So often overlooked for its famed Cyclades neighbors of Santorini and Mykonos, the island of Milos is one of the best kept secrets in the Aegean and has as much to offer (if not more) than its more popular counterparts. Milos is home to 70+ distinct and beautiful beaches, boasts several charming white washed towns that crawl up the slopes, serves some of the tastiest seafood and other Greek classics, and is steeped in fascinating history, it was here after all that the Venus of Milos, the renowned statue of Aphrodite and one of the prime jewels of the Louvre Museum, was found. Whether you're looking for something off-the-beaten path, a more laid-back atmosphere, or unspoiled character, the summer island of Milos might be for you.
Although there are some buses and taxis are readily available on the island, having your own set of wheels is definitely the best way to take advantage of Milos. A variety of rental car companies operate from the port of Adamas and at the airport offering cars, ATVS, and scooters. Many of the cars on the island are a bit battered, so don't expect a new or pristine vehicle.
Recommended rental car companies include: RAC Sa Milos, Milos Rent a Car, Sixt
WHERE TO STAY
Airbnb | To have a bit more space or to get a more local experience, Airbnb is, as usual, a great option. A variety of villas, waterfront fishing homes, and small escapes within town are available so shop around. We loved our 144 year old villa nestled into the hills in Plaka complete with fabulous views.
Tania Milos | Located in the picturesque town of Pollonia, Tania Milos is a collection of luxury rooms and suites parked right on the Aegean with sweeping views and stunning sunsets. Double rooms run from 75 euros to 195 euros/night depending on seasonality (August and late July are the most expensive months to visit).
WHAT TO EAT
With simple fare and fresh flavors, I did not have one bad meal on Milos. Most restaurants serve a similar menu, so do try different dishes for a more well rounded experience. Be sure to double check openings, as some restaurants are closed more frequently outside the main summer season.
Archontoula - The quintessential Greek restaurant run by several generations of the same family serving all the Greek classics. Tables scattered under the bougainvillea lined streets of Plaka are hard to come by without a reservation, but additional seating is available inside.
Palaios Coffee & Pastry - For all your sweet and caffeine cravings, stop here at Palaios for a leisurely afternoon pick-me-up or when its more busy in the evening hours. Both indoor and outdoor seating available.
Utopia Caffe - One of the best places to take in the sunset in Plaka while enjoying a drink and some light snacks. Be sure to arrive around 6:30 in the summer months to secure a good table.
O Foras (Ο ΦΟΡΑΣ) - No frills family run restaurant in Plaka serving all the typical Greek taverna dishes. Be sure to try the stuffed vegetables, which was so fresh that the charming old owner went into the backyard to pick a tomato to stuff for me.
Phatses - Located across from the Archeological Museum, Phatses serves simple Greek food and sharing mezze type dishes. Excellent live music comes on each night around 9pm. Service can be a bit haphazard, but I suppose that is part of the charm.
Ergina - Greek tavern with a friendly staff and tasty dishes with a lovely view looking out on the bay. The aubergine & fava and the homemade pastas are not to be missed.
Barriello - Putting a spin on traditional Greek dishes, Barriello serves flavorful dishes with ingredients sourced from their farm. The owner Takis is friendly and willing to offer his recommendations on any given evening. Don't miss the chickpeas and enjoy the view!
Navagio - Located on the quiet bay waters of Adamas, Navagio is the go-to seafood restaurant on this side of the island. Try whatever they recommend as fresh for the day, supplemented with any of their unique salads and a bowl of pasta to share.
O Hamos - Just across the street from the beach, the shaded garden at O Hamos is draped in vines and flowers and ideal for a lazy afternoon lunch. Dishes are hearty and served in a collection of glazed earthenware pottery. Try the stuffed aubergines and their take on the classic Greek Salad.
Enalion - The locals favorite in Pollonia with a host of fresh Greek dishes served by friendly staff members right next to the main beach. Do try the octopus stifado and the mussels steamed with lemon leaves. Most definitely make a reservation.
Armenaki - The restaurant for the seafood aficionados. Be sure to ask for the daily chef recommendations as they will typically be the freshest. The menu is supplemented by a rather extensive wine list focusing on wines from the Cyclades. Make a reservation in peak months.
Medousa Taverna - This seaside taverna in the small fishing town of Mandrakia serves a variety of seafood based dishes supplemented by a handful of classic Greek Mezze. Try the traditional fava and either the grilled octopus or the octopus marinated in oil and vinegar.
WHERE TO BEACH
See my guide to the 6 Best Beaches on Milos.
WHAT TO DO
Stroll through the charming white washed town and capital of Milos, Plaka. With a handful of boutiques, a good selection of restaurants, and many vantage points to take in the sunset, visiting Plaka is a must while on Milos.
Hike up the highest hill in Plaka to the small castle for panoramic views.
Spend a few days on any one or multiple of the numerous beautiful beaches in Milos. See my guide to the 6 Best Beaches on Milos for some favorites, but there are about 65 others to choose from as well.
Visit one of the small museums on the island. They include the archaeological, maritime, ecclesiastical, folk, war and mining museums to name a few.
Sip wine from the only commercially operating winery on Milos - Kostantakis Winery in Pollonia.
Visit the ancient Agora and the widespread catacombs, second only in historical significance to those in Rome. 4 euro entry fee.
Get a different perspective by taking a boat trip around the island. Boats leave daily from the port in Adamas and from smaller outposts across the island.
Explore one of the fishing villages on the island and enjoy the colorful syrmata or boat garages they are known for. The most famous of these small towns on Milos is Klima.
WHAT TO PACK
The Mediterranean climate of Milos brings warm summers that pretty much hover between 75 degrees and 83 degrees all summer long. On days when the meltemi north winds blow, the air feels a bit cooler despite the temperatures pretty much remaining the same. Bring a selection of bathing suits, a few dresses both short and long, strappy sandals, a floppy hat, a pair of sunglasses, light tees, a multi purpose wrap/shawl, and a beach bag or tote to throw everything into.