What To Do On The Cool Island Of Milos

The fascinating and beautiful island of Milos sits halfway between the port of Piraeus in Athens and the island of Crete. Most renowned for its unique lunar-like beach, Sarakiniko, it’s also where the ancient statue of the Venus de Milo once stood, one of the most famous statues in the world (it now sits in the Louvre). But there’s much more to this cool, horseshoe-shaped island. It has many other unique beaches scattered around, some with cool cliffs and coves and some you need a ladder to climb down to! There’s also Plaka village with its charming, traditional, whitewashed Cycladic architecture, colorful old fishing villages, an ancient Greek theater, 1st century catacombs, and several hilltop spots for awesome sunsets over the sea. Milos was also listed as 4th in the list of top 25 best islands around the world by Travel and Leisure in 2022! This post explores what to do on the island of Milos and how to get around.

What To Do On Milos

Explore Sarakiniko Beach

Sarakiniko beach is one of the most popular places on the island and definitely one of the top things to do on Milos. One of the most photographed landscapes in the Aegean, it’s definitely cool to go see it and explore its out-of-this-world terrain.

The fascinating white formations here have a lunar look to them. The bone-white volcanic rock is full of fascinating contours and shapes created by centuries of wind and water.

You can swim, so bring a towel, and cliff jumping is poplar, so bring a friend to watch your stuff and take videos of you plunging off the white cliffs into the sparkling sea.

This is a very popular beach, so expect a lot of people. It’s best to visit early in the day or late in the afternoon to have a better experience. There is no cafe here, so make sure to bring water and any snacks you want for the day. It also best to wear good shoes, as the cool white terrain is actually hard and a bit awkward to walk on.

How To Get To Sarakiniko Beach

Sarakiniko is located over 2.5 miles (4.3 km) northeast of Adamantas (on the opposite end of the land mass there). Parking is available if you self-drive. The local bus also stops here from the port of Adamantas several times a day. See the schedule at Milos buses. Note that the schedule varies by season.

Wander Plaka Village

The hilltop village of Plaka, near the northeastern part of the island, is the capital of Milos. It’s fun to wander its winding streets to see the traditional whitewashed Greek buildings with colorful doors and windows and a variety of flowers blowing in the breeze, usually brilliant bougainvillea.

What to do on Milos, explore the Plaka
Plaka

You’ll find many shops, restaurants, and cafes, whitewashed Greek churches, and beautiful views from various points overlooking the sea.

This can be a done as a day trip (unless this is already your home base), or visit in the afternoon and look for a place for dinner in one of its charming alfresco restaurants. Keep in mind that if it’s peak season, you will need to wait for a table.

How To Get To Plaka

Plaka is a little over 3 miles (5 km) from the Port of Adamantas. As this is another top tourist spot, there are several buses daily to Plaka from the port of Adamantas. See the schedule at Milos buses.

Milos Archeological Museum

If you’re interested in the history of the island, Plaka is where you’ll find the Milos Archeological Museum. It’s small, but has some interesting objects, like a replica of the statue of the Venus de Milo and artifacts from Phylacopi (see below), the ancient archaeological village here.

Watch The Sunset From Panagia Thalassitra

Climbing to the Panagia Thalassitra church, patron of sailors, for the the stunning sunset view of the Gulf of Milos is a perfect way to end the day or start your evening on Milos. Because of its position, it’s the most photographed church on the island.

For the best view, climb all the way to the Kastro above it.

What to do on Milos, watch the sunset at Thalassitra
Panagia Thalassitra

Watch The Sunset From The Kastro

Up above Panagia Thalassitra are steps to the old Venetian Kastro, the highest spot in Plaka.

Built at the peak of Plaka Village, during Venetian rule, this is actually the old settlement of Milos. Once the perfect spot to see approaching pirates or other enemy boats, now it’s a gathering spot to watch the sunset.

What to do on Milos, visit the Kastro
The Kastro

Watch The Sunset From Utopia Cafe

Another amazing spot to watch the sunset over the Gulf of Milos is Utopia Cafe. This magical coffee shop is located in Plaka, where you can enjoy watching the sun descend into the sea with a cocktail and appetizers. As it’s popular, the patio fills up quickly. Make sure to arrive early to get a seat!

Have A Cocktail At Akri Bar

After sunset, and after dinner, head to Akri Bar in Adamantas. This charming spot overlooking Adamantas harbor has a wonderful atmosphere, whether you’re with friends or your special someone.

They offer great music and a variety of cocktails. Its patio is especially beautiful on a clear night with the moon shimmering above the sea.

Visit The Village Of Pollonia

Pollonia is a must-visit picturesque old fishing village on the northeastern tip of Milos. This is perfect day trip to see see its small, golden sandy beach lined with open air cafes and restaurants. Pollonia is the second largest port on Milos, but it’s only for small fishing boats and boats heading to nearby islands, like Kimolos and Glaronisis, or to explore the caves at nearby Papafragas.

Some think that the name Pollonia, also known as Apollonia, is from the ancient Temple of Apollo,

How To Get To Pollonia

Pollonia is a little over 6 miles (10 km) from the port of Adamantas. There is also a bus that travels regularly between the two. See the schedule at Milos buses.

Beaches Of Milos

There are supposedly 80+ beaches on Milos, each providing something unique. Some have sandy beaches, some have pebbles, some don’t have beaches at all, just cliffs and coves, or interesting rock formations I’ve already mentioned like on Sarakiniko.

And while I can’t mention them all, nor have I visited them all, I can highlight a few that I see consistently mentioned in travel guides for Milos. The first two, Papafragas and Kleftiko, I did visit, but I (unfortunately) did not make it to Tsigrado, Firiplaka, or Paleochori. That will need to be another visit.

Papafragas

The stunning area of Papafragas is just off the main road before Pollonia. My photo below does not do this area justice at all. These stunning cliffs overlook the crystal blue waters with a small beach and many caves to explore in the sea. Trust me, you’ll immediately want jump in!

What to do on Milos, swim at Papafragas
The Cliffs And Coves Of Papafragas

To get here, take the bus to Pollonia (see schedule above) and ask to be let off at Papafrangas on the way (or watch for to on your GPS).

Kleftiko And The Sea Caves

Kleftiko is not really a beach, but a cool rock formation and several sea caves (which were reportedly once used by pirates) located off the southwestern tip of Milos. You can only arrive by boat, but most boat tours stop here. It’s an exhilarating spot to stop and swim around in the caves.

What to do on Milos, visit Kleftiko
Kleftiko

Tsigrado Beach

Tsigrado is a small sandy cove surrounded by cliffs on the southern side of Milos. This is only for the brave as you need to climb down the steep cliffside on a ladder. This means you need to have good mobility and it may not be the best choice if you have a fear of heights.

Because it’s so challenging to get to, this is an all natural beach. There are no amenities. There are no cafes, bars, sun beds, or umbrellas. You must bring your own food, water, and supplies, as well as be prepared to carry them down (and back up) the ladder. Unless, of course, you arrive by boat.

In addition to driving to the area at the top of the cliff, you can also get here by bus. See the Milos bus schedule for the bus from the port of Adamantas to Tsigrado (and Firiplaka below). The beach of Firiplaka is only about a 5 to 10 minute walk from Tsigrado, so explore them both while you’re in the area.

Tsigrado Beach | Strakhov

Firiplaka Beach

Firiplaka is a silver colored sandy beach with some pebbles and lots of interesting rocks by a large cliff. As noted above, it’s within walking distance of Tsigrado. There are sun beds and umbrella here, as well as a small cafe. The reviews on costs and service are quite negative, so plan to bring your own beach gear and food.

In addition to driving, you can also get here by bus. See the Milos bus schedule from Adamantas to Tsigrado (above) and Firiplaka.

Paleochori Beach

Paleochori is also on the southern side of Milos, but farther east than Tsigrado and Firiplaka. It’s a gravel beach backed by a cliff. As it’s near volcanic activity on the island, the sand gets hot.

You can also get here by bus or by car. See the Milos bus schedule from Adamantas to Paleochori.

See The Colorful Fishing Village Of Klima

At the village of Klima, a strip of colorful fishermen houses line the coast. Each (reportedly) painted a different color so the fishermen could easily find their home. They’re fun as the house is in the upper level while the boat is stored in a closed ‘garage’ below. These houses are known as “syrmatas”.

They say Klima has been inhabited since around the 7th century BC. Today, fishermen no longer live here. They’re now houses and vacation homes, some of which you can stay in. This village is very quaint though, with only one restaurant, one shop, and one church. Also, rentals book up quickly so plan well in advance. They also can be quite expensive during peak season.

Klima is located on the inner side of the eastern part of the horseshoe. There is not a direct bus here, but you can take the bus to Trypiti and take a taxi from there, or walk down the hill (about 20 minutes). As this village faces westerly, afternoon is a great time to visit to see the sun descend over the sea.

Visit The Ancient Theater Of Milos

This ancient theater, first constructed around the 3rd century BC, sits on the cliff top just above the village of Klima near the village of Trypiti. In Roman times it was rebuilt to hold about 7,000 people. Today, performances for about 700 are held here.

What to do on Milos, visit the ancient theater
Ancient Theater of Milos

The renowned statue of the Venus de Milo was discovered near here in 1820. All that remains here today is a small sign near the place it was found. The statue stands in the Louvre today, but there a replica of it in the Plaka Archeological Museum.

To get to the ancient theater, you can drive or take the bus. See the Milos bus schedule for the bus from Adamantas to Typiti (or Plaka to Trypiti).

I actually walked here from Plaka, following GPS from maps.me, which I downloaded in advance. The walk was about 25-minutes descending down the hilltop village of Plaka with stunning views along the way.

The photos below are from my walk, showing the trail descending from the Plaka on the left, then passing a church on the sea, before hiking back up to see ancient theater of Milos from above.

Visit The 1st Century Catacombs

Within walking distance of the ancient Theater of Milos are Catacombs from the 1st century AD, an underground cemetery for Christians. In addition to the tombs carved underground this area also served as a place of worship and a place for Christians to find refuge from Roman persecution.

Use of the catacombs stopped after the official establishment of Christianity in the 5th or 6th century. There is a fee for admittance and entry is timed when there are many visitors at once (the space underground is small).

There is a parking lot here if self driving. If taking the bus, use the bus to Trypiti above and walk or take a taxi.

Phylakopi

Phylakopi, or Fylakopi, is the ruins of a Bronze Age settlement on Milos that dates from about the 3rd millennium BC to the 12th century BC. In the later phase of development here, it was quite sophisticated with two story homes separated by long streets. Today the site is mostly just rubble near the foundations.

The ruins are located near Pollonia. The Milos bus from the port of Adamantas to Pollonia stops here before Pollonia. Ask the bus driver where to get off or use your GPS.

Take a Boat Tour Around The Island

A boat tour around the island of Milos is a must-do. Mine cruised by the fishing village of Klima, stoped at Kleftico for a swim in the caves, stopped at one of the beaches (sorry, I’m not sure which one), cruised by one of the old mines and talked about the geological history here, saw Glaronesia Island, which is an uninhabited island made entirely of vertical hexagons tubes from ancient volcanic activity, saw Sarakiniko from the sea, some other cool rock formations, and much more. Our group had so much fun on our all-day cruise, we decided to extend the fun into the evening and went for a cocktail at Akri Bar after we docked.

This is a great way to see the unique sites around the island and the tours are super fun! I took one of these and think we were on the boat for 10+ hours, taking a complete lap around the island.

What to do on Milos, visit Glaronisia
Glaronesia

You’ll see many options for cruises around the town of Adamas. Make sure to book early to get space as these trips sell out quickly.

Take A Geological Tour

In addition to its volcanic origins, the island of Milos is full of minerals, making it an open-air geological museum and an interesting place to take a geological tour. Mining was historically important here and still goes on today. There’s even a Mining Museum to learn more about it. A tour covers a lot of the details as well as a visit to the museum.

Want More Of Greece?

Greece is definitely one of my favorites. The people are so friendly and the landscape and history is simply stunning. I’ve created this section as a list to make or easier to navigate places I’ve visited and posts I’ve made for you.

Mainland Greece

Corfu Island

Crete Island

Ios Island

Kefalonia Island

Naxos Island

Paros Island

Santorini Island

Zakynthos Island

Other

For an overview of all the best places in Greece, as well as how to get around, safety, tips, and more, see my Greece Travel Guide.

Safe Travels!

Julie

Want to learn more about me? See my About Me page to understand why I love traveling so much and my philosophies on travel.

Hello! I resigned from a corporate career in product development to explore the world. Although my goal was to travel for a year, 8 years later, I’ve been honored to have explored more than 60 gorgeous countries and met some unbelievably amazing people. Our world truly is a beautiful place! Follow me into the gorgeous unknown by subscribing below. You’ll receive details on fabulous destinations, comprehensive travel guides, travel tips and tidbits, and information on travel trends, like experiential, sustainable, and transformational travel. Where is your next gorgeous unknown? Julie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from Gorgeous Unknown

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading