Milos, the island of Aphrodite is located in the southwestern region of the Cyclades islands, and is the third in size among them. A rich collection of monuments that includes the prehistoric Fylakopi, the winding early Christian catacombs, the medieval castle in the capital city, the numerous churches and chapels, the museums, and majestic natural settings such as the Sarakiniko, the Kleftiko, and the Sykia, as well as the marvelous beaches with the aquamarine waters, never fail to amaze the visitors. Thanks to its volcanic geomorphology, Milos is outstanding and at the same time incomparably distinct, as in addition to the beautification of the scenery, this background contributes to the beneficial attributes of the thermal baths of the island. Its population reaches 5000 residents, while its extent covers 150 sq.km.
History - Culture
As most of the Greek islands, Milos has been inhabited since the Prehistoric Age. Findings have proven the existence of an advanced civilization dating as far back as the 5th millennia BC. This is none other than Fylakopi, the famous city of the Neolithic Age. The extensive mineral wealth of its volcanic surroundings, which yielded ample quantities of obsidian -used as a raw material in the construction of Neolithic tools and weapons- to be traded all across the Aegean and well beyond, fueled a rapid pace of development. Its strategic location between Crete and the mainland and the perfect natural harbor that provided shelter to vessels caught in heavy storms, enhanced this growth further yet. By the third millennium BC, Milos was already a significant centre of the famous Cycladic Civilization, with Fylakopi being the most important establishment on the island. The coming of Bronze, followed later on by Iron, made the need for obsidian as a cutting material obsolete, and thus Fylakopi and its industry fell into decline. Around 1200 BC, a group of Dorians originating from Laconia (Sparta) colonized the island. In the historical years, the capital of the island was the town of Milos, situated close to today"s capital in the area of Klima. Ruins of the ancient walls, the theatre, the temple and the marketplace still survive. The Christian catacombs ?coming, of course, from a much later period- have been found in the same area. The people of the island resisted the Persians, but it was their Spartan origin that caused their undoing; as the Peloponnesean War commenced, Milos was destroyed in 416 BC by the Athenians, who slaughtered much of the populace and sent its own colonists to inhabit the island. Later on, the main town was rebuilt and Milos flourished once more, a situation which endured through the Hellenistic and the Roman Era. A large chapter in the history of art is influenced by the sculptures of that period discovered on the island. The famous Venus de Milo, now in display in the Louvre in Paris, was found here in 1820 along with the archaic Kouros (statue of a young man, 560-550 BC) and a colossal statue of the god of the seas Poseidon (2nd century BC). Following the period of Byzantine rule, Milos, along with the rest of the Cyclades, was annexed to the Franks (1204). During this period it was renowned for its captains and sailors. In 1537 the infamous pirate Barbarossa captured it, and from his hands it came under Turkish domination in 1580, though no one of Turkish origin ever settled there. Due to harsh Turkish persecutions, many Cretan refugees found shelter on the island, where they established Adamantas. During the First and Second World War, Milos experienced the Anglo-French and German occupation respectively, while its harbor played once again a significant part, as four Greek torpedo boats were stationed there, fighting in secret well beyond the fall of the mainland to the forces of the Axis.
Nature has sculpted Milos into an endless sight of beauty, whose different parts are merely different angles of a beauteous setting. Its beaches are of unparalleled beauty, and many claim that Milos has the best collection of beaches, each one being perfect and yet unique and distinct in its character. The 13th century Venetian castle in Plaka is captivating, its view leaving a lasting memory on every mind, especially at the time of the sunset. There are also many beautiful old churches and chapels, spread all across the island. In a short distance from the enchanting capital, one can visit the picturesque fishing villages of Mandrakia and Fyropotamos, with the colorful houses (the "syrmata"), in the bottom floor of which people keep their boats. Besides, there is also the charming village of Trypiti (meaning full of holes), named after the early Christian tombs discovered here, carved into the volcanic rock. Sarakiniko is a location of exceptional beauty with smooth rocks of bright white, imposing caves and a small, picturesque sandy beach. Aghia Triada, the most significant church of the island is in Adamantas, and the site of ancient Fylakopi, one of the greatest cities of the Neolithic Age, is close to Apollonia, where an amazing group of caves can also be seen (Papafraggas). The catacombs and the ruins of the ancient theatre can be visited in Klima, while a boat trip around the island reveals an unbelievable scenery with the location known as Kleftiko (blocks of stones of various shapes emerge from emerald waters) stealing the show. Needless to say, nature has worked miracles on this island, and man has been doing his best to stand up to the challenge.
The tourist infrastructure of the island has been developing rapidly, as increasing numbers of arrivals indicate that its popularity is gradually attracting a well-deserved attention. The hospitality of the locals lends an edge of quality to the services offered, as they are unpretentious and warm, presenting visitors with a welcome surprise. Most accommodations and entertainment facilities are concentrated in the resorts of Adamantas and Plaka and include many fine hotels, rooms-to-let, restaurants, taverns, coffee shops, pastry shops, clubs and bars. A quality camping site can be found close to Adamantas, while small guesthouses, rooms-to-let, coffee shops and taverns can be found in a few of the other villages of the island. The markets in the main areas are well supplied, offering a wide range of consumer goods as well as top-quality local products such as honey, dairy products and "koufeto", a traditional sweet made of honey, almonds and zucchini. Water sports equipment is available on many beaches, while swimming in the gorgeous waters of Milos is much more than a refreshing pleasure.
All year round flights are carried out from Athens to Milos, and ferries depart from Piraeus with services being increased in the summertime.
Ferries departing from Piraeus link Milos, the rest of the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, Crete (Ag. Nikolaos, Sitia), the Eastern Aegean Islands and Kavala (Macedonia). From Rafina, there is ferry connection with Anafi, Ios, Kythnos, Eastern Cyclades, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Sifnos and Syros. There is frequent local connection with Kimolos by small boat.
There is an Archaeological Museum and a Historical - Folk Art Museum, both in Plaka.
Ecotourism, archaeology, therapeutic, sporting (water sports, canoe, scuba diving, windsurfing, sailing, trekking).
Useful Telephone Numbers:
MILOS AREA CODE: 22870-
POLICE STATION: 22870-21204, 21378
TOURIST POLICE : 22870-21378
MUNICIPALITY: 22870-21370, 21249
TAXI STATION: 22870-21306, 22219
SOCIAL INSURANCES ORG.: 22870-21216
MEDICAL CENTER: 22870-22700-2, 21755
PHARMACIES: 22870-21240, 21405, 22178
POST OFFICE: 22870-21214, 22288
TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG.: 22870-21399, 21599
PORT POLICE : 22870-23360, 22100
TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE: 22870-22445
OLYMPIC AIRWAYS: 22870-22380