Milos’ south coast
Paliochori to Gerontas
Let’s start with the south coast, going from east to west. Basically, it can be said that the beaches on the south coast are mostly cleaner than those on the north coast. The Meltemi, which often blows from the north, can be relied upon to blow all sorts of impurities such as bits of vegetation and inorganic rubbish on to the sea, so you will generally find sparkling clean beaches and crystal clear water in the south. Note that I speak here of rubbish in and on the water, not of the water quality. That’s really pristine everywhere, if you ignore the few harbours, perhaps.
Along the very long stretch of the south coast between Agios Sostis and Gerontas there are some other beaches which are, however, comparatively unattractive for bathing. But those who enjoy exploring can still find pleasure in some of the other little bays. But access to the coast from the road that turns into an unmade track beyond Kipos becomes increasingly difficult the further west you go.
The “winter wave”
Anyone who comes to Milos regularly might possibly have noticed a phenomenon that affects the beaches on the south coast in particular. The same beach can suddenly have significantly more or less sand than they were accustomed to from the previous year’s visit. And in fact to such an extent that the displaced waterline significantly changes the beach’s appearance. This is especially noticeable on Milos’ south coast since here most of the beaches have only relatively narrow strips of sand that are often hemmed in by rocks. So if for instance the waterline shifts inland, in the extreme case many areas of a beach may even become inaccessible.
The cause of this phenomenon is the “winter wave”, the strong surf, which moves large amounts of sand, especially in the winter months. It can either carry away parts of a beach or wash sand ashore, depending on the wind direction, the direction of the onshore waves or the current. There are for instance constant noticeable changes in Paliochori and Provatas. And Gerondas and Kastanas have sometimes almost disappeared.