Milos is one of the largest islands in the Cyclades – other islands in the group include Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Andros and Santorini – with around 4,800 permanent inhabitants. Its capital, Plaka, is one of only five villages on the island. In historic times, Mílos flourished as a centre of early Aegean civilization because of its deposits of obsidian and its strategic location between the Greek mainland and Crete. It is probably best known for the Venus de Milo, or Aphrodite of Milos, discovered in 1820 and now on display at the Paris Louvre. Milos is known as the home of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.
Milos is an island of great beauty, full of surprises and charm. Its remarkable landscape of colourful volcanic rock formations – the island is often referred to as the "island of colours" – is matched by the quality of the few remaining architectural sites such as the ancient Roman amphitheatre near the village of Tripiti and the Venetian Castle in Chora.
Compared to its neighbours, Mykonos and Santorini, Milos remains relatively untouched by tourism. Although recent years have seen it become a fashionable destination for young Greeks the island retains a peaceful, slow-paced, easy-going charm. Traditional values are still held strong. The island's exceptional wild landscapes are protected by the NATURA 2000 conservation programme. More than 70 beaches, many of them superb, some accessible only by sea, make for excellent swimming with stunning caves and rock formations providing interest for snorkellers and divers. Conditions for sea kayaking, sailing and windsurfing are usually ideal.
The best time to visit is from May to October, when warm temperatures are mitigated by fresh northerly winds, although it can get very hot in high summer. It rarely rains outside of wintertime yet the island is much greener than other Cyclades islands. To sum up, Milos is the hidden gem of the Aegean. A peaceful, pristine Greek island that exists happily without tourism but is open and welcoming to visitors. Its beguiling mix of beautiful landscapes, fine beaches and rich heritage combines with a warm, temperate climate – the sun always seems to shine – to make it an ideal location for the first European Soneva.