Cyclades: From eye-candy Milos, to its sumptuous Cycladic neighbours
You’ll immediately understand why your island-hopping adventure in the Cyclades starts on Milos. It’s not just because there’s an airport and it’s an easy ferry ride from Piraeus, but because the unique landscape makes you want to spread your wings… first here and then on to nearby Kimolos, delicious Sifnos and charming Serifos. Are you ready?
Discovering the natural treasure that is Milos
Milos’ volcanic past gave birth to some of the most iconic scenery in Greece. This is an island that stretches the imagination as much as it does the holiday season, ideal for an island break as much as it is for a summer vacation. And it’s a perfect point of departure for other islands in the Cyclades.
There’s more than a touch of drama to the coastline and beaches… Palaiochori, Papafragas, Gerontas, Plathiena… or perhaps Tsigrado (reached by rope) and its big sandy sister next door, Firiplaka. Wherever you go, you’ll be left wondering just how the rocks do that mineral red-green-yellow thing.
Sarakiniko (with its photoshoot-ready white rock formations) and Kleftiko (with its pirate-hideaway past) are must-sees. As are the pretty-as-a-picture fishermen’s boat houses of Klima and Mandrakia, the early Christian catacombs, the disused sulphur mines and informative mineral museum – which answers all those questions about the colours of the rocks.
The reflected beauty of Kimolos
It’s around a 40-minute hop to Milos’ volcanic little brother, Kimolos, an island the Venetian’s christened Arzantiera because of the silver once mined here. Nowadays, it’s the sandy beaches that provide the island’s reflected beauty – amongst them Ellinika, with its ancient tombs visible from the shore, family-friendly Aliki and Prasa, a favourite of monk seals when tourists aren’t there. Kimolos manages to mix exotic beauty with and rugged wildness.
The Horio is not so much a town but a hamlet, simple and utterly charming, with beautifully tended patios and welcoming locals. There are hiking routes and a medieval castle and archaeological museum but, let’s face it, you’re probably here for the beaches and absolute serenity.
Celebrating delicious Sifnos
From Milos you could also head to Sifnos (from 40 minutes away), another gem dotted with fine with beaches but also famed for its food. Birthplace of Nicholas Tselementes, who wrote the father of all Greek cookbooks, in 1932, every festivity is accompanied by something delicious – Finikia (clove-scented, honey biscuits) at Christmas and mastelo (lamb in a clay pot with red wine and dill) at Easter. Siglino (cured pork) is found on menus all around Greece, and there’s the heart chickpea soup Revithada.
For beaches, the long, sandy Platys Gialos and Kamaras are the most popular, but look up Vathi, Glyfo and Seralia – the latter a small and fine-pebbled bay south of Kastro, Sifnos’ port in antiquity.
The blushing bride that is Serifos
And, finally, we reach Serifos, around 30 minutes beyond Sifnos. This is the quintessential Cycladic island with a cluster of bride-white cubed houses flowing down a hill like a wedding dress and an almost blushing charm. There are beaches by the dozen (more than 70, claim the locals), with Lia, Koutalas, Vagia, Ganema, Kalo Ambeli, Psili Ammos, Sykamis to name a few.
A boat trip around the island is worth it, with its swimming spots and views of mining tunnel entrances reaching deep into the mountainside. And take a long stroll up from the main town to the Church of Agios Konstantinos (and possibly the Venetian castle above it) where you’ll make your vow that one day you’ll return.
From eye-candy Milos, to its sumptuous Cycladic neighbours
So from the drama and intense beauty of Milos, you’ll experience the serenity of Kimolos, mouthwatering Sifnos and blushing Serifos – an island-hopping adventure that introduces you to the extraordinary diversity and wealth of sights and tastes that make up Greece’s iconic Cyclades islands.