Milos

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Greece is now one of my favourite places in the world and I would return to the rustic, untouched island of Milos in a heartbeat. This is one of the lesser known Greek islands and the one to go to if you want to escape from the rest of the world and explore vast, beautiful landscapes and exceptional beaches, with no crowds. It is not flashy like Mykonos and Santorini but it’s beautiful in its simplicity and authenticity. On the island there are several small towns with quiet streets which echo history and ooze character and I had to keep pinching myself to see if this was all a dream.


WHEN TO GO

First week of June or September. We went at the end of May and it was uncharacteristically windy.

WHERE TO STAY

We stayed at the gorgeous Melian Boutique Hotel & Spa which is situated in Pollonia, right on a rocky bay with the most gorgeous views. They bring you breakfast to your room every morning and set it up on your balcony, so you get to enjoy your morning coffee in your robe while watching the waves gently lap against the shore. We stayed here because it was our honeymoon but, in all honesty, I wouldn’t say you need to stay at the fanciest hotel when in Milos because you are out exploring all day and really just end up sleeping at the hotel whereas in Santorini, the hotel you stay in makes all the difference because of sunsets, breakfast views and pool access (I will explain more about that in my next post all about Santorini). When we go back to Milos one day I would stay at one of the beachfront, self-catering apartments like one of these.
Melian Boutique Hotel & Spa


DOG FRIENDLY

As mention in my post about Myknos here, Greece is dog friendly if your dog likes cats. Milos had the most stray cats out of all the Greek islands we visited. There are a number of dog friendly accommodation options and because of all the open space, beaches and outdoor restaurants your dog would have a ball and it would be easy enough to take them anywhere with you.

WHAT TO DO 

  • Spend a day sailing around the island. We booked a day trip with Oneiro and this was the highlight of our trip, I cannot recommend doing this and specifically booking with Oneiro, enough. We were served a light breakfast / morning snack, had the most amazing seafood pasta for lunch and all drinks were served onboard. While sailing around the island we stopped at different spots to snorkel in crystal blue bays, explored small coves and learnt all about the island of Milos. Because Milos is a volcanic island seeing it from a boat and sailing around it really lets you experience the magic of its unique landscapes. To book contact Elias at boatoneiro@gmail.com
  • Rent a car. You need to rent a car so you can truly explore the island. There is public transport but it’s not that great. I would recommend you get a 4x4 if you want to go to the western side of the island (which we didn’t). We rented a small, nifty car through RAC who were great. Our car was definitely returned with a few extra scratches because there are so many narrow dirt roads lined with bushes, but they weren’t bothered with this at all. They only asked for us not to get dings! To book a car email booking@rac-sa.gr
  • Spend an afternoon in the white washed town of Plaka. Go in the afternoon, explore, shop and then watch the sunset from Utopia Café. Get there a little bit earlier so you can get a good seat.
  • Go to the small, picturesque fishing village of Mandrakia. It is dotted with colourful garages and the cutest, little fishing boats which make you feel like you have just stepped into a postcard.
  • Explore the beaches. Milos has over 70 beaches and some of these are the best beaches out of all the Greek islands! They differ and are all unique due to the volcanic landscape:
    • Kfeftiko: Is only accessible by boat and is an old pirate hangout made up of huge volcanic rock formations, caves and arches which you can swim through. It doesn’t feel real and is truly something to experience.
    • Sarakiniko: This was one of my favourite beaches. It is made up of huge white rocks which you can lie and tan on while dipping into the cool, Aegean sea to cool off. Also, go in the middle of the night if there is a full moon. I don’t want to spoil it for you, just go!
    • Fyriplaka: this is an organised beach meaning they have comfy lounges, straw umbrellas and reasonably priced cocktails. Win!
    • Tsigrado Beach: is worth the climb down a daunting wooden ladder. It's a very small beach witth caves you can swim through and shallow waters.
    • Paliochori beach: lie on the double / couple’s loungers in front of Sirocco beach café and restaurant. These loungers were the closest to the water and were only EUR2 more! We ordered fresh watermelon to snack on and had lunch and cocktails bought to our lounger. You could spend all day that this beach! 
    • Find a deserted beach, there are so many if you just pull off on the side of the road and follow the small trails down to the sea. You could go skinny dipping and be undisturbed for hours.
  • If you love history, Milos has numerous museums including a mining museum, war museum, folk and history museum and an archaeological museum. I don’t really like museums, but these came highly recommend and people come to Milos just for the history!
  • Visit the abandoned sulphur mines at Theorycheia. You can still see the rusty old tools and abundance of sulphur coming out of the rocks.
Tsigrado Beach

Fyriplaka Beach

Sarakiniko Beach

Left - fishing village of Mandrakia & Right - we stopped the car, went exploringand found this!


WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

  • Medousa: is found in the fishing village of Mandrakia (mentioned above). This is a seaside restaurant with great, local food.
  • Psaravolada: is situated on the edge of a cliff and has the most gorgeous, panoramic view over the Aegean sea. I ordered the mussels and they were incredible (although as I write this I am trying to go vegan) …
  • Enalion: is a small and unassuming restaurant on the corner of the main road in Pollonia where you sit on one side of the street, right on the beach, and the kitchen is on the other side of the road. They serve really good fresh, traditional food.
  • Armenáki: is also unassuming and next door to Enalion. They serve traditional Greek food, fresh fish and the BEST desserts. I had a piece of the lemon cake and it was worth every single calorie!
  • Hanabi: is the place to go if you want to have a fancy, special dinner. It is beautifully decorated, right on the beach and serves incredible sushi that comes with the price tag.
  • Mikros Apoplous: is a lovely place for a long lunch and glass of rose on the water’s edge.
Left - Psaravolada Restaurant & Right - some of the stray cats we found along the way

Mikros Apoplous

Utopia Cafe


TOP TIPS

  • I DO NOT recommend going by the fast ferry, Sea Jets, to any of the Greek islands. We heard so many horror stories from different couples we met who had come by Sea Jets and said it was the most awful experience and called it the “vomit commit”.  It sounded like the closest thing to hell I could imagine so we ended up booking a flight at the last minute and I am SO glad we did. Fly with Aegean, they were incredible. We were delayed which didn’t bother us at all as it gave us just enough time to grab something to eat and we all got a free flight for having to wait. The service was incredible, you wouldn’t get that from Easy Jet!
  • Wear a swimsuit under your clothes or always have one with you. Whether you are hiking, driving or exploring ruins you can always find a gorgeous beach and because it gets so hot, you will want a quick dip at any opportunity.  
  • If you love animals like I do, carry an extra bottle of water and food for all the stray kittens and cats. We came across many hungry, little faces and even when we had run out of food, they were so grateful for the water. Next time I go I will take cat pellets rather than sneaking extra ham and turkey from the hotel breakfast.   

We cant wait to go back, hopefully next time with our kids and Benji!
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