The Cyclades islands are all characterized by their rocky landscapes and strong winds. While they have similarities, each island has its own unique charm and culture. In the southern Aegean Sea you will find the island of Milos. Shaped similar to Santorini in the form of a C, Milos has a circular bay on its inner northern side. It shares more similarities with its neighboring island, as it was also formed through volcanic activity. Milos and the other islands in the Aegean Sea including the Cyclades and Dodecanese are part of the Southern Aegean volcanic arc. The volcano beneath Milos is dormant and has been for almost 100,000 years, so there is no need to fear. The effects of past volcanic activity are apparent through the richness of the soil and minerals found on the island, in particular, a volcanic glass called obsidian, which has been mined, collected, and exported by Milesians since antiquity.
Milos is reachable by ferry boat from the main port of Piraeus in Athens, and it also has its own airport if you would rather fly there. The main port of Milos is located in the town of Adamantas, on the northern side of the island, which is the most populated and developed part of Milos. In Adamantas you will find a charming seaside town with a selection of hotels and traditional restaurants serving fresh-caught fish. This is where travelers come to grab a drink or explore the small shops around town. Adamantas is also where you will find boat tours around Milos and its close neighboring islands Kimolos and Poliegos. These boat tours are great for a day of adventure, especially since you will see the beauty of Milos that is only accessible by boat.
One such area is Kleftiko, a cliffside and rock formation on the south western side of the island. These rocks have been formed with a perfect white color thanks to volcanic sediments. The contrasting crystal blue water and mysterious caves spread across the cliffside paint an incredible picture. Legend has it that pirates hid their treasure in one of Kleftiko’s caves, but nothing has ever been found. This incredible white rock landscape is most notable at Sarakiniko Beach near Adamantas. It resembles something like a moonscape, with a blank white landscape stretching far off into the distance. This is more of an adventurous beach as there is no basic coastline, but there are small smooth cliffs that people like to jump off of. This is one of the most popular destinations for travelers coming to Milos, as it is unique to any other beach.
Another seaside marvel of Milos is the town of Klima. It is a small but colorful fishing village accessible by boat or by a single main road leading from Adamantas. This was the sight of Milos’ harbor in ancient times. Now the village is largely dedicated to fishing, which is understandable since the homes built along the village open their doors right up to the water’s edge. Klima is very small and has only two restaurants along with a few shops selling home made goods. The land around Klima has some churches along its hillside, as well as ancient ruins. About a five-minute drive or thirty -minute walk from Klima, you will discover the ancient theater of Milos. The structure was built by the Romans during the Hellenistic period, and could fit thousands of visitors.
Occasionally, performances are still put on at the theater, although only a portion of the original has been excavated and preserved. Near to the parking lot along the entrance road are the Catacombs of Milos. Their role was most important to the spread and practice of Christianity as it provided a secret and safe place to worship as well as to honor those who have died. These catacombs are considered one of the most valuable historical sites in Greece for the history of the religion, and date back to the 1st century. Here were the tombs of thousands of christians on Milos. Only one portion of the catacombs is open to visitors, but it continues on deep into the volcanic rock underground. There are clearly visible religious carvings on the walls, highlighting the religious importance of the catacombs.
Another important ancient treasure that was found on the island is the famous statue Venus De Milo. It is an image recognized worldwide, of the beautiful woman draped in fabric but with her arms broken and missing. The marble statue held such high value since its discovery that it now graces one of the world’s most prestigious museums, the Louvre in Paris. Here on the north side of Milos near all these ancient treasures are the towns Plaka and Pera Triovasalos. There are many places where people can eat and drink and a selection of places for accommodation. Something special to see is the Plaka Venetian Castle high up on the hill overlooking the town and gifting an incredible panoramic view of the island.
Along with the dreamy towns on Milos, its natural beauty is also a sight to behold. On the southern part of the island, make a trip to the beaches Fyriplaka or Tsigrado. The roads leading there are partially dirt roads, but there is usually a handful of people at any given time because of the cantinas, drinks, and clear seas. Not far across from these beaches on the northern facing side of the island is Achivadolimni Beach. This is a prime location to catch the sunset, as the beach is in perfect alignment and has views of both points of Milos around its C-shaped inner bay. The western side of the island is the most remote and undeveloped. It certainly makes for a peaceful drive though, as you begin to near the tallest mountains of the island. The developed roads do not go fully to the west and that portion of the island is more difficult to reach. Few villages and homes are built here, but there is a good chance you will see a farmer herding his goats down the road.