Today it’s difficult to imagine that, in the Middle Ages, Zefiria was the capital of Milos. The village was probably abandoned after several earthquakes and the outbreak of epidemics and it really doesn't look like it’s changed since. Zefiria is nothing more than an inhabited crossroads, albeit with its disproportionately large Church of St. Mary Panagia Portiani. But you will inevitably come to Zefiria often if you are exploring Milos by car or bike since several beaches on the south coast are accessible via this route.

But the other reason for a trip to Zefiria would be the recommended “To Petrino” taverna that is situated near the crossroads straight after the side turning to Paliochori.

Panagia Portiani

Panagia Portiani

On the evening before Assumption, on 14 August, the biggest church festival (panigyri) on Milos is held every year in Panagia Portiani Church in Zefiria. It’s mostly about paying your respects to Mary’s icons, then there follows the very extensive secular part of the event: live music, grilling souvlaki on the metre-long grills and the fair-like stalls around the church. If you think about it a little more, the question arises why the “Celebration of the Assumption of Mary to Heaven” is celebrated in a church that is not called “Kimisi tis Theotokou.” Well, Panagia Portiani has been of such great importance as the patron saint of Milos for the island’s inhabitants since time immemorial so the biggest church festival is quite simply held in one of the churches dedicated to her.

Update 08/19