Just back from Milos. Report and photos
We were in Milos as part of a six week Italy/Greece vacation. We visited Milos along with Crete, Rhodes and Naxos.
We were first introduced to Milos two years ago when we had to change our planned trip when my wallet was stolen in Athens. My drivers license and credit card were gone so we couldn’t rent the car for our week in the Peloponnese so we hopped a slow ferry to Milos. We quickly realized Milos is best visited with a rental car as the public bus service is somewhat limited in the early season. This time we had the car for 5 days and made the most of it.
We decided to stay in Plaka because of the marvelous views up in the town and chose a tiny studio called Studio Betty. It literally had a 180 degree ocean view from the balcony perched high up on the hill. Our view also included a church on a hilltop and some walls reminders of the ancient town. From our perch we saw seabirds, round the island tour boats, the Greek navy, ferries and fishermen surrounded by gulls. We spent hours with the binoculars and a glass of wine just taking it all in. One thing we didn’t consider was the wind. It was unusually windy on Crete and Rhodes last May so we realized that it could be windy on Milos too but the first day we literally couldn’t stand out on our balcony. See the second and third photo in our Milos 2013 album.
I do have to pause here for a moment and talk about Studio Betty. It has a web page but no listings on the normal booking web sites. You have to book directly with them. This is an old style Greek hotel requiring cash payments with a western union prepayment. That did work out ok but felt like it was a bit risky. As far as I could find there are no reviews on this hotel so I booked it strictly based on the pictures from their web site.
We visited the places we missed the first time including Klima a delightful little fishing village near Plaka. We sailed past it on the first trip but actually walked around this time. We had read that there were several similar but less known villages so we set out to find them. I call these villages Miini Klima's. Our favourite was Furoptamos where we spend a couple of hours on the beach and exploring the headlands and the ruin there. We found Ag Konstaninos and Mytakas and Mandrakia.
We visited beaches at Mandrakia, Mytakas, Polonia and Provatas. Milos certainy is blessed with great beaches and unbelievable seascaps and rugged coastline evident at Papafagas, Pollonia and of course Sarakiniko. I had seen pictures of Sarakiniko previously but was not prepared for was just how white those rocks are. They reminded me of Glacier Park in Alberta so white. We also found tunnels excavated into the soft rock at Sarakiniko. We wandered around in there thinking they almost seemed like bomb shelters but I suspect there is a better explanation than that.
Another day we walked from Plaka through Trypiti and visited the catacombs. We skipped the tour and found several open catacombs in the hillside just before the official site. To me these unofficial ones were much more interesting. From there we walked to the Archeological site at the ancient amphitheater. Two years ago we walked right through it by taking small path but the officials must have figured that one out because there was a gate and a no entrance sign this year. We also hiked up to the little church on the big hill that is located directly across from our room. All that was fun until it occurred to me now we have to walk all the way back to Plaka. That’s a long walk.
That evening we decided to walk up to the Kastro for sunset. It is on the highest peak at Plaka and there is a 360 degree view around the whole island. It really puts into perspective the volcanic origins of Milos and its perfect arrangement with the sea. I think that may actually have been a bit too much walking for one day. The cure was a liter of wine and two ouzos at dinner.
We tried to drive to the old sulfur mines but our Fiat Panda didn't have the clearance nor did I have the nerve to go any further down that horrible goat path road. I subsequently realized there is a different road which I am told is not so rough or as long. Something to do next time.
One reason we chose Plaka was because I had read about the tourist flocking to Plaka for the sunset and dinner. I had assumed that meant there were tavernas all along the hilltop so we could sit and watch the sun setting but that turned out to be wrong. The tavernas are tucked away in the centre of town so it is necessary to find the best location for the sunset then try to get a table along with everyone else after sunset. The kastro, our hotel and the big church are just great places for that experience. The church in particular draws a crowd and seems to be a meeting place for young lovers. I guess Milos indeed is for lovers.
We made little attempt to visit any of the areas we visited on our first trip particularly Adamas the port so to get the full impression of Milos it is probably best to view the 1011 and the 2013 albums. Here are the links.
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Just back from Milos. Report and photos