Milos is a volcanic Greek island renowned for its otherworldly beaches and enchanting landscapes. It’s the most Southern of the Cycladic Islands, just a ferry ride away from its more popular neighbors, Santorini and Mykonos. The coastline alone is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, plus the relaxed energy and incredible Greek cuisine easily make Milos a dream Mediterranean getaway.
To get to Milos, you can either take a four hour ferry ride from Athens (or another Cycladic island if you’re hopping around the islands), or hop on a 45 minute flight from Athens.
An ATV, scooter or car rental is necessary to properly explore all that Milos has to offer. If you’re arriving by ferry, you’ll start your trip in the port town of Adamas, which has a slew of rental companies to choose from. Just remember to secure your International Drivers Permit before your trip, as places were more strict than we expected. As usual, we rented a scooter and spent most of our days zipping from one beach to the next.
There are a number of boutique hotels and Airbnb’s scattered throughout Milos, particularly in the Northern part of the island. If you’re seeking the feeling of a remote, authentic Greek getaway, I recommend booking something outside of the main villages. We stayed in Galini Hotel, a charming, family run hotel between Sarakiniko and Papafragas Beach. The property’s location is stunning, situated in a rural setting with a private beach cove and a herd of goats the ran past our breakfast table each morning! Not to mention, the hospitality and food were both impeccable.
If you prefer the convenience of staying in one of the main villages, there’s a variety to choose from.
Adamas: Probably the busiest village in Milos, this port town is ideal if convenience is what you’re after, especially if you opt not to rent a vehicle. Personally, I found it too busy and very catered to tourists. However, it is filled with tour operators, shops and restaurants, all with a front row view of the sea.
Pollonia: A quiet fishing village in the Northeast tip of Milos, filled with waterfront restaurants and prime beach access. This is a popular option for families as the shallow water is perfect for children.
Plaka: The capital of Milos, offering sweeping views of the Aegean Sea from a quintessential whitewashed village. Numerous shops, tavernas and breathtaking viewpoints make this an easy choice for anyone who wants to be in the center of it all.
Sirocco Restaurant: Have you ever had fish cooked in volcanic sand? Neither had I, until coming to this popular spot on Paliochori Beach. Spoiler alert: volcanic-cooked fish is delicious, and getting to see the process of cooking the fish in the sand was such a fun experience!
Bakalikon Galanis: This unassuming taverna on the side of the road was the exact Greek lunch experience I had been searching for. A “quick stop” turned into two hours of seafood, wine, coffee and conversations with the owners.
Galini Hotel: Regardless of if you choose to sleep here, I recommend having dinner at Galini. This family run restaurant only serves authentic Greek dishes, and each one is phenomenal. From the most basic of Greek salads to decadent seafood specials, you can’t go wrong.
There are over 70 beaches in Milos, each one more breathtaking than the next. Because Milos is volcanic, many of its beaches are made of stunning rock formations. While you really can’t go wrong with any spot on the island, these are my favorites:
Sarakiniko Beach: Chances are, you’ve seen the moon-like photos of Sarakiniko on Instagram. In fact, that’s how I first learned about Milos! Lava bleached by the sun created this otherworldly spectacle. This is one of the more popular spots on the island, making it one of the most crowded. Come here early in the day to beat the crowds, or wait until sunset for an incredible view. If it lines up with your trip dates, be sure to come here to witness the full moon. Seeing the moon reflect over the bleached lava is still one of our favorite moments from this trip.
Papafragas Beach: Long, volcanic rock formations make up this beach, with crystal clear swimming holes and sea caves sandwiched between the rocky terrain.
Tsigardo Beach: Probably my favorite beach in Milos, despite having a slight panic attack while trying to get there. This secluded beach is only accessible by going down a rickety ladder, that you first must access by a rope dangling between two rocky edges. Honestly, everyone we saw managed just fine, aside from myself and a French woman named Caroline. In the end we both made it to the ladder and enjoyed picturesque views and snorkeling through sea caves.
Firiplaka Beach: Firiplaka is a stunning, long stretch of sand set against bright orange and red volcanic cliffs.
While the unique volcanic beaches of Milos are a huge draw to the island, there are plenty of other sights to see while you’re here!
Explore the villages: Plaka is a must, particularly for sunset views from the Venetian Castle. Another favorite is Klima, a quaint, very colorful fishing village.
Kleftiko Caves: This is a popular boat trip excursion that I really regret not doing! The boat takes you through a series of caves and rock formations, and it looks incredible!
The Catacombs: Another recommended spot that we didn’t make it to, this historical site is at the top of my list for our next visit.
With 200+ Greek islands to choose from, it’s worth coupling your trip to Milos with another Cycladic Island. We visited Milos after a few days in Sifnos, a much quieter island with a vastly different terrain. Despite being only a 40 minute ferry ride apart, these two islands are incredibly diverse and made for a perfect mix during our Greek holiday.