Greece – Milos

Milos is a wonderful island of the Cyclades. It’s full of surprises, charms and beauties. The island is unique for its astonishing lunar landscape which creates unbelievable and imposing rocking formations colored in deep red, brown or glimmering white. Those fantastic hills and rocks are often emerging from a turquoise sea, bordered by fine golden, white or gray sand. Apart from sunbathing and swimming, this is an excellent island for snorkeling because of its many caves. Villages and small towns are charming and very attractive. The main town is Adamas where the ship will be docked. In Plaka, Milos’ capital, there are quite a few things to see. You can visit the archaeological museum where various artifacts from the excavations on the island are displayed. One of the most famous sculptures of the ancient world, Venus de Milo, was found here on the island by a farmer. There are a few shops in Adamas and Plaka, and you can get your own copy of Venus. Most bars and clubs are located in Adamas and Plaka.

Port of Adamas Caiques in the Adamas harbor Pretty urns out in the front of a restaurant; near Papikinou Beach View of the lovely Papikinou Beach Milos is famous for its lovely beaches. This is Provatas Beach and it is a perfect, sandy spot Our first glimpse of Firiplaka Beach Striking a pose in front of Firiplaka Picture postcard perfect...the ever gorgeous Firiplaka The perfect wading pool; Firiplaka Dramatic rock formations at Firiplaka We decided this quaint cove of Firiplaka beach was the perfect spot for a picnic lunch Beach shack; Firiplaka Sun worshippers soaking in the rays at Firiplaka Beach We love Firiplaka! Another angle of one of Milos's best beaches; Firiplaka Becky trying hard not to ogle; Firiplaka nudist colony Massive rock formation; Firiplaka Its hard to see the different hues of the rock formation from this angle, but Firiplaka's colorful geological formations are amazing One final view back towards Firiplaka Our next beach was this little cove called Tsigrado To get to Tsigrado Beach, you have to use the rope and pull yourself down. Here, Bob makes it look easy Becky giving the rope a whirl on her way down to Tsigrado Isn't this just the perfect shade of turquoise? Small church we passed on our way to Paleohori Beach Paleohori Beach lies off in the distance Benches at Paleohori Beach bus stop The Sirocco restaurant is known for its "volcano" dishes (baked in the earth) Wine anyone? Sirocco restaurant These pink flowers stand out against the blue and stone background Caique pulled up on shore at Paleohori Beach Paleohori beach umbrellas Bob, Ann and Robby took at dip at Paleohori Beach Entrance to Sirocco restaurant; Paleohori Beach The Sirocco restaurant had lots of unique decor lining its walls; Paleohori Sweeping view of Milos's northern coast Greek mile markers keep in line with the blue/white color theme A shepherd guarding wayward members of his flock A cave on Milos's northern coast A narrow channel brings gushing water into the northern coast; Sarakiniko Beach Becky strikes a pose on a natural arch; Sarakiniko Beach The pristine, shallow waters of Sarakiniko Beach make for a super popular beach The white pumice rock formations of Sarakiniko Group photo; Sarakiniko Beach View overlooking the pretty town of Klima Becky striking a sultry pose at the site where Venus de Milos was found Ancient amphitheater; Trypiti Snapshot of Plaka's Frankish Kastro Bird's eye view of the amphitheater and the sea beyond; Trypiti Lovely Trypiti is a joy to discover, especially down its super narrow streets (barely navigable in our compact car) Plaka's Thalassitras Church Bob and Ann sit on the rock wall leading up to Plaka's Thalassitras Church Detail of a Plaka church's bell towers Defunct windmills stand guard for Plaka Another view of a Plaka Church This house's pink/blue/white color scheme really stood out within Plaka's whitewashed labyrinth Another lovely dwelling in Plaka, Milos's pleasant capital Small church adjacent to Plaka’s Thalassitras Church Fine vistas of Plaka can be seen from the Thalassitras Church Plaka's Thalassitras Church is a popular venue to watch the sunset Ann and Bob strike a pose on top of the Frankish Castle Church bells and tower; Frankish Castle This meandering road is unbelievably picturesque (as seen from the Frankish Kastro) Close up of a church in the road (as seen from Plaka sunset point) The last rays of the sun. Our short day just wasn't enough to discover all of Milos's joys Robby watching the sunset from a corner of the Frankish Castle  (built on the ancient acropolis); Plaka One last glimpse to the west (Triovasalos) as the sun sets Scenic walkway (love the blue/white motif); Plaka Pretty view of Plaka Mermaid welcome mat; Plaka Cottage typical of many we saw in Plaka We definitely picked up some sun today Robby, Becky, Manny (Emmanuel), Bob and Ann take a group shot. Manny was the best, always checking our IDs while getting on/off the cruise Milos 15 Sep 07 01 Milos 15 Sep 07 21 Milos 15 Sep 19 foto gallery lightboxby v6.1

14 Sep: Milos had long been anticipated on our Greek Island itinerary especially after our cruise director, Dario, mentioned that it was his favorite stop on the 2 week circuit. After a bit of research on our own, we decided to rent a car and spend the afternoon on a whirlwind tour to explore Milos’s beaches (Papikinou, Provatas, Firiplaka, Tsigrado, Paleohori, and Sarakiniko), visit Tripiti’s ancient Roman amphitheater, discover the site where Venus de Milo was uncovered, and watch the sunset from the Plaka’s Thalassitras Church and Frankish castle. Quite a busy agenda, especially considering we weren’t able to get off the cruise until noon! By 1210, we had already rented a car from KozzMozz rental for 40 Euros/day, and we pulled back into Adamas harbor to pick up Bob and Ann. Since we had decided on a picnic lunch for the day, we pulled up next to the first supermarket we saw in Adamas and bought cheese, sausages, taramasalata (a pink puree of fish roe, oil, and lemon juice) spread, and a 5 liter box of dry red wine (one of the best bargains we saw in Greece as it was priced at only 9 Euros). The supermarket didn’t have any fresh bread, but the salesclerk readily pointed out a nearby bakery where we were able to get a fresh loaf of bread. After ensuring we had everything necessary for a decent picnic, we headed south out of Adamas and passed Papikinou Beach. It looked like a long stretch of empty beach, but the wind was blowing strongly, and we figured we’d get more shelter from the wind on the south side of the island.

Our first stop of the day was at Provatas beach, which had a nice stretch of golden sand. While we wanted to jump in the water, we figured we’d hold off for a while until our next stop, which was Firiplaka Beach. The view overlooking Firiplaka was absolutely amazing! We had read about Milos’s dramatic terrain and crazy rock formations (due in part to its volcanic origins), but seeing it for ourselves firsthand was awesome. We decided to have lunch here at Firiplaka, and afterwards, wandered down the entire length of the beach. Little did we know that a nudist colony appears after a break in the rocks further on down the beach…we kept walking and walking and then hello! It wasn’t a big deal, just a surprise and we decided to stop taking photos of the dramatic landscape as we didn’t want anyone to think we were taking photos of them! Except for Robby who took a cheeky shot (literally) of a naked guy walking past Becky who is trying her best to avert her gaze.

Afterwards, we headed over to the neighboring beach of Tsigrado, which was absolutely the best find of the day. To get to the beach, you have to hold onto a rope and lower yourself down the craggy rocks. We were rewarded with pristine turquoise waters that felt absolutely refreshing and wonderful. And we really did need to take a dip after climbing down to Tsigrado Beach as the wind had blown up a sandstorm on our way down, and now every single one of our crevices was filled with sand! Robby found an underwater passage off to the right of the beach amongst the rocks embedded in the water, and we took turns holding our breath and swimming through…it was a ton of fun.

After drip drying in the sun, we figured we’d head over towards Paleochori to check out what had been touted as Milos’s best beach. It was long and sandy but just OK…we definitely enjoyed Tsigrado Beach more. Next beach on our agenda was Sarakiniko, which had lovely white pumice rock formations, a cave complex, and a shipwreck on the rocks just around the bend. Bob really wanted to explore the cave, but since time was a-ticking, we decided to forego the cave explorations for Tripiti’s ancient Roman amphitheatre. Navigating through Tripiti’s narrow streets was quite a feat, and we were glad we rented a compact car. While walking on the footpath towards the amphitheatre, we came upon a signpost that marked the spot where Venus de Milo was uncovered. If you want to see the sculpture today, you’ll have to visit Paris’s Louvre Museum.

The view from the Roman amphitheatre was quite magnificent, although given the state of the crumbling ruins, we weren’t sure if concerts are performed from this lovely location. Since we had already checked with the tourism office and knew that the Christian catacombs were off limits due to ongoing renovations, we just saw them from a distance and made our way up to the old town of Plaka. After parking our car in the tiny town parking lot, we strolled past Plaka’s white houses and made our way through its labyrinth streets up to the castle. The walk uphill to Plaka’s Thalassitras Church was fairly straightforward, but we wanted to get up to the Frankish Kastro (castle) for the mesmerizing 360 degree view. This was definitely the place on Milos to watch the sunset! As the sun’s last rays of light painted the Thalassitras Church, we felt pure contentment at another beautiful day in paradise.

Plaka is about 5 km uphill from Adamas, so we navigated downhill in the dark towards our awaiting cruise. After dropping off our beach supplies and returning the rental car, we headed right back out for dinner at Flisvos. Flisvos has a fish taverna and a psisitaria (grill house), so we ordered a mixture of seafood and grilled meat, along with the obligatory tsatsiki, Greek salad, grilled octopus and beer. The pork souvlaki here was delicious, but both Bob and Ann said their seafood dishes were nothing to write home about. Ann was also bothered by the smokers next to our table, so she ate in a rush and did some window shopping in Adamas while the rest of us finished our meals.

The next morning, the ship’s captain advised us that we would be pulling beside the famous Kleftiko rock formations on Milos’s south west coast, so we joined the rest of the Easy Cruisers to admire these impressive rock formations. Apparently the only way to see these formations are to sign up for a tour boat excursion, which stops at the best beaches and coves around the island.

Overall Milos gets a cheery smile from us, although we definitely ran out of time on this island and would love to return back to experience it some more. There is so much to see and do here that one day just doesn’t do it any justice.

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