Greek Guide

 

Milos Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

Milos has so far escaped mass market tourism but it still has much to offer the independent traveller who takes the time to uncover its many treasures including a fascinating volcanic coastline, beautiful beaches, ancient ruins and delightful fishing hamlets.

The port of Adamas (called Adhamandas by the locals) has most of the island's holiday accommodation and is a good base for exploring all the main places of interest. There are regular buses to the capital Plaka, five kilometres up the hill from Adamas, and bus services several times a day to the south coast beaches and the resort of Pollonia in the north east of the island.

Plaka is a typical Cycladic town, perched on a clifftop, with sugar cube houses, churches and narrow alleyways. It merges into the pretty neighbouring village of Trypiti where you'll find a trail of windmills and the island's famous catacombs.

It's believed that Plaka was built on the acropolis of Ancient Milos between 1100 and 800 BC. The original town was destroyed by the Athenians in the 5th century BC retribution for the islanders' refusal to support the might city state during the Peloponnesian Wars. For a fascinating glimpse into the island's colourful past, visit the Archaeological Museum in Plaka where you'll be greeted by a copy of the famous Aphrodite of Milos statue. The original was found by a farmer on the island in 1820 and is now housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris (much to the vexation of both the islanders and the Greek nation). The museum's star attractions include a 6th century BC funeral urn depicting a chariot race, a robed statue dating from the 3rd century BC and the perfectly preserved, intricately decorated Lady of Filakopi a terracotta figurine unearthed with many other priceless treasures at the archaeological site of Filakopi in the north east of the island.

Pop into Plaka's Folk Museum, housed in a mansion in the old town, for a flavour of traditional island life in a bygone age costumed mannequins are used to recreate scenes from the days before the tendrils of tourism extended to Milos. The collection includes an assortment of tools and implements used in the island's traditional trades of milling, brewing, cheese making and basket weaving.

Trypiti is few minutes walk from the archaeological museum. Look out for the sign pointing to the spot where the Aphrodite statue (also known as the Venus de Milo) was buried around 320 BC. Near Trypiti you can see Greece's unique Christian catacombs where as many as 8,000 bodies are thought to have been buried in tomb lined corridors stretching 200 metres into the soft volcanic rock.

A track 200 metres west of the catacombs takes you to a well preserved Roman amphitheatre where live performances take place every year during the summer Milos Festival.

Take a trip over to Sarakiniko, on the north coast, to marvel at some of the island's

most extraordinary rock formations the fantastical white moonscape was formed by volcanic activity up to three millions years ago. Equally eerie are the famous "organ pipe" rock formations of the islet of Glaronisia. Regular boat tours leave for the island from Adamas (look out for the beautiful Milos monk seals which inhabit these waters and are among the most endangered species in the whole of Europe).