Guide: Milos, Greece

by Carrinicole

MILOS IS WHAT SANTORINI WAS 20 YEARS AGO

White buildings, epic sunsets, pristine beaches, fresh food — everything you want and expect from a Greek island. Milos is not a commercialized island; even with the recent influx of tourism, it has maintained its Greek charm and is still relatively undeveloped.

Milos is a volcanic island with a prime location in the Aegean. Easy to get to by boat or airplane, the minerals from centuries of volcanic activity have led way to a diverse and unique landscape. Mined minerals have made it one of the earliest trading posts in ancient times, and the Venus de Milo (now at the Louvre) was found here in in the 1800s.

Due to centuries of volcanic activity, not only does Milos has the most beaches of any Greek island, it has a wide array of types of beaches. While you won’t see them all on a trip, you will check out the best ones across the island with my itinerary.

This island is about off the grid relaxation. The overall vibe of Milos is mellow, and while night life is a staple to Greek culture, you won’t find the clubs of other party islands. Be prepared for adventures on unpaved roads in your 4×4 or ATV, undisturbed beaches, and seeing the Milky Way at night.  

  • Currency: Euro
  • Getting here: Airplane
  • Getting Around: Highly recommend renting a 4×4
  • Where to Stay: Eriana Luxury Suites
  • Itinerary
    • Cities: Adamas, Plaka, Tripiti, Klima, Mandrakia, Pollonia
    • Restaurants: Astakas, Sirocco, Medusa, Mavros Xoiros Grill House

GETTING HERE

FLIGHT INFO: Olympic Air & Sky Express have daily flights from around Europe during the summer. It is a 20 min flight from Athens, so I would not recommend the hours-long boat ride. The Milos airport is a small one room building, so the entire process of flying is quick and easy.

Getting Around

Driving in a foreign country can be intimidating, and Greece is no exception with aggressive drivers, narrow / steep streets, signs in Greek, no parking. After a prior trip to the Amalfi Coast, I now research the ease of transportation, and the best modes of transportation on a trip.

Having your own mode of transportation is a must on Milos. The island is small – most locations are a 10 minute drive away, on flat terrain, with no traffic or problems finding parking. There are buses and taxis that can take you to major cities and beach locations, but if your interest is exploring the beaches, many are not near a bus stop.

Most of the epic beaches lie at the end of an unpaved road so 4x4s and ATVs are the way to go! Because you’re on wild terrain, the more rugged the vehicle, the better; you want the car to already have scrapes and dings to ease the pressure off you if an errant rock bounces off your car. We used maps.me —our favorite app for global maps/directions — to drive to our different beaches.

We had a great experience with Tourlakis Rental Car.

PRO TIP: take photos / videos of the car to take note of all the existing dents on your car at pick up, since they will inspect at drop off.

WHERE TO STAY

Eriana Luxury Suites

When I’m in Greece, I am looking for a home base, not a crash pad. My priorities for hotels are: establishments that serve breakfast, have a view and outdoor space for relaxing, walking distance to restaurants/nightlife, and strong WiFi.

Eriana Luxury Suites surpassed any expectations. On a hill in Tripiti, the hotel only has six rooms, walking distance from two city centers (Tripiti & Plaka), and epic views. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, ensuring we were maximizing our stay.

We stayed in the Eurus room. Facing the west, we had unobstructed views of the sunset. And how would we enjoy the sunset? In the private hot tub on our porch.

ITINERARY

Five nights was the perfect amount of time to see the island without feeling hurried or rushed. With over 70 beaches, we could have spent longer!

PRO TIPS:

  • Be prepared with beach needs. If someone in your party is sensitive to sun; rent or purchase a beach umbrella / shade source to keep in your car. If your hotel doesn’t provide beach towels, get some. Since you’re visiting remote beaches, you will not have the amenities of towels, drinks, and food of a day club.

  • I would also recommend visiting beaches in the afternoon when the sun is the least strong.

  • Footwear tips:

    1. Getting to beaches: Bring a pair of lightweight sneakers as as many beaches will involve you walking on steep unpaved surfaces / rocks.

    2. At the beaches: Many beaches in Greece are pebble, not sand. For comfort, I wear waterproof shoes. There are more stylish options than water socks — Sea Star Beachwear are my favorite.

DAY 1 – Travel Day

Sunset in Plaka at the Venetian Castle

Plaka is the unofficial center of Milos. It is easily accessible with a mix of shopping, restaurants, bars, beach, and epic views.

A 2 minute walk from our Eriana Suites, this is my favorite town on the island. It has the best shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and ambiance — with a local vibe.

Located up the side of a hill, Plaka has an ancient Venetian castle at the apex. This castle is the best place on the island to watch a sunset.

Dinner: Mavros Xioros (Spotted Pig) Grill House

Specializing in grilled meats, you can’t go wrong with any item on the menu — but you should at least try one pork dish. Our order: Greek salad, Tziziki, Black Pig Souvlaki, Roasted Lamb.

Website  |  Trip Advisor review

DAY 2 – Northwest side of Milos

Beach 1: Nerodafni

This beach was the most deserted beach we went to — there were only two other people there.

Beach 2: Firopotamos

A more popular beach, with cocktails and music.

Firopotamos has “syrmata” (boat garages) that give it a more social vibe.

Lunch in Mandrakia at Medusa Restaurant

Mandrakia is the most popular fishing village where you can see the traditional “syrmata” boat garages.

Medusa Restaurant: a picturesque break in the day to enjoy the view and eat some fresh food.

Specializes in fresh seafood, especially octopus. Our order: Greek salad, Tziziki, Keftedes (meatballs), Grilled Octopus, Octopus Marinated in Vinegar.

Beach 3: Sarakiniko Beach

This is one of the most popular, picturesque beaches. We visited late in the afternoon when it wasn’t as hot, and less busy.

There are multiple places to explore, and where you can hop into the water.

DAY 3 – Southeast side

Beach 1: Firiplaka

A bit of a trek to get to get to — you have to walk down a steep dirt path, then hop on rocks around a cove to reach the beach. Worth it.

This is one of my favorite beaches on Milos — definitely worth going to. The water was clear, warm, and very shallow, allowing you to tread and swim far out into the ocean.

Note: There is a smaller, more remote beach nearby called Tsigrado. You have to climb up and down by a rope ladder to get to it. The beach is the same visually as Firiplaka, so if you don’t want to risk climbing, you’ll get the same experience as Firiplaka.

Beach 2: Paliochori

We ended up spending our entire afternoon here. The restaurant we where had planned to have late lunch also had beach chairs, umbrellas and drinks, so we decided to take the opportunity to relax, enjoy the beach, and eat here.

 

Lunch at Sirocco

Sirocco specializes in the ancient local cooking method of cooking food beneath the sand, allowing the heat of the volcanic island cook meats and vegetable dishes. Our order: Sirocco Salad, Lamb with fries, and Pork Shank with baked potatoes.

Website  |  Trip Advisor

DAY 4 – City by Bike

We took a ‘city’ day to explore the ancient sites and visit some non-beach towns. Eriana Suites has electric bikes to rent, which is a perfect way to see some of the local sights.  

Ancient Theater

On your way to the ancient theater, you can see where the Venus de Milo was uncovered in 1820. The Ancient Theater is still very much intact even though it was built in 2000 BC. It overlooks a beautiful cove, where you can see Klima below.

Ancient Catacombs

Continue riding down the hill, and you’ll reach the catacombs, where you can walk inside the oldest catacombs in Greece. These 120 graves were dug into the mountains by Christians in 300 AD, and you can still see designs on the walls.

Bike ride to Klima

Continue riding down towards the ocean, and you’ll reach the fishing village of Klima. Brightly colored syrmata line the water’s edge, where some continue to be summer homes, Air B&B rentals, or converted into shops.

Lunch at Astakas

We had a wonderful fresh lunch at Astakas in Klima.

Trip Advisor

Drive to Pollonia

Stopped to see Papafragas — caves infamous for hiding pirate ships and treasure. 

We had intended on dinner in Pollonia, but were turned off by how touristy the town and restaurant options were. Which wasn’t surprising given its the area of the island most populated with hotels, but we were looking for more authentic cuisine. We walked around the town and stopped for some ice cream, but decided to head back to Plaka for dinner.

DAY 5 – West Side by Boat

Boat Tour

Many of the best and most picturesque beaches are accessible only by boat. If there is one thing you must do on Milos, its a boat tour. Based on overwhelmingly positive reviews, I chose Oneiro Boat Tours.

I don’t to give away all the magic, but our day involved visting a handful of beaches, eating a fresh lunch, drinking the family’s homemade moonshine white wine, freshly grilled octopus and ouzo. It was the highlight of our trip.

DAY 6 – Travel Day

It can’t be easier to travel than this! We dropped our car at the airport, did an inspection of our car, returned the keys, and hopped on our plane back to Athens.

MAP

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