Sparkling waters and a lunar landscape: Milos is often said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite and once there, it’s not hard to see why! The fishing villages are vibrant, the weather is warm and Milos is truly one Greek island you most definitely won’t want to miss… Here are the very best towns and villages in Milos island, Greece!
When arriving in Milos for the first time, it’s likely that your first port of call will quite literally be the port town of Adamas. Filled with cafés, bistros, and bars, this is where most of the boat excursions for the rest of the island head off and is one of the more touristy locations on the Isle.
It’s thought that the name ‘Adamas’ may well derive from the word ‘diamond,’ though no one is quite sure. Either way, highlights of this beautiful Greek town include the Milos Mining Museum (Milos is home to one of the largest mines in Europe), several traditional churches, and the Ecclesiastical Museum of Milos which is housed in the Church of the Holy Trinity.
The capital of the island of Milos, Plaka is located at the top of a large mountainous hill and offers breathtakingly beautiful views onto the Milos Gulf and the Aegean Sea below. This is particularly true at sunset when candy colours dance across the sky as the last of the sun dips below the horizon.
At the very top of the volcanic plateau where Plaka lies are the remains of a Venetian castle from the 13th-century. During the Middle Ages, the Venetians (from the once city-state of Venice in Italy) ruled many of the Greek islands. Today, this part of the history can be found all over the place, including in Little Venice in Mykonos.
Milos itself has been inhabited nearly continuously for some 12,000 years and prior to that, obsidian deposits were regularly collected from the island to fashion tools and weapons by passing ships. Plaka has a population of just 750 residents and is also home to a Folk Museum, as well as an Archaeological Museum.
‘The most picturesque fishing village in Milos’ is how Klima was described to me. And when viewing the colourful settlement from the water it soon became apparent why. The small settlement is characterised by its boathouses on the very edge of the water which are known as ‘sirmata’ (or syrmata). While some of these buildings are still used to houseboats, many have since been transformed into summer residences or holiday lets.
Located at the top of the island, high above the pretty village of Klima below, Tripiti is located not far from the Catacombs of Milos. Of all the villages in Milos, Tripiti (also known as Trypiti) is the place you should venture to if you’re in search of a little history. After all, the Catacombs of Milos, which date from the 1st to 5th-centuries are located pretty nearby.
These Catacombs may well be older than those of Rome itself, and were once used as a place of worship, as well as a kind of Necropolis in which to bury the dead. Today, the catacombs of Milos can be visited and they are among one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece.
Nearby, the Roman Amphitheatre of Milos dates back well over two thousand years, while there’s also the chance to uncover the story behind the discovery of the Venus di Milo. For the uninitiated, the Venus di Milo is a statue from antiqutity which was discovered during the 19th-century. So beautiful is this marble masterpiece that it’s now kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Approaching from the water I was unsure of what to expect when it came to Mandrakia (also known as Mantrakia), a natural port which has since been transformed into a traditional and authentic fishing village. However, it soon became apparent that Mandrakia is one of the most beautiful villages in Milos!
Today, just as in the fishing village of Klima, Mandrakia remains populated by sirmata and traditional Cycladic architecture. The water is crystal clear and a small church sits in the very heart of the little village. Nearby the beach of Sarakiniko is famous the world over for its limestone rock and lunar-like façade.
Other fishing villages of interest and of note on Milos include Areti (this traditional settlement is truly tiny!), Emporios (one of the less touristic villages in Milos), and Fourkovouni (a village not far from the Greek capital of Plaka).
Populated by cafés, bars, and lying lazily by the sea, Pollonia is situated to the North West of the island. Asides from Adamas, boat tours and excursions also regularly depart from Pollonia, leading trips all over the shores which surround the island, as well as to nearby isles.
One of the very best things to do in Pollonia is to sample local cuisine alongside the water’s edge. While in the beautiful Milos town, we dined in Gialos (Γιαλός) at sunset. The food was fresh (think vine leaves, tomato dishes, sea-inspired cuisine) and the wine was flowing. All this was set against the backdrop of the setting Greek sun- bliss!