Greek island hopping in Milos – is there a sentence that could sound more enticing? We’re already getting visions of the southern Med, with azure sea waters and crooked tavernas smelling of BBQ fish and saganaki cheese. We’re already dreaming of remote Greek coves and sunsets that blaze red and pink across the Aegean.
The truth is that Greek island hopping in Milos offers all that and more. This speck on the map of the Cyclades chain is a regular addition to through trips around these famous isles. And for good reason, too. It’s a rugged, wild, largely untouched volcanic rock that some say is even more dramatic to gaze at than Santorini (steady on!). Famous for its white-rock geology and lunar landscapes, it boasts a whopping 40 coves and beaches, along with rustic towns and mystical catacombs.
Tempted? Of course you are. This guide runs through all the ins and outs of Greek island hopping, Milos style. We’ll look at where you should arrive from, where you can go next, some of the best places to stay, and the things you should absolutely not miss before you board the boat again. Let’s go…
How to get to Milos by ferry
Island hopping in Milos is all about making use of the efficient ferries that run between the Greek islands. You’ll want to do that in the spring, summer, or autumn, because many of the services to islands like this will stop for the colder months or suffer from interruptions because of storms between November and December.
These days, virtually all the ferries traveling around the Aegean can be booked online. Aggregators like Direct Ferries and Greek Ferries let you compare and contrast deals with different boat companies in just a single search. Most companies will also let you pay for and download your ticket online. Easy.
Where you catch the boat will depend on where you come in from. Virtually all the boat arrivals come into Milos at the port of Adamas. That’s tucked into the central caldera of the island and is the main town, with many of the more affordable hotels and a range of excellent tavernas – the perfect base for your explorations if you ask us!
Where to go before Milos
The good news is that Milos is connected to loads of spots around the Aegean and even further afield. Some of the most popular places to add to that island hopping itinerary prior to your stop in Milos are:
- Sifnos (45 min on fast ferries. Costs around 30 EUR per person) – A super-chilled Cyclades isle that not many know about. Come here to laze on Chrysopigi Beach beneath a whitewashed Orthodox monastery.
- Folengadros (40 minutes. Costs around 25-30 EUR per person) – Often touted as an alternative to Santorini, Folegandros is a rocky isle with precipitously perched villages painted in white.
- Santorini (Takes 2-5 hours. Costs from 17 EUR to 70 EUR for the fastest boats) – The iconic island of Santorini might be one of the priciest in the Aegean, but it’s a bucket-list stop for anyone going Greek island hopping in Milos’s direction!
More convenient options that can get you straight to Milos after landing in Greece include:
- Heraklion (Takes around 10 hours overnight. Costs around 21 EUR per person) – The main port and the capital of Crete. This one’s a great option if you want to make use of the low-cost flights to Greece’s biggest island, see the rugged mountains there, and then start your Greek island hopping in Milos.
- Piraeus (Takes around 4-6 hours, costs up to 44 EUR per person for fast ferries and around 31 EUR for slower ferries) – This is the main port of Athens. It’s the option to go for if you’re coming into Athens International Airport because there’s now a metro connection from the arrival terminal to the boats that involves just one change and takes 1.5 hours in total.
Where you’ll arrive in Milos
All travelers who are planning on island hopping Milos this year can expect to arrive via boat into the port of Adamantas (also shortened to Adamas). It’s the only real town on the island, huddling around a bijou harbor in the middle of a central bay.
The ferry ports are right at the town’s north-western tip. That’s the marina, and it’s positively bustling with life – there are more tavernas and Greek-coffee scented cafés to get stuck into than you could possibly need.
The whole town is easy to walk around. End to end it takes less than 30 minutes. You will need other transport to escape to the beaches and explore the rest of the island, though…
How to get around Milos
A lot of people on an island-hopping trip to Milos will outsource their travels around the island itself to the local tour operators. That’s a good option if you don’t have much time but want to see the top sights. Day trips on a boat to the main beaches and the famous white-rock coves start at around 45 EUR per person. You can usually book them straight from your hotel, but we’d recommend doing that online before you arrive if you’re traveling in the high season months between May and August.
If, like us, you prefer to hit the road on your own, you could also opt for:
- Rental car – The eastern side of Milos has some decent roads, but you will be limited with a rental car in the west. The tracks there are just that…tracks. They’re windy, rocky, and most certainly not the place for a hired FIAT Panda!
- ATV – The fun option. This is the most adrenaline-pumping and novelty way to navigate Milos. A lot of travelers choose to hit the roads on these rugged buggies. They can handle a lot more than a rental car and should be able to whisk you to most of the coves and lookout points.
- Boat –120 EUR/day can score you you’re very own little motorboat on Milos. Considering the coastline is the main attraction here, it’s a great way to check off the major sights in a single sitting. It also means you can just dive into the Aegean Sea whenever you get a little hot!
The top things to see in Milos
There are somethings that you simply can’t miss on Milos. Other spots are more off-the-beaten-track places that we think you should add to the itinerary if you’ve got the time. The main attraction here is always going to be the shoreline, with just a few quaint Aegean villages and historic sights thrown in for good measure. Here’s our top pick…
- Sarakiniko Beach – The piece de resistance of Milos. This is where the white rock of the island crashes into the pure turquoise of the Aegean Sea. The result is a gleaming swimming lagoon and a moon-like landscape of clifftops and caves.
- Kleftiko – More dramatic cliffscapes await at Kleftiko, which is like Greece’s answer to the Great Ocean Road in Oz. Stacks of perfect white rock shoot straight from the Aegean, while deep caverns carve through the Milos shoreline. Bring the waterproof camera. Boat is the best way to go.
- Firiplaka Beach – Wow. Yep, Firiplaka Beach is a stunner. Set under rugged white cliffs, it’s a sliver of pebble shoreline before an impossibly blue sea. Snorkelers and swimmers eat your hearts out…
- Tripiti – This enthralling village just north of Adamas port is where the legendary Venus de Milo was discovered (that’s arguably the most famous ancient statue in the world!). More than that, it has ancient catacombs and historic windmills. It’s one for travelers who want to unravel the island’s long past and heritage.
- Plaka – Scale to the castle in Plaka to see the ruins of an old Venetian fortress and catch some of the best sunsets on the whole island. They can even give Santorini’s evening shows a run for their money if you ask us!
Where to stay when Greek island hopping Milos
If you’re only stopping a night or two, you might want to make things easier and stick to Adamas port during your stay on Milos. Those planning longer on the island might want to venture out of town to get a taste of rustic Greece or a seaside hotel. Just remember that the bulk of the tavernas and bars are in the harbor, so putting that within reach of your hotel will liven up those evenings.
Some of the top hotel options for island hopping in Milos are:
- Semiramis Guesthouse ($-$$) – A superbly rated guesthouse that oozes traditional Greek style and sits right in the heart of lovely Adamas port. Great for island hoppers who aren’t staying too long, as it’s only a short walk from the ferry ports.
- Dioni lux inn ($$) – A casual but charming midrange hotel that’s close to the best beaches on the island. Expect clean and comfy doubles in a traditional whitewashed villa setting.
- White Coast Pool Suites, Adults Only – Small Luxury Hotels of the World ($$$) – Pamper yourself by booking into this uber-chic luxury hotel. Perched on the high cliffs of the stunning north coast of Milos, the stays here boast infinity pools that gaze across the Aegean Sea and panoramic terraces to boot. It’s one of the best honeymoon options going.
How much does it cost to go island hopping in Greece?
We’d estimate around 2,000 EUR per person. That’s based on an average length of trip, including around 5-7 island stops, decent midrange hotels in each, medium-fast ferry connections, and meals out in tavernas along the way. Of course, this can vary a lot. Overnight ferries from Milos to Crete or Rhodes will crank up the price, as will luxury hotels and bespoke tours. You can also do some island hopping cheaply – a trip between Milos, Ios, and Santorini in the low season, for example, could be as little as 300 EUR per person.
Is it easy to island hop in Greece?
Yea. It’s not only easy: It’s downright fun! Greece is made up of over 6,000 islands, many of which host whole towns and even cities. That means the ferry connections between them are very reliable and very affordable. It’s a cinch to plan a trip that links them together to take you across the Aegean, especially as much of the trip can now be booked in advance online.
What’s the cheapest Greek island to visit?
Crete usually trumps the bunch on the cost front. It’s the largest island in Greece and has two airports that are both served by low-cost carriers like EasyJet and Ryanair. Towns like Chania and Palaiochora are good options if you want to keep costs low there. The downside of Crete is that it’s so large and so far from the rest of Greece that it feels very much like a different beast. More traditional Greek island hopping in Milos, Santorini and Mykonos takes place further north, in the slightly-more-expensive Cyclades, Saronic and Dodecanese island chains.