Ah Milos, I’m not going to lie, in fact I may just be throwing a hand grenade, but stick with me…..a quick 40 minute Seajet boat ride from Sifnos and we are in Milos!
We are staying 10 minutes from the main port of Adamas, at Mandrakia a small village in a traditional style villa. It’s remote, coastal and we love it. – I think.
Throughout all our little island hops, I have communicated with the booking agent and have organised a car/pick up from the ports, mostly due to the times of arrival into port and it means you go straight to your accommodation and can’t lose the baggage, this is now island No – 4 and it’s fair to say, some of those trinkets have added a little bit of weight into the bag.
Our driver collects us and takes us up over the hill, down to a tiny village and again, although I have seen romantic gorgeous photos and heard about a restaurant we can walk to, my first thought is what have I done!!!!
Steve is going to kill me. His preference is to always stay where there is a pool. Yet this is my adventure too, so when I heard and saw about Mandrakia, I was in! This is the first place we are staying without a pool, and as we began to drive along this sandy dirt road, that for anyone reading this who lives on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, feels like the old road to Kimbriki tip!
For those that don’t see the pics below, although they don’t correctly even begin to capture the remote mountainscape and dirt rustic paddocks!
It’s dusty and not too pretty and then we arrive and I can’t quite read Steve’s body language, yet know he’s thinking WTF!
At our little villa is Dimitris, who says he owns this property. Dimitri gives a quick run down of the sweetest little villa (inside) and and then leaves and let’s us know our scooter hire, again pre organised will be here in half an hour, which it is.
Our booking.com room, which is managed locally by Milos Accommodations, has breakfast boxes and fresh coffee and juice delivered every day – there is enough for lunch if we choose to.
Back to our villa, it’s a funny little place with tomato gardens and egg plants growing around, yet also a little bit junk yard dog – picture besser blocks, old dumped scooters and all with the Rottweiler dog, walked by Pappoús on a rope, that makes me feel a little nervous.
Clearly there are some (I’d say turf but there isn’t any) wars, going on with the local landowners, as you can only walk to the beach by one path and to the little village by another, you can’t cut through the fence, that’s been constructed by Pappoús (Grandpa) who actually speaks very little English, yet as the days go by, we communicate very well and he offers us help in a crisis and a bag of tomatoes bless him.
It’s takes us 2 days to actually fall in love with Milos, it’s not a pretty island in fact it’s got quite an industrial feel about it and the landscape can be down right ugly BUT the coastal water, villages and experiences are next level and we slowly realise how frigging awesome this island is and how amazing all the nautical and natural beauty is and it’s all free ! Except for the boat trips.
Milos has just been one of those slow burns that crept up on us.
From the yummy restaurants that we can’t get enough of, where the Yia Yia’s cook with love and detail – one near our Villa where we have lunch and dinner, and you usually have to wait for a table, although we have never really had to do this so must be a timing thing or possibly the rain clouds. Medusa Restaurant Milos, is in the Mandrakia Fishing Village below our villa and introduced to me via Sally from Souk and Co and a friend of hers Lucy at Going Home Broke, a Northern Beaches Gal, living and working in the UK and travelling the world, and now also doing the socials for Medusa.
The restaurant opens ant 12:00pm and closes around 2:00am and they are known for their sun dried and vinegar BBQ’d Octopus, seen here drying in the sun.
The other restaurant we love is Archontoula in Plaka village, we experience lunch and a couple of dinners here too, because we love the vibe of the family owned and run cooked meals. Again, Yia Yia we are sure has made the salads and the table cloths and all the little cloths that the bread and knives and forks get wrapped in.
At both restaurants, they offer that extra little, and when they get to know you, a glass of Ouzo, a small bowl of yoghurt, walnuts and honey or a piece of the best Baklava or lemon (pie) slice you will ever taste.
The shopping, the clothes, the trinkets -Milos has amazing shopping, and I may have acquired a few things this past few days, bracelets, a bag, a bikini, shirts & shorts for Steve, oh and a jumper for me as on one of the nights it’s cool and on the scooter ride at night it is actually cold. Plus this night they even had a folk night in the village and I’ve never seen so many priests all in one space ! The street food, dancing and a street party that doesn’t start until 9:30 pm, live music, and our favourite Plaka restaurant owners say to us, we will see you later for dancing and we will dance till morning!
Not for us tonight unfortunately as what they don’t know, is I got a bit sick and went to the chemist, but really I need to see a doctor so went to the local Hospital across from the chemist. Steve dropped me off, and I expected the worst – saw an English speaking lady doctor who took my passport, asked me why I was there and my symptoms etc. and then she sent me back to the chemist and I paid €6 euro for the antibiotic. No hospital charges at all!
If that was America we would have paid $300 USD before I was even allowed to think I needed to see a doctor!
All of this happened before dinner and took around 45 minutes- so no meals or sunset drinks were.missed or holidays days interrupted.
We also love the super markets and buy our own fruit to go with the yummy yogurt that gets delivered daily as part of our breakfast box.
At the King of Laundry, we catch up on our dirty washing, nothing shrunk except the calico bag we dropped it off in. Of course we later discover they actually do Whats App pick up drop off service. 1 bag = €20 win for me! Although I always pack the Sards Wonder Stick for those red wine and oil stains. It’s so handy.
Now let’s talk about the cats.
Cats here on Milos are on steroids – compared to Mykonos, Paros and Sifnos the cats here are actually out of control!
Our Seajet to Paros from Sifnos, was another different style, and we actually joke later that perhaps they took cars and humans and probably cats to Milos, we have never seen so many cats!
We have a scooter and can tick off a lot of the must see places, like the fishing villages if Klima, Mandrakia, stunning by the side of the road, swimming caves and rocky cliffs of Papafragas, Firopotomas and two beautiful sunrises which were both different at Sarakiniko Beach, including having the drone up at Sarakiniko and Mandrakia.
We haven’t had the best weather but we’ve made the best of it, dodging wind and rain, we’ve seen everything we wanted to and more. We’ve been up for sunrise, sometimes waiting out a small storm or wind and just jagged the best of the best !
Snorkeling everyday in and around the fishing village where we are staying and the fish are unbelievable !!!! OMG plus I found more sea glass !!!
Our exercise and pilates plan has been average and our exercise has mostly been by way of walks and snorkelling swims.
We had an awesome walk up to Plaka village from Mandrakia where we are staying to the Plaka Venetian castle.
6.5 kilometres each way straight uphill to the old Venetian castle. The church isn’t open, however if you climb to the top they say you should ring the bells – So we rang the bells 🔔 it was a little rainy so no photos, as no camera or phone were taken just a great solid uphill walk for and hour and a half there and back.
We’ve done only a few walks like this, the rest of our exercise has been of the incidental variety up and down loads of stairs and Pilates – on concrete floors without mats ?? Ahhhh that’s a solid no from us 60 years olds, a few wall push ups but our knees just can’t handle the hard floors after 437 stairs and goat climbs.
The sites we have seen here on Milos have been unbelievable and all free that’s just blows our minds
I think everyone swimming, snorkelling, taking photos etc would pay £5 to enter but it’s just not the Greek culture.
If we were in nanny land Australia you wouldn’t even be allowed to climb the cliff let alone climb like a goat down and swim !!!
Our boat trip out to pirate caves Kleftiko was great, yet not as crystal clear as it could have been, It has been raining on an off for a few days so the crystal clear water was aquamarine beautiful colours just not sparkly clear.
But first lets set the scene; Steve and I have very clear roles when travelling together……… Steve manages the luggage and passports and anything kind of important in regards to documents.
He probably would pay for the meals, but that’s right he doesn’t know his PIN number to our credit card. Anyway anything of importance is usually handed by Steve, as in holiday mode, allegedly – I can be more distracted than usual. I still don’t often lose things, but anyway it’s just easier to let Steve handle his part.
We use his trusty backpack which I pop stuff into pockets off and he carries 4 kilos of camera gear for me too.
For some weird reason this trip, Steve has at least twice maybe 3 times pulled everything and I mean everything out of the back pack….. I’d tell you why, but I’d probably have to kill you.
The keys to the apartments etc, this trip with proper keys must also turn a weird way, because Steve seems to always triple lock rather than unlock the door, so I let him manage the bike key and I lock the door, and then pop the key in its usual spot in the back pack, but normally i pop it in my bra till we get where we are going… again I don’t know why.
Today this happened, we are on time heading to the Port of Adamas for our 10am around the island cruise, I have google maps on my phone telling me exactly where Polco sailing meeting point is and have just locked the door, popped the key into the usual pocket in the back pack and Steve pops the back pack into the bike storage (bin) on the back of the bike.
As he does that we both almost look at each other and know that something is not right……We’ve just locked the house key inside the bike storage and the bike key is now somehow inside the villa !!!! Insert some very colourful language here.
Now as I said we are early 8:30am as we planned to go get fresh beach towels from our accommodation place, grab a coffee and a little wander before our 10:00am boat trip.
What a nightmare, but not really because no one got hurt, we were both safe and I had my iPhone in my hand to call for help.
I mean even Pappoús from 2 villas down comes and tries his key to open the storage box on the bike….. offers tomatoes and egg plant bless him.
A hour later the rental company came and rescued us and although we left without towels and a coffee we made the trip with 10 minutes to spare…….
The boat trip: the wind was also making the water chop chop out there in the Aegean Sea, and we are so glad we didn’t cancel we just made the best of the day we had with Polco Sailing – who we chose because they only take a max of 12 passengers for a reasonable price rather than 35 on a doof doof sailing boat fully rocking and swaying, ah no thanks!
Approx 55 boats go out each day to the Western side of the island tours, almost like a fleet of private and not so private operators in anything from sailing to inflatable high powered boats – ( that on the day we went did not look fun at all).
The wind was making the water chop everywhere and all the beautiful peeps on the posh boats were looking like drowned water rats while those of us on very stable catamarans seemed to fair a little better.
We swam in coves and caves, saw how pirates hid in these protected cliff areas, that normally had crystal clear calm waters and from a distance, looked like glass and the sun just reflects sunlight back so they weren’t seen by other pirates ready to steal women and gold!
We sailed 7 hours around the back end of the island that if you wanted to access some beaches from land, you can only walk which would take 5 hours and apparently they have viper snakes to deal with !
Milos is apparently the hot place in the Greek islands to go to – I just hope they don’t wreck it with cruise ships like the other bigger islands !
Somethings just need to be kept simple and I can now see why this incredible island is how it is.
We shall return!
Mrs W and the best bloody bag carrier I’ve ever met, although we are going to need a bigger bag (just saying).