… Where do I begin?
Today, Rhett and I are en route back to Australia after an incredible trip to the Greek Islands. We spent 2.5 weeks exploring 3 Cycladic islands: Milos, Ios and Santorini and in summary, we had a phenomenal time. Actually, phenomenal doesn’t really cut it. Sitting here, reminiscing over the last few weeks, I actually don’t think there exists any combination of adjectives that could accurately portray just how much fun Rhett and I had; our many adventures and days in the sun now forming some of my most fondest memories.
I think I will start with the island of Milos, the first destination of our Grecian getaway. We arrived on Saturday, 15th of September after a relatively ordinary 27-hour transit where we were greeted by the friendliest greek man, Giorgio, holding the keys to our rented white Fiat Panda 1200c.
Whilst en route to the car rental office, Giorgio (owner of Giourgas Car Rentals) armed us with a pretty comprehensive run down of the island: drive on the right, follow the one main road, the best traditional restaurants are located here and here, it is best to visit the southern facing beaches during times of strong northerly winds scheduled for this day and the next, so on and so forth. And whilst Giorgio’s guide to Milos was greatly appreciated, Rhett and I studiously absorbing as much detail as our tired minds permitted, we couldn’t help but get distracted by the stunning sunset that had flooded the sky magenta pink and the islands crazy landscape with its monstrous hills, dramatic cliff faces and still, calm water.
Within 20-minutes of landing, our decision to visit Milos, out of the hundreds of inhabited islands we had to choose from, was swiftly validated. Milos had made a phenomenal first impression.
Once my husband and I finalized our paperwork with Giorgio, we set off for Pollonia, a quaint, somewhat trendy, fishing village located on the far north of the island. I opted to stay in a smaller town, shying away from the main town of Adamas; a decision made based on TripAdvisor reviews and our general desire to avoid crowds. And honestly, we were so happy with our decision. In mid-September, Pollonia was lively enough that most of the taverns and restaurants were still open but just quiet enough that it created a ‘non-touristy’ feel.
Kapetan Tasos Suites, a private property with consistently great reviews and a central location for a decent price was our accommodation of choice. We paid €110 per night for a mini suite which unfortunately, didn’t include breakfast but what they also failed to mention was that they offered a daily complimentary assortment of fresh croissants, rice pudding, savory pastries and coffee every morning to their guests. Rhett and I felt it was a generously delicious touch and one that we both greatly enjoyed after our long days out and about.
Hand over heart, Kapetan Tasos Suites actually ranked number 1 out of the 5 properties we stayed at over the course of our trip. And no, that’s not because they gave us free food. Okay well, not entirely. But overall, their service, welcoming hospitality, and willingness to help made them our home away from home.
I highly recommend this property to … basically anybody looking for a solid accommodation provider, and would advise future guests to book early as they have very limited rooms and suites, all of which get reserved months and months in advance.
It goes without saying that I won’t be sharing a play-by-play of our time in Milos because a) I don’t want this post turning into a disturbingly long novel and b) my memory simply just wont allow it. But what I will do, is share my top 3 highlights from our 5-day stint, encompassing our favorite beach, lookout and paid activity.
Favorite Beach: Tsigardo Beach
Ohhh, my god. Tsigardo beach blew away all my expectations. A southern facing beach located between the very popular Firiplaka beach and Kalamos beach and easily accessible by road; albeit, a long and at sections, very steep road (would recommend a car over a scooter or heaven forbid, a 150cc ATV). Tsigardo is a secluded, relatively tiny, nudist (or at least, on the day we visited 50% of the occupants had forgotten their bathers) beach situated between two headlands and distinguishable by its surrounding underwater caves, incredible crystal clear water, and fairly precarious ladder and rope one-way access passage.
Another tidbit that caught Rhett and I completely by surprise were the small carnivorous fish that attempted to nibble at us whenever we stopped moving for 5-seconds. Rhett won’t admit to this, but one medium-sized fish actually tried to bite his bottom. Which obviously, I found absolutely hilarious.
So the morning of our Tsigardo visit, Milos was dealing with some uncomfortably strong northern winds, which was not ideal, but proved greatly advantageous for us as our southern-facing beach turned into the perfect little shelter. For a good 3-hours, on an otherwise very windy morning, Rhett and I swam, sunbathed and people-watched, happily unaware of the tumultuous weather raging just a headland or two away.
And whilst Tsigardo beach was indeed our favorite, I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the top contending beaches we enjoyed during our time in Milos. For instance, Sarakiniko beach was phenomenal. However, being a northern-facing beach and with the weather conditions being what they were, Rhett and I unfortunately did not get to enjoy this moon-like beach as much as we had hoped to. But I can say, from our brief morning visit to Sarakiniko, that we absolutely understand the hype. The landscape of Sarakiniko beach was strangely otherworldly in its appearance; a natural phenomena that was quite beautifully striking.
The third beach of note was Firiplaka beach, a partly organized beach located to the west of Tsigardo beach. Firiplaka is by far the longest stretch of beach in Milos and is as toddler-friendly as it gets (aka benefits from large spans of consistently shallow water that even I, a natural born sinker, could not drown in). Similarly to Tsigardo beach, Firiplaka is fairly easy to drive to and is yet another southern-facing beach.
Favorite Lookout: Plaka
Located approximately 4.5 kms northwest from the main town of Adamantas is the small village of Plaka.
Standing atop of Plaka, I enjoyed some incredible views of Milos; sweeping 360 panoramic, uninterrupted, eagle eye views. And it is no wonder as the small town is literally perched on the top of a very large rock and distinguishable only by its narrow passageways and limited car accessibility.
So I will forewarn, and it would already be obvious to most, that the effort required to move from the base of the hill to the main lookout of Plaka included a very steep, thigh-, calf- and ankle- offending walk climb. And truth be told, there were a few moments there where I was willing to forfeit said views, revert back and wait for my husband’s return from the safety of our rental car.
But good on me, I persevered.
Favorite Activity: Catamaran Tour with Milos Adventures
Our catamaran tour around Milos with Milos Adventure, a locally operated tour company, was an absolute highlight of our 5-day trip. As we set sail on yet another windy day, our original route around the island was altered to avoid the northern winds, instead choosing to focus our time traveling along the south side of the island and the neighboring islands of Kimolos and Polyegos. A detour that Rhett and I happily welcomed; an impromptu opportunity to visit 2 additional Greek Islands!
The tour we selected was the full-day, semi-deluxe catamaran tour (my husband and I can be a pretty extra, I know) which included lunch, drinks and an 8-hour guided tour of Milos. We were provided with snorkeling gear, an abundance of floats/noodles and offered plenty of opportunities to swim and sunbathe at each new stop off with ample amounts of time.
Out of all the places we visited, all of which were completely inaccessible by car, my favorite was the insanely blue bay of Polyegos, Galazia Nera closely followed by our exploration of the old Pirate Bay of Kleftiko, Milos. As is the way, our photos just couldn’t do these places justice, but I whole-heartedly promise, these places were absolutely worth visiting.
Overall, I would highly recommend investing in a boat tour and checking out Milos by sea. Rhett and I felt that it offered a completely different perspective of the island, whilst also letting us see untouched beaches and bays that would otherwise be completely inaccessible by foot. And honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a day out on a boat?
And that’s it from me today. Milos, our little adventure wonderland in the Greek Islands, combined with great accommodation and friendly, helpful service, has now cemented itself as one of my favorite places; a no regrets, must return visit will definitely be in order.