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Beyond Santorini: Is this the prettiest yacht charter destination in Greece?

By Katia Damborsky   28 January 2020

Away from the sugar-cube buildings of Santorini and the windmills standing tall over Mykonos, Milos is the Greek island that you’ll want to know about. 

Rising up from the Aegean just 85 nautical miles from the superyacht hub of Santorini, the volcanic island of Milos is one of the unsung jewels of the Cyclades archipelago.

From its flourishing food scene to its famous beach and secret shipwreck, there's plenty of reasons to add Milos to your charter itinerary this summer.

It acts as the perfect contrast to the buzz of its sister islands, with an authenticity that's difficult to find in this popular pocket of Greece. It's full of character and rustic charm, and while it's still off the radar for most yacht-goers, we've seen an increase in the demand for yacht charters in Milos.

Yacht charter in Milos

Superyachts typically visit Milos as part of an itinerary around the Cyclades, with a cruise time of around seven hours from Athens, five and a half hours from Mykonos and five from Santorini, dependant on the size and speed of your charter yacht.

It's easy to drop anchor in the sheltered basin that splits the island. There is a small harbour in Adamantas, the main town, but there are no berths for larger yachts- the local fleet is mostly fishing boats and small sailing yachts. 

If you're considering visiting Milos by yacht this summer, here's what you can expect from the island.

The lunar beach

Waves have shaped the volcanic rock into an unusual terrain that's often compared to a moonscape.

The island's unique, chalky-white rock formations sit on the north side of the island at Sarakiniko Beach.

Waves driven by the region's famous north winds have shaped the bone-white volcanic rock into an unusual terrain that's often compared to a moonscape. The beach itself sits at the base of a shallow, sky-blue inlet, with rocky banks rising up either side (be aware that the water in the inlet can be rough during high tide).

The landscape around the beach is smooth, with curved segments and interesting little peaks that give it its lunar appearance. Overlooking the sea, cliffs soar over the water concealing a network of sea caves; take the water toys out for a spin and you'll have hours of fun exploring.

Charter smarter:

Ask your yacht crew to set off early on the morning you want to visit Sarakiniko. You'll escape the crowds, and get to enjoy breakfast on deck while watching the sun rise up from the south.

The best anchorages are a short tender journey away, around Polonia and Voudhia. 

A shipwreck with unique snorkelling opportunities

You will discover that Milos is also home to one of Greece's best-kept secrets; the rusted remains of a former oil tanker which was shipwrecked close to the island in 2003.

Since it was launched in 1966, the vessel underwent many name changes and is known locally as the Sicily, the Africa and the Dubai Star. Although many tourists may not be familiar with the attraction, it is regarded as a local treasure and is very much worth a visit for those keen on scuba and snorkelling.

The ship broke into two pieces, with both of them protruding above the waterline during low tides. The scuba spot is unique because it's so shallow, and remains in reasonably good condition with plenty of aquatic life for you to enjoy.

The Island of Color

The buildings of Klima were painted in bright colors to help the fishermen identify their homes from the sea.

With its deep blue sea, vivid Cycladic sunsets and colorful buildings, Milos is certainly worthy of its nickname; the island of color.

Cruising into Adamantas you'll spot the sleepy fishing village of Klima on your port side. White buildings line up along the water with scarlet doors, mint-green balconies and warm tangerine shutters creating a particularly pretty sight.  The reason behind their theatrical hues is more practical - they were to make it easy for the fishermen to identify their homes from the sea.

Step on shore to stretch your legs and be sure to pay a visit to one of the many boathouses that line the coast. You will discover that most of them are stores that sell homespun trinkets and garments handcrafted by the locals.

Greek cuisine at its finest

The dining scene in Milos has got people talking and the cuisine is evidence enough to support the island's growing popularity. You will find that there is no shortage of little Greek tavernas where you can sample local specialties, fresh ingredients, and traditional flavors of Greece. 

Head to Mikros Apoplous for a beguiling oceanfront setting to accompany your meal. Be sure to try the shrimp risotto, sea bass carpaccio or lobster cooked over coals for a truly decadent dining experience.

For a casual lunch, the white and turquoise fronted restaurant of Bakalikon Galanis is the one to beat. Greek salads elevate simple flavors to a new level, while the veal meatballs are a fan favorite, accompanied by a made-to-order spiced sauce. 

Oh Hamos!

Star entries include baby goat baked in parchment and molasses and slow-cooked suckling pig cooked in honey and rosemary.

But the restaurant creating the most buzz on the island is Oh Hamos.

Located close to Papikinou beach in an elegant garden setting, the family-run taverna has queues of people outside its doors during peak season- so be sure to ask your yacht crew to call ahead and book a table.

During its 27 years of business, the restaurant has finessed its recipes to an art. Star entries include baby goat baked in parchment with fresh lemon juice, mustard and marjoram. Slow-cooked suckling pig cooked with grapes, molasses, mustard and thyme is another favorite. 

In contrast to other restaurants on the island, the hand-written menu has meat dishes taking center stage, rather than fish- that's because everything comes from the family's farm, so you can expect nothing but tender, melt-in-the-mouth dishes that truly embrace the concept of farm-to-fork. 

Offering a true taste of Greece, the tables in Oh Hamos are scattered around a courtyard in the midst of terracotta pots filled with geraniums and herbs, with loaves of homemade bread hanging from each table.  The lemon walls are scrawled with Greek poetry and compliments to Athina, the matriarch of the restaurant, who regularly pops her head into the restaurant to chat to her diners.

What are you waiting for?

Woman stands on Sarakiniko Beach, looking out over the sea and the island of Milos

Milos is set to become one of the hottest charter hotspots of 2020 - book now to be among the first to discover the beauty of this Greek enclave. 

To start exploring the charms of Milos for yourself, please get in touch with your preferred yacht charter broker.

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