balcony in milos

Korfi De Milo

Discover Milos Island
Origins & History

Renowned as the birthplace of Venus, Milos beckons you to savor its breathtaking beaches, volcanic landscapes, and its abundant historical, mining, and religious heritage, offering an escape from typical vacations. Immerse yourself in the exploration of its picturesque settlements, historical sites, and geological treasures.

Numerous theories have been proposed regarding the origin of the name "Milos." One suggests that it derived from the ram, a common symbol of the region known as Mallion, which eventually evolved into "Milos." According to myth, the goddess Aphrodite sent Prince Milos from Cyprus to inhabit the island, thus lending it its name. 


What makes the island Unique

With its rich historical and mineral remnants, Milos has become a favored destination for discerning visitors seeking relaxation, discovery, and the appreciation of a natural landscape that boasts both serene and cosmopolitan facets. Unassuming and tranquil, Milos is the fifth largest island in the Cyclades, spanning 151 square kilometers and featuring a coastline of 126 kilometers. Arising from volcanic lava, it is a gem adorned with intricate shores embracing the azure depths of the Aegean, patiently awaiting discovery.

Milos stands among the earliest civilizations in the Cyclades, evident through numerous prehistoric discoveries, including its exotic minerals such as obsidian, kaolin, manganese, perlite, and bentonite, which earned it the epithet "the island of colors." Every facet of the island is transformed under varying light conditions, harmonizing with the emerald waters to create a mesmerizing landscape.

Nestled southwest within the Cyclades archipelago, adjacent to Kimolos and below Sifnos, Milos eagerly awaits your arrival by air or sea. Its natural gulf, resembling a crescent moon, hosts one of the largest natural harbors in the Mediterranean. In Adamas, known as the port of Milos, you will find a multitude of public services and experience the island's nightlife. To the right of the port, the main coastal road extends toward the village's central square, where the bus stop and taxis are located. Alongside this seaside thoroughfare lies an expansive paved pedestrian street adorned with cafes, travel and tourist shops, and the renowned Lakkos municipal thermal baths, revered for their therapeutic properties. On the left, you will find the relatively new port facilities, combined with the security provided by the natural harbor, rendering Adamas suitable for yachting enthusiasts.

Plaka, situated atop a hill near the port, serves as the capital of the island. Strolling through its narrow streets, one immediately notices the prevailing traditional island architecture. Among its treasures is the medieval castle, renowned for its beauty. Capture, if you desire, the sun's descent into the colorful Aegean waters and preserve the memory to cherish in times to come. 

Plaka Milos

Rich History

The island's strategic location and its abundance of mineral resources have played pivotal roles in its remarkable cultural, economic, and historical development. Milos has been known by various names throughout its history, as inscriptions from ancient times attest. Some authors have mentioned it as Biblis, Mimallis, Zephyria, Akitos, and Vilos. Others suggest it was a Phoenician colony, while some propose that its first settler was likely Milos, from the generation of King Kinyras of Cyprus.

Since the Neolithic era (7000 BC), trade on Milos thrived, particularly with the export of a renowned stone known as obsidian to the entire Mediterranean. This black stone, resembling glass, was fashioned into knives, blades, chisels, spear and arrowheads, and other tools long before the discovery of metals. Prehistoric sites in the Peloponnese have yielded Miloan obsidian tools, evidence of maritime communication between Milos and mainland Greece dating back approximately 7,000 years BC. This represents the earliest recorded instance of shipping in world history. Milos actively participated in the joint struggles of ancient Greeks, having sent two pentekonters to the naval Battle of Salamis. Additionally, 480 Miliian hoplites fought in the Battle of Plataea.

Milos has long been within the sphere of influence of Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations, as evidenced by the remains of the prehistoric city of Phylakopi. Phylakopi is considered the first city of Milos and one of the most significant settlements of the Bronze Age (2800 BC - 1000 BC) in the Aegean, particularly in the Cyclades. However, prehistoric installations have also been discovered in other locations on the island.

During the Athenians' campaign against the Persians, the Melians, aligned with the Spartans due to their shared Dorian heritage, did not participate. This resulted in the Athenians launching two punitive expeditions against Milos (426-415 BC), leading to its capture. Following the fall of Athens, those Milians who escaped returned to their homeland.

From 311 BC, the island was under the control of Macedonia and later Egypt. The freedom and security of the seas, facilitated by the formidable fleet of the Ptolemies, contributed to the island's economic growth and artistic flourishing. Milos enjoyed a period of renewed prosperity that extended into the Macedonian and Hellenistic eras, as evidenced by significant discoveries from that time. Notable among them are the monumental statue of Poseidon (standing at an extraordinary height of 2.5 meters, now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Athens) and, above all, the Venus de Milo, currently displayed in the Louvre Museum.

The island flourished during the Roman occupation, with the construction of the marble theater in the ancient city (1st century AD). Concurrently, catacombs were established, signifying the early spread of Christian doctrine on the island.

From 1207 to 1580, Milos was under Venetian rule, and like other islands in the Aegean, it subsequently fell under Ottoman Turkish control. Notably, the island's famous caves served as a refuge for pirates during this period. In 1832, Milos was incorporated into Greece, and in 1824, refugees from Sfakia in Crete arrived and settled in what is now the village of Adamas. During the First World War, the port of Milos served as a naval base for the Anglo-French Aegean fleet. In World War II, Milos was occupied by German forces in May 1941 and liberated in May 1945.


The Greek term for "catacomb" is "κατακόμβη" (pronounced as katakombi). It follows the same etymology as the English term, originating from the Greek words "kata," meaning "down," and "kymbe," meaning "hollow" or "cavity". It refers to an underground system of tunnels or chambers used for burial purposes. Archaeological research reveals that the catacombs of Milos also possessed a religious character, as evidenced by a rock left in the center of a portico, serving as a Holy Altar. In the early 2000s, a service was held in this space during the feast of All Saints.

This expansive underground complex comprises three chambers, five corridors, and a funeral hall. Presently, only Chamber B is accessible to visitors, as other sections have suffered from landslides. The history of these catacombs is closely intertwined with the island's flourishing mining industry during the 2nd century AD. The trade in ores with Rome influenced the architectural style of this structure, bearing resemblances to the catacombs of Rome. The broader region of Tripiti abounds with caves carved into the porous volcanic rock, which in ancient times were utilized by the inhabitants as family burial chambers. Locals also referred to these catacombs as the "Hellenic Cave."



A beloved destination for both local and international visitors, Milos exerts a magnetic pull not only due to its natural beauty but also for the rich attractions that unveil the island's history and culture spanning ancient times. A stroll from the picturesque Venetian castle to the island's capital, Plaka, immerses you in the charm of bygone eras and offers an opportunity to explore the castle town and visit the area's churches, such as Panagia Skiniotissa and Panagia Thalassitra.

Among the prominent attractions of Milos are the striking catacombs in Trypiti and the Ancient Theater, both of which deserve a visit during your stay. The Statue of Aphrodite, with its captivating aura, exerts a profound influence over the island, despite its current display in the Louvre Museum. A replica of the statue can be found in the archaeological museum of Plaka. Before reaching Pollonia, take a moment to pause at the ancient settlement of Phylakopi and admire the well-preserved Cyclopean wall, a testament to the island's past.

Milos boasts a myriad of treasures on display, offering glimpses of authentic island beauty intertwined with its unique geological and mineral wealth. One such location is Theiorychia, situated on the eastern side of the island, where the landscapes appear untouched by time. Marvel at the yellow hues generated by sulfur in the waters and delve deeper into the island's mining history at the mining museum in Adamantas.

In Adamas, you'll also discover the Naval Museum of Milos. Established in September 2008, the museum is housed in the former community building overlooking the port of Adamas. It features a collection of exhibits related to the island's maritime activities, spanning from the prehistoric era with obsidian tools to the naval Battle of Salamis and modern times. Visitors can also admire rare maps crafted by skilled cartographers and observe the renowned wooden boat "Irini." 

Furthermore, the Ecclesiastical Museum of Milos, located in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Adamantas, showcases a collection that represents a significant part of Milos' centuries-old artistic heritage. It includes images and woodcarvings that reflect the island's economic prosperity during Venetian rule, as well as votive offerings from Militian emigrants to Russia. The collection encompasses paintings dating back to the 14th century BC, including works attributed to the Cretan School. Notably, there is a depiction of the body of Christ descending from the Cross and several paintings by Emmanuel and Antonio Skordilis, Cretan painters who launched illustrious careers in Milos in 1647, establishing a new style in post-Byzantine painting inspired by Flemish copperplates. Alongside the images, visitors can admire exquisite examples of 17th-century wood-carved lecterns and iconostases, an episcopal throne and iconostasis from the same period, 18th-century silver chalices and censers, as well as gold votive offerings such as rings, necklaces, earrings, and more. These artifacts exemplify the island's elevated artistic level while conveying a glimpse of local religious folklore.

The Folklore Museum of Milos, established in 1969 by the Association of Milos in Athens, resides in a typical Milos house in the Plaka area. Its objective is to present the peculiarities of daily life on the island from the period after the Greek revolution of 1821 until the interwar period. Through the meticulously arranged spaces of a house, which reflect the furniture and decorations corresponding to the family's economic and social standing, the museum offers insights into the island's past. Exhibiting mansions, urban houses, and rural dwellings, the Folklore Museum of Milos provides a captivating glimpse into the island's history.

Plaka is also home to the Archaeological Museum of Milos, housed in a beautiful neoclassical building from the 19th century, which was converted into a museum in 1985. Undoubtedly, the most impressive exhibit in the museum is the plaster replica of the Venus de Milo, positioned at the entrance as a courtesy from the Louvre Museum, where the renowned original statue of the goddess is displayed. The museum boasts significant artifacts from the prehistoric settlement of Phylakopi, including the well-known Kyra of Phylakopi, as well as samples of obsidian highlighting its significance in the island's development. 

Address & Communication

Korfos, Milos Island, Greece 84800