Milos
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THE SIGHTS OF THE ISLAND OF MILOS IN THE CYCLADES IN GREECE

There are plenty of special sights on the island of Milos, so if instead of laying on a beach you want to spend some days exploring the island there should be no problem making a choice. There are ancient remains and pretty fishermans villages. Besides that the landscape, the coastline and the nature should not be missed. Most of the sights can be reached by car, others only by boat. There are special excursions leaving from the port of Adamas. Milos is also suitable for people that like walking, with many paths leading through the beautiful nature,

The old village of Trypiti or Tripity with its ancient theater
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In Plaka and the villages around it you will find most of the attractions of Milos. In Plaka there is a museum with a copy of the Venus of Milo. The old city of Tripiti is worth a visit. It is situated on a slope and it was capital of the island from around 1000 BC to the Byzantine period. The best preserved are the walls and a Roman theater. This place is also a memorial where the Venus of Milos was found. The lower section of the city stood behind the ancient port and has been dominated by a small hill with a temple on it (a small church built with stones of this temple is now in its place). The theater can be reached if you follow the path down just before the small parking place (walk back a short distance). Most people take the path leading upwards from the parking but that doesn't go anywhere - it will give you a nice walk along the coast with beautiful views though.

The catacombs near the old town of Trypiti or Tripiti
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The most impressive remains of the old city are the catacombs, the earliest known Christian site in Greece, probably dating from the 1st century AD. They have been dug out in the soft volcanic rock. It consists of three tunnels with rooms on the sides that are carved in vulcanic rock. The longest tunnel is 184 metres long. Most of the corridors of the central catacombe are now open to the public, with the exception of the lowest parts where it is difficult to stand up straight. The height of the catacombes varies from 1,6 to 2,5 meter. The three seperate galleries now form one single complex because artificial passages have been cretaed in the 20th century. It is estimated that thousands of people have been buried in these catacombs. Unfortunately before the discovery in 1840 the catacombs have been illegally looted. The catacombes are opened every day from 8.30 to 15.00 o'clock and they are closed on a monday. You will go in with a guide that will explain things a bit during the tour. Below at the seashore in Klima there are quite a number of even older catacombs that you can only see from a boat (excursion or boat rental, see below).

The ancient town of Phylakopi
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Another attraction is the village Phylakopi that dates from the Bronze Age. Located in the northeast of the island between Adamas and Pollonia, close to Pollonia just over the hill. It is surrounded by a fence (no sign pointing to it from the road). Some of the houses in the city are located in the sea. It is one of the biggest cities outside Minoan Crete and Santorini. Also in the Mycenean period, this was still the capital of the island, to around 1100 BC when it went into decline. Some of the things that have been excavated can be seen in the Plaka Museum, but the best pieces are in the Archaeological Museum in Athens.

An excursion around Milos or to Glaronissia and the island of Polyaigos
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A boat trip around the island is also a fun excursion: a trip along the coast of the volcanic island and the inaccessible island of Antimilos or to the Glaronissia islets and around the island of Polyaigos. Every morning the excursion boats leave from the harbor of Adamas to the various coastal sights in the area. See Milos Excursions

A private boat trip around Milos or to Glaronissia and the island of Polyaigos
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Renting your own private boat in Milos and seeing all the coastal sights or making a trip around the island of Polyaigos might be cheaper than you think. Your chance to set foot on a pristine beach on a deserted island and make an excursion on your own. See Milos Boat Charter.

The "syrmata" of Milos
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The "syrmata", small houses on the coastline that are partialy or totally build into the rocks. They are former fisherman's houses. The boats would get stored on the ground floor during the winter times when it was not particularly safe to go out fishing. The doors and the shutters of the windows are painted in bright and happy colours. Typical are also the "square" shaped boats you find in these fishing harbours. Very nice examples of syrmata can be found on different places of the island, the most famous being Klima, Emborios, Mandrakia, Fourkonovi and Firopotamos. These syrmata are special to the island of Milos, although there are other examples in the Cyclades as for instance on Mesa Pigadia Beach on Santorini.

Achivodolimni Lake
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The lake behind Achivodolimni Beach with its special bird species. This is the largest wetland in the Cycladic islands and an important stop for migrating birds. The lake is seperated from the sea by the beach and the water is brackish to salty. The lake at Achivodolimni is a protected nature resort.

The mines of Milos
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From the moment around 8000 years BC obsidian (a very hard black stone where weapons and utensils were made of) was found on the island of Milos, there have been mines at Milos and people have traded in minerals and obsidian. Because of the volcanic activity on the island, the soil is rich in various raw materials and rare minerals. To this day there is still a large mining industry, in which a major part of the population is employed. Especially northeast of Pollonia you can see several large mines, but you can find them in other places on the island as well. It is dug out in such a way that you can see the beautiful colors of the volcanic soil. Actually it looks quite special. The fact that the mining industry is still so important has also contributed to the fact that the island of Milos did not become that dependent on tourism like many other islands have.

The landscape of Milos
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The landscape of Milos is truly beautiful. As I drove across the island it reminded me in different places of several other islands where I've been: sometimes it made me think of Samos, then of Crete or of other Cyclades islands such as Paros. But large parts of the island are unique and cannot be compared with any other island I have seen. The beaches of Milos are second to none and in my opinion it has the most beautiful beaches of all the islands I have visited. The coastline of Milos (which you can go and see a tour boat) is magical, just like the coastline of the island of Polyaigos which is located near Milos. A more beautiful coastline I have not encountered anywhere, with beautiful rocks in all kinds of colors and a clear blue sea. The villages on the island (with the exception of Plaka) might not belong to the most picturesque of the Cyclades islands, but the syrmata (the villages on the coast with the boathouses) with all their colors are very nice to see.

The village of Plaka
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The large village of Plaka is the most authentic village of the island of Milos. Here you will find charming streets, quaint shops, a number of museums (including the interesting Archaeological Museum), beautiful churches and a fortress, where you have a magnificent view of the island. In Plaka there is also a very good restaurant (see my restaurant guidebook). The majority of Plaka is car-free because the streets are too narrow. There is a large car park in front of the village where you can park your car.


Hans Huisman, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2014
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