This Milos travel guide is a must-read for anyone planning a vacation on this beautiful but often overlooked Greek island in the Cyclades. Start planning your Milos holidays now, with what to do, where to stay, getting to Milos, and more!
Milos Island, Greece
We all know that Santorini is too busy and Mykonos too expensive. Fortunately, there are 22 more inhabited Cycladic islands to choose from, many of which retain their unique charm and authentic appeal. Milos is one of those islands, and in the last couple of years has proven to be something of an up and coming destination.
Boasting more than 70 beaches, Milos island is compact enough to get around easily, whilst having enough to do to keep most people occupied for a week, if not two. This Milos travel guide is broken down into sections designed to give you the essential information, with links to further articles which dive deeper.
Deep Dive Milos Guides
- How to get to Milos
- Where to stay in Milos
- Things to do in Milos
- The best beaches in Milos
- Where to eat in Milos
- Day trips in Milos
About Milos, Greece
Milos is one of the Cycladic islands of Greece, and is located almost halfway between Athens and Crete in the Aegean sea. With around 5000 permanent inhabitants, and an area of 160,000 square kilometres, it has something of a laid back feel.
This is perhaps to do with the fact that mining has been the main economy driver on Milos island for at least the last 100 years or so. Tourism is starting to give mining a run for its money though, but thankfully not in the form of ‘mass tourism'.
You won't see tour buses crammed with photo-snappers on their conveyor-belt tour of Europe. Instead, Milos attracts people with a spirit adventurous enough to organise their own flights, ferries and accommodation. It's popular with couples and young families, and the total absence of nightclubs pumping out loud music is a welcome relief.
In short, Milos is the perfect destination for a nice, relaxing holiday. That's why I liked it!
Milos Island Map
Below is a map of Milos which you can zoom in and out of. Milos is indicated by the red marker. You'll see that the island is shaped a little like a horseshoe. Almost all the accommodation and easily accessible beaches on Milos are located on the eastern (right hand) side of the island.
The west side of Milos is more remote, rugged, and a lot of mining goes on there. When planning your Milos holidays, it's best to think in terms of the eastern side of the island as being your main point of focus.
Best time to visit Milos
The tourist season on Milos lasts from just after Greek Easter until the end of October. In between these times though, some months are better than others for visiting.
I visited Milos in early to mid June. The weather was lovely, and the sea warm enough to swim in. In my opinion, this is the best month to visit Milos, as tourist numbers are low. I imagine mid-September would be very similar.
Like many places in Greece, I would suggest avoiding August as a time to visit. Things become just crazily busy during this month, and even on a reasonably low key destination like Milos, accommodation can be hard to find. Don't say I didn't warn you!
Getting to Milos
There are two ways to travel to Milos, which are by ferry and by air. In reality though, the Athens to Milos flights are not frequent enough or have availability to make it a viable transport option for most people. There is rumour that Milos airport will be developed further, but it's really a case of watch this space!
How to get to Milos by ferry
I'm going to create a deep dive travel guide on how to get to Milos with a lot more detail on ferry crossings and times to the island at a later date. In the mean time, I can tell you that I took the Aegean Speedlines Speedrunner 3 ferry from Athens to Milos, leaving one Sunday and returning the next.
The ferry journey from Athens to Milos took about 4 and a half hours, and stopped off at Serifos and Sifnos along the way. It was the same route in reverse from Milos to Athens.
On this trip to Milos I also took the car, and pre-booked the tickets a few weeks in advance to be guaranteed a place. If you want more details on how to get to Milos leave a comment below, or check out the full article when it's live.
Where to stay in Milos
Where you choose to stay on Milos may in part be determined by how you intend to get around the island. If you have your own transport, then you can really stay anywhere, as most parts of Milos that you will want to see will be a maximum of 20 minutes drive away.
If you don't have your own transport, and are relying on the Milos island bus service to get around, it probably makes the most sense to stay in either the port of Adamas or Pollonia. There is accommodation everywhere though, which you can check out on Tripadvisor here. Again, I'll have a more in-depth article to follow at a later date.
Where I stayed in Milos
During my vacation in Milos, I stayed at two different places on the island. One was an apartment in Pollonia, and the other near the famous Sarakiniko beach. Both of these were in the 45 euro a night price range and had fridges. One had a kitchen, and the other did not.
I was happy with both places, and so am also happy to share with you where they were!
Pollonia Milos Hotels
Pollonia is something of a developing area on the island, which has a hint of the upscale about it. There is accommodation to suit every budget though, from hotels to apartments.
The Mrs. and myself stayed in a small apartment about a 5 minute walk along the beach from Pollonia. You can find out more about it on Tripadvisor here – Polyegos View.
Staying near Sarakiniko Beach
The second apartment I stayed at in Milos was just a short walk from the famous Sarakiniko Beach. This place didn't have the kitchen, but had a nice outdoor area and a generally good vibe. The owner was super friendly as well! You can find out more about it here – Sarakiniko Rooms.
Getting around Milos
Your Milos transport options include car, ATV, bus, and bicycle. You can also hire mopeds if you wish.
Having taken our car from Athens to Milos on the ferry, my experience is mainly of using the car to get around. This gave us maximum flexibility, and there wasn't a day we didn't use it.
We did the maths on paying extra to take our own car on the ferry from Athens to Milos as against simply hiring a car on Milos, and found it cheaper. Most people planning a Milos holiday are probably not going to have their own vehicle though, and will rent a car when on the island.
Rent a car in Milos island
The best place to rent a car, is at Adamas port, Milos. There are several local car hire companies to choose from, but it seemed most people had gone for Nikos cars. I saw vehicles with their logo on everywhere! I didn't use them myself, so can't give my opinion, but they certainly seemed to be the largest car hire firm on Milos judging from the amount of cars I saw.
If you choose to rent a car on Milos using Nikos or any other service, my advice is to book it in advance, especially during peak season. American drivers should note that most cars in Greece are stick shift, and not automatic.
Rent an ATV in Milos
An ATV will take you places that hire cars can't, and there are plenty of them for hire on Milos. Prices start at around 50 euro per day for the smaller ATV machines, and they are ideal for reaching beaches down rough dirt tracks – of which there can be a few!
Renting an ATV for a day or two is a good idea for people who travel to Milos without their own vehicle. It's probably not worth renting one for the entire duration of the vacation though.
Use the Milos Island bus
Milos has a regular bus service which connects all the main points of the island. As of writing this, Pollonia seemed to have fewer connection times than Adamas Port or Plaka, but I expect that will change in the years ahead.
The bus timetable for Milos is likely to change depending on the time of year you visit. If you plan to stay in Milos and use the bus as your primary form of transportation, it won't take too long to get your head around it!
Taxis on Milos
Milos also has a number of taxis, which operate 24/7. You'll see signs for these at the beaches which have bus connections. My guess is, that each year, there are plenty of people who either miss the last bus back to where they are staying in Milos or want to spend longer at the beach!
I've no idea how much the taxis on Milos cost. They probably aren't cheap though.
Cycle around Milos island
Sadly, I didn't have the chance to take my bike to Milos, so couldn't try out the cycling for myself. It certainly seemed like an ideal place for it though, and there are plenty of places to hire bikes on the island.
In addition to simply getting around Milos on the normal road system, there are also a few circuits that have been devised for both hiking and cycling on Milos. You can find out more information about the Geo Experience tracks here.
Best things to do in Milos
So, time to see what you can do during your Milos holidays! This will develop into a deep dive Milos travel guide, but there's enough information here to get you started.
Beaches in Milos
As previously mentioned, Milos has over 70 beaches. From the iconic Kleftiko Beach and Sarakiniko beach, to smaller more intimate beaches, you can stay on Milos a month and still not visit them all!
Some of the best beaches in Milos can only be reached via dirt tracks. For the most part, a standard car will make the journey, although there were one or two we didn't feel confident our jalopy would manage!
My favourite beaches in Milos included Ag. Kryriaki, Paleochori, and ‘Sulphur Mine' beach. A complete guide to the best beaches in Milos coming soon!
Sailing trip around Milos
Some of the beaches in Milos can only be reached by the sea. The best way to get to them? A sailing trip around Milos! The island is stunningly beautiful, and viewing it from the sea is a real experience you are unlikely to forget. I wrote about my recent experience here – Milos boat tour on a catamaran.
There are all types of sailing trips around Milos available, ranging from half-day to full day. During my vacation in Milos, I took a catamaran cruise around Milos island on a day trip. We visited many of the key places including Kleftiko, and sailed around the entire island. You can check out reviews of the Milos island sailing trip on a catamaran here – Milos sailing tripadvisor reviews.
4WD Trip around Milos
In a way, it's surprising that it has taken so long for 4WD trips around Milos to arrive on the scene. After all, the boats can't sail during windy days, so how else can you see the remote parts of the island?
During my time in Milos, I took a day 4WD trip around Milos which had a focus on the island's connection with mining. It was a fascinating tour, revealing a side to Milos island I probably would not have been aware of otherwise. I'll go into more detail about the Milos 4WD tour in the future, but for now, you can see some reviews on TripAdvisor.
The main town of Greek islands is often called or referred to as the ‘Chora', and on Milos that town is Plaka. I actually visited here on the last day, and in a way, it felt like saving the best for last. The views from the top of the Kastro were particularly stunning, and looking out over the island I had spent the previous week exploring brought everything into perspective.
Like many Choras, Plaka on Milos has narrow cobbled streets, and side alleys just begging to be explored. There are plenty of shops here for anyone wanting to buy a souvenir or two, and Plaka is also the best place on Milos to watch the sunset.
The Catacombs and Theatre
Just underneath the town of Plaka are two of the more significant archaeological spaces on Milos. These are the catacombs used by early Christians, and the recently renovated theatre area.
The catacombs of Milos is an area where some of the early Christians on the island were buried. Today, you can spend a short time in there accompanied by a site guard, who limits the time spent underground to 15 minutes. If you've never visited catacombs before, you may find this place of interest.
The theatre up above the catacombs has been recently renovated, and is free to enter and explore. It gives a good indication of how it must have looked in the past, and has a lovely position on the side of the hill. From the theatre, you can then walk down to Klima.
Fishing Villages of Milos
One of the unique features of Milos, are the fishing villages built in bays all around the coastline. These small settlements are characterised by their colourfully painted doors, and the ‘boat garages' that are underneath each one.
The most well known fishing village is Klima. You can reach this either by driving down to it, or by walking down from Plaka or the theatre underneath.
Where to eat on Milos
And finally, no vacation in Milos would be complete without visiting a restaurant or two! Good food is everywhere in Milos. You'd have to try pretty hard to find a bad meal!
Whether you prefer sticking to traditional tavernas specialising in local food or want to try a more upscale fusion restaurant, you'll certainly eat well. Here's 3 of my favourite places to eat on Milos.
Oh! Hamos (Adamas)
Ask anyone on Milos about places to eat, and it won't be long until Oh! Hamos is mentioned. They have a great selection of slow cooked oven dishes as well as other Greek classics in a very pleasant setting just over from the sea. When you've finished your meal, take home a recipe postcard or two before you leave!
Taverna on Agia Kyriaki (beach)
I didn't make a note of this restaurant's name (very bad of me I know!). It's the only one on Agia Kyriaki beach though, and in the end, I ate here twice. Tasty food, big portions – Just what you need for a later lunch after a hard day doing nothing on the beach in Milos!
In my opinion, Greek cuisine is the best in the world, but if you want a change, the first Sushi restaurant on Milos could be just what you are looking for! Hanabi is situated in Pollonia, and has a great selection of Japanese and Signature dishes as well as cocktails. Impressive service and a nice setting round things off nicely, and Hanabi makes a good restaurant for your ‘treat' meal during a vacation in Milos.
If you have any questions about planning a trip to Milos, or would like to share travel information, please leave a comment below. It would be much appreciated!