Exploring unspoilt Milos

Milos is a beautiful volcanic island edged with the best beaches that Greece has to offer. It is in the far south west of the Cyclades islands and a mere 3 hour fast ferry from Athens. It is also connected via ferry to Santorini, Folegandros and Crete. One of the most wonderful things about Milos is how unspoilt it is and how it still feels like a very traditional island. We came to Milos from Folegandros having spent 3 months in Greece on this trip and really fell in love with it.

Milos, like Santorini its more famous neighbour, is a volcanic caldera and is as dramatic in its own way with surreal rock formations, hot springs and charming little villages.

We arrived into Adamas the main port, a typical Cycladic white-washed village lining the port. It is quite a busy marina as it is a popular yachting destination. Adamas has the usual tavernas lining the port with great seafood (you can see the fishermen selling it earlier in the day from their boats) but you must also try the local lamb baked in paper with peppers, tomato and feta. It is sensational. There is a good sized supermarket if you want to self cater. All the travel agents who book ferries and flights are based here as well. We spent a couple of nights here and you can catch buses to the beaches but I would recommend renting a car and basing yourselves in Pollonia instead (the port beaches are very rocky and it is often windy – hence the yachts!!)

Pollonia is a little fishing village on the other side of the island. It has a nice range of restaurants and a few mini marts and shops. The tavernas lining the impossibly cute port lined with tiny brightly painted fishing boats have great fresh fish and local specialties. You can do excursions to nearby islands like Kimolos from here and there is a beach to laze on.

Plaka (up the steep hill behind Adamas) is the old Chora  (main town) and a lot of the population moved away from the village in the past. It is slowly being restored and is a gorgeous place to wander around and admire all the lovely old buildings. There are the ruins of a Frankish castle at the top of the hill, follow the signs to the Kastro) and there are amazing views from there. Wander back downhill and stop for a drink and a meal in one of the very stylish bars and restaurants that are leading the rejuvenation of the village. There are only a couple, try and find the one we loved with lace curtains and a 1950’s jukebox filled with the original records. If you feel like celebrating a little of Milos’s history go to the Archeology Museum which has a plaster cast copy of the Venus de Milo (the island’s most famous export). The catacombs are also worth a visit.

Now get in your car to see all Milos’s wonderful sights and to get to the beaches. You may often be the only people on them. Unmissable isMilos - jumping Saganiko –amazing snow white volcanic outcrops worn away by the waves – it looks like something out of Star Wars. Dive into the blow hole and swim out to the sea if you are daring or swim in one of the more gentle fingers if not. Papafragas and all the beaches nearby have steep, steep tracks down to the sea where you can swim with high volcanic cliffs on either side of you. Stop at all the tiny ruins that line the roads here and there.  Palehori is a fabulous long stony beach with surf (an unusual treat in Greece) and a couple of accommodation options.

You must spend a few days exploring the island, although it is not big there is lots of variety and lots of places to discover. There are 70 beaches! I’ve been to about 40 islands in Greece and this is definitely one of the most special ones.