Updated: May 11, 2022
After Santorini, we headed down the dark windy road to the harbor before sunrise, returned our car, boarded a ferry boat and set sail for Milos.
The boat made several stops along the way at the ports of Ios, Sikonos, Folegandros, and Kimilos. Each appeared quite intriguing and just might necessitate a visit on a future trip.
Ios…doesn’t look like the wild spring break mecca for European college students that I remember from years ago, but our boat was passing during the early morning in October.
And finally Milos
We walked less than a kilometer and picked up our neon blue car. Thankfully we could drive a stick because the couple that arrived at the rental agency before us is probably still waiting for the non-existent automatic.
Our hotel was less than 5 minutes away.
My daughter insisted that we spend at least a few days in Milos and I am glad that I took her advice. The first order of business was to head for the famous Sarakiniko Beach on the mid-afternoon of our first day.
The white volcanic rock makes you feel like you're walking on the moon.
It was a slightly overcast afternoon and yet still warm enough for shorts, bathing attire and a dip in the pond.
As we continued our walk on the beach towards the sea we spotted a group or 20 somethings who were daring each other to race off the cliff. My husband said it looked like fun and wanted to give it a go, but I convinced him one of us wouldn’t survive the experience.
What a marvelous place; such a fabulous afternoon
After visiting Sarakiniko, we went to Plaka in hopes of arriving before sunset.
We arrived an hour or so before sunset and saw the sun’s golden rays shine upon the sea.
One of the things my daughter mentioned was the breathtaking sunsets that can be seen from Plaka. We found parking, but before we got very far, the skies opened up and it started pouring. Seeking shelter, we stopped for a bite to eat, (another good meal). Such spontaneity had a price. When it was time to pay, we discovered they did not take credit cards…and there was no ATM available. So, one of us milked our drink while the other ran back to the hotel. The lesson here is, don’t forget to still carry some cash, if for nothing else than tipping and minor items.
The harbor and our hotel were located in the town of Adamantas. Every morning before heading on our daily journey we would stop at one of the corner bakeries for spanakopita, Greek olive focaccia bread or a Greek flatbread with tomato and upon occasion a mpougatsa (an amazing custard filled pastry).
After breakfast we went to Achivadolimni (Clam) Beach and Lake. There we were greeted by a Willow Warbler. This common and widespread bird sports a bright greenish-yellow base color and strong pale yellow eyebrows.
Walking by the sea we saw a bird that looked like a Cormorant with a white breast and belly.
Our first day on the island and we thought we were walking on a really nice trail, but it was actually a dirt road. Thankfully it was not well traveled and we only had to move over for a car once or twice.
The beach had sand, fine enough to be comfortable to walk, stand, or sit on but coarse enough not to stick to everything…aah the perfect balance.
Dirt roads are common throughout the Greek Islands. Ecologically they are better as they allow for the absorption of water after rain instead of runoff. Of course they do make your car really dirty and dusty. To go to Tsigrado most of the journey was on a hard-packed dirt road.
Less than a mile from Tsigrado beach was Firoplaka so we stopped by to take a look and to walk on the beach.
Back to Adamantas for an early dinner.
Not only did we not have a bad meal, we had many outstanding meals. We enjoyed sitting on the waterfront with our plate of fried gavros (a small fish found in the Mediterranean sea), a huge plate of boiled vegetables, an assortment of dips, stuffed zucchini flowers and dessert.
On a relatively drier evening, we tried again to see the sunset from Plaka. Although we did not see the colorful yellow, orange and red hues that typify an Aegean sunset, we did see the sun's golden light hitting the building through storm clouds and rain.
Sunrise ... Sunset...
When we told my daughter that we had gone to Sarakiniko as she recommended, she asked if we had seen the sunrise there. And so on 10/16 we woke up really, really early and headed to Sarakiniko. Despite being a little overcast, it was still a magnificent sight as the rising sun hit the white ash beach.
After enjoying the sunrise and our morning walk, we went to see another iconic beach, Alogomandra beach. The dark rain clouds added an extra dimension to what we saw in front of us and intensified the colors. The rain was becoming a theme for this island.
Our day was non-stop. We went from one place to another and tried to absorb as much as we could from each. So much to see…
As you may have noticed, there are a lot of cats in Greece and most of them are charming, with shiny pelts of fur.
Driving to many of Milos island’s beautiful beaches is an interesting experience. We rented a sub-compact Suzuki and while we went almost everywhere with it, a jeep may have been a better way to go.
The drive to Kastana Beach was downright scary, breathtaking and alluring. The beach had pink granite like sand and shades of chestnut, red and pink cliffs. I walked a good part of the way, not just because I enjoy walking, but because I was too terrified to stay in the car. It was a fun ride though if you like that sort of thing.. The rains had made the dirt roads on this side of the island quite slick with mud. Seeing road graders and tractors clearing debris from mudslides to make the roads passable was fascinating if somewhat unnerving. We later learned that my daughter’s rental car company would not allow travel to this side of the island. Hey, no one told us.
Castana means chestnut and as you can see from the color of the soil how that name came to be
Not to leave any beach unseen, our next stop was Agia Kyriaki. If you walk to the right you will see the typical beautiful Aegean beach but walking to the left brought you to these large red rock formations or small red cliffs which I found even more interesting.
For some reason I am enamored by both cats and birds and I love photographing them. Birds are a challenge because they are extremely difficult to capture and cats are just posers.
We briefly visited the Alykes wetlands where a Eurasian kestrel flew past us and where we saw the wonderful colors of fall.
One of the nice things about an island is that you can see the sunrise and the sunset on the same day by going a very short distance. The white buildings common to the Cycladic islands offer a nice surface for the rising and setting sun’s rays. The sunrises are magnificent and as you can see below, the sunsets are also memorable..
On October 17, our last full day in Milos we started the day with a trip to Rivari Lagoon. The cloud formations and their reflections on the water were awe inspiring.
After walking around the Lagoon, visiting its beach, and watching its avian life we headed to Fatourena Beach. While a nice sandy beach, it was primitive without the lounge amenities, snack bars, and rather primitive. Of course if you want peace and quiet and to get away from everyone, this could be the place for you.
Klima is a colorful fishing village. Everywhere that you go in this small town you will see brightly colored buildings, benches, signs and even sometimes sidewalks.
We opted for a very early dinner or late lunch in Plaka,10/17
Cats love the restaurants in Greece and in fact many restaurants have cats that they take care of.
After lunch we went to another colorful fishing village called Mandrakia.
When I went on line to get information about some of the places we visited, I discovered that there was much more to see at Alogomandra Beach than what we had seen on our first day. So, after Mandrakia back we went.
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On to our next adventure….