shade. A couple of hours there was enough for us, and other people spent even less time. I wouldn’t call Kleftiko an ideal spot to relax – but it’s great to visit for the experience.
Last tip – Kleftiko will not be enjoyable on a day with strong south winds. In this case, go to Sarakiniko and the other north beaches instead.
Boat tour vs hiking to Kleftiko Beach
As I’ve been to Kleftiko both on a boat tour and hiking, here are my impressions.
All in all, a boat tour to Kleftiko Bay is more relaxed. All you need to do is swim, snorkel, and work on your tan while on the boat. In addition, on most tours, you will get to try some delicious Greek food, and there is often music involved.
At the same time, a hike offers a different perspective, and you will see some interesting landscapes on the way, as well as the monastery.
Moreover, you can justify a massive Greek meal afterwards. Not that a massive Greek meal really needs to be justified when you are on vacation, but just saying.
Speaking of which, I can totally recommend to Bakalikon tou Galani in Triovasalos where we went on that evening. They have various small, inexpensive plates, and we absolutely loved everything we ordered.
That was a dinner very well-deserved, and we were too hungry to take photos, hah!
Overall, if you only have 2-3 days in Milos, I recommend going on a boat tour, as you will see more beaches. If you have several days though, I totally suggest trying the hike, if you are happy with the temperature.
And how about people who don’t want to spend a full day on the boat, but aren’t too keen on hiking either? In this case, you can get the half day trip from one of the south beaches.
Just ask around at any of the agencies in Adamas and they will be happy to help.
Frequently asked questions about Milos and Kleftiko Bay
Visitors to Milos often ask questions like these:
What is Milos Greece known for?
The island of Milos in Greece is known for its unique landscapes, which were the result of volcanic eruptions which happened millions of years ago. It is also famous for its picturesque beaches, like Kleftiko and Sarakiniko.
Where is Milos located?
Milos is one of the Cyclades group of islands, which are located to the east of mainland Greece. It is close to Sifnos and Kimolos, and is a 2-hour ferry ride from Santorini.
How do you get around Milos?
The best way to get around mainland Milos is in your own vehicle. You can also take a half-day or full-day sailing trip around the picturesque island, and explore the wonderful beaches.
How do I get to Kleftiko Milos?
The easiest way to get to Kleftiko Milos is by sailing boat, departing either from Adamas or from Kipoi. However, there is also a hiking path. It will take you just under an hour’s drive to get to the beginning of the path from Adamas. The hike itself should take you roughly 40-50 minutes.
Is Milos a good island?
Milos is a great destination for people who like nature and exploring the outdoors. The best activities in Milos include hiking, swimming, snorkelling and taking in the stunning landscapes.
Hiking to Kleftiko Bay
So this was my experience of Kleftiko in Milos Greece. Have you been to Milos, and if so, how did you get to Kleftiko? I’m curious to hear your views, so please let me know in the comments!
To go to the famous beach, you’ll have to get to Milos first! You can book tickets on Ferryscanner, a search engine which compares all ferries and ferry routes.
Finally, check out my article “Is Greece expensive?“. Here, I’ve included all our costs travelling around the Cyclades for a month!
Hi, I’m Vanessa!
Hi and welcome to my blog! I am Vanessa from Athens, and I love exploring my country. I find that hiking around the Greek islands is one of the most enjoyable ways to discover Greece off-the-beaten-track! Did you actually know that it’s possible to get to Kleftiko beach on foot? Please let me know in the comments 🙂