November 24, 2013
The Greek island of Milos is where I came very close to changing careers to geology. The volcanic history of this island has left vibrant, dramatic landscapes all around its coastline. We chose to visit Milos because, not only does it have less tourists, it is famous for its beautiful beaches. Milos did not disappoint. We were there in June, before the peak season, and it felt very empty and relaxed. Every day we went to multiple beaches, including swimming off the rocks behind our hotel. The beaches we chose had little or no amenities, so we were very pleased about our decision to buy a beach umbrella at Carrefour before boarding the ferry in Athens. Another good way to see the beaches is by sailing cruise or a kayaking day trip. This guide to Milos beaches was a great planning resource.
At some point during the walk from the car, we felt like we had been transported to another world. The smooth white rocks form playful shapes and when walking on top of them, you can hear water sloshing around in the voids underneath. During our stay the Northern shores were under constant attack by strong winds and waves so we didn’t swim much here, but it was beautiful to explore the landscape and watch the sea.
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We read “secluded” and “access is difficult” and found ourselves on the way to Tsigrado. I’ll be honest – my knees were a little shaky when we reached the parking area. It was a small bit of rock at the end of the road, perched high above the water, barely enough room to turn the car around. We followed a local down the sandy slope until we came to some rocks with a narrow crevice and a rope leading downward. Access was definitely a bit difficult, mostly maneuvering our bodies through the rock and reaching my short legs backwards onto a wooden ladder with a death grip on that rope. (Shoes are must!)
The beach is quite small, and was happily buzzing with others who had attempted the climb (or the lazy folks who took the boat). The high cliffs offer still, sparkling clear waters, with opportunities for snorkeling and cave exploring. We spent a long day here swimming with the little fish, gazing at the blue water, and laughing at everyone clumsily making the trip up and down the rocks. This was easily one of the best beaches we have been to.
This was the geology beach. The rocks were just glowing in the hot sun, whites, pinks, oranges, grays… This beach is a series of three (or more?) beaches. The first had some chairs and umbrellas to rent so we proceeded to the next, just a slight scramble over some rocks. We stayed there, and we were alone for most of the time, sharing with only a few others. We explored to the next beach, involving another slight scramble, where there was just one lone sun bather with the beach all to himself! If you want seclusion, this is the place to be.
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We had read about this popular beach, but we had our first experience arriving here by kayak (our guide used to be a geologist!) The 6 boats glided around a rock outcropping and headed for shore. As we came closer we could see a group of nude sunbathers stand and gather along the water’s edge. It felt a bit like we were discovering an isolated civilization; the natives in all their glory observing an alien race arriving in their odd, floating contraptions. Soon enough we found the rest of the beach and, after loading the kayaks, relaxed in the super clear water under the bright red cliffs until the sun was gone and it was time to find some fresh seafood for dinner.
We often find that TripAdvisor reviews don’t match our taste for restaurants. Hotels, though, are a different story. We selected our hotel based on TripAdvisor reviews, and we were very happy with our choice. We chose to stay in Pollonia as it is quiet and quaint with lots of great restaurants to choose from. (We loved Gialos.) The hosts at the hotel were very sweet and welcoming, and the room was fantastic. We took a nap in the garden chairs, ate yogurt and honey for breakfast on our balcony, and took swims from the rocks.
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