A Greek Odyssey – day 7

Fun afloat

Today we went on a boat trip, along the south side of the island, to Kleftiko – a rock and cave formation set in clear, azure blue water. It was windy when we set off from Agia Kyriaki (we had got a transfer from Ademas to catch the boat at this beach) and we were both worried that it might be a little choppy, but our captain assured us it would be “flat” and he was true to his word – windy, yes, some spray, yes, some waves traversing from starboard to port (got to use the nautical lingo!) but we did stay “flat” for the hour or so cruise along the south coast, occasionally slowing down to view close up a particularly pretty or spectacular beach.

After an hour we droped anchor in a sheltered cove, atop turquoise blue waters and, with an hour for swimming, we were invited to get in the sea. I didn’t need asking twice, diving straight in and swimming out to, and through, a tunnel in a nearby rock stack.

You didn’t have to dive or jump in, the crew lowered some steps and soon the whole boat was enjoy the water. But I like to dive and jump, so like an impatient schoolboy, I was in and out of the water having a whale of a time.

And when the hour was up, the ship’s horn was sounded, we all re-boarded dripping with sea water and excitement after a fun filled sixty minutes in a beautiful setting. The crew served some complimentary snacks – grapes, bread sticks, and more: I hungrily picked up a slice of crusty bread lathered with nutella and took a bite. It wasn’t nutella, but olive paste – perhaps my only disappointment of the day (and it was still tasty!)

We set sail for our home port/beach, but before we reached harbour, we stopped off at another secluded beach for 20 minutes of swimming off the boat – more diving and jumping into the crystal clear sea. And then it really was time to go home, and we docked four hours after we set off.

Our trip was with Zefiros tours: https://zefirosmilos.gr/ costing 40 euros each, and we paid an additional 14 euros each for transfer to and from Ademas (if you have a hire car, you could drive yourself to the beach) The trip was 4 hours long – almost to the minute – and the ship sails twice a day: 10am to 2pm and 3pm to 7pm. We went on the morning trip, booking the day before in Athena Travel in Ademas. Happy to recommend this trip and company – we had a great time.

In the evening we returned to Plaka, climbing to the top of the hill fort to watch the sunset. It was majestic, peaceful and humbling, a wonderful setting to watch the sun go down.

What a busy day!

A Greek Odyssey – day 6

Off the beaten track

Today we went to Plaka – the “capital” of Milos. Its not a big,sprawling metropolis, its just a small town on a hill a short bus ride (2 euros again – the cost of any bus journey in the Cyclades it seems), but a very pretty town, full of alleyways, white houses, an blue doors. Becky loved the blue doors, taking hundreds (and I don’t think that is an exaggeration) of photos of blue doors, blue pots, blue steps. Here is just one:

But we didn’t just restrict ourselves to the town (although we did spend quite some time wandering the streets, and enjoying a drink and snack in a cafe), we decided to head for the hills (well, hill), leave the tarmacked road and pavement behind us, and headed up to the fort atop what seems to be the highest point on the island.

Whilst it wasn’t a difficult climb, it wasn’t simple either. Underfoot it was rough, but maintained, stone steps, but it was a fair old incline, probably enough to put a lot of people off.

This is both a blessing and a curse – you gain a real sense of achievement when you reach the top and take in the views (and glug gallons of water) and not everyone makes it to the top – getting to Plaka is easy: bus, car or taxi will take you there, but you have get to the top of the fort under your own steam, and this thins the crowds considerably. As tourism becomes more and more accessible and easy, to escape the masses you need to go where the internal combustion engine can’t, and when you do it is so worth it.

We both loved Plaka, and will probably go back one evening. I get the sense for a lot of visitors to Milos, their trip is about ticking off “must do’s” and seeing as many of the 70 beaches on the island as possible, even if only for 15 minutes. I’m not sure Plaka is on everyone’s Milos “to do” list, but it should be, and if they can, they should make the effort to climb to the very top. In this age of Instagram and tik-tok, more people should be mindful of the poem “Leisure” by William Henry Davies:

What is this life if, full of care

We have no time to stand and stare

Today, I spent quite some time standing and staring, and it was worth every minute.