Just a month has passed since my trip to Mykonos but with travel restrictions worldwide when it came to booking my summer holiday with the boy there was little hesitation from me about returning to The Cyclades for an extended stay.
Greece is always a good idea in my opinion, the people are friendly and warm, the food is delicious and the islands have a beauty that knows no bounds, especially those that lie South East of the mainland within the collection of islands called The Cyclades.
It was his first time to Greece and my fifteenth! (told you Greece was always a good idea ;)) so as I started to plan the vacation I wanted to ‘show off’ why the greek islands are such an amazing destination. That being said, I wanted to also include a brand new island for me to enjoy and discover and that’s where Milos took centre stage of our itinerary. The island of Milos has long been on my bucket list to travel to, it’s shocking that in my 14 previous trips to the country I still hadn’t made it there. With 10 days to spare we had more time on our hands than that of my usual restricted work trips so I suggested we explore more than one island and luckily the boy was game 😉
From London we travelled to Mykonos by air with Easyjet, from Mykonos with travelled to Milos with the ferry, then from Milos we finished our trip with a short stay in Santorini. We travelled to Santorini again with the Ferry and flew home to London with Easyjet. The ferry system within the Cyclades is fantastic, they are easy to book and in comparison to flying, relatively affordable. I pre-booked all of our ferry journeys before travelling just to make sure I was on top of everything, I used the website www.directferries.com and they were great. It was easy to book and communicate with the company. The cost one way was approximately 60 euros per person, prices vary depending on the route. One thing to note, even though you can get your boarding passes via the direct ferries app you will need a paper ticket when you board the ferry so make sure you locate the kiosk at the port and show them your e-ticket to create your paper one, the boat ushers want to see the physical ticket.
After 4 nights in Mykonos, read all about it here. We boarded the ferry to Milos, it took just over 3 hours to travel there but it was an easy smooth ride and the ferry was equipped with toilets and a cafe etc.
Rent an ATV
Upon arrival with our cases we pre-booked a transfer to our accommodation but from there on out we travelled around the island with our own freedom. We hired an ATV for the duration of our stay paying 27 euros a day for a 250cc ride.
Travelling around the island was easy, there a few main roads so navigation isn’t difficult and the cars on the island are used to tourists hiring the ATV’s and therefore drive safely and respectfully. With so many beaches to explore, having your own mode of transport is a MUST in Milos, taxis are few and far between and the amount you’ll want to explore, the cost would pile up. You can get a car if you feel uncomfortable on an ATV or Scooter but we loved the excitement and ease of our quad, it was a little hefty to drive in The Cyclades famous winds but that just added to the fun 😉
When it came to accommodation we opted for a clean and well-located budget stay. Milos, out of every island in The Cyclades in the place you are least likely to spend anytime in your hotel and so having it’s own pool or beach access etc wasn’t important to us, we just wanted somewhere clean and spacious. There are three main places to stay in Milos. Adamas, the main port town where the ferry came into, this is the busiest location with lots of shops and restaurants and it’s where the majority of the organised boat trips and excursions leave from. There’s then Plaka which is a small and stunning old town, here is built up of ‘little venice’ style cobbled streets with a handful of restaurants, shops and bars. Finally there’s Pollonia, the more ‘Up-Market’ choice of stay. It’s a small fishing town with a pretty sandy beach and shore stretch of restaurants. We opted to stay in Pollonia for it’s charm and seclusion and having now visited all three destinations I would opt to stay in Pollonia over the other two all over again.
Stay at Garifalakis Apartments
Our apartments were within walking distance to the beach and small marina and for the price (£346.00) we couldn’t fault our stay! We spent four nights at Garifalakis Apartments where our room was cleaned daily and our explorative needs met with speed! The hotel pre-booked everything for us over email and they were brilliant, there were no additional fees, instead they found us better deals than we were able to source ourselves which we all know is very rare! The room was large and fresh with a cute outdoor balcony, the kitchen was fully stocked and the air conditioning perfectly powerful. I’d highly recommend a stay here. The only downside was that we couldn’t order breakfast to the room but this was something we knew before booking and wandering to the local café or grabbing breakfast bits the night before was a fine alternative.
With the island’s wind report determining our itinerary our first stop was the beach that, in my opinion, puts Milos on the ‘Bucket List’ map. The moon-like structure really is as impressive as the photos on your favourite travel inspo accounts would have you believe!
As with any tourist hotspot it’s best to arrive early to avoid the crowds but we actually visited midday and regardless of the crowds it was still a breath-taking scene. There’s a few beaches and pools of sea water to choose from but if you wander round fully from the entrance off the road you’ll reach the ‘fun spot’ where everyone jumps off the cliffs into the crystal clear waters below. Though far HIGHER THAN THEY LOOK the boy and I both enjoyed plummeting off the white edges at our own will for a good few hours! It’s a natural water park with some of the most incredible views I’ve even seen in Greece. The photos will have done most of the talking here but my top tip would be to slather on the waterproof SPF and wear a hat as there is no shade unless you are in the water. The ground is a little prickly as well so take a towel to sit/lay on and if you have sensitive feet pack scuba shoes for when you need to climb out of the water.
Lunch at Medousa
We had lunch at a small beachside tavern just 10 minutes drive from Sarakiniko, a restaurant recommended on instagram called Medousa. It was our first insight into the food in Milos and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t salivating whilst typing when thinking back to eating here! The setting is super pretty by the water and the portions are large and delicious, if it hadn’t have been for the boy wanting to try new things I would have happily returned to dine morning noon and night!
We spent the rest of the day exploring the Northern Beaches as the wind was due to pick up the next day. PLAN YOUR DAYS AROUND THE WIND. If it’s due to be windy the Northern beaches are all a write off, the waves completely consume the majority of the beaches, it looks like an entirely different island all together! So our afternoon was spent at a small secluded Papafragkas Beach which was nice and close to Pollonia. The water was stunning especially in the afternoon and the sun being lower in the sky beautifully glistens on the water and it’s such a pretty place to explore in the water.
Dinner in Adamas
We ate in Adamas that evening, switching up our week of Greek for Italian. The restaurant, New Malion, was romantically on the water just on the outer edge of the town and after filling up on pasta and pizza we wandered into Adamas to get a gelato and witness the busier streets of the main town in Milos.
Hire at boat for the day
Our next day was all about the water! We hired our very own motorboat with a company called Excellent Yachting. The cost for a full day (8hrs) was 230 euros plus fuel (which was 25 euros for us in the end) for a boat that looked fresh out of the showroom! We started our journey in Pollonia and Stelios from Excellent Yachting gave us a warm and in depth briefing on how to drive, navigate and enjoy our boat for the day. It’s incredibly easy to drive their boats as they have a built in sat nav that Stelios had kindly made markers for all the best places to anchor. You can also connect up your phone for music and there was a cool box on board for us to pack our own refreshments and lunch.
With stronger winds on this day we kept it safe and headed just 20 minutes across the open sea to the nearby island of Poleigos, it was here, we fell in love.
The pictures will again do the talking and if you haven’t read any of my posts before here on Clutch & Carry-On it’s destinations like these that are the reason I vowed not to edit my travel photos in blogposts. I truly believe that travel bloggers should showcase locations exactly as they are and with destinations like these I’d understand if you thought I may be fibbing!
We anchored here for the day as it was safely protected from the winds and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend a second elsewhere! The water was mesmerizing and though it was just a small stretch of shoreline there were so many coves for us to swim to and explore. I can’t tell you the exact location of this spot but it was a 5 minute drive west of this Google code: QJ87+HF Kimolos, Greece.
Sunset at Salt, Pollonia
After lazing and swimming we headed back to Pollonia for sunset. right outside our accommodation was a great place to watch the sun go down and as we were strolling we came across Salt Milos which is a pretty boutique hotel that welcomes sunset guests. It’s a sweet spot for the island for sure, I’d be very tempted to book a stay there on my return.
Our final full day in Milos we spent in the South. The winds had picked up at this point so the Northern beaches we had visited on the first day were now unrecognizable!
We drove over half an hour across the island on our quad to the postcard perfect beach, firiplaka. This is a gigantic stretch of sand leading up to incredibly clear blue water that’s shallow for what feels like miles! It’s the best beach on the island for those who have fear around water and it’s a spectacle for anyone to see. We visited the beach on a day where the wind was 30 mph and the water still looked amazing, a true testament to natural beauty!
Again the only natural shade from the sun is in the water but if you are wanting to spend the day here there is the option of sun protection by paying for one of the set up sun loungers and umbrellas at the beach entrance. We wandered further down and just placed our own towel but we were only there for a few hours and spent the majority of the time in the water.
Lunch at Tarantella
After splashing about we built up an appetite and with a little impromptu google search we found the closest restaurant to the beach was Tarantella. There weren’t many reviews but it’s proximity was a win for us, just 9 minutes on the ATV. Turned out the restaurant was blooming fantastic! We followed google maps as best we could and then walked from the beach up to find a simple open air cafeteria style restaurant with some of the most insane dining views in Milos! The food was incredibly fresh and delicious and the service was great. I highly recommend lunch here because after you’ve stuffed yourself with traditional greek food the beach below is an amazing place to spend the rest of the day.
An evening in Plaka
We saved the most famous spot to watch the sunset until our last night, in Milos, that place is Plaka. The oldest town on the island and the most quintessentially Greek town, it’s a beautiful place to spend an evening. You simply follow the sun (and crowds) up to the church for the sunset and then wander along the cobbles and through the narrow walkways for your evening’s al fresco dining experience. We ate at Avli-Milos and the food was divine, the setting was super pretty too but it was a restaurant that was very much ‘on Greek time’ we waited a good hour in between our starter and main which was a stress for us having to return our ATV that evening. If you have no strict plans after your meal the food was, trust me, worth the wait. I will spend many evenings dreaming about the vegetarian lasagne in particular 😉
The following morning we had a transfer service (booked by our accommodation) drop us back at the port for our journey to continue to Santorini.
Milos was marvellous. We didn’t see everywhere on our list after the winds wiped out the chance to visit some of the beaches BUT there’s nothing as satisfying as a solid reason to return right? 😉