My Milos List
We visited Milos in September during the quieter shoulder season, which suited us perfectly. Unlike more touristy destinations like Mykonos and Santorini, which we admittedly did’t go to based on recommendations, Milos has a charming, untouched feel that sets it apart.
Although there were still some tourists around, and lots of Aussies, it felt pleasantly low-key. I’m not sure what peak season would be like.
One of the standout aspects of Milos is its lack of touristy vibes. Compared to Paros, a similarly charming Greek island we adored, Milos felt less developed for tourism, which was a nice refresher and just what we were craving.
Milos retains a pristine and unspoiled charm. There are vast, untouched spaces with hardly proper roads, making it an absolute joy to explore, but something that must be done by car and with a very confident driver.
Having a car is essential, especially something like a small SUV given the rough terrain, cliffs, and dirt roads. Although I got used to it in the end, I really didn’t feel great driving around those dirt roads along the cliffs, particularly at night since there are no street lights. My fiance did all the driving anyway. But it’s something I wish I had have been prepared for. If you are booking accomodation, I’d keep this in mind as to where you book, because there are some incredible places to stay that are more remote (this is what we did), but you’ll be driving home at night potentially on some sketchy roads.
Milos, like many other Greek islands, can get quite windy. It’s something you can’t predict or prepare for, but you should be aware of it, especially if you plan on taking boat trips. Windy days can mean the beaches, activities and attractions aren’t as beautiful or enjoyable as they are on the warm sunny days.
We spent five nights on the island, which allowed us four full days to explore without feeling rushed. This was great also because we had more chance of beautiful still days, so a couple of windy days didn’t matter too much. You could do shorter if you’d like, I think three nights would be ok, however the way Shaun and I like to travel – we don’t like to move around too much, so opted to do less places with more time for our time in Greece. Four days was great for our pace, as we got to see and experience everything we wanted, without feeling rushed, and had plenty of slow mornings and days. I hate feeling like we have to rush to tick off all these things while on holiday.
Note that ferry times are limited, so factor this in with how many nights you book. The ferry we arrived on only came in at 8pm, and the ferry we had to leave on was around 9am, so with five nights, we only had four days. Also Milos has an airport – we didn’t actually know this as we booked return flights to Paros, but we probably would have booked flights from Milos to Athens to get home, has we have known.
Where To Stay
When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay on Milos, here are your options:
- Adamantas: This is the port where the ferry drops you off, but we were advised against getting accommodation here.
- Pollonia: Located by the beach, Pollonia offers plenty of accommodations. Some of our friends stayed here, but when we took a drive around, we weren’t overly impressed. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a spot where you can easily walk to a cafe and have the ocean right at your doorstep (great for families), this could be a good choice. This is where you’ll find Milos Breeze, which seemed to be a popular choice.
- Plaka: Perched high up inland, Plaka is the island’s main little town and is incredibly charming. There are accommodations available here too, which would be ideal if you prefer staying within walking distance of coffee shops, dinner spots, and shops. Keep in mind, though, that you won’t be right by the water, although it’s not too far of a drive either.
- Middle of nowhere: We really had no idea what to look for in accomodation, so we blindly booked. We chose somewhere more remote, a beautiful hidden gem called Echoes Milos, because the accomodation just looked totally incredible online. It turned out to be a fantastic decision. Echoes offered the most incredible view, perhaps one of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s perfect for a honeymoon-style experience, and I’d go back in a heartbeat. The only challenge is the initial road to get there – you’ll need a suitable vehicle and a confident driver. Even with that, I still felt a bit nervous about driving back after dark, so I often aimed to return before sunset (which happens around 7:30). I’ve also heard great things about Skinopi lodge, which looks like a similar vibe to where we stayed but better located (just ten minutes drive from Adamantas, Plaka and Klima), although I’ve heard it books out well in advance.
Activities And Food
As for activities on Milos, the true essence of this island lies in exploring its incredible beaches, charming fishing villages, and stunning landscapes. This, I believe, is where Milos truly shines. While there are some excellent dining options, dining out isn’t necessarily the primary reason to come here (though we did dine very well – see recommendations below). Normally when I travel, my hit list consists of restaurants and cafes, so this was a little different.
To help you plan your days, I’ve organised the places to visit and food recommendations by area. Keep in mind that some activities may be weather-dependent, particularly on windy days. On calm days, everything is simply magical, but when the wind picks up, you might want to seek out specific sheltered spots.
Places To Visit & Hang – North of the Island (Where We Stayed):
Starting with the most remote areas:
- Fourkovouni: This is a tiny fishing village, incredibly charming, and perfect for a refreshing swim. There isn’t much beach space unless you’re staying here, which would be a delightful experience.
- Plathiena Beach: If you’re looking for a beach with amenities, there’s a beach club here where you can rent a bed or simply enjoy the beach for free.
- Firopotomous: This was my personal favorite among the fishing villages. We strolled and parked up on the right side, near a church, and took a dip in the crystal-clear waters.
- Mandrakia: A must-visit, Mandrakia is another picturesque fishing village. This is where you’ll find Medusa restaurant, which is a lunchtime essential. Be prepared for a wait, so put your name down and make the most of your time by enjoying the beautiful surroundings – it’s a great place to hang out, read, and swim.
- Sarakiniko: Often considered the star attraction of Milos, Sarakiniko boasts a white rock beach that feels like stepping onto the moon’s surface.
- Klima: Just a five-minute drive from Plaka, Klima is one of the most famous fishing villages on the island and definitely worth a visit.
You could visit all these places in order by car, or as we did, split them over a couple of days, grouping them together for a more relaxed exploration of each area.
Things To Do And Eat in Plaka
Plaka is a picturesque cobblestone Greek town that offers a delightful atmosphere. Here, you’ll discover plenty of small shops to browse (I couldn’t resist picking up a few things), charming cafes, and beautiful restaurants. A visit to Plaka is a must. Take a leisurely stroll during the day, and return in the evening for drinks and dinner while watching the enchanting sunset – a view you might not find anywhere else.
Where to Eat in Plaka:
- Mosaic: This rooftop cafe and bar are renowned for providing the perfect spot to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset. Reservations aren’t accepted, so try to arrive early to secure one of those beautiful floor cushion spots. We also had breakfast and coffee here one morning, and it was fantastic.
- Palaios Pastry and Coffee: This charming spot, just across the road from Mosaic, is a great choice for breakfast, coffee, and traditional pastries. It exudes authenticity, complete with Greek grannies in the kitchen crafting those traditional treats. We indulged in coffee, locally grown herbal tea, omelettes, and left with some Greek pastries to savor later. I usually stick to my healthy eating habits while traveling, but when it comes to authentic desserts, I make an exception. If I’m going to enjoy sugar and gluten, it has to be something truly exceptional. Until now, I hadn’t found any desserts that warranted trying (nothing unique), but this little bakery was the real deal. We took home a Galaktoboureko and a kaitaifi walnut-layered dessert (akin to baklava but with kataifi pastry, which I adore). They did not disappoint, and I was delighted to experience some authentic Greek desserts in Greece before heading home.
- Archontoula: This is a lovely, authentic dinner spot with incredible food. I recommend sitting outside to soak in the atmosphere of this beautiful cobblestone town. My suggestion is to start your evening at Mosaic to catch the sunset and enjoy a drink, then take a leisurely stroll to Archontoula for a leisurely dinner at one of their outdoor tables. The staff here is wonderful, and the overall energy creates an unforgettable experience – it truly felt like the Greek experience I had hoped for.
Boat Exploring (South of the Island)
Exploring the southern part of Milos by boat is an absolute must, and will come highly recommended by everyone. The southern part of the island boasts some of the most incredible beaches and caves, many of which are not accessible by car.
You have several options when it comes to boat trips: you can choose from larger tours, smaller, more intimate experiences, or even charter your own private boat.
During our visit, we decided to rent our own boat and joined forces with another couple. Luckily, two of us had boat licenses, which was all we needed, and it wasn’t overly expensive. I loved this as we avoided feeling like tourists.
We began at Agia Kiriaki beach, where we rented the boat from a shirtless guy armed with just a piece of paper. I found nothing felt official in Greece. From Agia Kiriaki, we headed west. We received advice to make a beeline for the furthest point, a true highlight of Milos and an area only accessible by boat – Kleftikos.
- Kleftikos: This place, only reachable by boat, is a sight to behold. It’s the most incredible spot you can imagine, perfect for swimming. I felt like I had stepped into the world of “The Little Mermaid.” We spent a substantial part of our time here, completely captivated by its beauty.
- Another fantastic spot to explore on this boat trip is Fyriplaka, offering yet another opportunity for beautiful swimming.
- Tsigrados is another tiny beach spot worth visiting. It’s quite famous for the ladder you need to descend to reach the beach, particularly if you arrive by car. However, we arrived by boat, so we didn’t have to brave the ladder but still got to experience the stunning beach.
Other things to know
This will be obvious for any seasoned travellers, but coming from Australia, don’t expect things to kick off early. Most places don’t open before 9 AM, and it’s usually around 10:30 to 11 AM when it truly starts to feel like there are people around. On the flip side, in the evenings, you’ll find that things stay open quite late. We often ate dinner around 9PM, and even shops in town might be open at this hour. It’s a delightful experience to wander through the towns both during the day and in the evening.
One of the most memorable aspects of our trip to Greece was the incredible people we encountered. Whether it was accommodation managers, waiters, or restaurant owners, everyone we met was warm, friendly, and radiating happiness. Take the time to greet people and make eye contact. When you visit their restaurants, strike up conversations and ask questions. It’s surprising how often tourists can be dismissive, and by engaging with the locals, you can truly tap into what makes traveling to these countries so special. Every person we spoke to was eager for a chat, and we learned a lot about Greek culture and island life through these interactions. It added another layer of magic to our experience. When you’re at a restaurant, don’t be shy to ask for recommendations – everyone speaks perfect English. The culture here is wonderfully relaxed; people aren’t rushed, even during peak hours at a bustling restaurant. Many times, we found ourselves sitting for hours with cafe staff and owners, chatting, laughing, and learning over freddo espressos. These are some of the most memorable parts of the trip.
This of course went for other travellers too, we met such great people while we were away, a few of which we did dinners, drinks and boat trips with!
- Food Overall: In my humble opinion, the food in the Greek islands is nothing short of heavenly. I heard a few people say that Greek food wasn’t all that great, but I have to disagree completely. I have no idea what those folks were talking about, or perhaps they have radically different taste buds from mine, because the food here is the best travel food I’ve ever had. It’s a perfect match for my palate – abundant fresh veggies, an abundance of seafood, incredible local cheeses made from sheep and goat milk, and, of course, copious amounts of olive oil. Most restaurants use olive oil for cooking, which is even better than what you’d find in Australia, where canola oil is more common. Often when I travel, I feel like I have to try so hard to find even remotely healthy options, but this was a different story. No matter where you go, you can find delicious good quality food.
- Supermarket Fare: Supermarket food can be a bit average, especially on the more remote islands. You can find basics like milk, cheese, olives, and fruit. That’s mostly what we subsisted on. But mostly we just ate out as you can get such good food here. I did pick up a few packets of crackers and nuts for easy snacking (our accommodation didn’t include breakfast, so we wanted something simple). It did the trick, but be prepared to eyeball items on the shelves, as most labels are in Greek.
- Coffee: You’ll find excellent coffee here, which is a relief, unlike some other places in Europe where coffee as super average, especially by Australian standards. I became absolutely obsessed with a drink that seems to be the local favourite – the Freddo Espresso. It’s essentially a frothed iced long black. You can also opt for a Freddo Cappuccino if you prefer it with milk. This is a recommendation I wholeheartedly stand by. For a dairy-free option, personally, I didn’t bother with dairy-free milk options. They mostly came in tetra packs, and my assumption was that they are crap. On occasions where I did want a milky coffee, I went for real full-fat dairy milk. That said, most of the time, I simply enjoyed my Freddo Espresso, which is served black anyway.
- Medusa: Located in the charming fishing village of Mandrakia, Medusa is a relaxed seaside seafood restaurant offering fresh seafood and stunning views. It’s a must-visit spot, perfect for a leisurely lunch or late lunch. Expect a wait, even in the off-season, so put your name down and enjoy the area – go for a swim, read a book – while you wait for a table. Mandrakia itself is a must-visit, whether you dine at the restaurant or not.
- Oh Hamos: Situated just outside the port area in Adamantas, Oh Hamos is renowned for its fantastic food and delightful atmosphere. This family-run establishment grows most of its meat and vegetables, ensuring an authentic and rustic dining experience. There are no frills here, just exceptional food and warm hospitality in a beautiful outdoor garden setting. It’s incredibly popular for a reason, and we went back twice! Be prepared for a wait, but you can enjoy a drink across the road on the beach while waiting for your table. It’s an excellent choice, especially after a day of boating. Make sure you arrive with a hearty appetite, because you’ll want to enjoy a feast.
- Archontoula: A beautiful dinner spot when in Plaka. Detailed recommendations for Archontoula can be found in the Plaka section above.
Keep in mind we were staying remotely north of the island, and we are also not late night people so were often home early to watch the sunset from our accomodation. But if you like the same things, here are some rough suggestions to get you started with planning a trip.
Day 1 – A day driving around and exploring (in any order!)
- Visit Firopotomous (fishing village)
- Fourkovouni (small fishing village) and Plathiena (beach with beach club)
- Mandrakia (fishing village) – have lunch at Medusa
- Visit Sarakiniko (10 minutes from Mandrakia) and go for a swim, or a cliff jump
- Dinner in Plaka (drinks at Mosaic to watch the sunset followed by dinner at Archontoula) OR at Oh Hamos, depending on where you are and what you feel like doing.
Day 2 – Boat Day
- Book or rent a boat for a few hours or exploring and swimming
- Head to a late lunch/early dinner at Oh Hamos or go to Plaka later if you haven’t already (drinks at Mosaic to watch the sunset followed by dinner at Archontoula)
Day 3 – Plaka and Beyond
- Breakfast and pastries in Plaka at Palaios Pastry and Coffee
- Explore shops and the town of Plaka
- Visit Klima (fishing village)
- Dinner at wherever you haven’t tried or want to return to!
To sum it up, we loved Milos. It’s a great choice if you like a more low-key vibe, and want to see untouched beauty, swim in crystal clear water, meet great people, eat scrumptious food, really relax and explore, without hoards of tourists that some of the other spots seem plagued by. I have a feeling it’s only going to get more popular as the years go on.