Always far down our list, as we thought it was “too much touristic”, afraid of finding crowded beaches and crowded streets, we were wrong and now we most humbly apologize to Milos, the isle of the colours, pearl of Ciclades. Milos does not deserve to be a second-tier player compared to Santorini (always maid of honour, never bride), because it is absolutely beautiful: more than seventy beaches – all different, some of them wild, some within reach –the hill town of Plaka, the swarming Adamas arbour, the cheerful taverns, the small fishing villages, the ancient theatre and the story of the Aphrodite of Milos. Actually, every inch on the island has a story to tell, even the mines.
You need ten days to visit quietly the island: here we put forward one day only, as usual. The perfect day (according to us, of course) starts from Tina’s Vigla Studios, a white house with stunning views across the Aegean sea. It is on the south end of the island, not far from the airport and close to some of the beaches that you can’t miss. Furthermore, Tina (the landlady) provide with her own car, a Nissan Vitara, the transfers form/to airport or arbour, free of charge (it is not a little benefit, considering taxes fares on the islands). We had breakfast in Vigla Studios, on the porch, having bought good food in our favourite place in Adamas: Artemis Bakery. We have two pieces of advice to give you: rent a vehicle (we opted for a quad from Moto Christos Rental, good choice) and always wear sneakers, because you have to gain some of the beaches…
The first stop is a place theoretically forbidden to rental vehicles, but with a four wheel drive it is really easy and safe to get there: we are talking about Gerontas, a lovely sandy beach in the south west, not too far from Kleftiko, the iconic stacks (you can get there only by boat, tours start from Kipos). To reach Gerontas you can drive until the mine gate, than you have to walk down for 10 minutes. It’s a joke by comparison with Tsigrado beach, your next target, that you have to “conquer” using ropes and wooden ladders in a sort of rock climbing. You’ll be amply rewarded by the view and by crystal-clear waters.
Next milestone is Sarakiniko, which is north, a place that feels like you’re on the moon – as Tina told us – and that will leave you breathless: white cliffs, water caves, smooth roks and a deep blue sea surrounding them. A hundred photographs and a few swim after, we strongly recommend you to reach Mandrakia village and have lunch at Medusa tavern, where the fast ad efficient Teo (the owner of the restaurant) will tell you about specials of the day: octopus and swordfish stick are definitely unmissable.
After lunch, you’ll absolutely have still to do four things. First: swim in the Thiorichia sulphur mine beach, a place that could be a western film set within abandoned buildings and multicolour rocks (changing from flaming red to bright yellow, from orange to brilliant white) Second: visit the site where the Aphrodites of Milos was found.
Third: take a quick visit (it’s really very little, it won’t take much) to the Mine Museum, close to Adamas. It is a good way to understand how they used to live (and how a lot of islanders still live today) in Milos. Fourth: happy hour at Zikos, an old-fashioned store in the ancient capital, Zephyria. Have dakos, you’ll probably be the only foreigners at the tables.
We are coming to the end of the day and if you if you have any strength left climb to Plaka’s churchyards to watch the best sunset, but have dinner in the quieter and most genuine Tripiti village just a few steps away (try Bariello, very healthy and authentic cuisine that offers you local products from their own farm).
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