I’m half-Greek, so summer for me means eating at tavernas with your toes in the sand and swimming in the clearest blue waters you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Not a July/August goes by without a visit to see my family, but also a trip to one of the stunning Greek islands. Despite often being told off by my Greek family that there are more islands than Mykonos, it is still one of my favourite places on earth (I’ve spent countless summers there having the TIME of my life – you must get it on your list if you haven’t already been). Mykonos has everything, amazing beaches, colours, restaurants, parties – it has something for everyone which is partly why I love it so much.
Last year I made the decision that it was time to branch out and discover some of the other hundreds (more like thousands) of islands off of Greece’s mainland, so I spent some days in Paros with two of my best girls. It was another gem of a Cyclades island, like a smaller, lesser-known Mykonos (though it’s famous in Greece as the place where everyone goes straight after graduating high-school, so being in our late 20’s we felt a little old!!). Nevertheless we had a blast. This year on the list was Milos. My aunt, and a few other people I had spoken to, (including this article in Condé Nast traveler) were raving about this island, so I had to go find out for myself what the hype was all about…
The best way I can describe Milos is that it is an island of discovery. It doesn’t have the party distractions of Mykonos, instead it’s somewhere you take your special someone, jump on your rented quad bike/jeep and get lost. It’s amazing because Milos was shunned as a holiday island in the past as, given its rich source of minerals and rocks, it was an industrial island full of mines. Ironically, however, the mineral and rock variety on the island is what gives the landscape its insane diversity, making for the most stunning beaches and waters I’ve ever seen. You can find black sand, white sand, red sand, in some places the sea looks blue, green, even yellow (attributed to the abundance of sulphur), it’s just breathtaking. There are so many hidden spots and places to get lost in, I’m not sure where to start! And the best part about it is, it really is not touristy at all…yet!
I thought the best way to split up my tips for visiting Milos would be to split it into beaches, the towns, cute restaurants and lastly, all the other amazing things to do on the island. In a nutshell, if you’re looking for an untouched, authentic Greek island, more on the quiet side and less touristy – Milos would be a great option for you!
B E A C H E S
As I mentioned before, the variety of beaches in Milos is truly amazing. The first place we visited which was high on my list was Sarakiniko. This is a white sand beach which has landscape like something on the moon. It is easily accessible by car but make sure you take some food and drinks with you as there are no café’s near the beach. It’s a stunning place to swim, whether you like to stay in the more shallow parts or get lost in the coves.
Second on the list would be Tsigrado this was a beach I was told about by many. It is for the real adventurers amongst us as it’s only accessible by rope ladder (the beauty of Greece is that it’s always an adventure!!) We didn’t get chance to visit this beach but I’ve been told that is out of this world and worth the trek!
Third on the list is Firopotamos beach. Milos seems to be an island dotted with clusters of colourful boat-houses that you can find tucked away in little corners of the island. The biggest being Klima, which I’ll tell you more about below. Anyway this beach is another little secluded spot with the bluest of waters, it’s truly wonderful – again, make sure to take drinks and food with you, Milos isn’t an island for the convenience-lovers amongst us (like me lol, when you live in a city like London you expect to have access to food/drink everywhere 24/7, I mean where was the Deliveroo guy :P)
T O W N S
There are three main towns in Milos, all of which are relatively small given the island’s small size. We stayed in Adamas (or Adamantas), the port town. This is where the main ferries arrive and where you can find the catamarans/sailboats which offer tours of the island. It’s a beautiful little town with seafront fish restaurants and shops, we ate at Navagio which had a more modern fish menu but was delicious all the same. This is also a town very close to the airport and where I would recommend staying (we stayed in a simple but lovely hotel called Ostria)
A 10 minute drive from Adamas is the high town of Plaka. It’s smaller than Adamas, but a little more quaint and reminiscent of beloved Mykonos town, with the bougainvillea covered archways and winding streets. It is the most amazing place to watch the sunset, particularly if you find yourself a spot at Utopia, which has unbelievable views (and great cocktails). I loved Plaka, although with it being quite small I did wish there were a few more little streets to get lost in.
Third on the list is Pollonia. This is a beach town in the North-East of the island, which also has a little port where ferries take you to some of the smaller surrounding islands of Milos. Family members stayed there and raved about two hotels Melian and Salt, which were ideal if you’re after a bit more of a luxurious stay. This is a perfect town to spend an evening and dine in one of their traditional seafood tavernas, the best of which I’ve heard is Gialos. They also have a wine-bar called which I thought looked quite sweet.
E A T / D R I N K
Since Milos is about getting lost and discovering we made sure to have a list of tavernas that were off the beaten track (they usually have some of the best food), and we weren’t disappointed:
- Medusa – This restaurant is located on the North East of the island, in Mandrakia one of the colourful boathouse spots and does delicious octopus (and seafood in general). I got some of the cutest photos there with the sweet boats, relaxing by the sea after our siesta-worthy meal.
- Tarantella – Only a short-drive from where you can grab the half-day boat in the South of the island, Tarantella is another gem of a taverna. It is set overlooking a beautiful blue bay, right next to the most idyllic spot where they host weddings (if you have a dream of a rustic Greek wedding this spot would be amazing, it’s like a blank canvas!). The bay is literally untouched and Tarantella serves up amazing food.
- Astakas – If you would like to watch the sun go down whilst you enjoy your dinner, make sure to get to Astakas, located by colourful Klima. This restaurant is what Greek summers are all about – make sure to call up a day before so you can reserve a table right at the front to get the best sunset views.
Basically everywhere we went in Milos, the food was divine and confirmed exactly why untouched places in the world are the only way forward. I really do not enjoy overly touristy hot-spots in general in life – you have to work so hard to find authentic food, not get ripped off and fight against tour groups… all of which kind of drive me bananas!
E X T R A S
Apart from discovering the beaches and gorging on the most amazing food, there are few different things you can do in the island, if you crave a little bit more adventure:
- Boat trips – This is one of the activities you cannot leave Milos without doing. Because of all the rocky landscape, the only way to see some of the best beaches and water is by boat. Since we were only in Milos for a few days we didn’t want to do the full-day excursion, so opted for a half-day boat trip which took us to Kleftiko, the most magnificent of all the sights. This cost us €22 each and we took the boat from Kipos (by the Kipos restaurant). If you opt for the full-day excursion, which sounded amazing to me, you pay around €65-70 and receive breakfast, a snack and lunch as well as drinks etc for a day long trip. They take you to a bunch of spots on the island and I think it’s well worth the trip!
- Klima – This the biggest place of all the little bays with the colourful boathouses. I would definitely say make a trip to this little spot. Take a stroll past all the boathouses and then head to Astakas for a sundowner drink or dinner – it’s a gorgeous way to spend an evening. The road getting down is quite windy, but it’s worth the trek!
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