Memories of the Greek Islands – Part 2 (Milos)

Typical Cycladic architecture in the Plaka district, Milos

Typical Cycladic architecture, colors and winding paths in the Plaka district, Milos

Unlike its famous neighbor Santorini, Milos is much quieter yet shares the same  whitewashed, Cycladic architecture, framed by cerulean skies and turquoise waters. After collecting our rental car at the port, we drove to our home for the week, Nefeli Sunset Studios in Pollonia,  at the northwest tip of the small island.

Our view every evening

Our view every evening

This was as picture-perfect as one could wish for. A large private terrace off our contemporary studio apartment from which to watch the sun go down over the ocean each evening, a delightful small town within easy walking distance where the store owners came to know us and greet us each day with a hug, sandy beaches and warm water for lazy afternoons, plenty of tavernas offering delicious local delicacies and a variety of historical places of interest to explore in the cooler hours.

Renovated Roman ampitheater

The renovated Roman theater  overlooks the port and offers wonderful views and acoustics. The original theater seated 7000 – the renovated one today can seat 700.

One special highlight was visiting the ancient Roman theater as the sun set, listening to a wonderful concert featuring traditional Greek instruments and several talented signers including Roula, our hostess at Nefeli.

Who sat here before us???

By the time the concert began at dusk, every seat was taken

The acoustics were perfect and it was impossible not to feel caught up by the history of such a venue, wondering who else had sat on these marble benches in centuries past?


The winding, paved streets were said to be originally designed as protection against pirates.

Many of the roads on Milos are unsuitable for anything less maneuverable than  a jeep, with narrow, winding, alleyways considered a major thoroughfare!


Weathered shutters set in an old stone wall

Definitely not for the fainthearted.

We did venture out a few times, however, and explored the capital – the Plaka district, even managing to hike to the very top of the steep hill to enjoy the 360' view it afforded, as well as a view of the traditional church (perhaps placed there for those who wished to pray for safety on the return trip?).


View of the Panagia Thalassitra (or  The Ypapanti of Christ) from the top of the hill


In fact cars are not allowed in the heart of the Plaka – but that doesn't mean they don't try!

Our hosts also suggested visiting some of the picturesque fishing village, including  Mandrakia and Klima.


These were interesting in that they were created not so much to be a commercial fishing center, but rather a protected location for boat storage, the colorful garage-style buildings and overhead rooms now a popular place for photographers and artists.

The beaches of course are stunning – and the geology varied, Milos being known for its rich mineral deposits. We were able to explore more of these by joining a yacht trip for a day, circumnavigating the entire island, with time to stop off at a few otherwise inaccessible coves for swimming in the crystal clear, warm waters.

Th essence of Milos

The essence of Milos

Will we ever return? Maybe not, but only because it is so far away from Seattle! Every moment was a gift which we will store in our memory bank, to share occasionally or simply to reflect upon quietly.


Our love and thanks to our daughter Katie, who kept the barn cats fed and the garden watered while we were away, making this trip of a lifetime possible.


I guess it's time for me to get back to writing my book – and taking care of the garden!

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  1. Robert kourik on August 7, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Beautiful photos. I lived on Paros for 4 months in 1973. I spent much of the time doing a B&W shoot of every aspect of the Greek Monastery on the island. I never shot color for some reason, in part I did B&W because I had a darkroom and did all by developing and printing. If you'd like to see some photos of a monk's life, send me an email. Best, Robert

    • Karen Chapman on August 10, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks Robert. That must have been an amazing experience for you. I suspect that B&W may have captured the emotion better than color could ever do. There is an almost intangible quality to life in Greece isn't there?

  2. jeanne cronce on August 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

    My oh My! What a lovely time you had. Thank you for sharing these photos and your life! I can feel the warmth of the sun and smell of the breeze just looking at these! Stunning! Memories are great to make! Thanks again!

    • Karen Chapman on August 10, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you Jeanne – it was fun to revisit these photos.