Exploring Greece: Our Must-Visit spots in Milos
By Michael Chapman
We didn't know we were going to Milos until literally the day before. Mid-pandemic, we were hosting Salt Escapes in Zakynthos when on the final couple of days, the island went onto a quarantine list. Our options were either to head to London for a two week home quarantine, or hop across to another island for no less than fourteen days of exploring. Naturally, we chose the latter, and so the Milos magic commenced.
Milos is a volcanic island floating in the Aegean Sea, with some of the most varied landscapes, beautiful bays and quaint, colourful villages in all of the Greek islands. With it’s own airport, you can catch a quick domestic flight to Milos from Athens (don’t forget to explore beautiful Athens for a day or two on your way), or you can island hop to Milos via the ferry that floats between the Cyclades (including Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos and others).
We’d highly recommend hiring a car for your time in Milos - not only will you need it for getting to all the best spots, but Milos can also get very windy, so it was handy to jump in the car and head to whichever protected bay offered shelter.
Before we dive into Our Must Visit Spots in Milos, be clear that if you’re looking for a lively island, Milos is not the one. Instead, Milos offers endless stunning beaches and bays, jaw-dropping coastline and some of the best Greek food we’ve ever eaten. Yamas to that.
Welcome to the moon! If you’ve seen or read anything about Milos, chances are, it’ll feature Sarakiniko. As one of the most photographed and fascinating spots in all of the Greek islands, this place is a must visit.
Sarakiniko is technically a beach, but that’s not why you go. The beach is tiny and unassuming, but it’s surrounded by white volcanic rock that has been eroded by wind and waves to give Sarakiniko its iconic moonscape look, and make it one of the most unique places to visit in Greece.
We loved Sarakiniko so much we went back multiple times. We were lucky enough to witness it in all its glory, both when the wind was wild and the waves were crashing high above the rocks, and when the sea was blissfully still and the conditions were perfect for some cliff jumping.
If you can, arrive early before 9am, or head late afternoon for sunset. It was very quiet during our time in Milos (perks of travelling during a pandemic), but being such an epic spot, Sarakiniko does get busy in peak times.
Aside from all the cliff jumping, tunnels and caves you can explore around Sarakiniko, if you head down to the right over the rocks, you’ll find a shipwreck just off shore that you can snorkel.
Pack some lunch, pack your camera, and go full explorer mode on the moon.
BOAT DAY: KLEFTIKO
In case you don’t know us, we are the self-proclaimed King and Queen of Boat Day. The Greek islands are up there with our favourite places to Boat Day, and Milos didn’t let the side down.
We rented our boat through Rent Boat Milos, and picked it up from Provotas beach (south of the island). We can’t remember exactly, but think it was somewhere between €120-€150 to hire for the day (a fibreglass boat with 40 HP). In our experience, this rate is pretty standard across the islands.
Our first stop was Gerakas Bay, just east of Provotas beach. Gerakas is a small sandy beach backed by white cliffs, that can only be reached by boat. The water here was incredible, so clear and so turquoise you’ll want to jump right in. We’ve heard this spot can get busy with boat tours in normal times, but luckily we had this place all to ourselves.
We hopped back in the boat, and headed west to Kleftiko, almost the most south-western spot of the island. Again, only reached by sea, Klefitko is an epic spot for spending an afternoon exploring. Large rock formations spring up from the sea, forming natural swim throughs and caves that were once said to be a pirate hideaway, and stashed full of treasure. Grab your snorkel and go-pro, and head off on an underwater treasure-hunt.
Don’t forget, the proper way to do Boat Day is to pack a lunch full of sandwiches and snacks, a cooler full of beers and Prosecco, and some speakers to play your favourite summer playlist (check out our Salt Escapes playlists on Spotify). And that, my friends, is how you do Boat Day.
BEACHES & BAYS
The beaches in Milos are so varied, and with a car or an ATV, the island is small enough to hop between some of the best in the same day. Here’s a list of some of the beaches and bays we don’t think you should miss during your time in Milos.
Located on the north west of the island, Firopotomas bay is quaint and cute, backed by colourful little boat houses, some that have been renovated into quirky beach apartments (we very nearly stayed in one for a couple of nights, you can find them on Airbnb, like this one!). Depending on the wind, the sea here can be choppy, but luckily we visited on a day it was super calm and the water was crystal-clear. Either plonk yourself on the beach, or find a spot atop one of the boat houses to soak up the sun.
Located south of the island, and one of the largest bays backed by colourful cliffs and lapped by calm, clear water. Firiplaka is one of the most popular beaches on the island with a small beach bar, and a great place to visit if you're after shelter from the strong winds of the north. Combine visiting this bay with Tsigrado beach (see below).
We spent a few nights staying at Artemis Deluxe Rooms, which overlooks this beach. Paleochori is sandy, the water is clear, and the blue hues of the sea make for some gorgeous views, especially contrasted with the colourful pink and orange cliffs. There are underwater thermal springs along the shore, and you can either explore with a snorkel, or experience “volcanic food” courtesy of local restaurant Sirocco, where the chefs cook your food using the hot sand. The restaurant wasn’t open when we visited, so we don't have a food review for you, but it sounds like a fun dinner experience!
We didn’t actually make it to this Tsigrado, but we did cruise past it on Boat Day. It's a little more adventurous, as you need to climb down the cliff using ropes and a ladder to reach the beach. It's tiny and there are no restaurants, but there water there looks pretty, so maybe worth a quick dip.
The old fishing village of Klima is lined with white-washed boat houses with brightly coloured doors, separated from the lapping sea with just a tiny walkway. It's postcard kind of pretty, especially on a calm day. There are a couple of (not great) tavernas in Klima, and there's not a lot to do here but grab a photo. If Greek history is your thing, you can visit the nearby catacombs and the ruins of the ancient theatre of Milos.
I think Mandrakia was our favourite of the fishing village bays. We loved it here, such a beautiful spot for a swim off the little jetty. It doesn’t have a beach as such, but it does have our absolute favourite lunch spot, Medusa (see below).
Greek cuisine has never been a favourite of ours (not that you asked, but top 3 are Italian, Japanese and Mexican), but a handful of restaurants in Milos single-handedly changed that for us.
Just along from the port of Adamas, which seems be full of your standard touristy restaurants, O’Hamos! is a whole world away from that. Set amongst olive trees and beautiful bougainvilleas, this family run restaurant is as authentic as it gets; if they can't grow it or rear it on the family farm, it won't be on the menu. From the rustic wooden tables and the handwritten menu, to the homemade pottery plates and mugs, this place feels special before the food has even made it to the table.
And then, oh my, the fooood!! We'd recommend the braised roasted piglet with cous cous (gourounopoulo metimezako), and absolutely without hesitation, finish with the chocolate-orange-cake-dessert-thingy (portokalogliko). We went back again, and again, and again during our two weeks in Milos. And for us, no dessert has ever compared since.
Located overlooking Mandrakia Bay, we visited Medusa in this idyllic spot for lunch multiple times. A friendly welcome, a table right by the water and the traditional air-drying octopus metres from the table, makes for a picturesque and perfectly Mediterranean long lunch. We especially loved the grilled aubergine, the swordfish souvlaki, and of course, the grilled octopus. This place gets busy (yes, even during our pandemic visit), and you'll need to book ahead or wait for a table... but trust us, it's worth it.
KIVOTOS TON GEFSEON (Arc of Flavours)
Up north in Pollonia, this place is worth a special mention. A pretty garden makes for a perfect morning coffee setting, but the real reason to visit Kivotos is the baked treats. Oven-baked pies, cakes and slices provide a Greek sweet treat for a post beach-day pick-me-up.
Plaka is the capital of Milos, and it's a beautiful hilltop town with those white-washed houses lined with blue, and stone-paved streets. There are cute restaurants and cafes you can stop at, squeezed between the little streets, and some boutique shops you can nosey around. We did walk around Plaka, but sadly pretty much everything was closed on our visit. We did hear that the sunset from Kastro (the roof of a castle) in Plaka is not to be missed (we didn’t get that memo until after we left, damn it).