Milos is a real paradise full of amazing beaches with turquoise waters and unique landscapes. It is surrounded by some exotic coves and sandy beaches waiting to be discovered. Its volcanic activity has endowed the island with astonishing rock formations and other rare features creating a natural geological museum.
The lunar landscape of the famous beach Sarakiniko, idyllic sunset, the ancient theatre, and crystalline waters make Milos one of the most romantic places in the world. The traditional settlements of the island will amaze you with their Cycladic architecture and their serenity.
Here are some interesting facts about Milos that you might not have heard before. Ιf you haven’t visited Milos yet, the following will definitely convince you.
Aphrodite of Milos
You may have heard of a little statue, Venus of Milos. If you’ve been to the Louvre Museum in Paris, you might’ve even seen it there.
Did you know it was discovered in Milos in 1820?
This is perhaps the island’s claim to fame, especially in the last couple of centuries.
The marble statue was discovered by a local near the Ancient Roman Theater and the village of Trypiti. It’s believed to have been created between 130 and 100 BC, during the late Hellenistic period. Standing at an impressive 2.04 meters tall, the statue depicts Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
At the time of discovery, Milos was part of the Ottoman Empire. Following a dispute with France, the statue was given to Louis XIII. He, in turn, donated it to the Louvre in 1821.
A replica, gifted by the French government, can be seen in the Archaeological Museum in Milos.
It is unknown what happened to her arms, but some theories state that they broke off and were lost during transport to Paris. We’ll never really know!
Fun fact: the Statue of Poseidon was also found in Milos in 1877 and is believed to be from the same time as Venus de Milo. You can see the statue now at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
The island of Milos originates from a combination of volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Some of the most distinctive volcanic rocks around the island have come from this process.
This includes the black glass, called “Obsidian,” that can still be seen around the island, especially while hiking. You can also find it at the Milos Mining Museum, in Adamas. Most of the Mediterranean countries that have obsidian have purchased it from Milos.
Exciting and colorful rock formations can be observed along the coasts of Milos while sailing. The island’s most famous beach, Sarakiniko, is believed to have been created by poured and frozen lava following a volcanic eruption.
It’s believed that volcanic activity on Milos goes back about 3,000,000 years, and its creation will leave you amazed while you’re walking, driving, swimming, or sailing around the island.
It’s hard to see the same thing twice as you explore the Milos coast!
The catacombs found in Milos are so significant, they’re only second to the catacombs in Rome and the most important monument of Early Christians in all of Greece. They’re believed to actually be older than the ones in Rome, dating as far back as the 1st century.
Over time, Early-Christians used the catacombs as a burial site, place of worship, and place of refuge.
Though only a small portion of the burial labyrinth is open to the public, it’s an impressive site nonetheless.
Milos was invaded by Germans between 1941 and 1945, During World War II.
There are a couple of WWII monuments around the island that you can check out.
A network of tunnels underneath Adamas that was used as a bomb shelter still exists to this day. The tunnels now act as an art gallery that’s worth checking out.
Milos’ mining history goes back thousands of years and has brought great wealth and employment to the island over centuries. Mining wealth and tourism are now the two primary sources of income for the island.
Various volcanic activity left the island with many minerals Miloans mined and traded. For example, obsidian was used for cutting tools and weapons, bentonite was used to make soap, and the list goes on.
Sulfur, created by hydrothermal activity, has been exploited on the island since the Ancient Greece civilization. A sulfur mine was officially established in 1861 at Paliorema.
Thiorichio beach and the Paliorema abandoned sulfur mines, seen from the sea during a sailing trip around the island.
Paliorema is now an abandoned site but very cool to see. However, mining activity is still very much present on the island and you’ll encounter it as you drive around.