When thinking of an ideal Greek vacation, several Agean sea islands might come to mind. The quest for the perfect white and blue cityscape island can be a challenging affair, but if an intimate experience of the Cycladic life is what you're looking for, the island of Milos might just be the place for you. Furthest south of all the Cyclades, the volcanic island is one of the most pristine holiday spots that you are likely to come across anywhere on the globe.
Milos' village communes have managed to maintain their distinctive old-world charm, while the volcanic beaches and the mountainous terrain remain untouched still. And that's just scratching the surface; find any part of the Island to base yourself at and you'll have a long list of things to do. And we have taken it into our hands to get you a head start on things. Here, we have listed some of the best neighbourhoods of Milos and what they might have in store for you traveller!
The seaside town of Adamantas shortened as Adamas is one of the biggest settlements on the island. Having drawn inhabitants from nearby islands such as Crete, it became home to people who built a quintessential Greek village around the giant natural harbour. Today, Adamas has become the go-to place for first time travellers. The port makes for easy access, and is also the centre of all activity. Several cafes and restaurants dot the area and cafe hopping is definitely one of the first things that you'll be doing around here.
Adamas is also a top choice people looking to delve into the history of the island. Beautiful white churches and historic museums will immediately catch your eye; you can start your sightseeing tour from the central Agios Haralambos and the Church of the Holy Trinity, and then find your way around the labyrinth alleyways to the immersive Maritime and Refuge museums. As you wander past the endless white walls, you will also be able to appreciate the cityscape for the true delight that it is.
The port at Adamas provides easy access for travellers as you can hail a ferry from Athens or a nearby Cycladic island. You can also extend your trip further after landing in Milos as local service providers at the port not only offer afternoon excursions along the coastline, but longer guided tours of nearby islands as well. Hotels are in plenty and among the finest anywhere on the island.
Although technically still a part of Adamas, the small neighborhood centred around the Papikinou beach warrant a separate mention altogether. The neighborhood is a great place to base yourself around if you wish to enjoy the pleasure of a beachside vacation without having to travel too far out of the city centres. The sandy strip itself is a great spot to spend your days at; laze around the soft sand, sunbathe under the rental umbrellas or hit the waters for a quick swim - your options are truly endless.
Walk around the beachfront and discover some excellent restaurants and outdoor cafes that beside serving top-notch meals, have their own private beach access as well. Further inland, you'll find some obscure looking chapples by the roadside, supermarkets, and health & relaxation spas at about every turn. The Milos Conference Centre tucked away into the southwestern corner of the neighborhood hosts live music events and has outdoor seating with splendid views of the open sea.
The neighborhood is a short ride from the city centre of Adamas; you can have a local taxi take you to your hotel and later book a rental bike for commuting over shorter distances. While staying in the neighborhood, you would want to get a nice rental apartment or a sea facing room at a hotel close to the Papikinou beach.
Sitting atop a volcanic rock is the capital city of Plaka Milou or simply Plaka. One of the oldest settlements on the island, this small town is anchored by a majestic Venetian castle right at the summit. The walk up to the castle should definitely be on the top of your to-do lists. You will find yourself immersed in the serenity of the cityscape, which looks like a dream under warm afternoon sun. And the sunset viewing from the top is just an added bonus!
The city centre has an undeniable Cycladic charm of its own. You will enjoy spending time around the cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed houses, with their bright blue and yellow coloured windows and bougainville-laden balconies. Keep an eye out for souvenir shops, terraced cafes and home-grown restaurants serving some great local delicacies. There's also a few great historic sites including the Panagia Korphiatissa church and an archaeological museum in the vicinity, so you'll never run out of things to do.
Plaka is about a 15 minute ride from Amandas and a 20 minute ride from the Milos port, making it one of the most easily accessible parts of the island after the port city. Lovely homestays and several boutique hotels run out of the local housing and you will have plenty of top-notch options to choose from.
One of the major attractions of Milos have been the Catacombs; possible burial sites dating back to the 1st century CE are easily the top draw for history buffs. The town of Trypiti lies closest to the ancient underground site, which you definitely need to take a tour of during your stay. The historic theme looms large over the neighborhood as a masterful Roman amphitheatre and the discovery site of the famed Venus de Milou are all at a stone's throw from the catacombs.
If a quaint stay away from bustling crowds is what you're looking for, Trypiti is the just the place for you. It is one of the few places that has managed to retain its minimalist appeal, with the bare minimum scenery. At the top of the hill are a series of gigantic windmills that now work as unique guest houses available for rent. There's still a few great restaurants and outdoor cafes, some with their own rooftop seating that overlook the volcanic cliffs; arrive early and grab a seat for the best sunset viewing.
Trypiti is fairly close to both the capital city of Plaka and the Adamas, making it ideal for people looking to stay in the mix of things. Traffic is largely pedestrian so you won't have too much trouble finding your way from one place to the other within the town. As an aside, the mountainous terrain allows you to challenge yourself to exciting hikes, especially around the Elias Hill.
A one of a kind eroded volcanic beach awaits you at Sarakiniko, a small town lying on the northern coast of Milos. Travellers have long visited the fabled beach that can be best described as resembling the surfacing of the moon. The sea surrounding the beach has, over the years, led to the formation of the unique looking ocean caves and cliffs - all of which have become peculiar features of the northern coast of the island.
The turquoise water stands in stark contrast with the white surface of land, making it one of the most picturesque places in all of Milos. It is the perfect setting for a day of exploration, or extended photography sessions or even a lazy day of sunbathing. The small fishing village of Mandrakia is a short ride from the beach and has a couple of taverns that offer some of the island's best seafood. You will come across several colourful fishing boats parked around the small natural harbour, reminding you of the fresh produce on your plates!
Regular bus services run between most major cities of the island, but the easiest way to access the somewhat remote Sarakiniko beach is through a rental taxi or a curated tour. You might not have a vast number of options to choose from when it comes to staying options, but some nice hotels have come up in and around the vicinity in recent times.
Another great town to look forward to for the lovers of a minimalist scenery is Mytakas. Situated in the northern part of the island, this is a small hamlet of sorts which draws travellers to its sparsely crowded coves. The eponymous beach of Mytakas is especially serene, with its white sand and clear water. The area can get really windy at times, but it is still the perfect place for a private experience as you'll enjoy sitting by the seafront, watching the sunset or sitting out for evening drinks with your friends at the beach bar.
The village also has a few fishing houses, infusing the vibe of quintessential Cycladic lifestyle. Hotels and guesthouses serve exquisite home cooked meals, while Mytakas also hosts a seasonal cantina with a vast menu of local delights. Not far off, the beach of Alogomandra offers another scenic setting. This beach is covered in soft white sand and has giant rock formations emerging out from the cliffside; sitting atop two of these cliffs are small chapels overlooking the vast open sea.
You can get rental taxis to drive you to the village centre, which is about 15 and 20 minutes away from Milos port in Adamad and Plaka city centre respectively. The hotel options are limited, but there are severely great homestays and seafront apartments that make for equally enticing options.
And for the last neighborhood on the list, we go back to a locale that has everything that makes Milos an absolute delight - the northeastern town of Pollonia. Centred around a small sandy beach, this town has a more lively vibe especially around the beachfront. Several quirky cafes and open air restaurants dot the area, while the main street of the town is also one of the few places in Milos that make for a fun shopping experience. A handful of small businesses including clothing and jewelry are the major draw.
The streets around the northern tip of the neighborhood are also especially charming. Cobblestone streets laden with vibrantly coloured patio furniture will make for a fun walk; you can always walk around the vicinity, appreciating the wall painting and occasional graffiti art. An evening stroll up to the immaculate blue and white Church of Saint Nicholas is the ideal evening activity as you can witness the sun set over the horizon - a blissful way to cap off your weekend getaway.
Pollonia is one of the farthest of all the villages on the list (from the capital city), but is still fairly easy to access. You can hop on one of the buses that run to and fro from Plaka and Adamas or hire a private vehicle. The neighborhood also has one of the highest concentrations of hotels and homestays outside of the two major centres.
That's our complete list of neighbourhoods from Milos then. Take your pick and start planning your next vacation traveller; an intimate Cycladic experience awaits!