Milos, the island of colours

You very often see this title so it’s already something of a cliché. Nevertheless, this is a very good description of the appearance of this lovely small Cycladic island. This refers to the colours of the very varied rock formations that characterise the look of the island. Its volcanic past has not only made Milos a special place from a commercial point of view but also given it a unique appearance. In particular, striking and sometimes really bizarre formations give each of the innumerable beaches their totally individual character. Here, where the water exposes the various strata and slowly but constantly shapes the coast, the colours of Milos are revealed. Whether it’s in the blinding white lunar landscape of Sarakiniko or the sulphur-yellow scarps of Paleochori, the visitor is constantly offered new and surprising and, at the same time, fascinating views. It’s precisely this that provides the appeal and arouses the curiosity to keep on exploring new sections of coast.

As for the colours, of course I cannot fail to mention something that applies to almost all the Cycladic islands. The interplay of snow-white houses, blue sky and even bluer sea against a harsh background. Every typical Greek postcard view looks jaded compared with the real impressions that everyone should experience at least once. In the daytime bathed in blinding colours, early in the morning and shortly before sunset, by contrast, in an unbelievably warm light that can only be found right here in the Cyclades. One can enjoy this spectacle, for instance, in the early evening sitting by Panagia Korfiatissa church in Plaka, when the sun sets over Antimilos and sends its last warming rays across the sea.

The fact that there are large-scale opencast mining operations on Milos is a subject of regular controversy. The volcanism has given the island mineral resources whose extraction has given rise to a branch of the economy that is much older than tourism. And the flourishing opencast mining has to date secured for the island a significant level of autonomy and independence. The fact that the mining of bentonite, perlite and other exotic minerals leaves its traces is understandable and some areas of Milos have evidently sacrificed all their Greek island flair. On the other hand, it is precisely this branch of the economy that is responsible for Milos not yet having been opened up to mass tourism to the same extent as many other Greek islands. An island idyll which is appreciated by so many individual travellers does come at a cost. Anyone who understands this may see the shadowy sides of Milos in a different light and take pleasure in the authenticity of the island and its people. Because Milos is fortunately not one of those places far from civilisation that are gradually being abandoned by its population, where life is slowly bleeding away and young people are leaving for the cities. Milos offers everything that you need to live but just not too much of it. Anyone who expects perfect infrastructure and a full tourist service will certainly not be happy here. But anyone who is looking for a place on earth that has retained its original nature but nevertheless has all kinds of corners and edges and from many points of view is also uncomfortable will be able to spend a unique holiday on Milos.