I’m completely in love with this island. It has many interesting beaches, adorable towns, cool topography and a nice little port. Like Santorini, it’s on a volcano, so the soil is rich and the rocks are a combination of frozen lava, volcano ash and red Sulphur. Our first day was very windy so we drove to Paleohori beach on the south side of the island where the wind wasn’t as bad. There we found a great taverna on the beach with beach chairs and umbrellas. Sirocco, the restaurant, had a volcanic sand oven that cooked much of the taverna’s food. The smell of Sulphur was strong in certain places, there were little hot springs under the sand (evidenced by a constant stream of little tiny bubbles under the water) and in certain places, if you stood too long, your feet would start burning. Michael was promoted to Deputy Safety Patrol Manager after a daring sea rescue when he thought Peter had drifted too far out on the inflatable turtle. I happened to agree with Michael and swam out to get Peter, when all of the sudden the turtle’s flipper was ripped from my hands by a tiny blue-masked snorkeler with little tan feet. Because I was behind the turtle pushing it to shore, I never even saw Michael coming. I just saw his tan little feet paddling back with the turtle’s other flippers firmly in his grasp. Peter, as usual, enjoyed the ride.
We took a nifty day-long catamaran trip around the island, as the most beautiful places to see are best by boat (and difficult by car). I was sure the kids would go overboard, but the captain assured me that in 22 years of sailing, it’s never happened. We saw the ancient town of Klima, the rocks, caves and beach of Sarakiniko; the largest catacombs outside of Rome; 8 dolphins swimming around and under our boat, the famed pirate-haunted rocks and caves of Kleftiko beach, and a church on a mountain that marks where Aprhodite o Milos (Venus de Milo) was discovered. We anchored 4-5 times and jumped in to swim in water so clear you could see your feet dangling above the sea floor that was 20 feet down. Demetri swam through caves and tunnels.
Friday, we took a day trip by ferry to the island of Kimolos, a 25 minute ferry ride from Pollonia beach where we stayed, and spent the afternoon on the white sand Prassa (“chalk”) beach, making sandcastles and climbing into rock forts.
We also spent lots of time in our beautiful house in Pollonia, where we could walk down the rocks and be in the water. One day the water was calm enough that we all tried the Stand Up Paddle board – even Peter – and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening taking turns on it. Michael was a natural from the first moment he stepped on. I had a good teacher (Demetri) who told me how much I would fall the first time out and how to get off and on – and how to jump off when I did fall without having the paddle board equivalent of a skiing yard sale (which I did only once).
We toured the ancient theater and stadium which sit below the Venus de Milo discovery site and just above the ancient village of Klima. Michael and Demetri also went into the the catacombs – 200 graves and 6000 buried (my grandfather would say “ahhh, bunk beds.”)
Each evening we enjoyed the cute strip of tsarotavernas (fish taverns) and psistariás (grill taverns) and found a favorite spot, Molos, with servers we befriended who brought us a drink of mastica and the kids a bowl of bubble gum ice cream after dinner. One kind server made sure to have us visit their sister restaurant (right next door) so we could eat the fresh red snapper that was being pulled off the boats.
Milos is one of the ‘undiscovered’ islands – not very built up, and no cruise ships yet. An article in Conde Nast Traveler earlier this spring spotlighted Milos and there were lots of Americans in the hotel (maybe the only traditional hotel in Pollonia) we stayed on our last night. Milos is beautiful. I can’t wait to come back.