The Greek Island of Milos, the south westernmost of the Cyclades lying 86 miles from the port of Piraeus and half way to the Island of Crete. It is one of the most stunning of the island group for many reasons. Milos’s greatest claim to fame is the famous nude statue of the Venus de Milo, unearthed in 1820 and today located in the Louvre in Paris. Known as Aphrodite to the Ancient Greeks she is the goddess of love and beauty, born out of the foam of the sea. Milos has a large protected harbor formed from a volcanic crater similar to Santorini’s, which separates it into two almost equal parts.
Today the island remains relatively uncrowded, despite its 75 sandy beaches with crystal clear waters and an abundance of shade provided by thousands of trees serving as natural umbrellas. The islands beaches are surrounded by stunning geological formations featuring multicolored rocks and considerable deposits of obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass used to construct razor-sharp tools as far back as the Neolithic era. Milos a U shaped island with volcanic history is very similar to the island of Santorini however, is not as expensive or crowded of a destination. Although it lacks numerous high end luxury hotels it does offer an array of small inns and rooms making Milos a far more authentic Greek island experience.
Flying to Milos will take about 30 minutes from Athens and it is not much more expensive than going by high-speed ferry. Olympic Airlines has two flights a day from Athens in the summer. High Speed Ferry Service can get you to Milos in under four hours where as traditional slow ferries can take over seven hours. One can bring their car to Milos with the slow ferry, but unless you plan on traveling to other island destinations from Milos the cost will not be justified since local car rentals are fairly cheap. From Milos there are many connections with other Cycladic islands making this a great stop on your Greek Island hop.
What to See
- The remains of the ancient town include a 7000 seat Roman theater, featuring fortification walls & other buildings with fine mosaics
- Adamas, the port village and Plaka home of the archaeological and folk museums.
- Sarakiniko, on the north side of the island is an idyllic seaside location featuring white volcanic rock formations & fossils reminiscent of the moons surface.
- Milos also has two inactive volcanoes that release volcanic gas into several therapeutic hot springs.
This island gem is still off the beaten path and not frequented by those which typically flock to the main Greek Island destinations of Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes & Crete. Milos is worth the journey for those seeking a traditional Greek Island Experience with its natural beauty still intact and not over run by hotels, golf courses and throngs of tourists.