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Why Should I Visit Milos?

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Milos at a glance

Sculpted from lava and coloured volcanic rock, Milos resembles a floating geological park at the south-west edge of the Cyclades. Here, beneath the dazzling Mediterranean sun on the island of the famous Venus de Milo, the raw beauty of the landscape competes for the attention of visitors with the pale golden sand and crystal-clear emerald waters of the exotic beaches.

Behind this epic natural setting is an enigmatic Cycladic island with a unique age-old culture: the Milos of the “prehistoric gold” obsidian, of precious stones and pottery, of legendary pirates and seafaring, and of prosperity and the good taste that it can purchase. Otherworldly, mysterious, but also romantic, Milos is an island that captivates visitors with its idyllic sunsets, peace and tranquillity, and countless opportunities for adventure.

10 reasons to visit Milos
  1. To wander the picturesque cobbled streets of Plaka, one of the most elegant capitals in the Cyclades. Built at an altitude of 220 metres above sea level, with stunning views of the Gulf of Milos, this well-preserved village is a charming location with white houses, picturesque churches, traditional old shops, restaurants and cafes. Walk up the hill of the 13th-century Venetian castle and take in the panoramic view of the neighbouring islands from the Church of the Virgin Mary Thalassitra.
  2. To watch a romantic sunset from the Church of the Virgin Mary Korfiatissa, built on a steep rock in Plaka in 1810. Its courtyard, paved with marble flagstones from the ancient city and decorated with elaborate pebble mosaic designs, is considered one of the most beautiful terraces in the Aegean.
  3. To try a slice of delicious karpouzopita, a baked watermelon dessert that is one of the island’s most characteristic dishes.
  4. To visit the fascinating Archaeological Museum of Milos, located in Plaka, which is housed in a neoclassical building from 1870 designed by the famous architect Ernst Ziller. Here you will discover prehistoric finds from Phylakopi, as well as sculptures, relief carvings, and inscriptions from the Hellenistic and Roman era. The entrance hall is dominated by a plaster copy of the Venus de Milo donated by the Louvre Museum.
  5. To explore the imposing early-Christian catacombs of Milos, dating from the 2nd to the 5th century. Located near the village of Tripiti, they constitute one of the most remarkable burial sites in the Christian world, together with the catacombs in Rome and the Holy Land. The labyrinthine complex of underground corridors was not only the first cemetery of the island’s Christian community, but was also an early place of congregation.
  6. To experience the wild and mysterious atmosphere of the old sulphur mines in Paliorema Bay. The beach with the yellow pebbles is a unique geological attraction and has a view of the old quarry, which operated from 1890 to 1956, with wagons still standing on rails, iron bridges, and rusted equipment.
  7. To take a selfie in front of the famous “syrmata” in the traditional fishing village of Klima, one of the island’s most iconic images. The ground floors of these brightly painted dwellings built into the rocks were once used for storing fishing boats but are now small holiday homes.
  8. To dive into the enchanting waters of the famous Kleftiko. It is a breathtakingly beautiful location, with dazzling towers of grey and white rock and pirate caves sculpted by the sea and the wind.
  9. To discover the exotic paradise of the uninhabited islet of Polyaigos, just one nautical mile from Milos. With its crystal-clear waters, the sea is like a natural swimming pool, while the area is a haven for the Mediterranean monk seal.
  10. To see the full moon from the beach at Sarakiniko, along with the rare and spectacular optical effect of its reflection on the bare white rock.
The top 5 beaches

Sarakiniko: Milos’s star beach is a dazzlingly beautiful (and much-photographed) location that takes the breath away, with a lunar landscape of naturally sculpted bone-white volcanic rocks that descend into the sea and form platforms, caves and arches over the cobalt waters. This was once a haven for Saracen pirates (hence its name) and even today you can see where they carved the rocks in order to tether their ships to them.

Tsigkrado: One of Milos’s most exotic beaches, with white sand and crystal-clear emerald waters, surrounded by high cliffs that extend into the sea. The gorgeous bay has the atmosphere of a private Eden, partly because there are no facilities here, so make sure you bring everything you need with you. Access is via a steep sandy path from the clifftop.

Firiplaka: This magnificent and extremely popular beach with fine pale-grey sand and shallow turquoise waters enjoys a stunning setting thanks to its towering volcanic cliffs. One part has umbrellas, sun loungers and a beach bar, while the remainder offers an ideal haven for lovers of seclusion. You can visit if you choose one of the ferry for Milos.

Paliohori: This extremely popular stretch of coast comprises three beaches totalling two kilometres in length, with coarse sand, brightly coloured pebbles, and deep crystal-clear waters. The first and largest has got every amenity, including sun loungers, umbrellas, water sports, and a restaurant. The colour palette and variety of natural rocks resulting from the area’s high volcanic activity defy description.

Ahivadolimni: One of the island’s most beautiful – and longest – beaches, divided in two within a natural bay, with white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters that create an exotic setting. The second beach has a bar and restaurant and attracts more people, while the first is a haven for those who prefer a degree of seclusion. The bay is particularly popular among windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts. Nearby is a small lake (limni in Greek) full of clams (ahivades), from where it gets its name.

Don’t leave Milos without…
  • Visiting the excellent Mining Museum in Adamantas, the island’s port, for a fascinating journey through 11 millennia of local mining history and tradition. The collection includes impressive mineral samples, mechanical equipment, and videos of former miners talking about their work.
  • Τaking a boat trip around the island to discover magical sights such as the sea cave at Sikia, the enormous conical rock at Cape Vani, and the beautiful Glaronisia (four spectacular islets of volcanic basalt). The latter two locations are famous climbing sites.
  • Exploring some of the less accessible – but most beautiful – parts of the island’s crenelated coastline by kayak, paddling between sea caves, secret beaches and spectacular rock formations.
  • Touring the ruins of prehistoric Phylakopi (3000-1100 BC), one of the most important Bronze Age archaeological sites in the Cyclades.
  • Visiting the beautiful Ancient Roman Theatre near Klima. The superbly crafted structure of exquisite white Parian marble and amazing relief carvings stands on a hillside with a fantastic view of the port and has excellent acoustics. It was built on the site of an older theatre from the Hellenistic period (3rd century BC).
  • Going on one of the geological walks organised by the Mining Museum of Milos. You will discover an island that is a natural geological park of volcanic formations, old mines, hydrothermal springs and geothermal research.
  • Swimming at beaches where the sea is heated by geothermal springs mentioned by Hippocrates for their healing properties.
  • If you choose a ticket to Milos, arrange a day trip to neighbouring Kimolos.
  • Exploring the underwater caves in the triangle of sea between Milos, Kimolos and Polyaigos, a true paradise for diving and snorkelling.
  • Taking a selfie in front of the picturesque windmills of Tripiti, with a spectacular sea view in the background, as the sun sets over the horizon.
  • Τrying fresh seafood at the fish tavernas of Apollonia, which has great views of Kimolos.
Tasty experiences
  • Sample some of the delicious pies for which Milos is renowned, such as pitarakia (crispy parcels of local cheese or a soft mizithra with mint), plakopittes (thin pies made with local cheese), flaounes (local spinach pies also including wild greens, rice and raisins), ladenia (a pie with tomato, oil and onion), and sweet mizithra pies (with sugar, cinnamon, and mastic).
  • Try the famous Milos beltes, a puree made with local sun-dried tomatoes. Usually served with olive oil in a clay dish and spread on slices of bread, it is an ideal meze to accompany raki.
  • If you choose a ticket to Milos, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the special taste of volcanic cooking in Paliohori, where the food is wrapped in foil, buried in the sand, and baked by the natural geothermal heat of the island.
  • Discover the cheesemaking tradition of Milos as you try some of the island’s famous varieties, including hard spicy mileiko, with the aroma of Parmesan, creamy skotyri, and semi-soft melichloro.
  • Order unique mezes such as tomato fritters, fried courgettes with skotyri cheese, tsirakia (small sun-dried fish on the grill), sea-snails (with an oil and lemon dressing), and snails yiahni (cooked in a stew with onions and fresh tomatoes).
  • Enjoy goat in tomato sauce with beltes and potatoes cooked in a clay pot in a wood fired oven, skordolazana (tagliatelle-like strips of pasta with garlic sauce and beltes), braised rooster in tomato sauce or wine, savoro (fried fish in a sauce of oil, vinegar, rosemary and garlic), and cod baked in tomato sauce and served with spaghetti.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with koufeto (a preserve made with white pumpkin, honey and almonds). This most traditional of treats is customarily served at weddings.
Trivia

The world famous Venus de Milo, a work of supreme artistry of the Hellenistic period and one of the most iconic exhibits in the Louvre Museum, was discovered in the spring of 1820 by a farmer working in a field that was later found to be on the site of the Ancient Gymnasium of Milos. The news passed from a young officer in the French Navy, Olivier Voutier (a member of a French archaeological team excavating nearby when the find was unearthed), to the French vice-consul on the island, and then to the Marquis de Rivière, the French ambassador to Constantinople. Following intense negotiations, the statue was sold to the French and presented to King Louis XVIII, before finally being donated to the Louvre. A marble inscription now marks the spot where it was found.

MAP OF MILOS
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