(updated May 2020) Milos is an incredible island in the Cyclades group that is giving others like Santorini a genuine run for their money. With similar extraordinary geology and landscapes as the result of volcanic activity it also has stunning beaches, quaint villages and some of the best food in Greece! There are a lot of things to do in Milos and many are things you wont see elsewhere, which makes it very special.
Milos is certainly no longer a secret but luckily development is slow, making places to stay in Milos limited. Book early and don’t miss out, which many people do!
How to get to Milos
Athens to Milos
There is a domestic airport on Milos so it is possible to fly from Athens. The flight is a pleasant 45-minute journey and there are several a day in Summer.
By sea, there are several direct routes from Piraeus port in Athens to Milos each day throughout the year. The fastest takes around 4 hours and 20 minutes whilst the longer journey can be up to 14 hours on the Blue Star Ferry. Indirect routes are also available via other islands such as Syros and Paros.
Check schedules and book with Ferryhopper.
Santorini to Milos
There are 5 or 6 direct ferries most days. They take between 3 and 5 hours. You can also connect with other Cyclades Islands like Paros, Ios, and Sifnos to Milos. Again check and book with Ferryhopper.
Private tours and cruises to Milos
It’s a great idea to combine Milos with a few of the other Cyclades islands on a tour or cruise too. Private Tours Greece offer a fantastic 16 day tour of 8 Cyclades islands including Milos or you can sail to Milos from Paros on a private yacht, visiting 4 others islands as well!
How to get to around Milos
Milos does have a public bus system but there are only 5 buses on the island. They service 4 main routes that include all the main destinations such as the airport, Adamas, Plaka, Pollonia and Paliochori. Be sure to check the latest timetables first.
The other way to get around is to hire a car. In fact, without one, you are very restricted as all the main sites are not within walking distance of each other. Traffic is very light and there are no traffic lights on the island. Even if you’ve been terrified about renting a car in Greece this is one place where you can do it with ease.
Because of mining, there are large parts of the island that are off-limits and you will likely be told not to take your car off sealed roads.
One final option is to do a tour of the island. These are new services to Milos and are filling a good gap in the market. See the main attractions and villages as well as a farm and a winery and finish with a traditional lunch in Pollonia, all from the comfort of a 7 seat SUV!
Further reading: Driving in Greece and Where to stay in Milos
The villages of Milos
Adamas is the main town of Milos and is also the port where the ferries arrive and the cruise ships dock, although it is not a big port.
You will find everything here that most port towns have – souvenir shops, backpacker hostels, cafes, tour desks, and more. It’s very central to everything on the island and has a good mix of cultural activities as well as some nightlife.
Where to stay in Adamas, Milos
It’s hard to beat the value or location of Hotel Adamas which is located right in front of the main pier at the port. The rooms are well-appointed, modern, and have great sunset views. A lovely budget alternative is The White Suites which are a few blocks back from the harbour in a very central spot. As the name suggests the decor is predominately white!
Pollonia is a charming seaside town at the north-east tip of the island. It is full of small seafood restaurants, cafes and traditional tavernas as well as a good winery, a small fishing port and the ferry that takes you over to neighbouring Kimolos island.
It is quite popular with European families due to the safe, calm beach and has a lively yet family-friendly atmosphere at night in summer.
Despite being a fair way from many of the popular sites it is an easy drive in and out each day and quite close to famous Sarakiniko Beach. It is also home to one of the best pastry-shop/bakery at the edge of town and I defy you not to go back for the chocolate pie every day. We spent 5 days in Pollonia on our last visit and we would stay there again next time as well.
Where to stay in Pollonia, Milos
We loved our stay at Unique Suites Milos and cannot recommend them highly enough. Right across from the beach ( with a private beach section with huge bean bags) the suites are modern and very spacious. The service from Stavros was outstanding.
Plaka means ‘place’ or ‘square’ in Greek meaning the center of town and where people traditionally met. This the case for Plaka on Milos as well.
The oldest buildings on the island are found here and you can spend hours exploring the narrow, bougainvillea-covered alleyways and the little shops and cafes. There are some stunning views to be had from the Western area at sunset which are good as any you will find in Greece. Many of the little shops, of course, sell souvenirs of the island, especially the replicas of the iconic Venus De Milo.
To the northeast of the town is the pathway up to the Castro with sweeping views over the entire island.
Where to stay in Plaka, Milos
Budget hotel : Chaido Rooms
Mid-range hotel : Drougas Windmill ( very unique!)
Things to do on Milos
As stated above, there is a public bus on Milos but it is slow and infrequent ( although improving each year) and most of the popular sites are spread out across the island. Most people, therefore, hire a car or scooter and it’s an easy place to drive with few roads and little traffic.
Another good idea is to book a tour with a local guide.
There are only a few to choose from but it’s great to be picked up and driven around in a nice airconditioned van with a driver full of local knowledge.
There is a good one focused on archeology and culture and another half-day tour on Volcanology and Geology which is quite fascinating! Otherwise the BEST OF MILOS TOUR is an 8 hour guided tour of all the highlights of the island and hard to beat.
There is a natural thermal spring at Paleochora which is a well-organised beach with many sunbeds and umbrellas for hire and several good tavernas up the top. There is a big car park and it is very easy to access
It is a beautiful beach with crystal clear aquamarine water and a small number of sunbeds. There is no car park but rather you park along the small road at the top of the cliff which can get very crowded in summer.
The water is shallow and warm and great for all ages.
Well, that is Plathiena Beach and you can get to it by walking from Plaka or driving down in your hire car or taxi. There are a small number of cheap sunbeds and a little bar. The sunsets are quite incredible too!
There is a long sandy beach that stretches along the water in Pollonia from the Cape around to the fishing port. It is generally very calm and shallow and great for families with small children. You will see a number of people playing games on the sand like these teenagers playing volleyball.
Some of the villas and rooms have their own sections on the beach as do a couple of tavernas.
There is a taverna and one end who rent cheap sunbeds and have nice cold beers. There are also some trees that provide welcome shade below the cliffs at the other end. Generally very quiet even in the peak of summer.
There is a small sand ‘beach’ in the middle where you can easily walk into the water but otherwise, people jump off the rocks. It can get choppy on a windy day so do exercise common sense.
There are also a series of caves that are worth exploring towards the back of the beach.
You can drive to Sarakaniko and there is a large carpark at the top. No tavernas or sunbeds( yet).
This small family-owned and run winery is located in Pollonia, just a short stroll from the harbour. It is the oldest winery on Milos and one of the best.
Kostantakis Cave Winery make a small number of surprisingly good wines from their own grapes, grown on their 2.5 acre vineyard. Similar to Santorini, the volcanic soil of Milos has created an excellent terrior for the grapes and lend itself to quality products, several of which have won awards.
The cellar door is set in a dark, cool cave which in itself is a quirky experience and the hospitality is excellent. You can even stay a while and enjoy a glass or two in the shady courtyard outside. The winery also now has a hotel residence attached so you can stay overnight or longer too!
May to October – 5pm to 9pm
November to April- by appointment
Milos Mining Museum
Milos has a colourful and fascinating mining history and to this day it is the main industry on the island. The mining museum in Adamas has an excellent display of the islands mining history and the various minerals that have been mined, including rarities like asbestos and Dragonstone.
Even if you arent interested in mining and geology it is hard not to be impressed. The two-story building is wel organised and the exhibits are interesting and engaging.
Entry is 5 euro or 7 with an audio tour. Check opening times as they change throughout the year.
If you would like to visit some of the mining sites on Milos, including the inactive volcano, there is a good half-day tour you can do.
Catacombs of Milos
Located at Tripiti just outside Plaka are the Catacombs where once a burial ground over 2000 years ago and is also where the ruins of an ancient theatre can be found.
It costs 4 euro for entry which includes a brief guide or you can join a tour. It is interesting to see but does not take long. Really an hour tops is all you need here.
Kleftiko means ‘stolen’ in Greek and Kleftiko in Milos is isolated and hard to get to. Some say this is where pirates took their stolen goods.
In fact, it is only possible to visit there via boat or on a very long hike! There is no beach here but rather of series of dramatic sandstone rocks and cliffs surrounded by azure crystal clear water.
It’s a beautiful spectacle to see and a lovely spot for a swim. In fact it is not just one of the best things to do in Milos but probably anywhere in Greece!
There are several cruise companies that can take you to Kleftiko. You can do a full-day cruise with lunch and snorkeling from Adamas or, a half-day tour from Provatas Beach in the south of the island. In fact, the half-day tour will be your only option if it is a very windy day.
One of the most charming attractions on Milos is it’s quaint little fishing villages.
These small villages are made up of brightly coloured ‘Syrmata’s’ or fisherman’s huts, most of which are still in use today. These colourful structures serve as storage for the fisherman and easy access to the sea at ground level, with sleeping quarters above.
Some of these huts are now available for rent through Airbnb, such as this gorgeous one in Klima, whilst a few have opened as shops.
The roads down to the villages are sealed but they are narrow so drive carefully. The road to Klima is especially tricky but there is a nice Taverna and carpark at the bottom as a reward.
You really cant miss these villages when visiting Milos and they are one of the many things that make Milos so unique.
Firopotamos -rhymes with Hippopotamus
There are 6 ferries a day and it costs 2 euro for adults and 8.50 for a car.
Check out To Kyma Taverna, right on Psathi beach. They have a great wine list and you can see the ferry coming for your quick dash to the wharf. ”
Paula Morgan, Expert Abroad
Best restaurants in Milos
O Hamos, Adamas
The legend of O’Hamos has spread across all of Greece if not too many other parts of the world.
Operating for over 30 years this family established one of the first paddock to plate models in Greece with everything at the restaurant grown by them including the meat, cheese, fruit, and vegetables.
You may need to queue during busy periods but it’s a spacious taverna with a big garden and the wait times are not usually long.
House favourites include very traditional and hard to find dishes such as pork in molasses and artichokes with eggs. There is a huge selection to choose from the eight-page menus HANDWRITTEN in six languages, which is a testament to the families’ hard work and dedication.
We visited several times even taking new Irish friends back with us. Greek husband has declared OHamos ‘possibly the best Greek food ever!’
Jordan’s Meating House, Pollonia
Another place we visited more than once, Jordans Meating House is one of those places that is a block back from the popular waterfront restaurants and therefore its also about half the price.
As the name suggests this taverna specializes in ‘meat’ and offers delicious home-cooked meals such as lamb chops, souvlaki and Soutzoukakia ( meatballs in tomato sauce).
There is live music most nights during summer and the quite gregarious owner loves to chat with the customers and encourage them to get up and dance. A great value night out for everyone.
Armyra restaurant is a pretty taverna on the other side of the road from the seafood tavernas on the water, therefore the prices are better and it’s easy to get a table.
Choose your own fish and have it cooked however you like. You’ll find a modern take on some old favourites and the octopus with fava and roast beetroot and garlic are standouts. Lots of vegetarian and even vegan options here.
Considered by many as the best of the seafood tavernas to line the waterfront bay at Pollonia we were sent to Gialos by our host for our first meal on Milos.
It’s a lovely spot to sit and watch the local fishermen coming to a going and you really get the sense that your seafood meal could not be fresher.
Mandrakia ( see above) is one of the colourful fishing villages on Milos and a must do when you visit. It is probably the most accessible with a small carpark right about the huts. Next to that is Medusa Taverna, the only taverna in this tiny village but a very good one.
With the traditional hanging octopus, sometimes in a screened box to protect it from insects and wind, you can’t miss Medusa and you won’t regret lunch here either. Very well priced in a truly unique and very special setting.
Mikros Apoplous, Adamas
Mikras Apoplous is located right on the waterfront in Adamas and is one of the best seafood restaurants in all the Cyclades islands.
With a chilled cabinet of fresh seafood to choose from including lobster and fish, you will be amazed at the value you get for your money here. Not to mention incredible views especially at sunset!
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