dear milos, greece

Happy 4th to my Americans!

I am currently typing up this post at 1am in Milan, Italy. My Milos recap is much overdue! I was having wifi issues and uploading photos onto WordPress was taking way too long, not to mention how much schoolwork my study abroad program entails! Be sure to look out for many Italy posts to come soon 🙂 Without further ado, my Milos recap – enjoy!

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Dear Milos,

When we first picked you as our second and final island to hop to in Greece, we were expecting you to be much more mellow and calm than Santorini, to have less tourists and to overall be more relaxing. We didn’t expect much of you, but you gave us so much more. You gave us the kindest people from all of Greece, the best food, and the best beaches. We loved you, Milos.

Getting to Milos

Julia and I headed out at 7:30am to catch our ferry from Santorini to Milos, and we boarded the much smaller Seajets ferry. The ferry was only about two hours long, but luckily, I was able to be super productive on the ferry and edited my vlogs and wrote up my Santorini blog post while Julia napped. We got there around 11am, and got off at the port of Milos in Adamas. It immediately felt like a Greece version of Nantucket, a beachy town with more quiet and less people. We dragged our suitcases over to the bus stop and saw that the bus to Pollonia, the city we were staying in, wasn’t going to come for another three hours. Well, I guess that’s what you get for staying in a smaller town and a less-populated island: less frequent buses.

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So we decided to stop by at a really cute dessert place and each ordered – you guessed it – Greek Yogurt with fruit. It was so delicious! Mine was 6.50 euro, and it was pretty filling for a lunch, I suppose. After we finished eating, we still had more than two hours to kill, so Julia worked on her laptop while I listened to more of my audiobook (Lean In) and napped.

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Finally, around 3pm, we boarded the charter bus to Pollonia, and were greeted by an even smaller town than Adamas. The bus dropped us off right next to the beach, which ended up only being a 2-minute walk from where we were staying. We checked in at Pergola, and were showed to our room. Our host was really kind and gave us free cake (since she also owns the bakery next door). Our room was super cute: ocean-themed, and really quite nice, until we saw the bathroom. The shower, y’all. The bathroom had your standard toilet, sink, and the shower was a 2-inch thick square on the ground with a shower hose attached to the wall and no shower curtain. The shower hose wasn’t even attached at a good height, and it wasn’t adjustable. Hey, I guess not every hotel/villa we stay at is going to be 100%.

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Since the day was already half over, we just headed over to the beach right next to our hotel and tanned and swam a bit. For dinner, we walked around our town before deciding on a restaurant on the water. It was beautiful. I ordered a chicken penne and we ate while watching the sun go down. There were people getting on boats to watch the sun set and even some people fishing at the beach.

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Day 1

The next morning, I woke up to three humongous mosquito bites on my right leg. We couldn’t figure out how to turn on the AC the night before and it was so humid.

We headed out to breakfast down the street at Alesta, where we both ordered the breakfast omelette, and it came with coffee and orange juice, all for only 8.50 euro. It was so good and filling!

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After breakfast, we took the bus to Sarakiniko, a white beach. Y’all, this is one of the most amazing beaches ever. Yes, it’s a white beach, but no, it’s not sand! It literally looks like the moon; we camped out near the water and dove in. The water is a bright turquoise color and it legitimately felt like we were swimming on the moon.

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Julia and I did a lot of sunbathing and exploring around the beach. There were a lot of cool caves and rock formations in Sarakiniko. I must say that that beach had a lot of topless women too – not quite what I was used to. There was one point where it was a little uncomfortable because a woman had her husband take nude photos of her – quite awkward for American-eyes.

We left the beach at 4pm because it was the last bus from Sarakiniko, and made our way back to Adamas for dinner. We both got gyros from Yankos – super cheap, only 2.60 euro for one euro! Then we headed back to the same dessert place for Greek Yogurt, once again.

We had two hours to kill before our bus to go home came again, so we explore Adamas a bit. We looked at all the souvenir shops and wandered into some cute alleyways.

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There was one alleyway with a cute wall and while Julia was taking photos of me in front of it, an old man came across our path and offered to take a picture of both of us. We thought, why not? and handed over my iPhone to him. At first, he tried taking it and ended up saying, “I see myself” (he had turned the camera to self-facing), so we fixed it for him and then when he took it, we could see that he visibly pressed down on the touch screen so that the camera definitely moved when he took it. As you can see, the photo is quite blurry – but it’s the thought that counts. Oh, people in Milos are so lovely.

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We eventually made our way back home. We showered and realized we were both actually really sunburnt from spending the entire day at the white beach – we were practically tomatoes. Then we were craving dessert so we went back to Alestas and Julia ordered waffles while I ordered praline and banana crepes. So sweet, but so good. We worked on our laptops until 11pm and then headed back to the hotel and went to sleep.

Day 2

We woke up at 8am and got ready quickly to go the bakery next door. We ordered Greek Yogurt with fruit and scarfed it down in 5 minutes, and then ran over to the bus stop. Day 2 was reserved for the boat tour, and our tour guide had promised to personally drive us over to Adamas since the bus wasn’t coming for another two hours.

The tour guide’s name is Constantine, and was probably one of the friendliest people we’ve met so far. When we first introduced ourselves as Julia and Jennifer, he said, “Oh Julia, like July? And Jennifer, like JLo?” Extremely easy to talk to, and gave us a student discount on the boat tour.

The boat tour we booked was through Drougas Tours, and it was 50 euro to tour the west coast of Milos with breakfast and lunch served and visiting sea caves with the option to swim and snorkel.

The yacht we got on was pretty small, especially with the day’s crowd. There was a total of 12 people on the boat, including the captain and first mate. It was the perfect mix of people: Julia and I were the only college-aged kids, there was a mom and daughter (who we guessed was around mid-twenties), a family of four with a teen daughter and a toddler son, and a couple in their late twenties/early thirties. The captain (he told us to call him Captain, or Jack, like Jack Sparrow) appeared at first sight to be a little creepy, but turned out to be super friendly and like a grandpa. The first mate, Yana/Yoanna?, was a beautiful Greek woman who was very nice and charismatic, and impressive with the sails and ropes.

The couple was the only other people from the U.S., and they were hailing from New York. They were amazed that Julia and I came from Seattle – they even asked us how we got to Greece, haha.

We set out at around 10am and headed north first to Klima, the fisherman’s town. The houses were all colorful and super cute; unfortunately, it was only a sail-by viewing and we didn’t get to stop.

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We sailed around the west coast of the island then, with the sun dipping in and out. The forecast said it might rain later, and we could definitely see how overcast the sky was; it was already very windy on the water. We passed numerous rock formations and Yana gave us interesting stories and facts behind the caves and rocks, mostly involved pirates and mining.

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For breakfast, they served us a delicious chocolate marble bundt cake and sandwiches. We stopped at a beach, but Julia and I decided not to jump in quite yet. When we were anchored there, there was another boat next to us that looked like a live frat party: loud basses bumping, boys with baseball caps turned around and blonde bimbos on the boat. Julia and I were super glad we didn’t get stuck on that boat.

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We passed Sikia, the pirate caves and got to Kleftiko, the sea caves. These were so freaking awesome, y’all. The yacht was anchored yet again here, and the captain took half the group onto a smaller boat to tour the sea caves. Once we got back on the yacht, Julia and I immediately asked for the snorkeling gear and flippers. We swam around the sea caves for a good 30 minutes and took a ton of GoPro videos – it was so fun!! Definitely a highlight from this trip.

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Then we ate lunch on the boat; it was a delicious salad and pizza/savory pastry ordeal. That’s when the storm kind of rolled in. The rain drops got heavy and the wind picked up, so we set sail again.

We made another stop at a different beach, where they served us some watermelon. We had to skip the stop we were most looking forward to, which was the sea cave with the open dome, since the water wasn’t calm enough to sail into the narrow cave. The sail back to Adamas seemed like the longest: it was literally storming out on the water, with the boat rocking wildly, and the wind blowing the rain sideways. We were all freezing and quite miserable. The funny thing is, we all could have opted to go inside the yacht, but we all stuck it out on the outside of the boat, and stayed relatively positive, if not a bit more quiet. I felt pretty seasick so I definitely just tried to close my eyes and nap.

We finally got back to Adamas at 6:30pm, where we all toasted to surviving that wild rollercoaster ride. I must say, that experience was definitely worth the 50 euros, even if we skipped a stop and the weather was awful, because the people and service was fantastic.

Quite frankly, Julia and I felt like wet dogs; we went to get gyros for dinner and for some reason, they were extra messy to eat that day, and the insides of the gyros fell everywhere and we just felt like an extra hot mess. All we wanted was a nice, warm shower and to climb into bed. We got back to our room at 8pm and did exactly that – and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Day 3

On our last full day in Milos, we got up around the same time and were feeling an extra wholesome breakfast, so we headed to Adamas and tried out Caffe Luigi. I ordered an omelette with mushrooms and bell peppers, and Julia ordered a fancy salmon on French toast (I highly encourage visitors to order salmon whenever you can in Greece because salmon dishes are much cheaper in Greece than in the U.S., y’all!). It was already super hot in the morning and we embarrassingly moved tables three times since we couldn’t find a good medium. As we ate, there were lone cats prowling around the area.

Initially, we had wanted to catch the bus back to Sarakiniko beach again because we did research the night before and found out that there was a cliff we could go cliff diving at, but we missed the bus. We decided to catch the bus to Paleochori beach, which was on the southeast end of the island. The bus was quite crowded so I ended up sitting on Julia’s lap for part of the ride.

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When we got to Paleochori, there was already a ton of people, and we saw the tiki umbrellas with lounge chairs underneath. We were so tempted to sit under them but they all cost 8 euro to sit down at – we couldn’t figure out how payment was verified, but we didn’t want to risk it – so we planted down on our own blanket (s/o to Air Canada for providing blankets on the plane, which we’ve used as a beach towel every time we went to the beach during this trip!). The beach was beautiful: a good mix of sand and rocks, and crystal-clear turquoise water. The sun was high in the sky and there were patches of clouds, but since it was so windy, the clouds came and went relatively quickly.

Julia and I tanned for a bit and then went swimming and definitely got our workout in for the day. I have to admit that my treadwater and overall swimming abilities have improved since coming to Greece (I used to be terrible at treading water). We sunbathed a bit more and then caught the bus back to Adamas after fours at the beach. I’ve learned that my favorite part about being at the beach is getting wet after a good swim and then sunbathing while the sun dries off my skin alongside a slight breeze – it’s the perfect blend of cool and hot.

It was time for our midday Greek Yogurt break, so we tried a new place that day in Adamas: Milors. The fruit was different, but still good, and a better bang for our buck because it was one euro cheaper than the place we usually got yogurt at.

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Then we took the bus to Plaka at 4:30pm. Plaka is the capital of Milos, so we knew we had to go at some point. We had heard that the sunset is beautiful there as well. Weirdly enough, when we arrived, it was super quiet: there was hardly anyone around. We assumed it was probably the Greek’s version of siesta, like in Italy when the shops close for 2-3 hours in the middle of the day so the shop owners can eat lunch. We explored the town and it was adorable: a lot of cute corners and alleyways.

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We hiked up to the top of a castle/church, where we saw the view for where the sunset would be. If we hadn’t already been to Santorini and seen the amazing views there, the view here would have been comparable. On the way down, I rolled my ankle a bit and got a huge bruised lump on the side of the foot – but no fracture, thankfully. It feels like Greece so far has consisted of close calls! I’m just getting beat up here alongside my bug bites, really.

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When we got back down, it was around 6pm and a lot of shops were opening back up. We explored numerous souvenir shops and art shops, they were so adorable! Throughout the town, there were these marvelous floors that had rock designs on them, it was so thoughtful and intricate. Definitely a highlight of the town.

We couldn’t stay for the sunset since the last bus back to our town was at 6:30pm, so we headed back to Pollonia a bit early. Julia was dying to go back to the restaurant on the water that we had eaten at on our first night in Milos, so we headed back. We both ordered the same thing, a salad for Julia and chicken penne for me, and got to see the sun go down on the water again. It was around 9pm by the time we finished, and Julia was craving a dessert so we went on a short expedition to find a small dessert for her.

We got home at around 9:30pm, got ready for bed, and slept at midnight.

End of the trip

On Tuesday morning, we woke up extra early and packed up our suitcases. I went downstairs to the bakery and ordered a Greek Yogurt and feta cheese pie for breakfast while Julia finished packing upstairs, and then she joined me at 9:30 for her Greek Yogurt.

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The bus was going to leave from Pollonia at 10am; paying for the hotel and checking out took a long time since there was an issue with Julia’s card, so we ended up only having 3 minutes to book it to the bus stop. It was crucial we catch the 10am bus because the next one wasn’t coming for another three hours, so after departing the bakery and getting another free pastry from our hotel host, we sprinted to the bus stop with our backpacks and luggage in tow. Y’all, it was the workout of the week. I’d say we sprinted for about a quarter of a mile with all our things. We made it just in time to the bus, and both collapsed on the bus seats.

We got to Adamas and then camped out at Milors once again and each ordered a delicious Latte Coffee Cold. We had two hours before the ferry would arrive, so we drank our lattes and I started reading My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella while Julia did some journaling. At 12:30pm, we boarded our ferry.

The ferry ride was about seven hours long back to Athens, so I got some blogging done, did some more reading (I finished Lean In on audiobook) and napped for a few hours.

Now that it’s been a full two weeks since leaving Greece, I have to say that I do miss it a lot. It definitely holds a really special place in my heart; farewell, Greece!

 

 

 

 

 

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