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top five guide: milos, greece

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Milos Greece Island Blue Water Rocky Beach Ocean 2022

Planning our first Greece island-hopping trip was quite the assignment. Unlike other popular European vacation spots like the French Riviera, Amalfi Coast, or Balearic Islands, Greece is in a league of its own when it comes to the sheer quantity of beautiful coastal and island destinations. There are, quite literally, dozens (perhaps hundreds?) of places from which to choose, which rendered a relentless travel planner like me indecisive.

While pictures of pristine white houses and luxe beach clubs in Santorini and Mykonos have littered my feeds for years, something wasn't quite drawing me to those islands. To me (and according to the internet, many others), these places seemed a bit overtouristed, overhyped, and overpriced. Seeking alternative islands with the same or greater natural beauty and classic Greek island aesthetic, I ultimately turned to friends, followers, and good old social media propaganda to build a case for where to go. From that effort, a clear answer prevailed: Milos, an island in the same group as the aforementioned islands, but far less crowded and with otherworldly natural beauty.

Milos is an absolute stunner, with all the beautiful beaches and charming island life that you could possibly hope for in a Greek vacation. While it is still relatively quieter and less developed than Santorini and Mykonos, that will no doubt be changing quickly, and I feel privileged to have visited before the crowds inevitably arrive. If unforgettable beaches, shining turquoise water, and dramatic landscapes are what you're after, get to Milos and get there quickly.

Here are my top five tips for a trip to Milos:

White Pebble Suites Boutique Resort Milos Greece Breakfast Patio 2022

1: where to stay

There are a few towns on this small island that you can stay in, though Pollonia is your best bet. It has a great mix of being busy enough to keep you entertained while still feeling like a serene getaway. We were lucky to nab a discounted, shoulder-season stay at the boutique five-star hotel White Pebble Suites. This was truly one of the best stays of my life, with beautifully minimalist interiors, gorgeous seafront views, and insanely over-the-top breakfasts (pictured) delivered to your room each morning. WPS no doubt qualifies as a bucket list stay. God, I really do miss that breakfast.

Sarakiniko Beach Milos Greece 2022

2: sarakiniko + papafragas

If there is one sight you absolutely can not miss in Milos, it is Sarakiniko (pictured). While technically a beach, it is more importantly a geological wonder and the kind of place that makes you question your own reality a bit. The white, moonlike landscape is thanks to volcanic activity, and it set against turquoise waters is a scene you will never forget. A similarly rocky and dramatic landscape can be found just down the road from Sarakiniko: Papafragas (pictured in top photo). Spend some time wandering the craggy cliffs and admiring the crashing waves below.

Tsigrado Beach Aerial View Milos Greece 2022

3: tsigrado + fyriplaka

If you are looking for a slightly more traditional beach setting without sacrificing an unforgettable landscape, head to the southern coast of the island to Tsigrado Beach (pictured). This somewhat secluded beach is surrounded by towering cliffs, meaning to access it you will have to climb down wooden ladders and through narrow rock passages. Don't worry, it’s absolutely worth the effort. For something a bit more convenient, head to neighboring Fyriplaka Beach. It is arguably just as stunning, has chairs available to rent, and is surrounded by unique reddish cliffs that provide a lovely contrast to the sand and water.

Klima Colorful Fishing Village Milos Greece 2022

4: charming village life

The best way to get around Milos (and nearly every other Greek island) is by renting a scooter or ATV. Take your vehicle of choice on a day trip to the northwestern part of the island to visit Plaka and Trypiti. There you can explore narrow, picturesque streets, admire classic white and blue buildings, and spot charming windmills. Make a stop just below Trypiti to visit the ancient Roman theater ruins, then continue down to the water’s edge to the little fishing village of Klima (pictured). This colorful, picture-perfect town is a great place to stop for lunch on the water.

O! Hamos! Greek Taverna Restaurant Milos Greece 2022

5: o! hamos!

There is something special about family-run Greek tavernas, and you will find many of them on any island. My favorite taverna we visited in all of Greece happens to be located just about a mile outside of Milos’ port town: O! Hamos!. While the name may seem a bit unconventional, everything else about this place is all about tried-and-true Greek family tradition. Their must-try specialty is cheese from their own goat farm, which you can sample in their version of the delicious Milos specialty pitarakia.

You can't always do it all, so one thing we didn’t do but wish we had:

Take a boat tour around the island. Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side during our trip to Milos. We actually got stuck on the island an extra day due to extreme winds that were so fierce, they actually shut down ferry services and flights to most islands across the sea. That meant a boat tour was a definite no-no, but I hope to return someday to take one!

Have a great trip! Feel free to leave a comment with your own favorites. You can also find these recommendations (and more!) in map format by following me on the Out of Office app.


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