48 Hours in Milos – What to See, Eat & Do

Greece

Blindingly white dwellings dotted with blue accents lay burnished under the intense sun. There is a jaunty air about this laid-back island – sailboats bobbed along to the lull of the gentle wind, skippers lay languid on the edge of the hull and Miloans breeze through their daily grind as they chug shot glassfuls of raki by the sea. Everything is chill here, a world away from her Cyclades sister of Mykonos where party-hopping rules the scene. 

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THE BEACHES

Scout the island for beaches that glide and twist into otherworldly shapes. Sarakiniko Beach is a marvel with its ashen rock shore that dips into azure waters, resembling a prodigious moonscape. 

Swim in a pothole and stumble into caves at Papafragas Beach. If the swim makes you hungry, take a five minutes drive to Kivotos ton Gefseon and snack on chocolate pies, pizza bread and cakes. 

Head to Firopotamos near Plaka, the capital of Milos. The beach may be nothing to brag about, but its ancient ruins there are worth making a trip to. 

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THE SIGHTS

The best views of Milos are seen from the ocean. Hop onto Captain Elias’s sailboat and explore the island’s outer rim, fringed by metamorphic beaches formed over centuries of volcano activity. The all-day boat trip skims through open caves and olden-day pirates’ lairs while you feast on homemade Greek salads, grilled octopus, dolmades, and ouzo.

Don’t miss a pit stop at Klima, a string of syrmata embellished with vivid hues. The village can be accessed via boat or car. Be warned – you will need to brave through a long flight of stairs if you take the car route.

THE FOOD

The island is crawling with sea view restaurants. O Hamos and Medusa are all-time favourites for Miloan food such as lamb baked in cheese, yogurt with sweets and grilled octopus. For more on what to eat here, check out the eating guide

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ROOMS

Eiriana Luxury Suites is all powder white and turquoise blue with all the bells and whistles of a lavish roost. The pool is for views of the island and lounging around in the mornings with breakfast on the deckchair. The honeymoon suite has a jacuzzi with views of the nearby town area. Doubles start at €160. 

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72 Hours in Folegandros – What to See, Eat & Do

Greece

It’s late May – the beginning of the tourist season – Folegandros remains low-key and positively empty. Donkeys still trot the craggy paths that meander throughout the island. The summer air is filled with the sweet scent of rosemary and oregano, wafting in from the herb gardens that belong to restaurant owners.

Some equate Folegandros to Santorini during its early days, before an airport was built and the tourists took over. The charm of Folegandros is exactly that – an unassuming island that has not met with the tourist mob. Or at least not yet. It is a refuge for those who simply want to kick back and take in the sights of the Cyclades, minus the noise. 

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THE BEACHES

A trip to the Greek islands is incomplete without a little sunbathing time by the sea, and Folegandros is loaded with remote beaches. A short ride in the island’s vintage bus will take you to Agali Beach, the most accessible of them all. Make a day of it when you’re there to soak up the azure waters. Quick bites and drinks are just a few steps away at the nearby cafés – a great way to power through your afternoon soak. The view from the bar and restaurant at Blue Sand Hotel is exceptionally breathtaking, and the perfect spot to watch sunbathers glowing red under the Mediterranean sun.

Katergo Beach is a pristine oasis with some of the bluest waters crashing against its shoreline. The fastest way to get there is by boat. Its seclusion is its biggest appeal, but that also means the sight of an eatery is not for another three miles or so. Pack your own food and drinks, and you’ll feel at home at a beach retreat.

Livadaki Beach is another of the island’s elusive beaches. Boats will take you there from Agali Beach. Otherwise, an adventurous hike from Ano Meria will take you through a steep terrain before you can lay eyes on this paradise. 

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THE SIGHTS

Spend your days wandering Chora, one of the three villages in Folegandros with the highest concentration of restaurants, cafés and knick-knack shops. Take a stroll through Kastro – a little hamlet in Chora – where you can see the way the Greeks live on this island.

The zigzag path up to the Church of Panagia promises some of the best views of Folegandros and its towering cliffs. As the sun sets, the sky darkens and Chora lights up for the night – the perfect view from the church.

Ano Meria represents the wilder side of Folegandros. Some of the longest hikes start off at this rural village that still retains the old donkey tracks. Hikes range from one to three and a half hours. 

THE FOOD

Local specialties include matsata, a type of handmade pasta cooked with rooster or rabbit in tomato sauce. The dishes at Folegandros is usually topped with souroto cheese, a locally produced white cheese that resembles feta. For more on what to eat here, check out the eating guide

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ROOMS WITH A VIEW

Perched beside the pathway to the Church of Panagia, Anemomilos Apartments is a three-room boutique establishment with the makings of a luxe hotel. Owner Dimitris Patelis first set foot in Folegandros and fell in love with its unmistakable beauty. In three years time, he transformed an empty land into a balmy abode that’s open to islanders in summer. Guests are treated to a homemade breakfast in the mornings and sweeping views of the open sea. Doubles start at €150. 

For the best bang for your buck, Aeri Folegandros Studios has rooms with views of Chora set against the backdrop of the ocean. Doubles start at €90 – each spacious room has a living area and balcony. 

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The Eating Guide to Athens, Greece

Greece

Athens may be known as a city of ancient ruins, but a new wave of restaurants is bringing a modern take to traditional Greek fare. This is a city where most of its people head out of their house for food – dining out is an everyday affair. We stumbled into a few good eats amidst the chaotic streets. 

Look forward to: Greek fusion food 

360 Athens Cocktail Bar 

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Where: Ifestou 2, Athina 105 55, Greece
What: Chicken rump and steak with halloumi 
For: A view of the Acropolis 

360 Athens Cocktail Bar joins the list of restaurants in Athens with a view of the Acropolis. The restaurant has both an indoor and outdoor area, but book in advance for a seat on the rooftop, where the best views from the restaurant are found. The food menu is a little Greek, a little European and a little American – so there’s something for everyone. Take your pick of cocktails from the drinks menu, each bearing a whimsical name such as Sweet Melony and The Perfect Lady. 

Karamanlidika 

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Where: Sokratous 1, Athina 10552, Greece
What: Sudjuk sausages with eggs
For: Cured meats and cheeses

Meander past butcher shops in the alleys to Karamanlidika, where cured meats and cheeses are the stuff people talk about. Don’t be mistaken by its deli-esque storefront. Look for the waiter and you’ll get a seat in the back alley where the locals are found having cured meats with a glass of wine. Go straight for the specialties – fried sachanaki cheese, pastirma and sudjuk sausages. Some of these are served with a sunny side up egg in a pan.

Fabrica tou Efrosinou

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Where: Anastasiou Zinni 34, Athina 117 41, Greece
What: Casual joint
For: Bifteki

Things are kept casual at Fabrica tou Efrosinou. Just waltz into the café in the late morning, when lunch is not yet being served, and the chef might whip up an omelette with feta cheese. Bifteki (Greek burger), fries and veal chops are crowd favourites. 

Skoumbri 

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Where: Drakou 14, Athina 117 42, Greece
What: Grilled octopus
For: Seafood

People head to Skoumbri for a seafood restaurant in Athens, where they serve a good range of seafood. Look for the trademark mackerel sign along the bustling Drakou street in Koukaki. The white and turquoise interiors is a fresh reminder of dining in the Greek islands. Seafood such as sardines, shrimps and octopus are served as mains, and you get the choice of having it grilled or fried.