Milos is an island with volcanic origins and the most western one in the Cyclades complex. It is known to many people from the discovery of “Venus di Milo”, the famous statue. The statue of Aphrodite might now have been “exported” to the Louvre, but this is not the only reason to visit the island. For many Greeks, Milos has the best beaches in the country, counting more than 70 (!!!) around the island and making it an ideal travel destination for sea lovers.
The dramatic rock formations and surreal seascapes add to the island’s beauty. Milos, also known as “the island of colors”, has a fascinating history of mineral extraction dating back to the neolithic period. Today, the island is still the biggest bentonite and perlite centre in Europe.
Milos makes a perfect holiday destination for those who want to experience the real Greece in all its glory, without the crowds that are found in the more popular Greek islands. If you are looking to spend a few chilled days among some breathtaking scenery and exquisite beaches, then Milos is the place to be.
How to get to Milos
Milos is located west of Santorini, right between Heraklion, Crete and the mainland Greece. You can reach Milos either by plane or by boat from Athens and by ferry from several other islands.
By plane: The airport (code: MLO) is located in the centre of the island, 4 km from Adamas and serves domestic flights from Athens. During the summer months there are several daily flights, with a total duration of around 40’. There are no direct flights to Milos from abroad, but there are direct flights from other countries to close islands, such as Santorini and Paros. Many visitors arrive there and then continue to Milos by ferry.
By boat: There are 4 to 6 daily departures of ferries from Athens (Piraeus port) during the summer season. Duration of the trip varies from 4 to 8 hours, depending the ship and the route. There are also connections by ferry with other Cyclades islands, as Santorini, Paros, Ios, Folegandros, Sifnos etc. During summer months, a connection with Crete (Heraklio) is also available.
Adamas (Adamantas) – It means “diamond” and it’s the main port of the island, inside a large, natural bay. It is the “downtown” place of the island, with several taverns, cafes, bars and markets, along with the biggest number of accommodation options in the island. The beach, although next to the port, has crystal clear waters, making it a great option for people who want to be close to the island’s nightlife without missing their evening swimming.
Paleochori – It’s 10 km south of Adamas and has an astonishing beach. Its waters in combination with the unique landscape and the tranquillity, makes it ideal for nature lovers. There are a few rooms to rent, along with several watersport facilities.
Plaka – The island’s capital and the most characteristic town of Milos, built on a hill. It has narrow alleys, traditional whitewashed Cycladic houses and various shops and restaurants, along with boutique hotels and apartments for rent. Although it’s not located by the sea, if you love the Cyclades “white and blue” architecture, then Plaka is the place to stay. While there, a visit to the “Kastro” (Castle) is necessary to watch the sunset.
Pollonia – A small fishing village, built around a fine-sand beach. There are a few lodgings available in the area. It is ideal for those who want to be away from the crowds yet close to the north beaches.
Top Attractions in Milos
Catacombs – Southwest of Tripiti village and 150 meters above sea level, you can find Milos catacombs. They were built around the end of the 1st century and discovered in 1844. They are 3, all underground and interconnected. Catacombs were used as Christian cemeteries during Roman times and also as churches when the Romans were prosecuting the Christians. The graves are mostly decorated with natural jewels and pictures and are considered one of the largest examples of Christian cemeteries worldwide.
Sarakiniko – The most famous and most photographed beach of Milos, Sarakiniko is a moon-like, incredibly white rocky coast with a small bay. The landscape is unforgettable. Long horizontal white rocks, bending over the sea, eroded by the water, with hollows all over them. If you don’t see Sarakiniko, is like you never went to Milos.
Thiorihia (Sulfur mines) – Milos is an island full of minerals, and the abandoned Sulfur mines in Paliorema are a good option for exploration of the island’s geology. The old sulfur mine was in full force till 1956 but nowadays it shows the wear and tear of time and weather. Still it is a very interesting site for exploration. The beach on the front of the mine has emerald water and yellow pebbles (because of the sulfur). Many tourists visit the Thiorichia only for the therapeutic properties of the water there.
Klima – A small fishing village with “sirmata”, two-storey dwellings housing fishing boats on the ground floors and the residences on the top. It is a picturesque place, with brightly painted doors and windows in every possible color. A great postcard-like village.
Mandrakia – Similar to Klima, Mandrakia is a small jewel of small houses with dwellings for fishing boats.
Mineral and Mining Museum – You can find this museum in Adamas and you should not skip it. It was established to help promote the effects of the mine on the history of Milos and to display the mineral wealth of the island. You can see tools and instruments used in mines, along with many interesting mineral samples.
When to Visit
Late spring to early autumn are the best seasons to visit, with summer having the hottest months. June, September and the beginning of October have the perfect combination of moderate air temperature and warmer water temperature. If you are a sun chaser, then July and August should be your choice. They are the hottest months, with 13 hours of sunshine every single day, making this season the peak for both local and foreign tourists (and the most crowded season for the island, too).