Milos, the island of Venus, is one of the Cyclades group of islands, famous for its numerous and beautiful beaches. Each year it becomes more and more popular especially among the foreign tourists who often choose to combine it with Santorini or Folegandros. Many Greeks refer to Milos as the “couple’s island”. Its volcanic past with the impressive coastal formations of white and red rocks, set a rather charming destination. Following are some insider’s suggestions about how to spend 5 days on this lovely island!
Arrive by air or ferry at Adamas. This is the main port of the island and you can reach it either from Piraeus (Athens) or Heraklion (Crete). During the summer, Milos is connected with several Cycladic islands, like Sifnos, Serifos, Santorini, Folegandros, and Paros. There is also another (small) port at the north part of the island, called Pollonia, which is daily connected only with Kimolos.
Explore Papafragas and the surrounding area; long narrow gulfs next to each other with deep blue waters and points where you can sneak through the caves. Alogomandra is another nearby interesting beach.
Just 10 minutes far, one of the main hot spots of the island, Sarakiniko, is of unique beauty. It is a lunarscape place formed through the erosion of the volcanic rocks by wind and wave, thereby offering an exciting unusual spectacle. Spend some time to explore the area in multiple directions; walk on the pirates’ aisles which you can view as holes on the rocks and go diving and jumping off the sheer cliffs to swim in secret caves. For those willing to wake up early, the sunrise promises exquisite shots!
Suggested places to eat: Pollonia is well known for its wonderful restaurants by the seaside where you can taste the best fish food on the island! Choose from a selection of nice tavernas like Rifaki and Rakomelo, where you can also marvel at a golden sunset!
For those who like to wake up early in the morning, Firopotamos is one of the best beaches to appreciate the sunrise while swimming closely to caves where Monachus Monachus seals might be hiding. Plathiena presents another beautiful beach in the north; the giant rocks known to resemble to bears stand just outside the gulf.
Visit a picturesque and quiet place to feel the calming energy of an evening by the sea. Klima, is a vivid and colorful village, where fishermen used to keep their boats in hideouts, known as Sirmata. You can find similar characteristics at different spots on Milos, like at Mandrakia, Fourkovouni and Empourios which are small fishing harbors filling in the rare and impressive island architecture.
Venus de Milo was discovered somewhere nearby! Capture the fantastic scenery with your camera but save some energy to spend some time at Plaka, the capital of Milos. Wander around the beautiful cobbled paths or take a walk to the top of the hill to enjoy an unforgettable sunset from the medieval castle. In a different case, look for the church known for its breathtaking viewpoint: an excellent balcony facing the endless blue of the Aegean Sea; there you will be amazed of the variety of colors while the sun goes down. Within a few minutes’ walk from Plaka, Tripiti is another fine village to reward you with its windmills and paved with flagstones alleys. Take a stroll around and pick to dine at one of the many nice restaurants waiting for you to taste the local dishes whilst taking pleasure in an idyllic sunset.
Writer’s choices to dine: Avli at Plaka and Glaronisia at Tripiti (also provides catering services for weddings, christenings and other social events). Belivanis at Triovasalos for the best souvlaki.
Head it south and find pleasure in a dreaming, long, sandy beach. Firiplaka is the absolute paradise of calmness! If you like small and more isolated shores, you have an additional choice just 5 minutes away from Firiplaka; follow the signs to Tsigrado and use a rope to get down to a golden sand beach with green blue waters.
If you are looking for entertainment venues, then you should get to know Adamas better; this is where the night life actually happens. Just opposite the port, climb up the stairs, and have a drink at any of the bars with the lovely, welcoming balconies overlooking the dock. Have a drink and listen to the music in a romantic ambience or dance until the morning. Plaka‘s colorful coffee places may also be an option but not until too late at night.
Recommended places to eat: Maistrali at Provatas or Thalasopetra at Agia Kiriaki or Navagio’s alluring cuisine at Adamas seaside (mainly seafood).
Plan to go on a boat trip and hold your breath in awe of the fantastic coastline and the fascinating coves around the island. Majestic Kleftiko, the famous den of pirates, stands as the main attraction of the multiple sailing trips you will be advised to book from day 1 of your arrival on the island. It is ideal for snorkeling and underwater photography.
Alternatively, if you are into adventures, explore the west and east part of the island by driving off-road since these parts are considered secluded, thus not easily accessible (East: old sulphur mines and Kastanas, West: Triades and Agios Ioannis). A great idea is to look for the hiking trail and reach Sikia, the unreal roofless cave, on foot; especially during the sunset, you can have a spectacular view approaching the beach from the hills! Note that due to the rare biodiversity, the land and coastal zone of west Milos (the wider region of Profitis Ilias), are protected by the Natura 2000 network. Also included: Antimilos andPoliegos.
One of the best beaches of southern Milos, Agia Kiriaki offers a stretched sandy beach to relax and swim in the crystal clear turquoise waters. Also located in the south, Paliochori is quite famous since it is definitely the best organized beach on the island, lined up with beach bars, sun beds and umbrellas. This is the volcano area; thus, the sand is quite hot while you can find sites in the sea where water is sizzling. Moreover, the geology of the colorful rocks is clearly remarkable.
In case of windy days (which is not rare, especially during August), go for sightseeing: The mining museum presents the island’s mineral wealth, mining history and extraction activity since the Neolithic Age. You can also pay a visit to the Catacombs which date back to the 1st-5th century and are situated in caves of 100 meters above the surface of the sea. Apart from being a cemetery, the Catacombs of Milos are considered to be the most important early Christian monument of workship in Greece. The Archeological, Folklore, and War museums at Plaka, as well as the Naval one at Adamas can substitute on a cloudy or rainy day.
Most unusual attraction: Poliegos (a small treasure island, worth visiting on a day trip with Perseas boat). You may also be lucky to view Glaronisia’s amazing weird rock formations.
On selecting a beach, count on the wind and choose to go for swimming when its direction is opposite to where the beach is located. This means that when the wind is north, it is recommended to head it south, where there won’t be any waves at the sea; the contrary also applies.
In mid August, don’t miss the panigiri (traditional fest) at Zefiria and Tripiti!
Taste ladenia, the traditional pie made with caper, onions and tomatoes. Also the watermelon pie which is a local sweet delicacy.
If you have more days to spend, experience a different and rather positive aura by visiting Kimolos; just 30 minutes away when you take the open type ferry boat from Pollonia