All starts with Venus de Milo, the famous sculpture. I immediately linked the name MILOS while scanning a Greek map to the Paris Louve Museum masterpiece. We started from Crete and ended up on this piece of land surrounded by water. It is truely a treasure island, a pearl in the Aegean Sea.
We arrived on Milos in Dec 2019, pre-COVID 19. It was a very cold morning , more accurately, right before dawn, as it was the only available ship. Around 4am, we pulled all our luggage to the port, officially landing on the island while hoping there would be a Starbucks or KFC opening 24h but I was too optimistic about the global influence of those big brand chain shops. Milos hasn’t got conquered yet. Not a singe shop was open. Lights casting down , dim orange, were welcoming but further away, darkness prevailed. We walked toward a car rental company, as I saw somebody moving inside, but we were told it was not open. Then we kept walking , feeling so sad all of a sudden, no shelter, no information and we had to drag the luggage, walking. The sound of wheels of my suitcase rubbing the rough road surface, leaving a super loud noise along the way, its echos bounced around, as if it wanted to break the dawn.
We found a little cafe at a corner, near a crossroad, serving coffee and snacks. It was tiny so we had to sit outside on its metal chairs, freezing and wet by morning dew. Heat hit the cold air like chimney pumping smoke out. Hot water was magical. Soon we could see above the sea a big veil of light orange was expanding. I read about the incredible huge natural harbor later and found it so calm of the rippers and so spectacular the nature can show. Walking while enjoying the great sunrise, we tumbled our way to find the Airbnb booked in advance. It was a very good price. Much cheaper than the mainland or Santorini, I guess it was because of the location of the island and it was less known. No airport on the island making it hard to get to it.
We had a few detours as Apple map was not able to cope with the area. We arrived around 6am and the landlady, a very nice local Greek granny was still sleeping. She opened our door in her pyjamas. Feeling terribly sorry to arrive so early , I was surprised that granny was very understanding. The house has its own bathroom and kitchen. I could see some style from the Santorini cave hotels. It was a great place to stay.
Sunrise at Milos, Greece | Dec 2019
We booked a car for navigating the whole island. Weather was changing all the time, as was common. First mission was to send postcards , a gift from our Airbnb. Then we set to find where the Venus de Milo was discovered. Then we travelled to a few beaches, among which the white rocky beach where pirates ( yes , pirates) used to hide was totally special. It was hard to describe the scenes appearing in front of our eyes, and no picture can compare to the real beauty. The process of exploring was also very personal experience, in other words, each person gets different things out of it, so I would not waste more sentences. All I can say is that Google map works better than Apple map there. And a hot water bottle / cup ( we have two Starbucks cups) worked very well during our exploration. And if you are more curious, we did not really locate exactly where the Venus Sculpture was found, it was an area, as described on the sign below( zoom in to see the sign at the site):
On the way to find Venus, we found something so special : an empty ancient theatre, of course it was fixed to show its original form. In summer time, performances are occasionally on in the theatre. We went to the center and had our singing/ screaming to check out the real 3D effect of the brilliant design. Without any microphone and things man-made, your voices traveled so far to reach every audience in the theatre, just amazing! It was a nice surprise to see a living and working theatre.
Rocky Mountains are common here on the island, with almost no trees growing on them. The barren surface was a big depressing but we drove along the small road ( where only one car can pass) and ended up in a random beach , more precisely, a small gulf with a church and some small households, crystal clean water, maybe with sea urchins. I saw clusters of dead tiny fishes , rushed back to the sea shore, floating, and couldn’t help thinking about global warming and the anger of the Nature. Sardines, or from any other species, some of them were dead for whatever reason. We carefully drove back, with the help of Google Map, arrived at the white rocky beach before a potential big thunderstorm was hitting.
We had to catch the next vessel in very early morning to Santorini. Those 3 days were part of a great memory. It was so zen on the island. Life there is almost remotely divine.
The rain was pouring down when we waited for our delayed ship ( about 6-7 hr late due to crazy weather on the sea). At the station , a wall poster reads “ BRING APHRODITE BACK TO HOME”. It almost made me cry. Venus de Milo, and here it is Milos, Greece.
This island has much more to offer in summer time, with so much more water activities. My limited impressions include:
- The nature ( especially for those living in city and want to find something quite different) is just so breathtaking.
- People are so kind-hearted and nice ( island people, my favourite!)
- Some places are not yet open to tourism so explorer might have space to discover ( maybe another sculpture, say Venus’s sister, if she has one)
- Long history , including those deserted mining sites ( now it was only a history) is unique.
- Good stay with good price ( for some places even have your own kitchen).
- A place where you can turn on the ZEN mode ( not Santorini , crowded in summer, and lots of refurbishing drilling noises in winter )
- Suitable for sunrise watching and star-gazing
- Could be an ideal place for writers, hermitage before the book happens.
- If planing on long-term stay, solicitude and solitude might come haunt for you. But definitely a good place to simplify the over-materialised lifestyle.
And more to be discovered…
Might worth a second visit when life is back to normal.