Milos island is located in the west Cylcades, about 83.4 nautical miles southeast of Piraeus.
The island owes its existence to successive volcanic eruptions that have deposited rich layers of minerals to form the distinctive shape of the island that looks like it is divided in half by a large bay, the Milos Bay.
The island is largely undeveloped, and the main settlements are concentrated on the north and east end of the island.
The largest towns are Adamas, Plaka, and Pollonia, although the real charm of the island is found in the remote little town of Fyropotamos and the unique landscapes like the beach of Sarakiniko, and the rocks called Kleftiko (accessible only by boat).
Adamas is the main port of the island, and all ferries use its peer to load and unload passengers and cars.
It is a small town and life on its streets revolves around the promenade where a multitude of restaurants, cafes and bars line the promenade. This is also the departure point for all the one-day cruise boats that sail each morning for a slow circumnavigation of the island. These cruises are a great way to experience the unique coastal landscape of the island that is normally inaccessible by land.
It is a picturesque place with charming pedestrian streets, whitewashed houses, and excellent view of Milos bay. Many visitors choose it as a place to stay for their visit, and the town comes alive late in the evening when just about every restaurant and pub is filled to capacity.
The archaeological museum in the town exhibits some interesting artifacts from the excavations around the island, and a replica of the Venus statue.
The archaeological site of Plaka is a large area to the west of the town with few foot paths among overgrown vegetation. The ancient features there consist of the imposing defensive wall of the town, and a well preserved theater that overlooks the bay and the western part of the island beyond.
A rather dull sign marks the spot next to the ancient wall and an ordinary olive tree where the famous statue of Venus de Milo (Aphrodite of Milos) was found. It is now exhibited at the Louvre museum in Paris.
The catacombs of Milos that have been found near plaka are of great archaeological interest, but unfortunately only a tiny part is accessible to visitors. So small in fact to feel disappointing that one has to travel all the way there to see a small, almost featureless room carved inside the mountain.
Pollonia looks like it was a very charming little village before many years. Today it is transformed to a summer vacation place of many Athenians who have built there a modest summer home, and a major development of the tourist industry.
The western part of the town has been divided into small parcels, each occupied by a two floor apartment building. There are so many of them, identical in built, shape, and color that it is hard to distinguish them from each other. All this development does help to keep the rental room prices down though.
The beach at Pollonia is surprisingly nice, and the small promenade lined with restaurants is very charming. Overall, the town feels very tranquil and it seemed to be the place of choice for many european families who visit for a week or two. It is a kid-friendly town with a fairly well maintained playground, and a gently-slopping sandy beach.
Firopotamos is a charming little fishing cove, nestled a little to the east of Plaka. It is a very relaxing place with a decent beach and fantastic sea water to swim in. Definitely worth a visit, although finding room accommodations might be tough.
The wind, the waves, and the rain have carved some incredibly charming and unique landscapes around the coast of the island. The fishing holes of Papafragas and Kapros are just off the main road to Pollonia and are very often visited by motorists who stop for a snapshot or a quick dip in the waters.
The most famous beach of the island is the one at Sarakiniko where the soft limestone has been carved smoothly by wind and water to form a beautiful sculptural landscape. It is packed with bathers and snorkeling people every day of the summer, and it, along with Kleftiko, must be the most visited sites of the island.
While Sarakiniko is easy to reach by road about fifteen minutes to the north of Adamas, Kleftiko is only accessible by boat. It is the highlight of the day-long cruises that leave Adamas every morning and circumnavigate the island.
The Neolithic town that is been excavated at Filakopi is an important archaeological site and it is located just opposite the rocks of Papafragas. Besides the imposing remains of the town's wall the rest of the site is of little interest to all but the most hard-core archaeology buffs. Artifacts from the excavations are exhibited in the Plaka museum, and the most important ones can be seen at the Athens Archaeological Museum.
One of the main attractions of the island is the multitude of beaches it offers. Many are famous and crowded, while others are out of the way, discreet, and unknown to crowds.
A visit to Milos must include swimming at Sarakiniko, but if sandy beaches are desired, Paliohori, Hivadolimni, and Firiplaka are excellent choices.
Some of the delicacies we tried (and liked) in Milos included:
We had our best dinner in the "Plakiotiko Steki" in Plaka where we enjoyed both the food and the excellent service of the restaurant owners.
The best time to visit Milos is in the summer between late May and early September. The island does get more crowded in August, but so does every other island in Greece.
Milos is connected to Piraeus with daily high-speed and conventional ferries (€20 for adults, half for children, €50 for a passenger car). Conventional ferries take about 7.5 hours to reach the island, while high speed ones cover the distance in about 5 hours.
There is a small airport just outside of Adamas and in the summer there is at least one flight from Athens.
Milos is part of a group of islands we call the western Cyclades. Since they all lie in a north-to-south line from Attica, they can all be grouped together in one visit. It helps that the daily ferries from Piraeus make stops at all of them.
While other islands such Paros, Sikinos, and Folegandros look to be nearby on a map, the main ferry schedules that serve them don't usually pass by the western Cyclades daily.
An island hopper however can count on a weekly ferry from Milos to Sikinos, and Folegandros, while the Vintsentsos kornaros makes the trip from Piraeus to Milos, Crete (Ag. Nikolaos, Sitia), and Karpathos five times per week. Another ferry connects Milos with Paros twice per week.
Port Police: 2287-022-100 (get updated and accurate ferry schedules)
Municipal tourist office in Adamas: 2287-022-445