Picture an island where you can experience authentic Greek island life. Men playing backgammon in narrow alleys. The smell of fried pepper. Rugged mountains around you. Unique lunar landscapes. Shallow beaches. Listen to the wind and it’ll tell you where to head to. Breathe in and let go. There are so many things to do in Milos, so let’s start exploring.
Within the Cyclades – a Greek island group in the Aegean sea – the horseshoe-shaped island of Milos is one of the western and thus less touristy islands. When you arrive by ferry in Adamas (Adamantas) you might think it’s more developed. But that’s only the port that gives you this impression. Milos is the kind of island where you may get lost on hiking routes along the cliffs. Where you only stumble upon some locals strolling through winding alleys of old rusty villages. Where there are more cuddly cats on the streets than touristy shops. And where you might even be the only one at a beach in the low season.
You’re far enough away from the crowded hot spots Santorini and Mykonos. But close enough to easily reach Milos by ferry from other islands or from Athens. While ten years ago, Milos was an island with mostly fishermen and miners, tourism is slowly growing over there.
We had few expectations when we got there, as Milos is a lesser-known Cycladic island. At the same time, it felt like exactly what we needed.
Milos offers adorable Cycladic villages, stunning coves that you can enter only by boat, white coastlines, and turquoise water.
So let’s get to the interesting part, as I’m sure you can’t wait for the best things to do in Milos, Greece.

Stunning things to do in Milos:
Cliffs and caves along the coast

The island of Milos was once popular with pirates who used the caves as a lair. Some caves can only be reached by boat, such as Kleftiko and Sykia. Others are right next to the road, so you can walk across.

Walk across the moon-like white rock formations of Sarakiniko

Some compare Sarakiniko to what walking on the moon may feel like – except you got the stunning ocean right next to you. There’s definitely an otherworldly beauty to this place. Its white, rocky landscape has actually been created by windswept, volcanic terrain.
When we were there, it was quite windy and the water was extremely rough but on calmer days you can even jump from the cliffs into the water. Also, there is a small beach in between the rocks.
I’d recommend coming here early in the morning to avoid larger crowds and experience this beauty by yourself.

Walking around Sarakiniko is definitely one of the best things to do in Milos, Greece | Entlang der Landschaft von Sarakiniko ist definitiv ein Highlight im Milos Urlaub

Walking around Sarakiniko is definitely one of the best things to do in Milos, Greece | Entlang der Landschaft von Sarakiniko ist definitiv ein Highlight im Milos Urlaub

Walking around Sarakiniko in Milos, Greece

Climb the sea caves of Papafragas

Right next to the road to Pollonia, you can hop off the bus or leave your car to walk to the three sea caves.
While you first wouldn’t expect anything, once you walk across the rocks you’ll spot the amazing sea caves. Apparently, pirates used to hide out in the caves in the past. There is a super small pathway down to a tiny beach from where you can swim and explore the sea caves.
The caves of Parafragas | Milos, Greece

The caves of Papafragas | Milos, Greece

Take a boat or kayak to Kleftiko

Many consider a boat tour around the island as one of the most stunning and best things to do in Milos, as some highlights can only be seen or entered from the sea. The most famous place to see on the enormous cliffs is Kleftiko. Therefore, you can find many tour operators on Milos offering boat trips to Kleftiko. I’m sure, in high season it can be so crowded that you see more boats than caves. Hence, another option is hiring a private boat so you can go at your own pace and swim through the cave before the majority of tours arrive. But well, that’s obviously a pricy adventure.
For adventurous and sporty travelers, the cheapest option is renting a kayak to paddle through the mesmerizing caves and turquoise waters.

Visit the cave of Sykia

Just like Kleftiko, the cave of Sykia is only accessible by boat. Many tours stop here on the way round to its popular neighbor.
It’s actually a collapsed sea cave that also has a tiny beach among fascinating white rocks. Swim, explore and soak up the stunning landscape.
Taking a boat trip in Milos, Greece

Taking a boat trip in Milos, Greece

Relaxing things to do in Milos:
Beach, beach, beach

Besides the small beaches next to the lunar landscapes of Sarakiniko, Papafragas, and Sykia, Milos offers many many beaches. One more beautiful than the next. For sure, a day by the beach is among the best things to do in Milos, especially during summer. But even in the low season, the weather can be warm enough for a swim.
Here are some that I can recommend.

Tsigrado Beach

Although not easy to reach and relatively small, Tsigrado Beach still attracts many visitors. You have to climb down two ladders and sneak through a narrow crevasse in the rocks. There’s a rope you can hold onto but obviously, this beach isn’t for people with impaired mobility or if you’re scared of heights.
For the more adventurous it’s definitely worth the climb, as the tiny beach down there is beautiful.
In low season you’ll easily get a spot but I can imagine that it fills up fast during high season.
Visiting Tsigrado Beach is one of the best things to do in Milos, Greece | Den Trigrado Strand muss man gesehen haben im Milos Urlaub

Tsigrado Beach | Milos, Greece

Fyriplaka Beach

The beach of Fyriplaka is right next to Tsigrado and way bigger. You’ll reach it through the same street if you come by car. There’s even a beach bar and some sunbeds but the beach is big enough to also catch a remote spot and enjoy this natural beauty.
Fyriplaka Beach is a popular thing to do in Milos, Greece | Fyriplaka Strand im Milos Urlaub

Fyriplaka Beach | Milos, Greece

Plathiena Beach

This was definitely our favorite beach in Milos. The sand was not exceptional but the water was crystal clear and super calm even on a windy day. And it’s so shallow you can walk in suuuper far. Besides, it’s easy to reach and you can park right next to the beach.
I’m sure many beaches can be as calm on Milos, we were at Plathenia just at the right time. You just have to watch where the wind comes from each day and go to the opposing of the island.
For us, Plathenia Beach was one of the best beaches in Milos, Greece | Plathenia gehört für uns zu den besten Milos Stränden

Plathenia beach | Milos, Greece

Triades

In case you’re up for an adventurous ride to a secluded beach that you can have for yourself, head to Triades. I’d recommend having a Jeep in order to reach it, as the winding road is steep and partly sandy. Yet, for us the beach wasn’t among our favorite things to do in Milos. The three Triades beaches are a nice place if you fancy skinny-dipping but the sand and water are nothing special. For us, the ride was more an adventure than the beach itself.
Triades beach belongs to the best beaches in Milos for nudist | Triades zählt zu den ruhigsten und schönsten Stränden auf Milos

Triades beach | Milos, Greece

Agia Kiriaki

The beach of Ahia Kiriaki is another easily accessible beach on Milos’ south coast. You’ll find shallow water and enough space on the sand to disperse.
Agia Kiriaki is one of the calmest and most beautiful beaches in Milos and one of the best things to do for families | Für Familien ist Agia Kiriaki einer der besten Strände von Milos

Agia Kiriaki beach | Milos, Greece

Besides, there are many, many more beaches on Milos. Just have a look at Google maps, pick one, hop onto the bus or the rental car and let’s go! If you’re exploring the island by car, look out for signs with “Paralia” which means “beach”.

Picturesque things to do in Milos:
Visit the fishing villages of Milos

Klima

After a narrow, winding road down to Klima, you reach the fishing village with its series of colorful boathouses right in front of the sea, called “syrmata”. The garages of the fishing shacks were used to store the boats, while the fishermen used to live upstairs. Nowadays, the boathouses with their distinctive colorful doors and balconies are often used as accommodation. But even if you don’t plan on staying in a syrmata in Klima, visiting the fishing village is still a major thing to do in Milos.
A visit of the colorful fishing village Klima is one of the most popular things to do in Milos | Das bunte Treiben im Fischerort Klima muss man in seinem Milos Urlaub gesehen haben

Klima fishing village | Milos, Greece

Mandrakia

The tiny village of Mandrakia is a quick and easy walk. It’s super small but definitely worth a stop. Less touristy than its famous counterpart Klima, Mandrakia doesn’t lack any charm. The blue-painted syrmata (boathouses) are dug into the cliffs, arranged like a half-moon. Here you can spot Greek grandpas painting their old boats, hanging out by the water with their dog ready for the next fishing trip.
A highlight over here is definitely sunset dinner at the seafood restaurant Medusa. Honest, fresh seafood right next to the port. You can find great salads, nice veggie options, and cat company as well.
For us, Mandrakia was one of our favorite things to do in Milos, Greece | Das Fischerörtchen Mandrakia ist definitiv sehenswert im Milos Urlaub

Mandrakia fishing village | Milos, Greece

Firopotamos

The cute fishing village Firopotamos is lesser-known but still worth a stop. There’s even a nice beach where you can hang out all day watching fishermen come in and out of the tiny port. A charming scene for a day by the beach.

Scenic things to do in Milos:
Stroll through the island’s whitewashed villages

Plaka

When you want to experience authentic island life, far away from souvenir shops and “happy hour” bars, head to Plaka. Its maze of alleys is full of typical Cycladic houses, locals, and of course local cats. There are a handful of restaurants and cute shops within the whitewashed houses with blue-painted windows. Even though it’s small, this village on the hill makes up the island’s capital. So it’s also the perfect place to stay and do day trips from here.

Recommended stay:

At Halara Studios in Plaka you can soak up Greek flair every single day. Especially the view is breathtaking. Check their availability right here!

Hike up to Plaka castle

If you’re up for a short hike, walk up to Plaka’s Venetian castle from where you get the best sunset view all over Milos and the Aegean sea. Once a refuge from Pirate attacks, there’s not much left today but the magnificent view.
Plaka cannot be left out in the best things to do in Milos | Plaka zu sehen, darf man im Milos Urlaub nicht vergessen

Plaka | Milos, Greece

Trypiti

Similar to Plaka, its neighboring village Trypiti is full of lovely narrow alleys, with pink flowers adorning the houses. Planted in traditional ceramic pots, their pink blossoms nestle to the Cycladic houses. The village is even smaller than Plaka but particularly worth visiting before sunset. The few restaurants all offer a stunning view across the island and the sea.
Trypiti offers the best spot for sunset dinner in Milos | Der beste Spot für Sonnenuntergang in Milos ist Trypiti

Sunset in Trypitit | Milos, Greece

Pollonia

Even though the village of Pollonia is directly by the sea, it’s by far not as picturesque as Plaka and Trypiti up the hill. It feels a bit more touristy with its promenade and lots of seaside restaurants, which just isn’t for me.
But it’s worth a visit for one authentic place: Have breakfast or grab some snacks at Kivotos ton Gefseon – a bakery with homemade pastries, honey, and lots more. The perfect place to get some authentic yummy gifts for your loved ones at home.
Pollonia | Milos, Greece

Pollonia | Milos, Greece

Historic things to do in Milos:
Visit the ancient sites of Milos

As the history of Milos dates back to Ancient Greece, you can find some significant archeological sites on the island. It would be a shame to miss them during your stay in Milos.

The Ancient Theater

Close to Trypiti, you can discover some neat history. The Ancient Theater which dates back to the 3rd century BC is for sure one of the best things to do in Milos. You can walk there either from Klima or from Trypiti, or park your car nearby. Built of marble, this incredible landmark overlooks Klima and the sea. Very close-by, in the 19th century, a farmer discovered one of the most significant sculptures: the Venus de Milo (Venus of Milos). Nowadays, fans of ancient Greek history can marvel at it in the Louvre museum in Paris. A replica of the Venus can be seen in the archaeological museum in Plaka.
You shouldn't miss the ancient theater of Milos | Nicht verpassen solltest du die Ausgrabung des altgriechischen Theaters in Milos

Ancient theater in Milos, Greece

The Catacombs

Only a few hundred meters from the marble theater, another historical site waits to be explored: the Catacombs. It’s a network of underground galleries, comparable to the catacombs of Rome, that was used as an early-Christian burial site. Dating back to the 1st century AD, three sets of the fascinating tunnels have been rediscovered. An estimated number of 2000 Christians were buried down there in the cavities in the walls and in the ground. You can still read some of the 2000 years old inscriptions.

Things to do in and around Milos:
Go on a boat trip to one of the neighboring islands

A boat trip to Kimolos

Milos has two very close sister islands: Kimolos and Polyaigos. For some authentic landscapes and natural beaches, Kimolos is a great choice. From Pollonia port you can quickly reach Kimolos by ferry. Due to its white rocks, Kimolos got its name from the Greek word for “chalk”. Hence, as you can guess, you’ll find similar white rock formations as well as natural arches over here. There’s just one main village over there called Chorio where it’s really quiet and less touristy than many other Cycladic islands. Yet, it’s super charming – a picturesque white village with narrow alleys. Besides, you can explore the tiny fishing village Goupa and some abandoned windmills or go for a nice hike with a spectacular view.

A boat trip to Polyaigos

Did you know which one is the largest uninhabited island in the Aegean Sea? It’s Polyaigos. The name tells you what to expect. “Poly” means many and “aigos” means goats. So yes, there are a lot of goats over there, and if you’re lucky you may even spot a Mediterranean monk seal, of which numerous come to Polyaigos to give birth. The calm island is definitely a natural beauty.
The Ferry from Milos to Kimolos

The Ferry from Milos to Kimolos

Yummy things to do in Milos:
Indulge yourself in Greek Food

I like to say that you’ve only truly visited a country when you tried its food. So of course trying Greek food and local treats are among the best things to do in Milos. The Greek cuisine is diversified and super yummy. While there are many meat dishes and seafood, I never had a problem finding a delicious dish as a Vegetarian. There are also some dishes that can only be found in Milos.

Some typical dishes you need to try in Milos

  • Main dishes:
    • Gemista – tomatoes and yellow peppers filled with rice
    • Melitzanes Papoutsakia – stuffed aubergine with tomatoes (and often feta cheese on top)
    • All kinds of seafood (obviously, since we’re by the sea)
  • Meze (the Greek version of Tapas):
    • Aubergine or Zucchini balls
    • Saganaki – fried feta cheese
    • Pitarakia – a mix between a samosa and a Greek cheese pie famous for Milos
    • Filled wine leaves
  • Salads such as Horiatiki (classic Greek salad) or Dakos (rusk with vegetables and cheese)
  • Desert/sweets:
    • Lukumades – dough balls, similar to mini donuts
    • Watermelon pie – this one’s famous for Milos (try the one from Kivotos ton Gefseon)
  • Snacks:
    • Ladénia – the Greek version of focaccia with tomatoes, onions, olives and capers (a specialty from Kimolos)
    • Milos cheese – there are several kinds of cheese from Milos, from cream cheese to hard cheese – either made from sheep’s milk or goat’s milk
  • Drinks:
    • Greek wine – always a good choice

My restaurant recommendations in Milos

Seaside restaurants:

  • O! Hamos! Tavern (close to Ademas) – for great Meze served on pretty terracotta tableware in a beautiful courtyard next to the sea – everything from the vegetables to the cheese to the meat is produced or grown on their own farm
  • Medusa (in the fishing village Mandrakia) – for fresh local seafood in a picturesque location by the sea
Don't miss eating at one of the best restaurants in Milos

Lunch at O! Hamos! | Milos, Greece

In Plaka

  • Avli-Milos – for authentic Greek food in a cute courtyard
  • Archontoula – traditional Greek options in the heart of Plaka
Homemade seafood pasta at Avli Milos, one of the best restaurants in Milos

Homemade Seafood Pasta at Avli Milos

In Trypiti

  • Ergína – a homey taverna with a pretty terrace that offers a spectacular sunset view across the island and the sea (they offer great vegetarian meze)
  • Bariello – for a fancier dinner with a similarly stunning view and all home-grown and home-produced food from their farm

Things to do in Milos:
Good to know before you go

What is the best time to visit Milos?

Spring and autumn are the best times of the year to visit Milos. We went at the beginning of October and had an amazing Cyclades island hopping trip (combined with two more Cycladic islands: Folegandros and Paros). Some days were quite windy but overall it was the perfect weather to still spend a whole day by the beach and swim in the ocean. You just have to be spontaneous and let the wind tell you which part of the island to explore each day. At around 22 – 25°C it wasn’t too hot but still felt like late summer. Moreover, we had a great choice of beautiful accommodations for a way lower price than they’d cost in high season. Thus, I’d recommend avoiding the months from June to August. Even though Milos is still a rather unknown island, it can get crowded during the high season and the weather can be unbearably hot (some friends of mine experiences more than 40°C in the high season). Be aware, that later in autumn many restaurants, shops, and travel companies close for the winter.
Autumn is the best time to visit Milos

An October day by the beach in Milos

How to get to Milos?

There’s only one answer to it: Take the ferry. There’s a great ferry connection between many Greek islands as well as with Athens. Try to resist the plane to Milos, although the island has a small airport for flights to and from Athens. There are no international flights. For this short distance, you shouldn’t fly. It’s definitely not worth it.

To make your trip more sustainable, extend it: visit several Cycladic islands and take the ferry between them. You can even combine it with some days in Athens. The ferry from Athens is around 4 hours and to some neighboring islands (e.g. Paros or Folegandros) it’s around 2 hours. This way, you’ll be able to see and learn more about the country and delve deeper into Greek culture.

We booked our ferry tickets with ferryhopper.com. Get their app and you have all your ferry tickets in one place, saving unnecessary paper.
A ferry to Milos

A ferry to Milos, Greece

How many days do you need in Milos?

Even though it’s not a big island, there are so many things to do and see in Milos. From great taverns, unique rock formations, white-washed Cycladic villages to beautiful beaches in Milos. To see it all without being in a rush (it’s never a good idea to be in a rush on holiday) and enjoy the laid-back island life, you should stay at least 5 days. Thinking of the environment, you will make your holiday more sustainable by extending it.

How to move around Milos?

I’d recommend getting a rental car to reach the hidden beaches, villages and all the other things to see in Milos. The bus network isn’t bad either but you won’t come far beyond the typical hot spots. The island isn’t big – you can cross the island by car in around 45 minutes. And you can stop wherever you want to. Another plus is that parking is free all over Milos. Renting an ATV is also a quite popular thing to do in Milos when the weather is not too windy.
Renting a car is the best thing to see Milos

Where to stay in Milos?

Many travelers wonder where to stay in Milos. Popular villages are Plaka and Pollonia. But with a car, you could basically stay anywhere, as you can reach everything within a 30 – 45 minute car ride.
You’ll find lots of beautiful hotels and AirBnBs from locals across the island.  Stay in accommodation from locals instead of huge hotels. This way, you can support the local economy and it’s a more authentic experience. Staying in a traditional Cycladic house is unique! Give it a try – there are beautifully renovated ones as well. Besides, you could even stay in a redone tiny fishing house right by the sea in Klima.

Recommended stay:
At Halara Studios in Plaka you can soak up Greek flair every single day. Especially the view is breathtaking.
Check their availability right here!

Milos, Greece – a wrap-up

Milos in three words: unspoiled | windy | raw
Did you know? No island of the Cyclades has more beaches than Milos.
Favorite photo spot: Among the white cliffs of Sarakiniko beach
Favorite food: The Aubergine balls at O! Hamos! Tavern
Can’t miss: Tickle some stray cats before your sunset dinner in Trypiti

More on the Cyclades

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