What to do on the Volcanic Milos Island Greece

Updated January 13th, 2022 by TraveltheGreekWay

Milos is an extraordinary island for a number of reasons:

  • Milos has all the Greek Island beautiful characteristics such as whitewashed houses, bougainvillea small alleys, crystal clear blue waters, and mouth-watering Greek food
  • Milos island Greece also has the most impressive and exotic beaches in the Cyclades shaped by its volcanic past, just like Santorini’s
  • Milos travel is also distinct from the other Cycladic islands because of the very active mining industry that makes it a lively island all year round, not just in the warm months (May-October).

One would ask, what about Santorini island? Isn’t the famous Santorini the most impressive Greek Island of all? Yes, Santorini has indeed the most stunning caldera views and sunset but when it comes to beaches, Milos island Greece is a total knock-out!

This post is all about the fascinating Greek Island Milos, how best to have fun on the island, to relax, to travel Milos, and explore with a focus on its greatest asset: Milos exquisite volcanic-shaped beaches!

Where is Milos Island in Greece?

Milos island belongs to the Cyclades group of islands – along with the likes of Santorini, Mykonos, Syros, and Paros – in the southern Aegean Sea.

Milos is a spectacular island, of multi-colored volcanic rocks, stunning beaches all wrapped up in a Cycladic atmosphere and hospitality.

The island Milos has been inhabited since ancient times and it is a dormant volcanic island. The last full-scale volcanic eruption on Milos (90.000 B.C.) took place in the area of the Tsigrado volcano. A steam eruption occurred between 1st and 3rd c AD. in Agia Kyriaki.

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In a hurry? Check out this Milos Island Quick reference:

Where to stay in Milos: Windmill Karamitsos

Heading to Milos from Athens? Book your ferry tickets in advance with no-hidden-fees FerryScanner or FerryHopper

How to Get to Milos Greece

  • Airport: Milos airport has daily summer flights from Athens. There are 2 Greek air companies flying to Milos, Sky Express & Olympic, and the flight lasts about 45 minutes.
  • Ferries: There are daily ferries going to Milos. The ferry to Milos from Pireaus runs all year round. The route is served by conventional and high-speed ferries and the journey lasts from 3 to 5 hours
  • There is a once-a-week ferry leaving from Lavrio Port but it takes about 15 hours to reach Milos as it passes from many islands (avoid!)
  • Detailed info on Ferries to Milos travel and its connections to all the other Cycladic Islands on FerryHopper Website.
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How Many Days do I need in Milos?

3-5 days should be enough to see all the important sights of Milos. And if you fall in love with the island, you can always stay more and extent your Milos holidays!

When is Best to Visit Milos?

Do you like the busy period where there are quite a few tourists, when prices are at the highest, the temperatures can reach 35 C and the northern August wind Meltemi is strong? Go July and August.

You would like some warm weather but not so many people? Go late May – June & September – October. Or perhaps you are like me loving hiking when it is a bit cold and everything is very quiet? Go October to April, you will just love the island but probably it will be too cold to swim unless you are a winter swimmer.

Greek Island Weather Tip: In Milos and in all the Cyclades islands during the summer there are strong winds blowing from the North. This is great because it makes summer days cooler but can be slightly chilly in the evening: take with you a sweater or a sweatshirt.

Tell me About Those Dazzling Milos Beaches!

Milos island has over 70 beaches, each one of them with its own striking beauty and allure formed by the volcanic eruptions, the sea salt effects, and the local mineral ground ingredients.

The volcanic rocks paint the beach pink, orange, and red creating stunning landscapes, unique in Greece and amazing to swim in their waters.

The best thing you should do is to take a boat and go around the island and check, dive, swim on as many beaches as possible. Find below the top beaches that you should visit at least once:

Sarakiniko beach is just remarkable. Imagine a lunar-like rock formation with white polished rocks beach and azure diaphanous waters. Sarakiniko beach has a small sandy part but other than that it is pure white rocks. It is a thrilling place to watch the sunset or stargaze.  It’s 6.4 km (4 miles) from Adamas

Papafragkas beach is a spectacular place to watch the sunset from the top of the beach. The rock formations and cliffs are impressive and jaw-dropping. This beach however is challenging to get to, resulting in few people managing it. There is a carved staircase on the cliff but if it is very windy, you will have no protection. Climb at your own risk. For me, it is also slightly claustrophobic. I prefer to admire it from the top! It is about 7 km from Adamas.

Kapros beach,  It’s 7.3 km (4.5 miles) from Adamas, with an amazing ark that you can swim through, easily accessible but most of the time a quiet place.

Kleftiko, once a pirate’s hideout place, today is a breath-taking steep white cliff and turquoise waters beach, perfect for scuba diving and reachable only by boat. It’s more of a network of caves and rock formations than a traditional beach, but there are plenty of swimming opportunities.

Agathia, a sandy beach with green-blue water and wild nature perfect for peace and serenity

Sykia Cave: Accessible only to small boats and inflatables, it is as unique as it takes being partly a cave, partly a beach

Provatas beach, a popular sandy beach with food options, beach chairs, and great sand and  9.3 km (5.8 miles) from Adamas and minutes next to Provatas is Agios Sostis beach, with sand, a nice restaurant, and golden colors during sunset

Tsigrado Beach is for the adventurous spirited! It is the most secluded beach in Milos, accessible by boat or by a long ladder set on the rocks. Nestled between cliffs on the southern coast of the island, it is not easy to climb down the ladder or go up. There is absolutely no water or food around and the closest taverns are in Fyriplaka. However, the Tsigrado beach is like a dream and there are beautiful caves around it to be explored. Tsigrado is 11 km (6.8 miles) from Adamas 

Paliorema or Theioryheia is an unusual beach with a disused sulfur mine above it.  Here lies the old sulfur mining quarry that operated up until 1956, with the building, the caves, and some of the machinery still in their place. The beach found right by the mines has yellowish pebbles due to the sulfur but the waters are clear and you can combine your swim with a visit to one of the geologic sites of the Milos mining history.

Which Milos Villages Should I Visit?

Adamas, Milos Port, has a striking large natural harbor, the biggest in Greece. It is a good place to stay as it is central and is connected by bus to all the island – although I am always in favor of renting a private car. Anyway, Adamas is convenient, has a lot of food and bar choices but almost nothing else. An exception is the Mining Museum if you like geological info.

Klima, is one of the most colorful fishing villages in Greece. Take some time aside to walk beside the 35 pretty two-story old houses, watch the sunset, and stroke the stray cats that always hover around in wait of a fresh fish. There is a single tavern there and some of the houses have been turned into gift shops or hotels.

Other interesting close-by sites include the Early Christian Catacombs of Milos and the Ancient Theatre and the discovery site of the statue Aphrodite of Milos.

Plaka, is the beautiful capital of Milos with traditional Cycladic architecture, whitewashed houses, colored windows and doors, balconies full of flowers and greenery, and narrow white streets. On top of Plaka is the Kastro area with remains of a Venetian Castle and the Church of the Panagia tis Korfiatissas, marvelously located on the edge of the high cliffs: both of these places offer incredible panoramic views and the most romantic sunset in Milos.

Worth visiting the Archaeological Museum housed in an Ernst Ziller neoclassic building – contains a replica of the original statue of Aphrodite of Milos donated by Louvre – and the Folklore Museum.

Pollonia, a low-key, quiet and family orientated small village, ideal to pop to KImolos island for some more exploration

Where to Stay in Milos

As Milos has a small number of hotels, which fill up fairly quickly, I would recommend booking your hotel early, before the season starts.

  • Agia Kyriaki Beach: Psaravolada Hotel Milos.A super romantic stylish hotel, with gorgeous sea views, quiet and remote.
  • Pollonia: Delmar Apartments & Suites – I stayed here and I absolutely loved everything about this hotel. The good taste and simplicity of the decoration, the location, the breakfast! A perfect hotel.
  • Klima: Dream Boathouse is one of the most iconic places to stay in Milos. The rooms are literally 2 meters from the sea, you sleep and wake up to the sound of the waves, watching the sunset while having a drink.

Are there any Good Hikes on Milos Island?

Milos is part of the Hellenic volcanic arc and has strong hydrothermal activity, caused by the subduction of the African under the Aegean plate. The highest mountain is Mount Profitis Elias at 748 meters (2,454 feet) in the west. 

There is Fyriplaka volcano, in the central and southern part of Milos, which has an impressive crater of 1700 m and a height of around 220 m, and a must-visit hike. There is a second, the smaller volcano Trachila, in the northwest that only a small part of it still exists.

Both volcanoes are impressive sights to visit and hike as well as some volcanic activity in the hydrothermal form near Agia Kyriaki or Achivadolimni.

Generally speaking, there are no ancient donkey trails that we find on other Cycladic islands like in Sifnos.

Some suggested hikes are:

  • Adamas – Klima – Plaka: not exactly a trail but passing by some beautiful scenery and offer the opportunity to visit the catacombs, the Roman Theatre, tp swim in Klima and visit Plaka and Kastro with great sea vistas. Estimated Hiking Time: 70-80 minutes
  • Agia Marina in Adamas – Profitis Ilias loop: Well marked with numerous cairns (koukos in Greek) and one of the best hikes on Milos. Estimated Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Mandrakia – Sarakiniko – Mytakas – Agios Konstantinos – Pachaina – Papafranga – Fylakopi: Estimated Hiking Time: 6-7 hours. There is no real trail as such but the views are worth the hike. It is a good opportunity to visit the archaeological site of Fylakopi. A great description of the trail can be found here by Raymond Verdoolaege, a Greek Island lover and amazing hiker.

My favorite months to hike in Greece is October (warm but not too much) and April (everything has blossomed).

What else can I do on Milos?

  • Visit nearby beautiful small volcanic islands of Kimolos, Polyaigos, Antimilos, Glaronisia, and Akradia which also have secluded beaches and landscapes of great beauty
  • All western Milos is a Natura 2000 protected area with rare indigenous species such as the monk seals, the red viper (Macrovipera Schweizer), and migratory birds. This is a good island if you like bird-watching.
  • Swim in the thermal springs – they considered being therapeutic if you have arthritis or other similar issues. You can find thermal springs in a configured cave in Adamas (water temp 33 C), Alykes, Kanava & Paliochori (water temp 50 C), and Mandrakia (water temp 52 C).
  • If I haven’t mentioned it already, please take the boat trip around the island!

I am a Vegetarian, Where Can I Eat on Milos?

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, Greece is your country! Greece has so many vegetable dishes that it will satisfy any taste. Greek taverns serve all kinds of salads, with the Greek salad being the king of summer salads.

From a Greek table, you will also see an assortment of fried vegetable dishes such as potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, aubergine, or boiled veggies like cauliflower, carrots, or beetroots.

My favorite is the Greek traditional homemade dishes that all Greeks were raised with:

  • Briam: a variety of veggies in fresh tomato sauce
  • Imam Baildi: sliced eggplants cooked with oil, tomatoes, onions and spices
  • Fava: dip/purée of split peas and olive oil & Tzatziki spread: yoghurt, garlic and cucumber
  • Gigantes: broad beans (butter beans) baked in a thick, sweet tomato sauce
  • Dolmadakia: vine leaves stuffed with lemon-flavoured rice
  • Fasolakia (fresh beans in fresh tomato sauce)
  • Arakas (peas in lemon sauce with herbs)
  • Agkinares: Artichokes and potatoes in lemon sauce
  • Bamies: Okras in tomato and oil sauce
  • Horta: boiled greens usually picked up from the nearby garden early in the morning
  • Spanakorizo: spinach and rice in white lemon sauce
  • Gemista: oven-baked tomatoes or bell peppers stuffed with a filling of rice, veggies and fresh herbs
  • Any pie you can think of: tyropita (cheesepie), spanakopita (spinach pie), chortopita (greens pie) use your imagination-pie!

Milos Local Delicacies are:

  • Skizes Milou, slices of bread with olive oil and fresh tomato grilled
  • Pitarakia, small cheese pies with local cheese
  • Watermelon Pie & Milos Koufeto, the sweet choices.

All the above usually are accompanied by generous proportions of feta cheese, bread and a lot of local wine or ouzo, whatever is your thing!

What are the some difficult aspects of Milos Island?

There are a few things that a first-time visitor should keep in mind while visiting Cyclades Islands and specifically Milos:

  • The roads are not good and you need to be careful especially at night
  • Many of the beaches have no trees or other shade available, water, or food supply. You should carry your own supplies if you are visiting such a beach
  • When it gets windy (June – August meltemia), it just won’t stop. It can also get a bit chilly in the evening.
  • For more info on travel dangers and precautions in Greece, you may find interesting my post here

Are you a Solo Female Traveller?

Are you contemplating venturing Athens Greece and the islands all alone or with a group of female friends and wondering if Greece is safe for solo female travelers?

Greece is a perfectly safe country for everyone regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. In addition to that, Greek people are gene-programmed to be hospitable and are always eager to offer directions to your destination or any other advice, so ask freely.

Naturally, common sense and gut feeling should always be trusted so if something looks suspicious or sketchy, go in the other direction.

You may find interesting my post First Time Travelling to Greece where I get a bit more analytical about petty theft especially in the Athens metro.

How to Get Around Milos Island

BUSES: If you are going to be using the buses, it would be better if you stay in Adamas or Pollonia. Find here the bus timetable for Milos.

RENTALS: The roads in Milos are extended with a lot of dirt roads and not all in very good condition. If you decide to have your own transportation, I believe the safest option is to rent a small 4WD so that it can take you to difficult places. A normal car won't be able to go on many of these roads, and the insurance won't cover you in case of a breakdown.

You will need an International Drivers License to rent a car in Greece. Most rentals are in Adamas port, so you can walk around and ask for prices. Just like the hotels, if you are traveling to Milos during peak season, it’s best to book your rental car in advance. I would never suggest an ATV as I consider them an unsafe and unpredictable solution.

TAXIS: There are plenty of taxis on Milos that work 24/7.

Useful numbers for Milos: Milos Health Center: +30 2287360000 Milos Police: +30 2287021204

Ethical Travelling

  • Please leave no rubbish behind you, no plastic bags or other items. Use the bins and if there aren’t please take the rubbish with you
  • At no circumstance should you light a fire to bake or for any other reason on Milos
  • Do not remove any shells, rocks, fossils, or sand from the beach
  • The animals shouldn’t be annoyed and they are not here for our entertainment. We respect their natural habitat. Serpents, turtles, and snakes are shy creatures and avoid human contact as much as they can. If you come across one of them, change your route and leave it alone.
  • If you open a gate in one of your hikes please close it behind you. It is closed for a reason, the most usual of which is keeping animals inside. Shepherds get really annoyed if they have later on to search for their goats all over the place if the door is left open
  • Refrain from visiting private properties because it is a “great” spot for a “great” Instagram shot. You wouldn’t like it if this was happening in your house. We respect the locals
  • Remote Churches and Chapels: they may look abandoned, they may look in disrepair, they may be half-demolished, still Greeks love their churches and would never tolerate any disrespect or vandalism.

Some of my Favorite Travel Resources for Greece

  • Airflights: Cheap/Fast/Best Worldwide Flights from KAYAK or SkyScanner search engine site
  • Map of Athens Metro
  • Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals, have info on hotels and Airbnb’s alike, with breakfast or not, free cancellations, and great prices!
  • Ferries to the Greek Islands: Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper, and get the best prices in the market with no hidden fees
  • World Nomads Insurance: I feel insecure traveling to another country without having even the most basic of insurances. Insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations
  • Best car rental prices – Guaranteed. RentalCars.com
  • Get Your Guide: For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
  • iVisa: For any questions, you may have about your documents, passport if you need a visa, a new photo, or any visa-related matter, iVisa is your man (or woman!)
  • Emergency Numbers Anywhere in Greece: AMBULANCE 166 – FIRE 199 – POLICE 100EMERGENCY NUMBER 112

More Inspiring Reading on Greek Islands

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2 Responses

  1. Fred

    I want to see more of the beaches you are writing about here. When I was there, access to Papafragkas was closed because there was damage to the route going down and considered too dangerous. One situation I will mention about car rental is that most of Milos has very bad roads and the car rental companies will say that you cannot take their cars on them. I have seen some of these roads and they really are very bad, and for them they recommend using an ATV. One day I asked about an ATV and they were quite a lot more expensive than a car and even then they were questioning me taking one to the more remote areas, saying that it might be too difficult a trip on their particular model of ATV. I will check this out again next visit because I would really like to see those places!

  2. Evgenia Mataragka

    Hi Fred and thanks for the useful comment.
    I agree with you that the roads in Milos have been and still are in the most part of it not good. I am not in favour of ATV’s as there have been quite a few accidents with them, they are unpredictable and terrible for the environment. I believe the secret with Milos and most small places in Greece is to park your car before the place you are visiting where it is the safest place. I got stuck once in Pelion peninsula at Damouchari beach. I was there with my newish Polo VW but the uphill was so steep that the car wouldn’t start going up. I had to seek help. So, after the Damouchari ordeal, I avoid parking very close to my favourite beach, I walk. Great point by the way, thanks for bringing it up!

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