“Wow, you have been to Milos! I am impressed. I love Milos! For me, it is the most beautiful island of Greece!” This is the typical kind of answer I get whenever I tell a Greek about my visit to Milos. A volcanic island located about 110 miles off the coasts of mainland Greece, Milos is one of the most beautiful and understated Cycladic islands. It offers its visitors an authentic and raw Greek experience that even its more well-known and larger island counterparts like Mykonos and Santorini cannot compete with. It is an island on its own and the Greek is perfectly happy to keep it under the wraps. Until now.
WHERE TO STAY
There are two ways to reach Milos, either by plane or by ferry. I chose the smooth 20 minutes flights (from Athens) Vs an hours-long rough sea ferry ride. Upon arrival, I picked up a 4x4 rental car at the airport and headed straight to my stay, Skinopi Lodge.
This minimalistic boutique hotel sits right above the small fishing village of Skinopi overlooking the Aegean Sea. I occupied one of the three stone glass-sided villas inspired by traditional fishermen’s houses. Being a guest in Skinopi Lodge has many perks, such as waking up to the sounds of clashing waves and an expansive view of the Aegean sea view in bed; cooking in an open-air kitchen with olive oil made from the olive trees in the garden; showering outdoors under the stars; swimming in the secluded private bay; drinking rosé wine on a lounge chair while watching the red sunset; and more.
WHERE TO EAT
For foodies like myself, Milos is also an absolute heaven for tasting authentic Greek cuisines. My favourite restaurant on the island, without a doubt, is Medusa, a family-run seaside restaurant that serves traditional dishes. The diners can sit on blue or white painted wooden chairs on the sea-facing patio and enjoy food like smoked eel, fava beans, or grilled sun-dried octopus procured daily from the village’s fishermen. It is not surprising to learn that Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber also dined here just a week before me.
If a romantic sunset dinner is something you are after, then I would highly recommend restaurant Astakas in the charming fishermen village Klima. Situated by the seaside, this fish-focused tavern is a great place for savouring regional dishes. Then when the sun goes down, it casts the most beautiful golden lights over the terrace of the restaurant.
As to why Milos is a popular destination for the beach goers, I understood it as soon as I have laid my eyes on the pristine crystal-blue waters beyond the rocky shoreline. The beach that impressed me the most is Sarakiniko, which is the most famed and popular beach on the island. Set on the northern shore of the island, this beach is known for its white volcanic cliffs, which haven been carved into pillars and ravines by centuries of waves. On a calm sea day, this becomes a busy playground for the thrill-seeking cliff jumpers.
There are also other fabulous beaches on Milos. To name a few, Tsigrado beach, a small sandy cove with crystal water surrounded by beautiful rocks and caves. It is rather difficult to access this beach as you have to pass through a rocky passage, a rope and ladder to get there. Or you can reach there by boat, which is what I did. Then there is Gerakas beach, another small sandy beach protected by white cliffs. Since the only way to get here is by boat, there are very few people visit this beach. I found myself completely alone and have the entire beach to myself. What I love the most about this beach is its vibrant shade of turquoise water.
WHERE TO GO
Another highlight of the trip was seeing the coastline by boat, as some of the island’s most impressive natural areas are inaccessible by car or foot. While some preferred to join a public boat tour, I opted for renting a private boat for the day. First stop was Sykia sea cave in the west, which has an almost round shape “hole” in the roof that allows sun rays to reach its sequestered beach. The water within the wave has a beautiful transparent green-blue color. After that, the spectacular Kleftiko cave in the south was my second and the longest stop. This iconic patch of coastline exemplifies everything I love about Greek islands: clear, turquoise water, white cliffs, intriguing rock formations. I spent a good couple of hours here snorkeling, having lunch, driving through tunnels, exploring caves and enjoying the breeze from the sea.
Milos is a true paradise for anyone that love food, culture, beaches, caves and cliffs. The definite conclusion I made after the trip was that three days are not enough for exploring Milos and I need to go back as soon as possible.
a. Fisherman Village Mandrakia
b. Morning light at Sarakiniko Beach
c. Greek Church in Firopotamos
d. Boat ride at Kleftiko with the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 Ref. IW324008
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