Located in the south western Cyclades, Milos is roughly the shape of a horseshoe, sheltering one of the largest natural harbours in the Mediterranean. Adamas, the island's port and main resort, Is an attractive town with two lovely sandy beaches, Lagada and Papikinou.
Beaches on Milos come in a breathtaking array of shapes, sizes and formations: there are over 50 to choose from! Along the north coast, the sea has eroded long narrow channels between intricately-sculpted white rocks, producing the beaches of Sarakiniko, Kapros and, more dramatically, the sea caves of Papafragas where you can sunbathe on a tiny strip of beach before swimming in a crystal clear fiord almost enclosed by sheer white cliffs. The south coast is a succession of dramatic cliff-backed bays: the maze of rocks, caves and inlets of Kleftiko, formerly the lair of pirates; Gerontas, Firiplaka, Tsigrado, Provotas, Ag. Kiriaki; and magnificent Paleochori where you can experience tangible proof of the island's volcanic past as warm bubbles drift up from the sea bed .
The 126 km long coastline has also yielded some stunningly pretty fishing villages – among them Mytakas, Fourkovouni, Areti, Skinopi and Klima – notable for its brightly-painted boathouses on the water's edge, many of them carved out of the rock itself. Inland, there are more picturesque little villages.
The island's capital, Plaka, follows traditional Cycladic style, with narrow cobbled streets and blue-shuttered white houses. The island's most famous inhabitant, the Venus de Milo (unearthed by chance by a farmer in 1820), can also be found in Plaka at the Archaeological Museum, although the original now resides in the Louvre. The much-photographed churches of Panaghia Korfiatissa, opposite the folk museum in Plaka, and Panaghia Thalassitra, between Plaka and Kastro, the islanders' retreat from invaders in Venetian times, enjoy superb sunsets and awe-inspiring panoramas with all of Milos and many of the neighbouring Aegean islands spread out below them. Milos also boasts the remains of a Roman amphitheatre, venue for occasional cultural events during the summer months; and Christian catacombs dating form the first century.
From boat trips around the island to view the island's unique geology to bus excursions, car hire, local buses, jeep safaris and guided walking tours there are plenty of options for exploring the island. The more adventurous can explore by mountain bike or kayak, or take a scuba diving tour from Pollonia. Pollonia, with its peaceful tamarisk shaded beach, is the departure point for regular ferries to Kimolos, just half an hour away. It is a quiet, friendly island still little touched by tourism. The picture postcard village of Chora is just 20 minutes' walk from the port and well worth a visit.