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Milos Greece Itinerary

Until recently, Milos was a relatively unknown island in Greece compared to it’s famous Cyclades sisters – Santorini and Mykonos. However, in 2017, Milos was thrown into the limelight. Vogue named the island one of their top five places to visit in 2017, and Conde Nast wrote an article explaining why Milos is the untouched Greek island that travellers have been looking for. 


Milos Quote

After reading about this island, I was determined to visit before it became the next Santorini. I was so excited about Milos, and let me tell you, it lived up to the hype and exceeded my expectations. It was easily my favourite island that we visited in the Cyclades.

So, without further delay, I present you all the information you need you have an absolutely perfect trip to Milos with my ‘4 Days in Milos’ island guide.

4 Days in Milos, Greece

WHERE TO STAY IN MILOS

Hotel Eleni: You need to stay here.

I could go on an on about what makes Hotel Eleni so special, but you can’t truly understand how great this accomodation is unless you stay here yourself.

Located steps away from the the Adamas town centre [and the ferry port] Hotel Eleni is clean, offers huge rooms, and it incredibly affordable. But what makes this place so special is the host and hotel namesake herself, Eleni.

Eleni is the most gracious host and a modern day superwomen – a small business owner, mom, and caregiver to everyone she meets. She loves her home island of Milos and will do anything to make your time there so special. She gave us the best recommendations for food, arranged our rental car, and was always around to tell stories and ask about our day. I could go on and on about why I love Hotel Eleni so much – and I’m not the only one [just check out the hotel reviews on TripAdvisor]. 


GETTING TO & AROUND MILOS

The best way to get around Milos is to rent a car or an ATV. We rented both and it really was the convenient way to see this large island. The roads in Milos are mostly accessible and well-paved. There were a few dirt roads that made us a bit uneasy, but the lack of traffic made it much easier to navigate than the other Greek islands we visited.

Please be aware, if you do not live in the EU, Milos driving laws require you to have an international driver’s license. Make sure you look into this before you leave to avoid disappointment.

There is also public transportation available in Milos, however I heard it does not run regularly and is quite unreliable. If you don’t feel comfortable renting a car, you may want to look into hiring a tour company or driver to help you see the most of the island.


DAY 1: THE BEACHES OF MILOS

For our first day on Milos, we rented an ATV in the Adamas town centre and took off to starting seeing some beaches. Did you know that there are over 70 beaches on Milos!

First, we headed to arguably the most famous beach: Sarakiniko Beach [otherwise known as the ‘moon beach,’ for obvious reasons]. 

Here, we swam in lagoons, went cliff jumping, and took way too many pictures of the moon-like landscape. Although the water was a bit chilly in May, we were quick to adjust to the temperature and ended up spending the better part of our day wading in the turquoise water. There is no other place like this in the world, and it was easily one of my favourite experiences while travelling in the Greek Islands. 

Next, we ventured to a few of Milos’ famous villages: Mandrakia, Firopotamos, and Klima.

For the most part, these fishing villages were easy to get find and access. What made them extra special was that there was virtually no tourists there! We were able to walk around the villages where we witnessed locals sitting on their balconies above the colourful garage doors. It felt like paradise and in that moment, I knew exactly where I wanted to retire someday.

Finally, we headed to explore the Tripiti and Plaka area before heading back to our hotel to get ready for one of our many amazing dinners on the island! [see below for food & drink recommendations]


DAY 2: SAILING AROUND MILOS

This day was my BEST day in Greece. And I owe it all to our boat tour with Milos Oneiro

Everyone that visits Milos must spend a day at sea. The reason being is that many parts of the island are not accessible by car, so in order to see these natural wonders, you must travel by boat. There are a TON of of tour companies offering sailing trips around Milos, but after reading so many reviews, I knew I had to book a trip on the Oneiro with Elias and Vassilis. 

The day at sea starts early with breakfast on the sailboat. Elias shares entertaining stories of Milos while you begin to sail out to sea with a small group of 10-15 other visitors. Along the way, we stopped a couple different swimming locations, where we were able to swim through caves take in the most beautiful sights. The tour company provided snorkelling gear to make the most of the experience.

We made our way to Kleftiko, a famous location comprised of the most incredible volcanic rock formations. Here, we docked the boat, spent time snorkelling in more caves and eating a homemade lunch prepared by chef Vassilis, which included lots of homemade wine and olives from the captain’s own backyard – the true definition of ‘farm to table.’

The day continued on the water, the drinks kept flowing and the afternoon transitioned into a boat party. Elias even taught us a traditional Greek dance on the bow of the boat. 

At the end of the trip, we all gathered around a table to share an assortment of traditional Greek appetizers, including freshly caught octopus that Vassilis grilled right on the boat! And of course, lots of ouzo. Elias told more stories while we shared lots of laughs with fellow travellers from all over the world. 

I remember sitting there in that moment and recognizing that its experiences just like that one – those organic, raw cultural experiences – that continue to fuel my desire to experience all this world has to offer. 

It is because of moments like this, that I will never get tired of travelling.


DAY 3: ISLAND ADVENTURES

On day three we rented a car and took off on an adventure to see more of the island. We started our morning as an incredible local bakery that was recommended to us called Kivotos ton Gefseon near Pollonia, a picturesque fishing village across the island. We walked around Pollonia and explored the town a bit before heading out to see more of the island.

Next, we stopped at another one of Milos’ 70+ beached called Papafragas Beach. You don’t need to spend much time here, but it is a really cool cave beach and definitely worth stopping at if you’re near Pollonia.

We then headed to the old abandoned Sulphur Mines. One of the reasons Milos is so late to the tourism game is because it used to be a heavily mined island, which deterred visitors from coming. Now, these previously active mines are no longer in operation and serve as a really unique touist hotspot. 

Tip: getting to the sulphur mines is a bit dicey, with a narrow winding road leading down to the bottom of a steep cliff. I would recommend parking up top and walking down. 

Finally, we spent the end of our day at the last beach destination of our trip, Paliochori Beach. Here, we spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach, grabbing some drinks at the beachside restaurant, and floating in the sea. 

See also: Hike to the top of the Cyclades in Naxos.


DAY 4: ADAMAS

On our final day, we had planned to spend a bit more time in Plaka, which is an absolutely beautiful town in Greece. However, we were ending our two week trip and were feeling tired, so we decided to listen to our bodies, stay local and explore Adamas before leaving to go back to Athens. Despite this choice, I would highly recommend spending more time than we did in Plaka if you visit Milos. 

On our last day, we did some shopping at boutiques in Adamas, had the most delicious ice cream at Aggeliki one last time, and cuddled with my favourite local cat [a blind/tailless cat who I met on my first day in Milos and named Pelle after a tailless cat featured in Swedish children’s books]. 

[Shameless cat-related plug] This little kitty is clean and friendly, and is taken care of by the locals in town. She is always hanging out in the gardens by Aggeliki so if you happen to be in Milos and see her, make sure to give her a snuggle for me!


WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN MILOS

Ice Cream: Aggeliki, which is located in the town centre of Adamas, has the best ice cream. I may or may not have stopped in daily.

Dinner: If you’re near Adamas, you need to visit O Hamos for dinner. This was one of the best meals we had in Greece. In fact, it was so good that we went there twice! Not to mention, it offers the most beautiful atmosphere and fantastic service.

Breakfast/Brunch: There is a bakery near Pollonia that is a must-visit called Kivotos ton Gefseon. They offer the amazing baked goods and a truly delicious breakfast on the cutest outdoor patio.

Traditional Greek Street Food: There are two locations that we went to along the main strip in Adamas that offer affordable Greek food: YANKOS and Flisvos. If you’re looking for a quick and tasty meal, these are both great options.

See also: Everything you need to know about where to eat the legendary Naxos potatoes.


This island is so incredibly special and I urge you to seriously consider paying it a visit. With very few tourists, the best food we had on the islands, extremely affordable prices, and some of the most beautiful landscapes and beaches I have ever seen, I personally cannot wait to go back! I am convinced that, for now at least, Milos is one of Greece’s best kept secrets [just try not to tell too many people about it!]. 


HEADED TO MILOS? PIN THIS FOR LATER!

And if you’re island-hopping around the Cyclades, make sure you check out my itineraries for Santorini and Naxos.

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Naxos Greece

Naxos is an island in the popular Cyclades that has commonly been referred to as Greece's most underrated island. It isn't often that you hear traveller's talking about this hidden gem, which is so surprising because this island has so much to offer.

I'm not kidding, Naxos really does offer it all: the friendliest people, diverse landscapes, delicious food [the famous Naxos potatoes!], deep-rooted mythological history, and beautiful beaches. Simply put, this island is so authentically Greek and I couldn't have loved my time here more.

Are you planning a trip to Naxos? Curious about Naxos in May? I'm here to dish all the details with my '3-Days in Naxos' island guide.

See also:  A 4-day guide to Milos, Greece.

3 Days in Naxos. Naxos, Greece Island Guide.


Why is May the Perfect Time to Visit Naxos?

May is a great month to visit Naxos [and Greece in general]. Characterized as the shoulder season, the islands are still relatively quiet in May. With that being said, Naxos never gets that busy compared to many other islands in the Cyclades, so there really is no bad time to visit.

Here's what we loved most about Naxos in May:

Weather: We visited Naxos in mid-May and the weather was perfect. Sunny and around 25 degrees Celsius [75 degrees Fahrenheit]. The mornings and evenings did get a bit chilly so if you are going to Naxos to soak up the sun on the beach, this may not be the best time to go, as the water is also still a bit cold [although that didn't stop me from going for a swim]. However, if you're going to hike and sight see, the temperatures at this time of year are perfect! I couldn't imagine hiking in temperatures any higher than the ones we experienced.

Lack of Crowds: We felt like we had the whole island to ourselves! We were able to drive around, visit touristy locations, and go on hikes, while only running into a few other travellers. The beaches were also very quiet and we didn't have to make any dinner reservations, even at the most popular spots on the island.


Ikaros Studios & Apartments, Naxos

Ikaros Studios & Apartments, Naxos

Where to Stay

Ikaros Studios & Apartments

We loved our stay here! This family-run hotel is very clean and features huge apartment-style rooms, complete with a small kitchen, a well-kept patio and pool surrounded by beautiful gardens and views of the mountains, and personal balconies. And to top it all off, it is a short 10 minute walk to the city centre.

The owner Nikos and his family could not be more hospitable. They provided us with some fantastic recommendations and helped us arrange our rental car. Nikos picked us up and dropped us off at the ferry terminal, and really went above and beyond to make sure we had the best stay on the island.

I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again next time we visit Naxos!


Getting To & Around Naxos

We arrived to Naxos by ferry. We took one of the Blue Star Ferries, which took about five hours from Athens. However, Naxos does have an airport with direct flights from Athens.

To get around Naxos, we rented a car. Naxos is a large island, so a car is definitely the most efficient way to see the island. I've also heard the public transportation system can be unreliable and that it doesn't run to all locations. Therefore, I cannot guarantee that you'll be able to reach all locations in this itinerary by public transportation.

The roads in Naxos are most well-paved, with the exception of a few [which I'll elaborate on further in the island guide]. However, the island has a lot winding roads up and down the sides of mountains, which may be a bit nerve-wracking for some drivers. Just drive cautiously, and you'll be able to navigate this island with no issues.


Day 1: Explore Naxos Town [Chora]

Streets surrounding Kastro, Naxos Town, Naxos, Greece

Streets surrounding Kastro, Naxos Town

The main town on Naxos, affectionately referred to as 'Naxos Town,' has so much to do. Spend your first day wandering around the town centre, popping into the many local shops, and checking out some of our favourite attractions.

Portara: The Portara, also known as 'The Great Door' sits atop a hill overlooking Naxos Town and is a look back in time at Naxos' ancient history. It also offers beautiful views of the island.

Kastro: The Kastro (or Castle) is a fortress in the middle of the town that I would highly recommend stopping in to explore.

Chora Waterfront: I would definitely recommend walking around the beautiful waterfront, watching the locals on their boats, and taking in views of the Portara. There are also a lot of restaurants along the waterfront, however per the recommendation of our hotel owner, we chose not to dine here as they were overpriced and the food was sub-par [take a look at the 'Food & Drinks' list below for recommendations on where you should dine instead].

Shopping: There are so many local shops, cafes, museums, and art galleries in the winding maze-like streets surrounding the Kastro. The shop-a-holic in me got lost in here for hours. I even took home some locally handmade jewelry from 'Fleur D'or' and hand-painted postcards from a small local shop.

Take Pictures: There are so many awesome spots to take pictures in Old Town. Every corner we turned, I felt compelled to stop and snap a shot. This town really is quintessential Greece.

See Also: All the best instagrammable spots in Santorini.

Naxos Town (Chora), Naxos, Greece. Travel Blog.
Naxos Town (Chora), Naxos


Day 2: Hike to the Cave of Zas and Zas Mountain

We spent our second day in Naxos doing the most popular hikes on the island. If you're an adventure-seeker in Naxos, you must do these hikes. However, there are a couple tips you must have before you take off on this adventure.

There are two ways to hike to the top of Mount Zas - the "easy" way and the "difficult" way. We chose the easier route. The more challenging route involves hiking past Zas' cave, and up a very steep, rocky incline to the top. This route is not well marked, and involves literally climbing up piles of rocks. I would only recommend doing this hike if you are an experienced hiker.

Since we are not avid hikers, we decided to take the "easy" route and split up our day into two hikes.

Zas Cave Hike

Zas Cave Hike, Naxos, Greece

Arriving at Zas' Cave, Naxos

Zas Cave is famously known as the birthplace of Zeus.

To get to the hike, we were told it was an easy drive, with the last 100 metres being a narrow cliff-side road, but easy to navigate. Well, let me tell you that 100 metres [i swear it was more than that] was the scariest drive of our lives. It involved driving around a curved road, filled with blindspots, on the side of the mountain - with no guard rail. It was a single lane road with room for only one car, so if another car were to come we would have had to reverse down the mountainside. Needless to say, I would recommend parking at the beginning of this stretch of road, and walking up to the start of the hike to avoid panic.

We were told that the hike to the cave should be about 20 minutes, however it was not clearly marked and therefore it took a bit longer for us to find it. We were following spray-painted X's up piles of rocks and it was often difficult to spot the next X.

Once we got to the cave, we took a look inside and climbed back down. Quite frankly, the cave was a bit anticlimactic. However, I would still recommend the experience, as it only takes about an hour of your time and the cave has a really cool backstory.

Mount Zas [Zeus] Hike

The Top of Mount Zas

The Top of Mount Zas

We drove to the start of the Mount Zas hike. The start of the hike was not clearly marked, so I would recommend talking to your accommodation staff for directions to the starting point [where you park at a church].

This hike was moderate in difficulty, mostly due to the sun and heat, and took us just shy of two hours to get to the top. This hike was more clearly marked than the first one, and required you to follow piles of rocks that guided you to the top. On the way up you're surrounded by breathtaking sights - and lots of adorable goat companions.

Once at the top of the mountain, which is the highest point in the Cyclades, you'll be rewarded with the most spectacular 360-degree views of Naxos that you truly have to see to believe.

After a long day of hiking, head into the nearby village of Tripiti for a cold beer and local food at one of the many tavernas.


Day 3: Exploring the Villages of Naxos

There are so many quaint mountain villages in Naxos that must be visited. On day three, we hopped back into our rental car and set out to explore some of these local treasures.

Morning in Melanes, Naxos, Greece

Morning in Melanes, Naxos

First stop was small village of Melanes, set perfectly into the side of a mountain. We stopped into this town in the morning to grab breakfast; however, we were unable to find a restaurant that was open. We were about to hop back into our car, which we parked near the entrance to the village, when this local man came out of his door, motioned us over, and gestured to us to come inside for coffee. We sat out on the patio and without taking our order, he brought us the best freshly squeezed orange juice I have ever had, and iced coffees. There we sat, with the most beautiful mountain views, and experienced this extra special moment of genuine Greek hospitality in its rawest form.

We left Melanes and drove through the mountains to see the fallen Kouros statues. These statues are located in a quarry in the middle of nowhere, and can be accessed by a short walk. These fallen statues reach up to an impressive 10 metres in height, and were carved in the 7th Century B.C.

Panagia Drosiani, Naxos, Greece

Panagia Drosiani, Naxos, Greece

Next we headed to the popular Panagia Drosiani, a small  mountainside church. This church is beautiful, and extremely old dating back at the end of 6th century A.D. Inside, they have a variety of artwork that you can view. But perhaps the most heartwarming part of this experience is the two local village women who sit outside the church selling homemade olive oil and crocheted towels and cloths. I bought some beautiful local handmade souvenirs here.

From the church, we headed to arguably the most picturesque village on Naxos: Chalki (Chalkio or Halkio) for lunch. We sat out on the patio at Giannis Taverna, next to rotissarie lamb cooking over wood-burning fire alongside the restaurant. After lunch, we walked around the small village, browsed in a few shops, and took pictures under the popular pink tree.

Agios Prokopios Beach, Naxos

Agios Prokopios Beach, Naxos

After a busy day driving around the island, we were craving some R&R - cue beach time. So, we hopped back in the car and drove to Agios Prokopios Beach. There, we laid our towels out in the sand, grabbed some ice cream, and took a dip in the water. In May, the water was a bit chilly, but so refreshing after a long hot day driving around the island.

Naxos has some beautiful beaches that are definitely worth checking out while you're visiting. I wish we had more time to spend at the beach, because one afternoon was just not enough. Thankfully, we were off to two more islands where I was able to get my beach fix.

See Also:The best beaches in the Cyclades in Milos, Greece.


Food & Drinks

In case you haven't realized it yet - I am the biggest foodie. I love trying new restaurants, and I LOVE Greek food. With that being said, I was so in the moment on this leg of our trip that I didn't write down all the places we ate. I've done my best to retrace my steps, and give you a list of a few places we went.

Naxos has fantastic food! Make sure you try their delicious local cheese [you're often given a choice between this and traditional feta], and the famous Naxos potatoes. I'm telling you, you'll never look at any other potato the same way again after tasting the pure heaven that is Naxos potatoes.

To Elliniko: Located just outside the city centre of Naxos Town, this restaurant offers a great, high quality dinner. The also have a beautiful, romantically lit patio [with space heaters for chillier nights] that is truly inviting. As a Canadian, the cherry on top was the fact that this restaurant was owned by a Greek Canadian man who has retired in Naxos and opened a restaurant.

Nostimon Hellas: This was our favourite dinner in Naxos. They offer high quality, locally sourced food that is worth the price point. I wouldn't call this restaurant expensive per se, because nothing in Naxos is very expensive, however it is a bit more premium than some of these other options.

Scirocco: This traditional taverna offers a good meal at an affordable price. It is the perfect spot for lunch if you're spending the day exploring Naxos Town.

Naxos Grill: This local hotspot was recommended by our hotel. I've always been told that if the locals are eating there, it must be good - and Naxos Grill proved that point to be correct. The food was excellent and offered outstanding value for your money. This is the place go if you're craving a gyro plate, and other Greek classics.

Giannis Taverna: Located in the village of Chalki, this taverna has good food and is located in the picturesque town centre. It is the perfect spot to stop for lunch while you're out exploring the villages of Naxos.

Tip: You should avoid the restaurants along the waterfront in Naxos Town. They are overpriced, touristy, and according the the locals, low quality. Keep in mind that food in Naxos should be cheap. So more often than not if something seems a bit expensive, it is likely a tourist trap and I would recommend looking elsewhere.


So, that's it for Naxos! I hope you enjoyed my  '3 Days in Naxos' guide to this wildly underrated island. I really didn't know what to expect when we chose to visit this island, and it blew me away. If you weren't already considering it for your Greece itinerary, I sure hope you are now!

 

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And if you're planning on island-hopping through the Cyclades, take a look my guides to two of my other favourite islands: Milos and Santorini.

3 Days in Naxos It inerary

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