Category: Top Milos posts

Milos recasts its magical spell

Tsigrado beach Milos

With dozens of unique beaches, like the cliff-enclosed Tsigrado cove 

 

Cape Vani on Milos

  an astounding array of natural scenery and rugged terrain, such as the Mars-like landscape at Cape Vani

 

Mandrakia village on Milos

 picturesque seaside fishing villages, like Mandrakia

 

Kleftiko coast at Milos

… spectacular coastal scenery, like the breathtaking cliffs and offshore rock formations at Kleftiko

 

Ageria mine site on Milos

 colourful mining sites, like the Ageria open pit operation 

 

O Xamos restaurant Milos

and superb Greek cuisine served at restaurants like O Xamos!, it’s easy to understand why travel blogger Dace was drawn to Milos two years in a row. (All of the photos in this post are by Dace and originally appeared on her website, Dace Travels. They are reposted here with her kind permission).

 

Well worth repeating: My regular readers know how much I enjoy Milos — I’ve published numerous posts about the island in the last several years, along with dozens of photographs we shot during two separate visits.  I’m always keen to hear and read what other travellers think of it, in particular to see if they had similarly delightful experiences (the feedback has been overwhelmingly laudatory, I’m happy to report). I also like to hear people’s impressions of places they managed to see in parts of Milos we haven’t yet explored ourselves since it gives us ideas about new places to check out next time we go back.

So when I discovered a Milos trip report link in a post on the TripAdvisor Milos forum, I was excited to read what the writer had to say, and to view her holiday photos. Clicking on the link actually was a double treat because it took me to not one but two separate trip reports for Milos, posted by Latvian writer Dace on her personal blog, Dace Travels.  

 

 

I was very pleased to find that both reports were packed with gorgeous photos and enticing descriptions of numerous Milos destinations that we haven’t yet seen (in large part because we haven’t rented a vehicle on either of our trips to the island, so we’ve been limited to what we could access by bus, taxi or walking, and couldn’t reach many of the remote areas that Dace drove to in her 4×4.)

In her first post, Greece: The beauty of Milos, Dace explains that she chose Milos after reading about it on a “hidden gem” list for Greece. 

“What a great choice it was!,” she wrote. “The island has 70 different beaches, it’s not overcrowded by tourists; the western part is more wild while the eastern part is more developed. We spent 6 days there but it was not enough.”  But in those six days, she saw a variety of places I’ve only read about in online travel guides — Thiafes beach, Tria Pighadia, Kolymbissionas, Amoudaraki and Manddrakia.

 

Spellbinding nature, beaches and good food

In her second report, Greece again. Yes to Milos!, Dace reveals why she returned to Milos for another holiday. “So why Milos again? It really got its spell on us, so much of beautiful nature and beaches and good food :),” she wrote.  (I totally understand; the exact same features drew us back to Milos for our own second visit.)

Once more, Dace posted lots of beautiful photos and descriptions of even more amazing places I haven’t seen, leaving me feeling a strong tinge of envy. Those spots included Cape Vani, Voudia Bay, Pollonia, and a slew of splendid beaches — Angathia, Agios Ioannis, Triades, Firiplaka, Paleochori, Plateina, Agio Kyriaki and Tsigrado. 

Both reports are fascinating and fun to read. Dace has a great sense of humour, so I chuckled at some of her stories (like the “quad people” they encountered at some beaches) and cringed at another (her account of a stomach-churning ferry ride to Milos).  And of course there’s dozens of photos of stunning Milos scenery that are bound to make you dream about going there yourself.

Click here to read Dace’s first report, and then click here to read about her return visit. (The second report includes photos and information about her stay in Athens, too, and elsewhere on her blog you can read about her trip to Santorini.)

Bay watching on Milos

Bay of Milos

Halara Studios view of the Bay of Milos and the island’s west side

 

Scenic viewpoints: Several readers recently asked about places to stay or visit on Milos to enjoy amazing views and scenery. On our last trip to the island we stayed at Halara Studios in Plaka village, where we had inspiring views of the Bay of Milos from our windows and from the long terrace outside our room.  (Plaka is the capital of Milos island.) Another option for accommodations is Studios Betty, about which I’ve heard good comments. It’s located only a few meters from Halara, and offers substantially similar views.

But the best vantage point on the island is Kastro, the summit of the peak that rises a few hundred feet above Plaka. If the thigh-burning uphill hike to Kastro doesn’t take your breath away, the views from there certainly will — especially at sunset. (If your legs and lungs can’t handle the hike all the way to the top, the terrace outside Thalassitra church part way up is a good viewing spot, too.)

And if you have mobility issues and can’t climb the steep stairs to either Thalassitra church or Kastro, head for the Korfiotissa church in Plaka. The wide terrace on the west side of the church offers marvellous views as well. Want to sit back and sip a drink or glass of wine while watching the sun go down? You can’t beat the patio at Utopia Cafe (see my April 4 2012 post about sunset watching from the bar.)

Below are several pics showing some of the Bay of Milos views from Halara Studios, Plaka and Kastro.  You can view additional photos in the Milos 2011 photo collection on the MyGreeceTravelBlog Flickr page.  Take a look, in particular, at the Halara Studios, Plaka village and Kastro at Sunset albums.

Also visit the Plaka Milos Facebook page for more photos and information.

 

Bay of Milos

Another Halara Studios view of the Bay of Milos

  Kastro view of Milos

Kastro view of Plaka village and the Bay of Milos

 

Kastro view of Milos

Kastro view of Plaka (right), Tripiti village (center) and the bay

 

Kimisi of Theotokou church Milos

The church of Kimisi of Theotokou (Assumption of the Virgin church) is a superb sunset viewing spot on Kastro, high above the Bay of Milos (left)

 

Thalassitra church Milos

Thalassitra church sits roughly halfway up the mountain peak between Plaka and Kastro. Its terrace is an excellent place to view the sunset if you can’t make it all the way up to Kastro. 

 

Steps to Kastro  on Milos

Looking down some of the steps on the mountainside below Kastro. At left is the Thalassitra church.

  Steps from Kastro to Plaka

A great view of the Bay of Milos from steps farther down the hill

 

Korfiotissa church in Plaka

The terrace at Korfiotissa church in Plaka is an excellent place to take in the sunset and the superb Bay of Milos scenery

 

View from Plaka Milos

An afternoon view from Plaka toward Cape Vani, the rocky point at the mouth of the Bay of Milos (upper left), and nearby Antimilos island

 

Aegean in-flight magazine lauds the marvels of Milos

Aegean Airlines Blue magazine cover image

Fashion model Vasilianna strikes a pose on one of the seaside rock formations at spectacular Sarakiniko beach on Milos island in the Cyclades. The photo, by Olympia Krasagaki, graces the cover of the summer 2014 edition of Blue, the in-flight magazine of Aegean Airlines.

 

Cover story: One of my favourite islands will be getting a lot of international attention over the next three months thanks to Aegean Airlines.

Milos is pictured not only on the cover of the airline’s in-flight magazine Blue this summer, but also in a Nature focus article as well as in a fashion photo spread featuring some of the island’s breathtaking beaches and magnificent coastal scenery.

The articles laud Milos for its “extraordinary beauty,” “spectacular coastline” and gorgeous beaches, and points out that the volcanic island also “has plenty of pretty, traditional villages, ancient monuments, excellent local cuisine and an overall air of elegance.”

Milos is, of course, one of the splendid island destinations that can easily be reached from Athens on daily flights by Olympic Air, which merged with Aegean several years ago.

The release of the summer 2014 edition of Blue was announced today on the Aegean Airlines International Facebook page.

The 340-page glossy magazine will be available to passengers flying Aegean during the next three months, and also can be viewed online in an e-book format available on the airline’s website. Click here to peruse the online edition.

The magazine cover photo shows a fashion model posing on the seaside at Sarakiniko, which is one of the most fascinating and impressive coastal landscapes I’ve seen out of all the Greek islands I’ve been fortunate to visit so far.

More pictures of Sarakiniko are included in a women’s fashion feature that starts on page 212. The fashion spread includes photos shot at other spectacular locations on Milos, including the colourful fishing village at Klima, the picturesque mountain town of Plaka, the scenic seaside at Fyriplaka beach, and the Glaronissia islets off the north coast of the island near Pollonia.

 Aegean Airlines Blue magazine

The coastline at Fyriplaka beach provides a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop for this fashion photo by Olympia Krasagaki. Click here to open the online edition of Blue magazine and view full-size photos of the superlative Milos scenery.

 

Places to see, eat and drink on Milos

The Nature focus Milos: natural wonder begins at page 116 and includes amazing photos of the majestic coastal rock formations at Kleftiko and the incomparable Papafragas, a sliver of sandy beach wedged between tall stone walls. The article describes popular tourist and natural attractions on Milos, including some of the island’s 75 remarkable beaches, and suggests places to eat and drink.

Restaurant recommendations include our personal favourite O Chamos at Papakinou beach in the port town of Adamas, as well as Archontoula and Fatses in Plaka, Ergina in Tripiti, Enalion in Pollonia, and a few others.

For nice spots to enjoy a drink, the magazine’s picks include Akri and Mikro in Adamas, along with Gatis, Bakaliko and Utopia Café in Plaka (see my April 4 2012 post Utopian sunsets on Milos for photos of the sensational sunset views from the terrace at Utopia Café’s outdoor terrace).

 

Profiles for other island & mainland destinations

Although Milos claimed bragging rights to the cover photo and two feature articles, it isn’t the only must-see Greek destination profiled in Blue magazine. The summer issue is packed with beguiling photos and interesting travel information about 17 other intriguing islands as well as several cities and regions on the mainland.

For foodies, there are appetizing descriptions of new restaurants that have opened recently on the islands of Rhodes and Mykonos, as well as in Halkidiki.

For fans of arts and culture, there are articles about the 2014 Sani Festival in Halkidi, plus the impressive Viannos Art Gallery in Keratokambos, a small town situated at the southernmost point on Crete.

And for travellers who’d like to plan some island hopping, there are informative reports on things to see and do on Syros, Kasos, Paros, Corfu, Kos, Leros, Naxos, Lemnos, Ikaria, Kastellorizo, Kefalonia, Santorini, Rhodes and Astipalia — all accompanied by captivating full-colour photos.

If you’re lucky to be flying Aegean while the summer edition of Blue is available, be sure to collect a free copy from the seat pocket — it will be an excellent research resource for future Greek holiday planning. (And please get a copy for me!)

 Thalassitra Church Milos

If you haven’t been to Milos and want to see why it was an outstanding choice for Blue magazine’s cover, check out my Milos photo collection on Flickr. It includes images of Milos landmarks like Thalassitra Church at Plaka village (above).

 

A colourful lane on the Kastro hillside on Milos

a blue lane on Milos island

Pots of pink and red geraniums add pops of colour to a blue-painted footpath on the Kastro hillside above Plaka village on Milos island. This is only one of many impressive sights visitors will encounter while hiking the steep footpath from Plaka to Kastro. The spectacular panoramic views from the Kastro mountain peak, especially at sunset, are a “must-see” attraction on Milos.

 

 

 a blue lane on Milos

That’s me at the blue lane during our climb to Kastro for sunset

 

 

pot of geraniums on Milos

Pink geraniums in a white pot beside the blue lane

 

 

a blue lane on Milos

You’ll pass the lane partway up the path to Kastro. It’s a pretty place to stop and catch your breath before climbing the rest of the steep steps to the mountaintop.

 

 

geranium in a wall pot on Milos

A wall-mounted planter brings the lane’s blue theme to eye level

 

 

a blue lane on Milos

The lane bathes in the golden glow of the slowly-setting sun

 

 

geraniums on Milos

The Gulf of Milos and mountains on the west side of the gulf are visible from the end of the lane …

 

 

Gulf of Milos

… as you can see from this shot, taken facing toward the west and looking down the steps we have climbed so far

 

 

a blue lane on Milos

We saw this cat sitting in the lane during our first visit to Milos back in 2007

 

Our sailboat tour to Sykia and Kleftiko on Milos

Excursion sailboats anchored at Kleftiko on the southwest coast of Milos

Excursion sailboats anchored off the scenic cliffs at Kleftiko near the southwest tip of Milos. Click the photo to view it full-size.

 

 

Stunning scenery: It has been nearly six years since we took a sailboat tour along the scenic western coast of Milos, but my memories of the trip are still so vivid it seems as though it happened only yesterday.

As I described in the preceding post — Island sail tour is a must for Milos visitors — sailboat excursions and boat cruises rate among the top recommended tourist activities on Milos, thanks to the island’s spectacular coastal scenery.

A sailing tour was at the top of our personal “must-do” list when we visited Milos for the first time in mid-September 2007, but we had to wait several days to take one of the popular excursions because high winds forced most boats to remain in port.

It was well worth the wait.

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Hit the beach! Spectacular Sarakiniko on Milos

Sarakiniko beach Milos

Spectacular landscapes surround Sarakiniko beach and bay …

 

Sarakiniko beach Milos

… which have great views toward nearby Kimolos island

 

Sarakiniko beach Milos

There’s a small sandy beach with a shade tree at the foot of the bay…

 

Sarakiniko beach Milos

… and incredibly fascinating, unusual terrain all around

 

Beyond compare:  I’ve got to say at the outset that photos simply do not do justice to Sarakiniko beach on Milos. You truly have to see it to believe it and fully appreciate the grandeur of what, to me, is one of the most extraordinary coastal swimming areas I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been to dozens of beautiful beaches elsewhere in Greece, as well as in North America, the Caribbean, Central America and Hawaii. While Sarakiniko doesn’t boast a palm tree-lined crescent of soft white sand like some of the postcard-perfect beaches I have visited in other places, its remarkable landscapes and seascapes offer a unique sensory experience that’s almost out of this world.

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Utopian sunsets on Milos

sunset view from Utopia Cafe Milos

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.

 

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