Exploring Milos, Greece - The Most Unique Greek Island
Updated: Apr 22, 2022
Our last stop on our quick Greek Island Tour was Milos; this was the island I was most excited about.
In case you are new here, we are Will and Katy. We are a travel couple that is traveling around the world. We arrived in Greece just before it officially reopened for tourism in 2021. This timing was in our favor because it left the islands pretty free of tourists.
Prior to Milos, we spent a week in Santorini and a couple of days in Ios. We took an afternoon ferry from Ios, which was late, resulting in arriving at Milos later than we had wanted. We arrived at our hotel and went straight to bed. We needed a full night’s sleep for the packed day we had ahead of us.
The next morning, after admiring our view of the island from our balcony, we set off to grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. We went right down the street to Mourtos Bakery. Little did we know this would be the best bakery we went to in our time in Greece. The people were so kind and the coffee was good. However, what was especially delicious was the baked goods. We had a slice of orange cake which was spongy and had a fresh citrus taste. We also ordered a piece of Milos’ traditional Greek watermelon pie. We enjoyed our baked goods on the front porch while looking out across the island. Once we finished we walked to the bus stop that was right outside of the bakery. After a few short minutes, a gentleman walked out of the bakery, asked us where we were headed, and kindly offered us a ride!
We thanked him as we got into his blue little car. The conversation started with him asking us how long we were visiting Greece and where we were from. He proceeded to tell us about himself. He was not from not from Milos but from the Northwest part of Greece. He was an art teacher at a local school on the island and he enjoyed it very much. Each school year he had to re-apply though, so he never knew if we would be transferred to a different school in Greece. He told us “I saw you out there and thought you might be waiting for a while” since there weren’t frequent buses that ran. He continued telling us about some dirt paths off the main road that we could walk to get quickly up and down the hills.
He dropped us off near the area we wanted to explore. It was on a corner where we could keep walking toward the Catacombs and the Ancient Theater. Then he drove off. He only drove us a couple of minutes up the road, but with all these roads going up and down hills, we were so thankful for his kindness.
Ancient Theater of Milos & Venus de Milo
Our first stop of the day was to visit the Ancient Theater of Milos. We began walking and knew we were going in the right direction when the street signs confirmed it. On the road to the theater, we were on the lookout for the finding place of Venus de Milo.
The Venus de Milo is an ancient Greek statue that is now on display at the Louvre in France. Aphrodite, as she is known in Greece, is the goddess of love and beauty. The sculpture is famous for not having the goddess' arms. It was discovered right there on the island in the early 19th century. While there wasn’t much to see, we did find the sign that explained the history.
We kept walking and just a few meters ahead we saw a stunning view below us. We could see the electric blue water with the West side of the Island as its backdrop. Just below us, we saw the Ancient Theater. Below that was a fisherman’s village which was also on our list to visit that day.
We made it down to the theater where, once again, there was no entry cost and we were the only ones there. This theater dates back to the Roman period and it is so well preserved. Unlike the one on Ios (Odyseas Elytis Amphitheater) that was atop a hill, this one is nestled on the side of the hill, so the view isn’t as great as the view from the viewing spot just above. When sitting in the seats of this theater, we could see the water, but the fisherman’s boats and houses along the shore of the water were out of sight.
Our next stop of the day was a short 10-minute walk away from the theater; the Catacombs of Milos. Unfortunately, when we got there we were disappointed to find out it was closed. Due to the pandemic the visitation times were adjusted and we got there too late.
We did still try and take a peek around. There was a metal gate blocking the main entrance, but I was able to climb onto a short wall to look over and see a little more of the catacombs. They are said to be one of the most important early Christian sites in all of Greece. It is estimated that they were built around the end of the 1st Century.
We made our way to our next stop for the day, the Klima Fisherman Village.
In my research of things to do on Milos, I came across this part of the island that has gained its popularity due to the syrmata, or fishermen's houses, that are carved into the rocks. Klima was in the same general area, basically directly below us, but with no direct footpath. We walked back up, through another part of town, and back down a road to the very bottom. We saw this road earlier from the viewing point above the theater, so we knew we were heading in the right direction.
When we reached the bottom, we immediately saw the white buildings and contrasting balconies, doors, and stairs. It was quiet. A handful of people were out in the water, with boats docked on the shore. Even though there were a couple of people in the water, it seemed like Klima was not set up as a beach area. The houses were on a cement dock, that instantly met the water. I imagined that if we stayed a while we could have sat on the dock with a chair to soak up the sun. Swimming was not a possibility, but it would have been tranquil to listen to the water lapping or watch the boats pass.
We walked around the area and found a shop that was open. Beach art pieces hung at the entrance of the shop. We went in to take a peak. From the outside, the buildings looked like regular homes buildings. However, once we went into one, we noticed how these houses were actually built into the rocks. The owner of the shop was sitting toward the back and I asked him, “Is this what the houses here look like?”
“Yes, but this is smaller,” he replied with a thick accent. He was sitting, so I couldn’t tell his height, but he seemed tall. He had long dreadlocks all pulled up into a ponytail. He was sitting next to a desk with paintbrushes and art resting on top.
He continued on, telling us that the other houses here in Klima are Airbnbs. Most of them have been remodeled, but his shop is how they originally all looked. “Old school” he called it.
“I prefer your way better,” I told him.
“I prefer everything old school,” he responded. He asked us if we had been to any other islands. “Santorini and Ios," I answered, "but I think we like here and Ios more than Santorini. It’s more chill.”
A smile grew on his face and he shrugged his shoulders as he took a sip of his drink. “Ahh yes. Santorini is nice, but it's too busy. Everything is made for the tourists, you can understand. Here is much better and excellent for swimming.”
He then asked us about Ios and if there were any parties going on when we were there. We told him how we heard it was a party island but it was pretty empty right now.
“I used to stay there, back in the day, and had some crazy times!” He said chuckling. “But now with COVID, everything has slowed down. But everything in 2 weeks is supposed to start to open back up and everything will be okay.”
I asked him, “What are the busiest months for you?”
“Before COVID, well… It would start 15th of April getting a little bit busy. May would be okay, but then June through the end of October would be busy. But now with COVID, not much. But it’s okay, everything happens for a reason.”
We all went quiet as we looked around his shop a little bit more, and then said our goodbyes.
I truly believe that meeting people, the locals, is such an important part of traveling. That’s why we take the time to talk to them. We love to hear their thoughts and about their lives. It gives us a glimpse of what happened before we got there and what will continue happening once we leave.
The shop owner stayed there, waiting perhaps for more people to come to visit. After fully looking around the shop, we left to make our way back up the hill toward the city of Plaka.
After a 2 km walk, all uphill, we made it to Plaka. Plaka is the capital of Milos; a charming well-preserved village that sits on the tallest hill on the island. It overlooks the gulf of Milos. We wandered through the white-washed buildings looking for a place to grab a bite to eat before we found a spot for sunset. The alleys were quiet, but still had more people than Chora, Ios.
We walked through boutiques with Venus de Milos figurines on almost every window front. There were cats resting on porches and Greek flags blowing in the wind. This seemed like a smaller capital city than Chora. We walked through the area a couple of times. The second time around we came to a church which had architecture that was not much different than churches we saw on the other islands. However, the location and its front terrace are what set it apart! The view of the water was beautiful. By seeing the location of the sun, we knew this would be the perfect spot to watch the sunset!
To the right of us, we saw Plaka Castle, which was where we originally were going to watch the sunset, but it was perched upon another hill. Our legs were begging us to stop climbing hills! We backtracked and went to one of the few restaurants we saw open and ordered a pizza for takeaway. We brought our pizza back to the front of the church, where we began eating. As it was getting closer to sunset, the terrace began filling up with other people who had the same idea we did. We left our bench and found a spot on the wall, so people wouldn’t obstruct our view.
The sky began turning orange and pink as we enjoyed another Greek island sunset.
The next morning we were left with one last stop on the list of places to see in Milos; Sarakiniko Beach. This time, we didn’t attempt to wait for a bus. We walked the 2.5 km there and stopped at our favorite bakery along the way.
The walk there was ordinary until we made the turn toward the water. We began seeing the white sleek rocks leading to sea. In Santorini we visited the “black sand beach,” and now we were on the “white sand beach.” These volcanic rocks were carved over time by the wind and saltwater which created the gorgeous landscape we were walking on.
It was an overcast day, which made it add to the feeling that we were walking on the moon. We walked around this unique area, taking in the view. Every turn surprised us with a new peak or cave or large boulder. The open spaces dipped into valleys, which were perfect for swimming. We decided not to go for a swim, since the weather didn’t seem pleasant.
Instead, we opted for flying the drone, which allowed us to see this area from above. It showed just how massive this white sand beach was. Not sure if it was the overcast skies or the contrast against the moonscape, but the water seemed like a deeper blue that day. There were areas where the water was shallow and had an aqua green color to it. All so unique.
Once again, we had this whole place nearly to ourselves. Just a handful of other visitors and fellow drone pilots. This has to be one of the coolest beaches we had ever been to!
We walked away from this beach fully content with our visit to Milos. We only touched the surface of this island. There is so much more we will need to explore whenever we return.
You can see more of our time in Milos Greece in our travel vlog "Milos Greece 2021 - Aphrodite & Colorful Fishermen Houses" on YouTube. Out now!
Thanks for reading our blog on Milos Greece in 2021!
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