This is the final installment of my island hopping adventures in Greece.
We departed from Santorini for the lovely island of Milos by ferry. After a long ferry delay, we managed arrived in Milos long after the sun has set, feeling absolutely famished and tired.
Thankfully, we picked up our rental car without a hitch and miraculously got to our accommodation without getting lost – that is after we wolfed down some hot chicken gyros that tasted exceptionally good at that hour.
We woke up to what we thought was a huge storm. To my utmost surprise, when I drew the curtains open, it was not rain but the sounds of the angry waves. We were just meters away from the sea and we didn’t even know it.
We were told that there were unusually rough seas for the past two days which was suited us fine since we were not intending to swim. (The waters are too crazily cold in May!)
It was only when we sat down to have breakfast at a little cafe along Pollonia – having a freshly made spinach filo pie (which was superb!) that it dawned on me why Milos seems more familiar to me than it should; I finally connected the dots (yes, I’m really slow) that it is on this humble island that the statue of Venus of Milos was discovered – yes the famed marble statue of Goddess of love and beauty that stands proudly in the Musee du Louvre. I had a geek moment when I was excitedly telling J about how I saw the statue at the Lourve just a few years ago.
After that “eureka” moment, we drove to Paliochori beach at the south of Milos. Aside from the Venus of Milos, Milos is known for its more than gorgeous beaches and interesting coastlines.
The beach is flanked by colourful rock formations – various shades of red, yellows and greens, probably an effect of sulphur. It is also a pebbled beach with small pebbles of different colours, all very smooth because they have been polished smooth by the waves.
Sarakiniko is undisputedly the most interesting beach on Milos. It is a must-see when you are on this island.
Though it is commonly referred to as a beach, it is not your average beach with sand and water. The all-white limestone landscape looks like the surface of a moon crater. And true to its reputation, Sarakiniko is incomparable to any other with its the white formations; its natural contours formed by the winds over the years and the beautiful azure waters that surrounds it makes it a stunning sight to behold.
We spent a quiet evening exploring the entire landscape, enjoying the clear waters and ducking into a few of the caves that were believed to be dug by pirates.
The next day, we went to Tripiti to visit the ancient theatre that the Romans built duirng the Hellenistic period. Unfortunately, it was closed for restorations and we moved on to vist the fishing village of Klima. There are a few fishing villages in Milos that are unique to the island. The coves are lined with syrmata or fishermen’s bold and colourful boathouses – very picturesque.
It was fun to peer into some of the syrmata and watch some of the fishing folk at work.
After Klima, we decided to drop by Mandrakia, a less known fishing village on a smaller scale. I’m glad we did because though it was smaller, it was prettier just because we saw some of the boats docked at the cove and some fishermen preparing their boats.
Milos is an island where you will eat very well when it comes to seafood, more so than on a slightly more tourist-centric Santorini. The highlight of our trip was Armenaki, a restaurant that sits along the row of restaurants in Pollonia. It was so good that we went there twice in our few days on the island.
Armenaki serves the freshest seafood that has been caught on the same day. So when we enquired about a particular fish (I can’t remember what it was), we were given the matter of fact reply “Oh..because of the strong winds, that insert name of fish is not caught today. So we don’t have it.”
We were recommended to try the oven-baked scorpion fish or scorpina in Greek. It was simply delicious – the fish was so fresh, so flavourful and the potatoes and capers that came with it were absolutely delicious that I now bake my fish in a similar manner. Fun fact of the day, we were told that the Greek men nickname unattractive women “scorpina”, after the ugly fish.
But this ugly fish have very delicate flesh and swoon-worthy flavour! I can’t imagine anyone turning it down. The other seafood dishes were also particularly good – steamed mussels and clams in white wine.
At this particular moment, I’m missing Milos and her seafood. At times like these (which often happen after such a trip), I start to think that I can actually survive (more like, thrive happily) on a small island with few material desires. When you are surrounded by nature’s beauty, fresh air and wonderful (oh so wonderful!) produce, I don’t see why not.
Nefeli Sunset Studio
Pollonia, Milos Cyclades
I would unreservedly recommend you to stay at Nefeli Sunset Studio. It is run by a friendly couple, Roula and Makis, who would try to make your stay better by giving you genuine recommendations. The studio is very clean and well-maintained. Our studio and terrace overlooks the beach just yards away and you can see the most beautiful sunsets of the island from here. We saw a group of photographers (with their tripods and large equipment) waiting around the beach during sunset.
Pollonia Milos Cyclades 84800 (nestled at a corner along the row of restaurants by the pier)
Excellent seafood (though it may be considered a little on the high side but well-worth it) and good wine at a reasonable price
The best way to visit the different sights on the island is by driving. Milos is a very navigable island – pretty small and compact. You can drive around leisurely becuase there are so few cars and there is free parking virtually everywhere. I believe it will be tough to get a bus from one location to another especially if you are short on time.
Klima fishing village
Mandrakia fishing village