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Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

Komotini, Greece
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Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

We got to Milos from Folegandros around 8:30 on a Friday night in early April and found a place to stay in Adamanta. We dropped our stuff and drove up to Plaka. I really wanted to go back to Archontoula, a taverna in Plaka which I loved when I had eaten there in the past. We found the owners there, but they told us it doesn't open until the Monday before Easter, and that's when they open every year, so we couldn't eat there. We ate at a meat restaurant in Triovasalos instead which was really good. Then we came down to Adamanta to go to sleep.

On Saturday morning we went to breakfast at a cafe near the port and then drove out to the Mining and Minerological Museum (which, again, I loved when I was last there) where we discovered that - despite everything in every guidebook / map - it was closed until April 15. Then we drove up to Plaka to see the Archaeological Museum, which was just as nice as I remembered it. Then we wandered around to find the Folklore Museum, but it doesn't open until May 1.

So a little disappointed at missing out on so many things, we went down to the Early Christian Catacombs. Here I was very pleasantly surprised, because all three stoas were open and visitable (the last time I was there, only one of the three was open) and there was a new section outside which was newly excavated. We got a nice tour from the guard, who was very knowledgeable and answered all my (excessive) questions. Then we walked to the Ancient Milos site to see the theater. The theater itself isn't accessible but we were able to see it from above. We wandered around the walls a bit and saw the baptistry from an early Christian church and some inscriptions. Then we went down through the beautiful town of Trypiti (which is really worth walking around in - what a great town!) to Klima (at sea level) to see the shipsheds/houses ('syrmata'), which were just as beautiful in real life as in pictures and of course totally deserted at this time of year. Absolutely gorgeous!!

Then we returned up to Trypiti and drove out to Sarakiniko to see the "lunar landscape" rocks - this was really amazing, especially since we were the only ones there! I had not managed to come here on earlier trips to Milos because I always relied entirely on buses and it was very difficult to organize a trip here - with a car, it was extremely easy. We had a wonderful picnic here enjoying the lovely weather. We also had the FIRST swim of the year here! Then we continued on to Papafranga to see the sea channels. I had swum at Papafranga in 2003 but now it is roped off and it appears that they don't let anyone down there. I don't know if that is only until summer starts and they fix the path or if it is a permanent closure. We peered in at Phylakopi which was closed by the time we got there - since I'd already been and my fellow travelers were not desperate to see it, they weren't too disappointed - if we had wanted to see it, we'd have to have come earlier, as it closes at 3.

Then we went on Pollonia to see about ferry times to Kimolos. I will admit to being disappointed by Pollonia - after the amazing north coast of Milos it was a bit of a let down. It reminded me of some of the beach towns in Paros. Then we returned to the main road and drove down to Katsarona and Zefyria, and continued to Palaiochori, stopping at a few churches along the way. We got to Palaiochori at the right time to see some really big waves. We wandered on the beach for a while enjoying the crashing waves before returning to Adamanta for coffee and later dinner at Yangkos Cafe, by the taxi stand, and we were pleasantly surprised by the food - it was creative and good, despite appearing to be just another cafe on the water. So good, in fact, that we went back again the next two nights!

On Sunday morning we drove out along the coast and stopped at the Alykes (salt flats) before continuing on to the beach at Achivadolimni - a really lovely beach, totally deserted of course. Then we went over to the beautiful Achivadolimni lake, a wetland preserve. We visited two chapels nearby - the chapel of Agios Nikolaos at Achivadolimni was set in a truly idyllic spot, with a babbling brook, wildflowers, trees, and a secluded little chapel with hand-embroidered icons.

Then we continued along the road to Agia Marina, the monastery built in the 17th century. From there we had an incredible view over the Bay of Milos back to Plaka, Klima and the other towns. We visited the neoclassical houses at Agia Marina, and then continued down the hill (a bit scary at first, but it improved quickly) to Emboreio. We stopped at the Agios Nikolaos lagoon, which was full of beautiful white egrets. We had planned to walk out to the chapel on the lagoon, but we could tell that doing so would disturb the birds, so we continued to Emboreio proper.

Emboreio, despite its name, is only a cluster of a few houses built ON the water. In the summer, there's a taverna and a few rooms to rent. The view from here is back across the bay, and is beautiful. You feel as if the rest of Milos is another island altogether. From Emboreio we followed the road up to Agios Stylianos chapel and caves. After the caves, we rejoined the main road up to the NNW corner of the island (Larni). We kept on going as far as our car could make it - not all the way, but only about a mile to the end of the island. We saw the stunning beach of Angathia (I think) and lots of weird geological forms along the way. We had a late picnic lunch at a panoramic spot in Larni. We then had to get the poor car all the way back ... we tried to vary the route a little but we didn't see SW Milos at all, as we were losing daylight by this point.

We ended up back at the Alykes where we visited the chapel dedicated to the Nazi atrocity that occurred there during WWII when Nazis slaughtered the workers at the salt flats. Then we continued due south to the southern coast of Milos, to visit Kipos beach and the little church of Panagia tou Kipou - packed full of beautiful antiquities, absolutely worth a visit for anyone with interest in ancient bits. We spotted an odd rusty object on the hill overlooking the sea, and a local resident told us that it was a German radar detecting station during WWII which was particularly advanced for its time and only one of two in the Aegean.

After exploring the church and the radar thingy, we returned by the same road to Adamanta, where we went for an exhausted coffee.

On Monday we drove out to Pollonia early (so very, very early!) and took the ferry across to Kimolos. The crossing was quick and we enjoyed the sun rising over Polyaigos. We drove off the boat and got on the only paved road on the island, and drove it from the port to the east coast, exploring various beaches and pretty spots along the way. On the way back, we stopped at the town because of the sun in our eyes heading west, and had a long and lingering coffee in a traditional kafeneion (I am reluctant to use that term generally, but as this place had an enormous steel shelving unit with hundreds of packs of cigarettes on it, as its main decor, I think it fits). We sampled the local breakfast cuisine at the bakery, and then we were back on the road headed west. We found stunning rock formations, beautiful beaches, lots of syrmata (those shipsheds) and ended up around noon at the town's center, Kastro. It reminded us a lot of Folegandros' Kastro - in fact, we imagined that Folegandros' Kastro probably looked like Kimolos' Kastro about 30 years ago. We had a very pleasant wander around the town, which seemed to us much larger than expected, and easy to get lost in. We finally stumbled back out again and caught the last boat back to Milos, where we drove back to Adamanta and had a nice afternoon nap before buying up most of the items in the Milos Traditional Products store and ... another dinner at Yangkos. We caught the late late boat back to Folegandros. We got in at 3:30am, in bed by 4am.....

Milos was exactly what I was expecting: absolutely amazing, especially the western half. We were blessed with truly amazing weather. We obviously could have used a LOT (!!!) more time in Milos, but because of my husband's work, and boat schedules, we did the best we could with the time we had. It ended up being an absolutely perfect weekend getaway. We weren't sure if it would be the right choice to go to Kimolos, with only a few days in Milos, but I'm glad we did it. Kimolos is extremely different from Milos - even geologically, it looked different. The Kastro was really something special - and as a resident of Folegandros, I think it was really good for us to see what a SW Cycladic kastro "should" look like!

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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1. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

Xaroula, you lucky girl! What a wonderful report! I was able to revive my fantastic 2010 summer holidays on Milos and Kimolos. I wish I was there.

2. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

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Leeds
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3. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

What a brilliant report Xaroula! Milos is on the list of islands to visit on my next island hopping trip and your report made excellent reading.

Ottawa
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4. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

Thanks for the great trip report Xaroula - makes me want to return to Milos.

Karen

Philadelphia
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5. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

OK, did you just do this JUST for Me? Because you knew I was finally going back to Milos, in late May? Such a pal. We'll have a car for just 1 day, so we'll have to make choices, but wow! you've certainly given us the itinerary; am printing out every word.. Will report back (unless hypothermal from water temps, which don't seem to be warming up much this year!!!). THanks!!!

Milos, Greece
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6. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

Great trip report, Haroula! I am glad you both enjoyed Milos.

:)

Just a small correction on a historical tidbit: The plaque at the airport (the "14" as the locals call it) was installed as a memorial to the 14 patriots who were executed in 1943 by the Inselkommadant (Island Commander) Fregattenkapitän Dr. Hans Kawelmacher for alleged sabotage.

The 14 were not necessarily workers of the salt mines. In February, 1943, the RAF bombed and sunk the freighter "Artemis Pitta" in the bay of Milos. Debris from the wreck, mostly barrels of oil, were washed ashore in Achivadolimni beach. Local residents, starving from the ravages of the war rushed to the beach to scavenge the barrels, believing they contained olive oil, and were arrested by a German Kriegsmarine patrol. Two days later, on February 23, 1943, they were executed under orders of Dr. Hans Kawelmacher for sabotage.

Dr. Hans Kawelmacher was also reported to have been involved in the massacre of approximately 1000 Jews in Libau, Latvia, in 1941. He was released from POW camp in 1950, but was never convicted of war crimes.

Andreas

I am milosisforlovers on Facebook

Milos, Greece
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7. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

The German radar you noticed while in Provatas or Kipos, was a Wuerzburg-Riese:

www.facebook.com/media/set/…

In the facebook group Milos in WWII, you may also view a short morphing movie of this radar:

www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12945903861

Andreas

I am milosisforlovers on Facebook

Komotini, Greece
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8. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

Wow Andrea thanks for that info! That wasn't in any of our guidebooks. Okay my internet connection is too slow to open those links but I will look at them later when I have a better connection.

Jan you know I did it all for you!! :)

Edited: 12:39 pm, May 13, 2011
9. Re: Trip Report: Weekend in Milos & Kimolos

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