Sunset viewing from the Utopia Café terrace in Plaka village on Milos
Superb sunset views: We’ve seen dozens of spectacular sunsets in Greece, but there are a few that we still remember as though we had seen them only yesterday. Watching the sunset from at Utopia Café on Milos in 2007 is one of them.
I had read about Utopia Café in the Greece travel forum on TripAdvisor.com long before we decided to visit Milos; someone had recommended it as a great spot to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine while watching the sun set. During our first trip to Milos in September 2007, we stayed in the port town, Adamas, but spent a day exploring the area around the mountaintop villages of Plaka and Tripiti. We happened to be wandering through the narrow streets of Plaka just as the sun started to go down, and when I saw a sign pointing the way to Utopia Café, I recalled the comments I had read online. We decided to go for a drink and watch the sunset before finding a taverna for dinner.
Large terrace with marvellous views toward Antimilos island
The café has a large outdoor terrace offering marvellous views of the northwest tip of Milos and nearby Antimilos island, but the best seats — the ones closest to the edge of the patio — were already taken, so we had to sit several rows of tables back. But since the rear section of the terrace is raised a step or two above the front part of the patio, we didn’t have other peoples’ heads blocking our sightlines.
We relaxed with glasses of wine while sitting in the warm golden glow of the setting sun, actually feeling hot at times. But once the sun disappeared below the horizon, the temperature plunged, a cool breeze began blowing across the terrace, and people started pulling on jackets and sweatshirts as they prepared to leave. We had not brought along our windbreakers, so we found it too chilly to sit outside in our shorts and T-shirts. We finished our wine and dashed to a nearby taverna, where we sat indoors for dinner instead of taking a table outside as we usually do while in Greece.
Weather turned windy and chilly after the sun set
By the time we finished our meal it was even windier and downright cold, and I remember feeling like I was going to freeze during the 10 minutes we waited for the local bus to arrive. Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t windy in Adamas when we got off the bus, so we felt comfortable during the walk back to our hotel. But I still remember shivering at the Plaka bus stop. It was worth it, though — the good wine and outstanding views from Utopia Café made for a remarkable Milos memory.
We returned to Milos in May 2011 and stayed in Plaka, but were disappointed to discover that Utopia wasn’t yet open for the season. If you ever find yourself in Milos, check to see if it has opened its doors, and make plans to go there one evening to watch a sunset. (If you can only visit Plaka in the morning, drop by the cafe for breakfast; you won’t see a sunset, of course, but you’ll still enjoy amazing sea and island views while you sip coffee and nibble on toast. Keep in mind that the café accepts cash only.)
Below are more photos from our memorable September 17 2007 sunset visit to Utopia Café.
Part of the sea- and sunset-view terrace at Utopia Café
The terrace overlooks the mountainous northwest coast of Milos
Looking toward a bay on the west side of the Gulf of Milos
The amazing view toward the rugged northwest tip of Milos
The mountainous western half of Milos is largely uninhabited
Triades is one of several good beaches on the other side of the mountains
As the sun dips lower in the sky, the mountains fade into silhouette
The sun was so intense, I couldn’t watch without wearing sunglasses. I was surprised that other people on the terrace didn’t need shades.
The setting sun silhouettes nearby Antimilos island
The sun loses intensity as it drops lower in the sky
The rounded peak on Cape Vani, at right, is the northwest tip of Milos
Sunlight reflects on the calm waters at the mouth of the Gulf of Milos
Cape Vani and Antimilos island are now in total silhouette
One last glimpse of the sun’s brilliance before it drops lower
The sun becomes a giant white orb as it slides behind distant mountains
A woman takes photos as the sunset draws to a dramatic conclusion
With Cape Vani in silhouette in the foreground, the sun dips behind mountains on the Peloponnese peninsula off mainland Greece
The sun is just seconds away from setting completely
The burnt-orange hues of the sky signal the end of a spectacular sunset
Once the sun set, the temperature dropped and a cool breeze began to blow. People quickly pulled on jackets and started packing up to leave as it became too chilly to continue sitting on the terrace