Milos. Discover the floating wonder of the Aegean
Milos. A floating geological wonder
You have arrived at Milos? Go immediately and take one of the ships that make the tour of the island. Because, if it gets windy and you’ll not be able to make the sea tour, you lost! You didn’t see anything.
Because Milos has, of course, all the beauties that you expect to find in a Cycladic island. In this, it will not disappoint you at all.
But apart from that, it also has something unique. Due to its volcanic origin, it’s a floating geological wonder: coasts of unique geological wealth, a unique landscape variety. And most points are only accessible by sea.
So, get on immediately and get started. And you’ll see the following, in the order that the ships going around the island meet them.
Kleftiko. The base of pirates
Kleftiko includes probably the most famous pictures of Milos. Words are needless. Here goes more than ever “one image is a thousand words”. In its countless caves, it once hid pirates, that’s why it was named so (kleftis meaning thief in Greek). Today it’s a shelter for yachts.
Don’t omit to dive from the ship. Preferably with a mask. You’ll understand why …
Fyriplaka. A beach also accessible by land
Tsigrado. Another beach also accessible by land
Paleochori. One of the busiest beaches. Here you can eat food that is baked in pots buried in the warm volcanic sand!
Glaronisia. Some of the most strange geological formations of Milos
Sarakiniko. When the Moon fell into the Aegean
And the ship reaches the second most well-known image of Milos after Kleftiko: Sarakiniko. Also this name suggests it was a pirates shelter (Sarakinos meaning Saracen). However, unlike Kleftiko, it’s also accessible by land. But you must also see it from the sea. You’ll think you are on the Moon, but on a Moon with water.
As the tour of Milos approaches its end, you’ll see the ‘syrmata’. They are old fishermen’s dwellings (on the upper floor), with space for the boat on the ground floor. Today, of course, they are rented to tourists.
Their back is dug into the soft volcanic rock. The multicoloured image of the clusters of syrmata is also among the most characteristic ones of Milos.
Fyropotamos. A settlement of ‘syrmata’
Arkoudes (Bears). Another unique geological formation
Klima (Vine). The city of Aphrodite
Last stop before the tour of the island is completed, at Klima (Vine). Here you’ll see the largest set of syrmata, beneath Plaka, the capital of Milos.
But in Klima was also the island’s ancient capital, which replaced the prehistoric Phylakopi after its abandonment in 1100 BC. Many ancient ruins are preserved here. Also here was found the famous Aphrodite of Milos by a local farmer.
Klima. Plaka is spread out on the ridge
The ‘syrmata’ of Klima
Adamas. The overlooked
And now that you’ve made the sea tour, it’s time to discover Milos by land.
The ship will bring you back to Adamas, the starting point.
The port of Adamas
Don’t make the mistake to be misled by the view of the harbour and ignore it. The old village, more to the back, is worthy of the Cyclades and is definitely worth a visit.
The cultural centre of Adamas
Adamas. The church of the Holy Trinity. It hosts the Ecclesiastical Museum
At the edge of the harbour, do not omit to visit the exemplary and extremely interesting Mining Museum. Such a museum is really necessary for this geological wonder of the Aegean.
The omissions of the trip. Phylakopi and Papafragas
If you advance in the hinterland, you’ll see two places that you saw from afar, circumnavigating the island, but didn’t notice them, because they are not visible from a distance.
One is the ancient city of Phylakopi, which was mentioned before. It’s one of the most important prehistoric archaeological sites in Greece. Its remains cover the entire Bronze Age (3000-1100 BC). There is also a very interesting museum on the ground. More about Phylakopi here http://www.milos.gr/en/sightseeing/archaeological-sights/prehistoric-settlement-of-plylakopi
The ruins of Phylakopi, on the edge of the cliff. Half of the city has submerged into the sea
The other point that is not well visible in the sea tour is Papafragas. It’s a sea cave, named after a Catholic priest (papas = priest, Fragos = Frank = Catholic for medieval Greeks) who kept his boat here. If there’s no North wind, you can swim.
Papafragas, by North wind
Plaka. The ideal end of the island tours
The ideal place to end your tours in Milos is the island’s capital, Plaka.
On the one hand, because most of the best restaurants, cafes and bars are concentrated here so that you can relax from the all-day tour or from the sea baths under the relentless sun of the Cyclades.
On the other hand, because here you’ll see the most beautiful sunset of Milos.
Also nearby, in the neighbouring village of Tripiti, are the famous Early Christian Catacombs. They are unique in size throughout Greece and perhaps the oldest Christian monument in the world since they date back to the 2nd century AD.
The Archaeological Museum of Milos
Panaghia Thalassitra (Our Lady of the Sea)
As you’ve seen, Milos has everything you expect from a Cycladic island, but also much more. So, if you haven’t visited it, you must put it high in your priorities.
About the author
Hello! I am Denis, an architect based in Athens, Greece. I teach history of art and architecture in higher education. That’s one passion of mine. The other one is hiking, in and out of town. If you follow me, I’ll share my discoveries with you.
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