Get the best of CF straight to your inbox.

Subscribe, sit back, and let your mind travel.

48 Hours In...

Why You Should Visit Milos On Your Next Trip To The Greek Islands

Conquered romantic Santorini and flashy Mykonos? Their wilder, less developed Cycladic sibling could be on the cards for your next trip.

You only have to descend on Sarakiniko Beach – with towering, rippled white walls of rock set against bright teal pools of water – to see that the Instagram crowd has made it to Milos. Hundreds of photographers and would-be models pour into its wild bay each summer, for that must-have shot of a bright bikini or sundress against the white-grey, lunar-esque landscape. Going slightly off-season (in late spring or autumn) means you might get a moment or two alone with this otherworldly terrain.

But in general, Milos is wild, rugged and far less developed than its more famous Cycladic neighbours. Sleepy fishing villages are painted white, with flashes of pink, blue and green; the most staggering views are around cave formations like Kleftiko and Sikia, which can only be reached by boat. If you do explore – you’ll need a hire car – expect fabulous plunging valleys and high-ridged mountain roads, with very little development around you (and the odd pack of goats dashing across the road).

The island’s unspoilt looks mean it has been used as a backdrop for Louis Vuitton campaigns and multiple Bollywood movies. The lack of development also keeps Milos feeling low-key, even in the buzzy ports of Adamantas and Pollonia; there are only a handful of luxury hotels and suites here, so it still feels exclusive and spacious, with room for everyone.


Korfi de Milo

This new cluster of luxe apartments was dreamt up by a trio of brothers, Chronis, Dimitris and Konstantinos Lillis, as a way to expand their parents’ Milos home. A traditional, whitewashed Cycladic building, it has spacious terraces and balconies for guests, who each get kitchenettes, espresso machines and smart TVs. Outside is a dazzling jewel of a swimming pool and cushioned loungers; and a generous homemade breakfast is brought each morning, but the real star here is the view. A 10-minute drive outside of Adamantas, the port you’ll arrive at, it’s set in rugged grassland, looking down to the port as it glows with sunsets or twinkles at night. You’ll hear little but the bells of the remote church nearby.


Domes White Coast

Greece’s lavish Domes brand has come to the island, with light-flooded, glass-fronted suites looking out to the sea from a protected nature reserve on the north coast. Each of its 30 suites comes with a private plunge pool, and three sandy beaches are within easy reach of the hotel. Also keeping to the smooth-edged, sugar cube architectural style traditional to the Cyclades, Domes also has a standout restaurant, Makris, created by Greek chef Petros Dimas, with an upmarket spin on the Mediterranean diet. The team’s private boat can take you to see the island from the water, or charming fishing villages like Mandrakia are close by.


Medusa, Mandrakia

Sunset is quite a sight at this traditional, authentic fisherman’s taverna, the only restaurant in peaceful Mandrakia. Get there early to stroll around the tiny harbour, home to Milos’s signature syrma: whitewashed fisherman’s houses with vividly painted boat garages beneath. Whole octopuses hang out to dry beside the restaurant, and the team will only recommend what’s fresh: expect grilled sardines, swordfish souvlaki, marinated octopus and generous tuna steaks. An only-in-Greece experience.


Akri Bar, Adamantas

Back in the island’s main port, enjoy a top-notch cocktail among the buzz and thrum of diners and shoppers. Akri has an elegant, bougainvillaea-draped terrace overlooking the boats in the harbour – lounge on low stone benches with navy-striped cushions and sip on a Pink Panther (gin, peach, grapefruit, tea syrup and bitters) as DJs spin chillout sets.


Sirocco Volcanic Restaurant, Paliochori

A destination restaurant worth the detour, Sirocco sits at the western end of lovely Paliochori Beach. A long, broad sweep of golden sand loved by the locals for its beach clubs, Paliochori is framed by cliffs streaked with red and yellow and cooled by a reliable breeze. Settle in at Sirocco for burrata, squid or salads among rope-woven lanterns and neutral, earthy decor; one must-try is one of the “volcanic” meat or fish dishes, where the dish is buried in the warm sand and cooked by the area’s natural volcanic activity.


Head for the Beaches

The must-see beaches are the lunar curves of Sarakiniko, and Kleftiko’s dazzling white caves (the latter best seen from a boat trip; Milos Adventures operate good quality ones with food and drink included). Paliochori is a golden stretch on the south coast with great beach bar and restaurant facilities; while sunbaked yellow Agia Kyriaki nearby has a wilder vibe. The top Insta-beach after the white cliffs is Tsigrado, a slender, blonde cove reached by climbing down a ladder from the cliffs above (worth the hype, but often busy). More off-the-beaten-track finds include the cave-framed sands at Papafragas (with a steep walk down to the water) and silver-shingle Voudia, to the east.


Go Shopping

It’s a delight to browse Adamantas’ small grid of whitewashed boutiques. Linen dresses and sunhats await at the likes of Vanilla and Votsalo and jewellery and ceramics can be squeezed into your luggage at Imerovigli. In the hilltop capital Plaka, make for Milopetra Art Gallery for handmade Greek souvenirs and Pliatsiko for boho clothing and jewellery. Just as divine for a slinky sundress or a co-ord is Agora Boutique, behind Sirocco Volcanic restaurant on Paliochori Beach, also stocking crochet bikinis, beach bags and jewellery.


Explore Pretty Towns

Ferry port Adamantas is one you can’t fail to miss; but petite Pollonia is worth a visit for dinner – the beach here, isn’t up to much but there’s a string of convivial tavernas after dark. Plaka, the capital, is lovely for an afternoon or golden-hour wander, as is nearby Trypiti with its picturesque windmills and Roman amphitheatre. Klima, Fourkovouni and Areti are the places to see Syrma fisherman’s houses, which you can often rent to stay in.

Getting There

Milos is a three-hour ferry from Athens (some longer services are offered by different operators) and a two-to-three-hour ferry from Santorini and Mykonos.

We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.

You May Also Like

Any Questions or Tips to add?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *