Milos is where the famous statue, the Venus of Milos (now in the Louvre of Paris) was discovered. One of the most beautiful and photogenic islands of Greece, it is a wonderful destination for both active and relaxing holidays.
Milos boasts a great number of superb and uncrowded beaches, as well as spectacular coastal cliffs with multicoloured volcanic rocks on display. It is exceptionally rich in mineral deposits and has a particular scenic beauty leaving visitors breathless.
The inhabitants of Milos are economically dependent on Mining and Tourism. Tourism has only recently developed and the island remains untouched by hotel chains and package tourism. Mining has occurred since ancient times and currently occupies half the workforce for the island. This dual economy has preserved an authentic local culture that is not found on many of the other islands that are entirely reliant on tourism.
Milos experiences a typical eastern Mediterranean climate: long dry summers, short wet winters and relatively warm waters all year round.
Milos Weather Table
|Maximum Temperature (°C)||14||14||15||19||23||27||29||29||26||22||19||15|
|Minimum Temperature (°C)||9||9||10||12||16||20||22||22||20||17||13||10|
|Sea temp at 2pm (°C)||15||15||16||17||19||22||25||26||23||20||18||16|
|No. of Rainy days||11||10||6||3||1||1||0||0||1||4||6||9|
|Hrs of Sunshine||4||5||6||9||11||13||14||13||10||7||5||3|
|Ideal Swimming Temp||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Perfect paddling conditions||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
The Sea Conditions
The Mediterranean is a closed sea so there is no ocean swell and negligible tide. Together with the warm water temperatures, the sea conditions are much easier and safer to kayak than conditions in oceanic regions.
The wind is the dominant factor affecting sea conditions; it can be strong and persistent at any time of the year. When the wind blows up it usually persists for 2-5 days, then dissipates for about 2-5 days. There is little variation in the wind strength throughout the day; if it’s windy in the morning it will be windy all day.
When it’s not windy the sea is dead calm and paddling to any part of the island is possible. On windy days waves can reach 2 m high on the windward (exposed) side of the island. On strong wind days, calm water can be found on the lee (sheltered) side of the island. For this reason, trips are always planned according to the wind direction.
When to Visit Milos
March to November offers excellent paddling conditions: clear skies and calm seas with warm water and air temperatures. The island is most beautiful during April & May when the countryside is green after the winter rains with an abundance of wildflowers. June, September and October have the ideal combination of moderate air temperatures and warmer water temperatures – perfect for paddling and swimming.
July and August are the hottest months with 13 hours of daily sunshine, water temperatures above 22 degrees, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The warm summer nights are ideal for moonlit strolls and eating outdoors. A good nights’ sleep is assured in the comfort of our air-conditioned guesthouse.
March and November see very few visitors to the Greek Islands. Airfares from northern Europe are very low and as kayakers, we virtually have the islands to ourselves. The mild temperatures of early Spring and late Autumn are recommended if you are more interested in kayaking than swimming – perfect for our longer expeditions.
The Winter weather is affected by continental cold fronts passing every 7-10 days. This results in windy, cold and wet weather for 2-4 days followed by a mild and sunny period. After the rains we are rewarded with an exceptionally clear atmosphere providing stunning views to the other Cyclades.
Spring flowers in an Olive Grove
Perfect swimming temperatures, May to October.
The island is approximately 20 km in an east-west direction and about 10 km north-south. There is a large bay opening to the north, almost dividing the island in two and providing a natural harbor. The surface area is 151 sq km and the coastline is over 130 km. The eastern side of the island comprises low hills and fertile valleys which produce grains, vegetables, olives and grapes. On the western side, the landscape is mountainous and covered with prickly bushes. The western side is dominated by Profitis Ilias, the highest peak at 752 m. Most of the 5500 inhabitants live in 7 villages in the north-east part of the island. From our base in the village of Triovasalos, it is less than 10 minutes drive to some of the best paddle locations on the north coast, half an hour to the south coast and approximately 1 hour to the remote west coast.
As with its more famous neighbor Santorini, 75km to the southeast, Milos is composed almost entirely of volcanic rocks. Unlike Santorini, which was formed from a single volcanic centre, Milos is composed of dozens of eruptions that occurred over a period of about one million years, 3-4 million years ago. This complex volcanic origin is responsible for the wide variety of useful rocks and minerals mined over the millennia and for the unique, colorful rock formations that comprise the coastline. Although the volcanic activity has ceased, earthquakes occasionally rock the island – the last major one was in 1993. Geothermal activity continues to the present day, and can be seen in the form of steam vents, native sulphur deposits, hot springs and a natural sauna cave
Sea Caves, Tunnels and Arches
Of particular interest to kayakers, is the abundance of sea caves, which occur all around the island. Numbering well over 150, they are particularly abundant in the southwest of the island, around an area called Kleftico and on the North coast at Sarakiniko and Papafragus. Many of the caves form impressive arches with others forming tunnels up to 50 m long. Other caves have massive, cathedral like roofs, while some have small entrances and crooked passages.