The Greek Island of Milos, in the Western Cyclades Islands, is a hidden gem that I can’t recommend more for those looking to travel to Greece. Milos is an island that is not only rich in spectacular views but also has all of the adventure and aesthetic that people travel to Greece looking for including beautiful beaches, white-washed Cycladic villages, rich history, excellent food, and kind-hearted people. Milos makes a perfect destination for those who want to experience the real Greece in all its beauty, without the crowds that are found in the more popular Greek Islands. Put this on your list, there’s something special about this place that you don’t want to miss.
The easiest way to get to Milos Island is by the ferry. To travel inter-island in Greece, you can either take the hopper planes, which you can find on different travel sites such as Priceline and Expedia or the ferry system. The quickest and cheapest option will obviously depend on what order you travel between the Islands. My family and I arrived in Athens, then went to Milos, followed by Santorini, then a hopper plane to Skiathos. I would suggest Athens to Milos, then onto Santorini as part of your itinerary. However, I would not recommend going to Skiathos after Santorini, as it is in the other direction (that was a last minute change of plans for us to visit Skiathos).
When you arrive on Milos, you will be docked at the Adamantas harbor. From there, if you stay in the area recommended below, you can get around by foot, which will cut out any rental car or scooter prices on this island. Save your car cost here because you will need it on other islands to actually explore its entirety. Milos is best seen in this central town (where you will dock) and by a boat tour (which I’ll explain in the activities). The locals there say the only way to truly see the island and what it’s known for is to see it by the water.
Where to Stay
When we visited Milos Island, we stayed at Mary Rooms, a quaint little bnb, that perfectly encompassed the Greek lifestyle. Mary’s has a unique Greek style to her stay with most of the rooms and hallways painted with different stories. Each room is decorated to its own personal style that catches your eye at the first moment. Not to mention, this place was conveniently located just an 8-minute walk from Adamantas-Milos harbor, which edges the town center. When we arrived off of the ferry, we were able to walk up to where Mary’s was located, and easily check into our rooms. And, guess what? Mary and her husband were sitting there outside on the patio, waiting for our arrival.
If there is no availability at Mary’s or you prefer to stay somewhere else, there are many other options. Again, I would just recommend staying a short walk from the Adamantas harbor, which is where the restaurants, bars, and shops are, not to mention where the tour boats dock and where the ferries come in. This is definitely where you’ll want to be, so you won’t need any other type of transportation but your feet!
What to Do
First, I want to quickly mention, that you have to go to the cute little side shops that line the walkways on the island and look at the beautiful Greek jewelry and antiques that are there. You can find these all around town.
Okay, now, this is what I am the most excited to share with you all! When you go to Milos, this is a MUST-do. We stayed in Milos for about a day and a half. The first half day we got there, we roamed the island, looking at the shops and checking out the restaurants and Greek nightlife. But the next morning, we were at the Adamantas-harbor at 10am ready for what was my favorite part of my entire trip to Greece (I can’t type this fast enough, I’m so excited to share!)
As I mentioned earlier, the best and really only way to truly experience Milos is by getting out on the water. There are several cruises that you can take that are advertised along the docks, but this one is different. Book the day cruise with Excellent Yachting on Milos on the Mama Maria boat. You can also find their info here, and book on their website. You can also book through Greeka, which is what we did.
At 10am sharp, we met at the docks where we were taken on a bus to the other side of the island. From there, we were greeted with the crew of the Mama Maria and started an incredible day. The crew treated us like family. From the second we got onto the boat, we were taken care of. We sat with about 20 other people on board from around the world, not overcrowded, and sailed the sea throughout the day. Whatever we needed; water, wine, snacks, they had it for us. They even prepared us a traditional Greek meal on the boat that we enjoyed at the caves. The three men on the crew spoke many different languages to make sure that everyone could understand the stories they were sharing. They will come around and sit and talk with you. They swim in the waters with you. They take go pro pictures and videos of and with you for your memories. And most importantly, they make you feel like family.
The crew: Giovanni, Aimillos, and Giuliano made it a perfect day. Everything was organized with what we needed. As we passed different parts of the island, each of them explained the geology, history, and funny antidotes. They all have the passion and knowledge about Milos that enhances an itinerary that would be incredible on its own.
On the Mama Maria of Excellent Yachting, we discovered the beautiful coastal line of Milos and its fantastic beaches. This day adventure explores the whole west coast of Milos and ‘Kleftico’, an old pirates cove. At the cove, we were taken on a snorkeling tour led by the captain as well as a tour of the amazing caves on a dingy boat. And, several times we dropped anchor and swam in the open ocean in the middle of the magical place. The feeling is honestly pure bliss. This trip is surreal, its difficult to even describe in words. It combines the pleasures of sailing, snorkeling, swimming, relaxing, all while learning about the history and cultures of Greece.
This trip was so memorable, you can see how excited I still am now about it months later! For a different look, you can read about my reflection as I wrote it then.
I was truly sad to leave as we walked off the boat at the end of the day. Someday I’ll go back and sail with them again. The captain told me they’ve taken week trips around the island and explored them on that boat. Wouldn’t that be incredible? As I left, they invited me back again for an extended trip. When I made a joke about the cost, he said, “its not about the money its about the experience and who you know”. Why I tell you this is just to show, that they do this tour because they love the waters, their home, and meeting new people from around the world, and that shows.
Where to Eat
Numerous delicious cafes and restaurants line the harbor in Adamantas in Milos. In this area, you can find different types of restaurants at various prices ranging from quick cheap eats to sit down luxurious restaurants. One of the most famous places to eat in Milos is ‘Oh Hamos’, a traditional Greek restaurants with hand written menus in English and Greek. This place is a must, and its just a short walk from the main part of town. There is also Mikros Apoplous and Yankos Cafe along the harbor that are quite delicious. Honestly, you cannot really go wrong with the Greek food, especially if you ask the locals, and stay away from the Americanized food thats obvious to spot.
If you’re a coffee person, make sure to try their iced cappuccinos, the Greek coffee delicacy. I know, it seems weird because we only have hot capps in the U.S., but not there, thats what they are known for.
If you want to check out the bars on the island, they have that too! You’ll find several bars stacked up on the hillside right behind the restaurants in town. You’ll find bar and club entrances in the side alleys and on the rooftops of this beautiful Greek island. When I say side alleys, don’t be scared, these aren’t the dodgy alleys we have in say, downtown Seattle, rather they have a unique character and beautifully fit the white and blue Greek aesthetic.
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful. I also wanted to just quickly mention Greeka, a very helpful site in discovering and planning your trip to any Greek island. We booked our ferry tickets and our boat tour on the Mama Maria through this website.
It’s difficult to put in words such an incredible place, unique in its beauty and filled with adventure. It might be smaller and less popular, but don’t let that stop you from visiting. I promise, you’ll be happy you did. Please comment below if you’ve been to Milos, Greece and have any travel suggestions for the readers here!