Only a few
years ago, Milos was one of those quiet islands where you would only find
empty beaches, very few taverns and nothing else. Today, it has become one
of the "trendy" islands for young Greeks to go to in summer, and the island
has turned into a quite exciting place. The big plus is that Greeks have a
very relaxed attitude to alcohol, so the island is not particularly noisy,
and you can sleep at night.
Milos has many, many little bays - and if you rent a moped you can find a small beach of your own. This is very romantic, and perfect for honeymooners and people that like their peace and quiet.
One of the most famous sculptures of the ancient world, Venus de Milo (Aphrodite of Milos) was found here. A copy can be seen in the archaeological museum, while the original is at Louvres in Paris. It was given to the French during the Turkish rule, so that the oppressors wouldn't steal it, but now the Greeks would of course like it back. Everywhere on the island you'll see large or small copies of this work of art.
The locals live off fishing and exporting minerals from the island. Tourism is also a source of income in summer.
Milos and Kimolos used to be one island, but an
earthquake split the island into two. The volcanic nature has blessed
the island with many bays, and the large, natural harbour made it a
perfect place for some of the earliest settlers in Greece. There is
evidence that the island was inhabited as far back as the 6th Millennium
Both the Minoans and Mycenaeans had settlements here in the 2nd Millennium BC and the island blossomed because of the good connections with other island, as well as the mainland. Milos produced large quantities of obsidian, a volcanic rock well suited to make weapons from.
Because Milos was such a rich island, the Athenians took an interest in it during Classical years, and the locals were forced to pay annual tributes to Athens. The Romans conquered the island in the 2nd century BC, and even built their own society here.
Milos was one of the first Greek islands to be Christianized, and in the catacombs from the 2nd century the skeletons of over 2000 persons have been found. The catacombs were also used as a hiding place when persecutors of the Christians, avenging Venetians, Turks or pirates attacked the island. Around the same time, the Romans also build a theatre here, which still is used from time to time.
The Venetian Duchy with Naxos as a centre, included Milos as well from the 13th century. In 1537 the Turks took over, and Milos was not liberated until the 19th century after the War of Independence had started in 1821
What to See in Milos
In Plaka, Milos' capital, there are quite a few things to see. You can
visit the archaeological museum where various artifacts from the
excavations on the island are displayed, as well as a copy of Aphrodite
of Milos. There is also a folklore museum, where you can see how the
people of Milos used to live and dress.
The church dedicated to the Virgin Mary has many icons and here you will also get a wonderful view. The Venetian Kastro is also worth a visit.
Just above Klima there is a big archaeological excavation site, and here you will see many ancient ruins, as well as the spot where Aphrodite of Milos was found.
At Sarakinika the ancient town Fylakopis is being excavated, and the landscape here resembles the moon. It is believed that this is where the first settlers lived, and there are traces of Minoan civilization here as well as a Roman theatre from the 2nd century AD.
The Christian catacombs from the 1st to 3rd century where about 2000 people were buried are definitely worth a visit.
In Milos' harbour, Adamas, there is a mining museum, as well as an ecclesiastical museum.
What to do
: Apart from sunbathing and swimming, this is an excellent island for snorkelling because of its many caves. There are watersports at some of the beaches, and fishing is also a nice pasttime. The sunsets are among the best in Greece. There is also a diving school on the island.
There are over 70 beaches and bays on Milos, so pick your choice. There are all kinds of beaches: sandy, rocky, pebble beaches or cliffs. It is hard to recommend any, but worth mentioning is the sandy beach Tsigrado, the Sarakinio beach with its many caves and Voudia which has warm wells.
Nightlife in Milos
Most bars and clubs are in Adamas and Plaka. Because Milos is so popular amongst the Greeks, you'll hear quite a lot of Greek music.
Most of the taverns are in Adamas and Plaka, but you'll also find some really nice little fish taverns in Pollonia and Klima. A local specialty is the cheese Chinomizitra.
There are quite a few shops in Adamas and Plaka, and you can get your own copy of Aphrodite.
The roads on the island are fairly good, and there is a good local busline as well as cars and mopeds for rent.
Milos has its own airport, but not all chartercompanies land here. In stead, you can fly to Athens or Naxos, Mykonos or Paros, for example, and then take the ferry boat. There are also daily flights between Milos and Athens.
Facts about Milos
Size: 160 sq. km
International code: 0030
Population: about 5000
Local code: 22870
Cash machine: Yes
Highest Mountain:Profitis Elias, 752 m
Internet cafe: Yes
Telephone company (OTE):
Tourist Information: 22445