#3. Visit the numerous museums, ancient mines, and the catacombs
Yep, you read it correctly! After all, Milos boasts the biggest network of dirt roads on the Cyclades. Set off on a walking tour following ancient paths, which used to be the only “road network” until the previous century.
Throughout Milos, you can find catacombs, carved out during ancient times from the soft rock. The must see catacombs are near the village of Tripiti. They are known as an early Christian underground cemetery and were dug by early Christians (around 200 AD). They number over 300 graves, in which it is believed that between 5,000 to 7,000 Christians were buried. This makes these catacombs perhaps the oldest and most famous monument for the Eastern Orthodox Church, and for Christianity as a whole, after the catacombs of Rome. Locals claim that the catacombs also served as a shelter from the constant pirate raids.
Milos’ Mining Museum is an excellent small museum detailing Milos’ mining history. You can find it about 600m east of the ferry quay. Here you can find the Miloterranean Geo Experience project, a series of maps that will help you program great half-day ‘geo walks’ through Milos.
The Archaeology Museum in Plaka is a handsome old building containing many interesting exhibits, including a plaster cast of the famous Venus de Milo. The original was likely carved from Parian marble around 100 BC, and was discovered by a local farmer in 1820. It now resides in the Louvre in Paris. A little herd of tiny bull figurines from the Filakopi ancient settlement, dating from 1400 to 1100 BC, is also on display here.
In Paliorema you can combine your swim with a visit to a fascinating geologic site of the island’s mining history. You can rest on the fantastic beach with the colorful pebbles and the fine sand and enjoy your swim while viewing the area’s old quarries for the mining of sulfur. The ruins of abandoned offices, spare parts and personal items of the quarries’ workers, indeed compose an attractive landscape.
Historically, between 1890-1905, the mines were in function, owned by the Greek Company of Public and Municipal Works. In 1905 they were shut down due to the production of cheaper sulfur in the US. The mines resumed full operation in the 1930s when the installations seen today were constructed. The sulfur mines, the Theioryheia, were in operation until 1960, whereas the business was put to a permanent stop in 1978.
In a quick epilog, you can already tell that, as most Greek islands, Milos has an abundance of amazing landscapes, rich history, sunny and sandy beaches, folklore and fantastic food. Do visit this volcanic Aegean diamond; you will not regret it.
Sources: Lonely Planet, Visit Greece, Wikipedia, Huffington Post