Plaka is Milos’ official capital. In the lower part of the village, for instance, you will find the village hall and in the higher part the police station. But otherwise it would not occur to you to attribute any administrative significance to Plaka. Visitors are much more interested in the village’s tourism aspect and that is enormous.
The Church of Panagia Thalassitra, the most popular subject of photos in Plaka. Situated halfway up Kastro Hill, from here you enjoy a fantastic view of the sea and the alleys of Plaka. But this is overtopped by the small Mesa Panagia Chapel that dominates the top of the hill.
A village could hardly look more Cycladic than this. Cubic white houses crouch together and compress the alleys into a little labyrinth in which proper picture postcard views constantly open out as soon as you come round one corner or another. And when a view of the sea opens up, associations with Santorini arise. Not only is it high and steep here, but the sea view has much more to offer than just the sea. Antimilos, the inhospitable and therefore uninhabited counterpart to Milos is always there in the distance and sometimes seems to float above the water. And Vani, the striking promontory, which can be seen on so many photos of Milos because it is so easy to recognise, extends into the picture from the left – by day in blue and gray shades and in the evenings as a black silhouette in the glittering golden sea. The impressions up here quickly bring you peace in so far as you let them and confine yourself to listening to the wind and the quiet and perhaps the softly clinking bells of the goats down by Fourkovouni.
Sunset mood. In summer, people pay homage in droves to the “sunset view” from Kastro Hill or the square in front of the Church of Panagia Korfiatissa, called “Marmara” because of its marble slabs. Anyway, you can never see the sun set in the sea from Milos, even if you would like to believe you can. In fact, the Peloponnese is in the way!
Plaka is of course an “in place” for sunsets for good reason. But in the summer, Kastro Hill itself is also worth climbing in the early morning. As soon as the first light of dawn, the freshness of the night starts to dissipate, the cocks wake up with their morning concert and while the rising sun makes its presence felt, you already get a hint of the approaching, scorchingly hot summer’s day. Then the quiet that surrounds you and the expanse of the sea all around turn the square up by the small Mesa Panagia Chapel into a special place.
Approached from below, Plaka starts off quite unspectacular with its village hall and a few shops. At the crossroads between the OTE (Greek Telecommunications Organisation), hospital and car park you continue uphill. Approaching Plaka, it looks like you’d expect: Cycladic, cubic, cramped, blue and white and with overpowering views.
If you are coming from Adamas, you are constantly driving uphill. After Triovasalos at the latest you expect that you’ve already reached your destination but the road leads you through another serpentine past the hospital into the heart of Plaka. Although there are a few parking options, these are quickly filled. But the attempts to turn round by car drivers who struggle to drive as high up as possible often lead to traffic jams in the high season. For this reason, the last section of the road is closed in high summer because behind the OTE building there is a big enough car park and from there you can go left past the Archaeological Museum after just a few steps and into the lower alleys of Plaka.
Catholic Church Panagia ton Rodon: Built by the French Vice-Consul Louis Brest, whose wife lies buried here. This church is in the immediate vicinity of Panagia Korfiatissa but it’s easier to make it out looking from the Kastro than from below.