Top Things to See and Do in Milos Island, Greece

Visit the quaint village of Plaka while on Milos, a Greek island with an abundance of heritage and culture waiting for you to explore
Visit the quaint village of Plaka while on Milos, a Greek island with an abundance of heritage and culture waiting for you to explore | © Borchee / Getty Images
Photo of Ioanna Sakellaraki
24 August 2021

The most southwest island in the Cyclades, Milos is a beautiful stop-off on many a Greek island-hopping holiday. As well as 40 beaches, its 78mi (126km) coastline comes with character, traditional fishing villages, white volcanic rock formations, orthodox churches on headlands and seafood restaurants galore.

Stroll around the Hillock Capital Plaka

Architectural Landmark
Map View
Sunset in Plaka, the main town on Milos island, with Greek Orthodox feast decoration on the church square with pebble mosaic, Greece
© Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo

There are no cars in Plaka, Milos’s capital – only mopeds and motorbikes zipping around its narrow, paved alleyways. When you think of a traditional Cycladic town with white- and blue-painted buildings, pink flowers spilling over walls, views of the sparkling sea, Plaka sums it up. Pop into the churches of Ypapanti of Christ – or Panagia Thalassitra – and Panagia Korfiatissa, before visiting the imposing Venetian castle, which dates back to the 13th century.

Climb up the Volcanic Eroded Rocks of Sarakiniko

Natural Feature
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Man exploring Sarakiniko Beach in Milos, Greece at sunset
© Fuma / Alamy Stock Photo
As one of the most-photographed beaches in the Greek Isles, Sarakiniko stands out from the crowd. Its bone-white strip of sand is backed by milky coloured volcanic rock, shaped by the wind and waves into peculiar formations – more like a lunar landscape than a typical beach. The sea is great for paddling, with caves and nooks to explore, with distant views of the Sifnos and Kimolos islands.

Witness the Ancient City of Phylakopi

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Wander among ruins from the early Bronze Age at the site of Phylakopi. It’s what’s left of one of the most significant Aegean cities of prehistoric Greece, having earned its riches from the trading of obsidian stone that took place here. Walk around the old city wall, temple and palace, then see artefacts that were dug up here – including clay and bronze sculptures and the “Lady of Phylakopi”, a ceramic female figurine.

Walk the Catacombs of Tripiti Village

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The holes in the hills of Tripiti Village are in fact a Roman burial site, 492ft (150m) above sea level. The three interconnected catacombs contain 126 arkosolia (carved arched tombs), linked by 656ft (200m)-long hallways. Estimated to have been built towards the end of the first century, it’s a remarkable monument to early Christianity and as significant as the catacombs of Rome – although the thousands of bodies laid to rest are long gone.

Visit the Venus of Milos Site and the Ancient Theatre

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Milos’s ancient theatre – established in the third century BCE and later rebuilt in marble by the Romans – has stood the test of time. Seven tiers still overlook the sea in Tripiti, forming a crescent shape designed for perfect acoustics. This is also the site where the Aphrodite of Milos statue – from 120BCE – was found: that armless, robed Goddess of Beauty who now resides in Paris’s Louvre gallery. With just a trickle of tourists stopping by, you might even get the site to yourself.

See the Firopotamos Seaside Settlement

Architectural Landmark
Map View
Traditional fishing village of Firopotamos at Milos island in Greece
© PANAGIOTIS KARAPANAGIOTIS / Alamy Stock Photo

Grab a sun lounger beneath a thatched umbrella at Firopotamos – on the northeast side of the island – for a typically Greek day at the beach. The cluster of fishing houses leads around a sweeping headland all the way to the blue-and-white Orthodox church of Saint Nikolaos at its tip. Stretching out before you is the brilliantly blue Aegean Sea, hugged by the white bay. Bring your swimming shoes so you can enjoy a paddle on the rocky sea bed.

Discover the Settlement of the Ancient Village of Klima

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark
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Billed as the most colourful fishing village in Greece, Klima is formed of fisherman houses known as syrmatas, which all have painted verandas so that the fishermen could easily recognise them in all kinds of weather. The ground floor of each house serves as a boathouse and kitchen and the living space is up on the first floor. These days, it’s more of a tourist attraction than a real neighbourhood, but locals flock here to dine at its restaurant, Astakas – which serves excellent seafood with a harbour view.

Walk around the Mandrakia Fishing Village

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It might not have a beach to rival Firopotamos, but the fishing village of Mandrakia has plenty of rustic charm. There are also fewer tourists, so it’s the place to come for a stroll if you’re looking for a peaceful, authentic ambience. Brightly painted storehouses and bobbing boats contrast against the sapphire-coloured sea and mini flights of steps lead up the pier to Zoodohos Pigi church. Grab lunch at Medusa – just a five-minute walk away – best-known for its barbecue octopus.

Swim at Paralia Agios Sostis Beach

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When you want to strip away the seaside bells and whistles and enjoy a quiet swim, Paralia Aghios Sotis is the place to go. There are few facilities at this little bay – you won’t find any sun umbrellas or loungers – but the water is shallow and clear, making it perfect for wading out. Plus, it’s not devoid of places to eat: above the beach is Tarantella restaurant, which has a wide veranda and a traditional Greek menu.

Stroll around Pollonia

Architectural Landmark
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Fishing boat in harbour with town behind, Pollonia, Milos, Cyclades, Aegean Sea, Greek Islands, Greece, Europe
© Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo

Pollonia is a sleepy fishing village with a small population for most of the year – but every summer it bursts to life with tavernas, bars and some of the island’s coolest hotels that lay out beanbags and hammocks on the sandy beach for its visitors. If you’re not staying in Pollonia, at least stop off to dine at the Gialos Restaurant – the only proper steakhouse on Milos – and ask for a waterfront table when you book.

These recommendations were updated on August 24, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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