Just before traveling to Athens last summer, Dan and I spent four nights on Milos island, the southernmost Cycladic island in the Aegean Sea. In other words, its part of the same blue-and-white island group as Santorini and Mykonos, but located a little further south, a bit north of Crete. We found Milos to be quieter and more authentic than Santorini and Mykonos, but with enough to do to occupy tourists for several days. This article details what we did and where we stayed and ate on Milos.
HOW WE ARRIVED IN MILOS
Tourists can reach Milos via a ferry boat or plane and, due to its location and distance from Athens, we opted for the 25 minute flight from Athens. We arrived in Milos via a very tiny Olympic Air plane from Athens. Like the plane, the Milos airport is tiny and backs up to a cornfield. A restroom and a small stand selling coffee, small snacks, and beer and wine is about the only amenity. Taxis wait for planes on arrival. Listen to your host on Milos for information on when to leave for the airport on departure – they know the schedule and its probably much later than you think.
WHERE WE STAYED IN MILOS
Milos has a few areas popular with tourists: the port area of Adamas, the hilltop capital of Plaka, the small village of Trypiti, the seafront stretch of colorful houses called Klima, and fishing village turned beach resort, Pollonia. We opted to stay in Pollonia, as that is where our preferred lodging was located! I would also note that about half of Milos island is generally closed to tourists and used for mining, so indeed, you cannot stay on half the island.
We selected the lovely Kostantakis Winery and Residence in Pollonia for our stay. Kostantakis is the only winery on Milos, and that’s really why we choose this property. However, Pollonia is a cute fishing town on the northeast tip of Milos that had plenty to keep us busy and was close enough to visit other areas of Milos during the day. Our room at Kostantakis was an adorable suite with an outdoor patio and gorgeous views. The walk between Kostantakis and “downtown” Pollonia takes about 7 minutes. Kostantakis also serves a delicious complimentary breakfast every morning. Do not miss their pastries!
WHAT WE DID IN MILOS
Boat ride around Milos. Our very, very favorite activity in Milos was a sail around the island with Polco Sailing on a catamaran. Our catamaran departed in the morning from Palaiochori Port (due to wind) and sailed along the coast of Milos for the day, finishing around sunset. The tour literally lasted the entire day and included several stops for swimming in the Aegean Sea. Lunch was served on board, as was unlimited white wine and ouzo. This is a must do in Milos IMO and allows tourists to see the unique landscape of Milos. These cruises are very popular – be sure to book well in advance.
A visit to Klima. Another highlight was a visit to the tiny town of Klima. Klima is the strand of colorful fisherman houses right on the water. A few of them are now rentals and shops. We took a taxi here and spent about an hour walking around, which is more than enough time. We grabbed a snack at the only restaurant in the immediate area, Astakas, before taxiing back to Pollonia. Be sure to book a roundtrip taxi in advance, as we did not see any taxis picking up tourists in Klima. Also, the water in Klima can be rough and you are likely to get wet if thats the case. Be sure to wear waterproof shoes or take them off.
The beach. Of course, one cannot go to a Greek island without hitting the beach! We found a few pretty ones in Milos, but the wind made them very difficult to enjoy. We ended up going to a tiny beach in front of restaurant/bar Opsidianos almost every day in Milos. Opsidianos is a small cafe on the sea with a couple beach chairs for rent. We found the water at Opsidianos to be calm in terms of wind. While the beach chairs were a bit dated, they did the trick and were inexpensive.
Wine Tasting at Kostantakis. A wine tasting at Kostantakis was also on tap for our visit. While free with our stay, wine tastings are open to all tourists and is recommended. We tasted about five wines and ouzo at Kostantakis and enjoyed our tasting with a small plate of cheese. I recommend calling in advance to confirm opening hours. The cellar is quite photogenic!
Pollonia. We also spent a decent amount of time just walking around Pollonia. Pollonia is really cute and definitely requires some time for a stroll! Here are some pictures:
What we missed in Milos. Despite having four days in Milos, we sill missed a couple things. Particularly, the Ancient Theatre of Milos, close to where the Venus di Milos, of Paris’ Louvre fame, was discovered, and Sarakiniko Beach, aka the beach that looks like a moonscape. Honestly, we just didn’t have any interest in seeing these things, but many people do!
WHERE WE ATE IN MILOS
Enalion. Dan and I dined at Enalio on our first night in Milos. Located right on the water, the setting is gorgeous but, due to wind, annoying plastic coverings separated diners from the water. This would become a theme of the week. Enalion is famous for its seafood and that is primarily what is offered. The food was good, but not the best of our trip.
Yialos. Yialos, pronounced Gialos according to our Greek friends, is a fantastic restaurant on the main restaurant strip of Pollonia. Yialos is super popular and serves excellent food and beverage. So good, we ate here twice! Reservations are necessary, but can sometimes be made same day. Separate review coming with all the tasty things we ate. By far, our favorite restaurant on Milos!
Opsidianos. In addition to using the beach at Opsidianos, we lunched here a couple days. While pretty basic, the food was always good and came out quick. There are some light offerings, as well as heavier plates, such as pizza.
Rifaki. We also dined at Rifaki one evening, after reading good reviews online. Located very close to Yialos on the main restaurant street, Yialos is pretty good serving traditional Greek fare and seafood. The fries were excellent!
Cactus Cafe Bar. Catcus is an upstairs cocktail bar in the heart of Pollonia. The drinks were very good and quite pretty. This is a good spot to hit for pre or post dinner drinks.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR VISITING MILOS, GREECE
- Having your own transportation is the easiest way to get around the island. Four-wheelers are popular rentals if you don’t want a whole car.
- Taxis are available, but not necessarily “readily.” You generally need to book in advance. Taxis are also not cheap.
- Walking between towns is often not a real option, even if they look close on a map. For example, while it would appear that one can walk from Plaka to Klima, it is a really though uphill walk without a proper sidewalk. Almost all tourists would struggle with this.
- Stay away from the mining area of Milos. It’s closed to tourists because it’s dangerous.
- Despite reading far too much about the Milos viper snake, I saw no snakes the entire trip! PHEW.
- Milos can get really, really windy, making it feel chilly on the water even in the middle of the summer. Many “waterfront” restaurants and bars will also have to close plastic windows to keep the wind at bay. Not a huge deal, but this could ruin a romantic moment.
- Restaurant reservations in Pollonia are suggested, especially during busy times.
- The sea bed and beaches can be rough. Water shoes are recommended.
- Milos is not nearly as touristy as Santorini or Mykonos. I suggest keeping cash on you at all times and not planning to find an ATM around every corner.
- Due to the wind that we received on our trip in July, which is apparently common, I would not visit Milos solely as a beach destination.
STEAL OUR TRIP
Kostantakis Winery and Residence: Hotel and winery website. Wine tastings open to all tourists. call to confirm hours. Phone: +30 693 664 4481 or +30 698 259 4859. Email: email@example.com. Residences are spacious most rooms with outdoor space and included breakfast. 7 minute walk from Pollonia proper. Bicycles available for guests.
Enalion: Reservations recommended. A bit upscale. Seafood heavy.
Yialos: No website! This is the phone number listed online: +30 2287 041208. Reservations strongly recommended, whether you call or go in person and put your name in early.
Opsidianos: Located toward Saint Nicholas Holy Orthodox Church. Small bites, bar, and beach chairs for rent. We loved this place!
Rifaki: Popular restaurant on Pollonia’s main restaurant strip. Good food, but not nearly as good as Yialos. Reservations recommended.
Cactus Cafe Bar: Closes mid-day, open late.
Polco Sailing: Recommend booking as early as possible to ensure you get on a sail.
Astakas Cafe Restaurant: The sole restaurant near Klima.