Are you planning your next Greek Island summer getaway? Thinking about exploring the Aegean wonders of Milos, Greece? Consider this your definitive guide to the famous island of Aphrodite.
The southernmost of the Cyclades islands, Milos has been overlooked for many years in favor of its fancier neighbors, Santorini and Mykonos. Surprisingly so, considering that Milos has one of the highest concentrations of white sand beaches in the Aegean sea and an abundance of picturesque villages and secreted coves.
It wasn’t until 2019 that Milos was finally caught on the radar of international travelers around the world, together with its beautiful sandy beaches, its charming villages, and its notable food culture. I’m sure that at this point you’ve stumbled upon a picture of the striking, lunar-like rock formations that can be found on the island. But whatever caught your eye and made you decide to travel to Milos, we can promise you that you won’t be disappointed. And while it is hard to accurately describe the magical feeling of Milos, we sure hope pictures will do it justice.
Below is your essential travel guide to Milos, Greece: the best island to experience the Aegean in 2023.
10 Best Things to Do in Milos, Greece
1. Marvel at Sarakiniko Beach
When it comes to Greek jaw-dropping landscapes, Sarakiniko takes the cake. This is undoubtfully one of the most photographed spots in all the Aegean, and how could it not be? Picture a monumental sculpture of moon-white volcanic stone that is only interrupted by natural lagoons, with blue waters piercing and splashing through the crevices. It’s perfect postcard material.
Sarakiniko is located on the island’s north coast, about a 10-minute drive from Adamas. There’s no sand of sorts in here, but the more adventurous of you might opt for some cliff jumping. You could also spend a lovely morning just lazing on the rocks, tip-toeing your feet into the natural pools, or exploring the fascinating network of abandoned mines and caves. Whatever tickles your fancy, Sarakiniko should be at the top of your list of things to do in Milos, Greece.
2. Unwind at Fyriplaka beach
Fyriplaka is the second-most visited beach in Milos, right after Sarakiniko. It is located on the Southern coast of the island, which makes an ideal shelter on the days when Meltemi, the northern wind, is particularly strong.
Fyriplaka is your typical white-sand beach, but it certainly doesn’t lack personality. The red-hued cliffs that loom over it serve up a striking backdrop to the shallow, turquoise waters. The beach itself is also fairly large, cut in half by a scenic rock that detached from the mountain.
A section of the beach is lined up with sunbeds and straw parasols, all managed by a little kiosk that serves cocktails, snacks, and a couple of basic dishes. Due to its popularity, we do suggest getting to Fyriplaka before 10 am, when the best parking spots (and sunbeds) start to fill up.
3. Visit Tsigrado beach
Tsigrado is a sandy beach located right in the middle between Firiplaka and Gerakas beaches, sheltered in a beautiful bay surrounded by cliffs. Besides clear blue waters, what attracts visitors to Tsigrado is its isolation, as getting to the beach requires negotiating a series of wobbly ladders and ropes down a rocky passage. The descent is really not as bad as it looks, but wearing walking shoes is highly advisable if you’re not the most confident climber. If you do decide to visit Tsigrado, remember to bring your snorkel as there are a few sea caves to explore.
In high season, Tsigrado is best experienced early in the morning, when you might be so lucky to have it all to yourself.
4. Discover Kleftiko on a boat tour
Once a popular refuge for pirate ships, Kleftiko is known nowadays as one of the best swimming spots on the island. It’s not technically a beach, but rather a complex of imposing volcanic white rock formations and grottos. A visit to Kleftiko is a must when traveling to Milos, as here you’ll find the bluest waters in all the Cyclades and a series of unbelievably beautiful caves to swim through.
The only way to properly enjoy Kleftiko is on a small-group boat trip departing from Adamas or Paleochori. You can swim, maybe paddle board, enjoy delicious Greek food, and even make some new friends. There are lots of good companies on the island that offer high-quality tours, but we can highly recommend Polco Sailing.
5. Explore Fyropotamos
Fyropotamos is a small fishing settlement located in the North of Milos, and it is composed of a series of Syrmata boathouses, a beautiful church, and a very charming golden-sand beach If you’re wondering what a Syrmata boathouse is exactly – it’s basically a fishermen’s boat storage room carved out of the rock. You’ll see plenty of these boathouses when visiting Milos, some of them still being used for their original purpose, while some are converted into summerhouses or B&Bs.
The beach in Fyropotamos is absolutely lovely, as it’s surrounded by trees, traditional houses, and some of the best waters on the island. It’s also lightly organized with sunbeds and a little wooden kiosk.
6. Snorkel on Paleochori beach
Framed by imposing red cliffs all around, Paleochori is the longest beach in Milos, stretching for over two kilometers of golden sand and overall great vibes.
Paliochori is very popular among tourists and locals alike because it offers a little bit of everything. The beach is very well organized with kiosks, beach bars, and restaurants for all tastes and budgets. There’s water sports equipment for the youngsters, cocktails and seafood for the adult couples, and green-blue waters for those who are just looking for a place to unwind.
Pаlеосhοri is also one of the few places in Milos where you can sense the vοlсаniс оrigin οf the island, as several warm springs can be found underwater and on the shore. Sirocco, a popular restaurant located right on the beach, actually uses one of the springs as a furnace to bake some dishes, hence serving what is locally known as “vοlсаniс fоοd”.
7. Relax at Plathiena beach
Plathenia is a beautiful beach located in a cove in North Milos, about 2 km away from Plaka. It’s sаndy, sheltered by the surrounding cliffs, with shallow blue waters аnd scenic tamarisk trеes all around. There’s also a smаll tavеrna operating therе, providing sunbeds, drinks, snacks, and traditional dishes.
Plathiena is ideal if you’re looking for tranquility as it never gets too crowded, not even in August. The beach is also easily accessible by car and bus alike, but if you’re getting there by boat, keep an eye on the rock formations all around it: there’s a famous one that, depending on the angle you’re coming from, perfectly resembles either a rabbit or a bear.
8. Visit Mandrakia
Enchanting to the point of resembling a painting, Mandrakia is one of the most visited fishing villages in Milos, Greece. This coastal settlement is located in the North of the island, not too far from Sarakiniko and Plaka. The harbor here is packed with Syrmatas, the traditional fishermen’s boathouses, with a lovely Cycladic church that stands right in the middle of it.
In our opinion, Mandrakia is best visited around lunchtime. After a photographic tour of the harbor, you should by all means stop at Medusa, the village’s tavern, and treat yourself to the most delicious Greek culinary delights.
9. Watch the sunset in Plaka
The capital of Milos has some of the most enchanting streets you’ll see on the island. Packed with cafès, restaurants, and boutiques, it’s the perfect place for a stroll before dinner.
If you’re up for a little hike up the hills you can also find a beautiful church – also known as the Venetial Castle of Plaka – that is famous for being the best spot to watch the sunset from in Milos. If you get here early in the afternoon, you’ll have the place mostly to yourself, as the crowds tend to show up around 7 pm.
During your walk up you will be amazed by a mesmerizing labyrinth of white alleys, in which traditional houses, limestone churches, and colorful flowers craft the quintessential Cycladic ambiance we’ve all come to love.
10. Explore Klima
Possibly the winner of ‘the most colorful village’ contest in Milos, Klima is one of the most photographed attractions on the Island.
It’s one of the smallest settlements in Milos – it has about 20 permanent residents – yet it was once a busy center for commerce in the Cyclades. You can find Syrmatas all over Klima, but here most of the cottages have more than one floor, with the second one usually dedicated to vacation homes for locals and tourists.
Klima is best visited in the late afternoon, as watching the sun as it sets over this gorgeous backdrop it’s truly a postcard type of experience.
10 Best Restaurants in Milos, Greece
1. Astakas, Klima
Astakas is a charming seafood restaurant in Klima, the famous colorful village of Milos. With a series of white tables placed directly next to the water, Astakas has unpaired views of the coast, especially if you manage to get a table right before sunset. The dishes are very simple and traditional, nonetheless absolutely delicious. This is a very popular spot in Milos, so be prepared to book in advance.
2. Mikros Apoplous, Adamas
Mikros Apoplous is located right on Adamas’s beachfront and can be considered a perfect mix between a seafood restaurant and a lounge bar. Among their best dishes, you can find the carpaccio with freshly-caught sea bass, the Mediterranean tuna tartar, and the orzo pasta with langoustine.
3. Enalion, Pollonia
Enalion Restaurant is another institution in Pollonia, and like most of its neighbors, focuses on traditional seafood dishes. Some of the highlights of its menu include the fisherman’s fish stew with octopus, and the lobster.
Mikros Apoplous, Adamas
4. Medusa, Mandrakia
Located in Mandrakia right next to the water, Medusa is your typical, dreamy Cycladic tavern. This restaurant is known for its incredible variety of fresh seafood dishes and some authentic Greek Cuisine, with the octopus in vinegar being the standout.
You can’t make reservations in Medusa so you’ll likely need to wait for a table, but the views and wine are worth the time alone.
5. Oh! Hamos!, Adamas
Oh! Hamos! is a traditional earth-to-table family-run restaurant, with a cuisine that is based on Greek traditional recipes and raw materials that are directly sourced from the owners’ gardens. Dishes here are meant to be shared around the table for you to sample as much as possible of their well-priced menu.
We do recommend getting here early – the place is very popular, and like in many good restaurants in Milos, it’s not possible to make reservations. However, after putting your name on the list you can always enjoy a drink on the beach that is located right outside the restaurant.
6. Okto, Plaka
Opened in 2021, Okto is a relatively new addition to the island restaurant scene. Yet, it has a two Michelin-starred chef in its entourage, which made it one of the most popular spots in Milos almost instantly after its inauguration. OKTO is open only for brunch and dinner and serves various Mediterranean dishes with a modern twist. The sea bass carpaccio and octopus are absolute must-tries.
Oh, Hamos!, Adamas
7. Sirocco, Paleochori
Sirocco is located right on Paleochori beach, next to the area where the famous hot springs are located. As a matter of fact, this restaurant actually offers various traditional dishes that are baked under the sand.
Despite the beachy location, the restaurant is very sophisticated and can be enjoyed either at lunch – after you’ve spent the day on the restaurant’s elegant sunbeds – or at dinner. We highly recommend the seafood pasta, the crayfish orzo with chorizo, and the slow-cooked lamb.
8. Nostos Seafood Experience
Located on Adamas’s waterfront and offering a gorgeous view of the Aegean Sea, Nostos Seafood Experience is the ideal choice for wine lovers. One of the restaurant’s main goals is in fact to create perfect pairings between traditional Greek recipes with Greek fine wines – with an extensive wine list making the task much simpler.
9. Gialos, Pollonia
Gialos (or Yialos) is positioned right on Pollonia’s waterfront, so you can imagine that the view is absolutely spectacular. Seafood is definitely Gialos’ strong point, with the sea bream carpaccio and the bluefin tuna tataki being the most popular and loved dishes.
They do serve also a variety of Greek salads and traditional cuisine, so there’s something for nearly everyone.
10. Utopia Cafè, Plaka
It’s technically not a restaurant, but we simply could not skip what is considered to be the best and most beautiful bar in Milos: Utopia Cafè.
Utopia Cafè is located in Plaka, and thanks to its position it offers an uninterrupted 360° view of Milos and the Aegean sea from its alfresco balcony. The place does get crowded at sunset when you can soak in the magnificent golden scenery with a cocktail in your hand, so we would suggest getting there around 6 pm to get the best table.
Utopia Cafè, Plaka
10 Best Hotels in Milos Greece
Despite not being overly-tourist, Milos offers a very good range of accommodations on every budget range. It’s also relatively easy to explore the island with a rental car, but if we had to suggest an area to stay in Milos, it would be Adamas. Due to its central location and the presence of the main port, Adamas is perfect for those who are looking to visit every inch of the island.
All considered, here are our recommendations for the most beautiful accommodations in Milos, Greece:
- Skinopi Lodge, Adamas
- Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel, Pollonia
- Milos Cove, Komia
- Artemis Deluxe Rooms, Paleochori
- Santa Maria Village Resort & Spa, Adamas
Psaravolada Resort, Agia Kiriaki
- Villa Mina apartments suites, Adamas
- Aeolis Hotel Milos, Adamas
- Giannis Hotel Apartments, Adamas
- Faros Apartments, Adamas
How to get to Milos Greece
The best way to get to Milos is to fly into Athens International Airport and then get a 3-hour ferry ride from Athens Pireus port. There are however many other options, like:
a) Flying into Mykonos or Santorini, then taking a 3-hour ferry ride to Milos
b) Flying into Athens International Airport, then taking a 45-min connection flight to Milos
The ferry ride from Mykonos or Santorini is usually pricier than the one from Athens, which makes both options less convenient unless you’re already planning on visiting those islands. On the other hand, while flying into Milos from Athens might seem the fastest option, there are very few connection flights during the week, which makes it tricky to combine one with an international flight.
All that considered, most travelers prefer flying into Athens, spending the night there, and then hopping on a ferry the morning after. You can always check Direct Ferries for more updated travel times and ferry routes. To recap:
Can you fly into Milos?
Yes, you can fly into Milos, but there are direct flights only from Athens. The airlines that fly to Milos are Olympicair and Aegean Airlines.
How long is the ferry ride from Athens to Milos?
The duration of the ferry ride from Athens (Piraeus) to Milos ranges from a minimum of 3 hours to a maximum of 5 hours, depending on the ferry company and the type of vessel you choose to travel with.
How long is the ferry ride from Mykonos to Milos?
The duration of the ferry ride from Mykonos to Milos ranges from a minimum of 3 hours to a maximum of 4 hours.
Is Milos, Greece worth visiting?
Yes, Milos is absolutely worth visiting. In fact, in 2021 Milos was rated as the “world’s best island” in the annual survey staged by US travel magazine Travel + Leisure, with readers giving this destination a near-perfect score of 96/100. This is not surprising: on top of having your typical Cycladic stunning beaches, Greek-style architecture, and an incredible selection of restaurants, Milos has a unique landscape that is simply unforgettable. To top it all off, the island hasn’t really gone mainstream like Santorini yet, and it remains enjoyable even during the high season.
What is Milos known for?
Milos is mostly known for Sarakiniko, a moon-like rocky formation of white stone sculpted by volcanic eruptions. It is truly one of the most unique landscapes in the Aegean and is often advertised on leaflets for the island. Milos is, however, also famous for its incredible sandy beaches, and among history buffs for being the island where the ‘Venus de Milo’ statue was discovered in 1820.
Is Milos touristy?
Milos is becoming more and more popular every year, mostly thanks to the hyper-Instagrammable Sarakiniko beach. You’ll definitely encounter some tourists on your trip to Milos, especially during July and August, but you’ll never find it as crowded as Santorini or Mykonos.
How many days should you spend in Milos?
Considering the amazing collection of beaches and attractions the island has to offer, we would recommend spending a minimum of 4 days in Milos. This would give you enough time to enjoy some time on the beach in full relaxation mode, and also to see all the most scenic sights and towns.
Are you planning to spend 2 days in Athens for the first time, and want to make the most of your short trip? This travel itinerary is for you. [dssb_sharing_buttons icon_placement="icon" columns="5" icon_width="fixed" alignment="left" icon_color="#FFFFFF"...
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Tags: Milos Greece; Milos island Greece; Milos Travel Guide