Milos Boat Tours – How To Choose The Perfect Milos Sailing Tour For You
Updated on February 14th, 2023
Taking a sailing tour around Milos is the perfect way to see the highlights of this beautiful Greek Island. After all, you cannot miss world-famous Kleftiko, Sarakiniko beach & your chance to swim in the crystal blue water! Here is all the information you need to find the best Milos boat tour for you. “
Milos Island, Cyclades, Greece
In August 2018, I visited Milos Island as part of a Greek Island-hopping holiday. It was my second time on this beautiful island but on this occasion, I truly fell in love with it. The day I spent on a sailing tour was definitely my highlight. I am keen to share the reasons why this should not be missed on any holiday around the Greek archipelago.
If you fancy doing a similar trip, then don’t miss my First Timer’s Guide to Greek Island-Hopping.
Milos is one of the most dramatic islands in the Cyclades due to its volcanic heritage. This has created a 125km coastline full of different minerals, rock formations, multicoloured cliffs & over 70 beaches. In addition, you will find crystal clear waters of all shades of blue & green. As you explore Milos it delivers an impressive geology lesson. However, it is generally one of the smaller and quieter islands in the Cyclades & there are far fewer tourists than many of its more famous neighbours like Santorini, Paros, Naxos & Mykonos.
For a detailed itinerary, check out my guide on the 21 Best Things to do in Milos.
A Milos boat tour is highly recommended to see the best coastal features of the island & the beaches that are inaccessible by any other means. It also allows you the opportunity to swim in the idyllic small bays with crystal clear turquoise waters.”
Milos Boat Tours – How To Choose The Perfect Milos Sailing Tour For You
All Are Not Created Equal
This was the 2nd time I’d visited Milos & also my second boat tour. On my first, we spent a day on the water but only actually discovered half of the island. The way out to Kleftiko was beautiful with the sun shining. We had plenty of opportunities for tanning on the deck while admiring the island from afar. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant & then headed back the same way.
When the guide came out in her thermals & waterproof jacket we were confused. All we had was our beach clothes. The rest of our tour friends took shelter under the canopy. The only seats left for my sister & me were at the front where we were lashed by waves for the full journey home.
We only had a towel to huddle under to protect us which ended up soaking wet & cold. I thought the trip home would never end but we kept our spirits high & took our soaking bodies straight to the bar for a hot Irish coffee on our return to warm up!”
So, when my friend suggested repeating the experience, I was sceptical….
If you would like to book a boat tour in Milos, Greece, below are a few options:
How Do You Choose Your Boat?
After my second tour, I was so blown away by the beauty of the island that I decided to dedicate a whole blog post to the day alone. As a result, I have created the list below to help you when selecting your tour. The day is not cheap so it’s important that you feel you are getting your money’s worth.
Half or Full Island?
I have done both & can categorically say that Milos is so beautiful with amazing geology that it is well worth taking the full island tour if you can.
Half-Day or Full-Day Trip?
As with my previous experience, some tours go around half the island & stop for a sit-down lunch. This means that you will often go out slowly & see the sites but return quickly. The better option is that if you have a full day, use it to see the whole island.
When to Go?
Ask all the questions & book as soon as you arrive on the island. That way you get the best choice & the sellers will recommend the best day for the wind (which can impact where you start, which direction you head, half or full island). Whatever they say about the best day, take their advice if possible. The boat tours will also get booked up more quickly at weekends.
What Else Is On Offer?
Make sure you note all the extras. Many Milos boat tours offer underwater photos, unlimited bar, masks & snorkels. Also, ask about the number of people on the boat as some may be very crowded.
Which Type of Boat?
Tourist boats can be 2 tier & very overcrowded. If you opt for a yacht there are likely to be fewer people & if you do, go for a newer vessel rather than an older one (advice we were given by a local).
Ask a few people before you decide. The attitude of the sellers will often give you a steer as to how the tour is likely to be & cheaper does not often mean better. The boats get back to the harbour after 7pm & this is when they do their selling. Take your time to look around & speak to the vendors so you can more easily see what type of vessel you’ll be travelling in.
Which Boat Did I Choose?
We stayed at Hotel Eleni, very close to the port in Adamas & I could not recommend it highly enough. The hotel is run by Eleni herself who is the most adorable, enthusiastic & helpful person you could wish for on reception! Apart from a lovely clean room & great outside terrace, the breakfasts were amazing (a huge array of options for only €7.50 per person). After doing our research at the port we came home to ask Eleni for her advice.
She showed us the boat which was run by her husband & son, named after her. She told us which would be the best day to go & called to reserve our places.
All we knew was that if the boat had the same level of attention to detail as its namesake then it would be a fantastic experience. They did not disappoint us!”
What To Expect
Sailboat “Eleni” was a 57-foot sailing yacht which held 25 – 36 people. As such it was one of the larger boats of its kind operating in Milos. When we were there it didn’t feel too full & there was plenty of space for those who wanted to enjoy the sun or shelter in the shade. IWhen I visited, the tour was €90 per person (cash only), payable on the day (prices may change so please check before going). We started the tour at 9.30am from Adamas port & arrived back at 7pm. The crew were excellent & we were well looked after, informed, fed & entertained by our excellent guides Palmeta & George.
The extras on the tour included the use of masks for swimming (no snorkels) & photos taken by Palmeta throughout the day with a GoPro. This included underwater pictures, all provided on a CD at the end of the day. For all others, this meant returning to the port after 10pm to pick it up. As we were staying at Eleni’s place, they were delivered to our door!
The food throughout the day cruise was all freshly prepared & delicious. It included pre-breakfast (cake), breakfast (sandwich), pre-lunch (bread & salami), lunch (pasta with tuna & tomato sauce), ice cream & as much wine, ouzo, soft drinks & water as you cared to drink. As long as they know a day before they can also provide a vegetarian option.
What Are The Highlights of a Milos Boat Tour?
During the full-day Milos boat tour, we saw mineral mines, catacombs, colourful fishing villages, the best Milos beaches (some only accessible by climbing down a ladder or swimming to them), pirate caves, rocks of all colours of the rainbow, abandoned villages and sea bluer & clearer than you can really believe is natural. Here are my favourite spots not to be missed:
The catacombs are the first place we passed & are carved out of the pumice stone cliffs in caves 150m above the surface of the sea. They have been deemed the most ancient monument of Christianity & used as a cemetery from the end of the 2nd century BC. They are second only to the catacombs of Rome. You can also visit these from the land which sounds like an interesting trip.
Klima is a fishing village with a collection of cottages, all painted brightly, with the sea lapping against them.
It’s very picturesque & if you’re lucky like we were you will also see the men casting their nets as you pass. The good thing is you get to see Klima on the way in & way out so 2 chances to photograph this beautiful spot.”
I would also recommend a visit on foot/bus/car as a walk along by the cottages is stunning. You can read more towards the end of this post.
Vani has rainbow coloured rocks rising sharply out of the water due to the plethora of minerals that the cliffs contain. For this reason, it used to be a focus for mining activity & you can still see the remnants of this on the side of the cliff. As you round the cape, they take you really close to the rocks, so you get an impression of how deep the cliffs soar through the water. Here the sea is a beautiful, clear green colour – absolutely spectacular!
4. Sikia Cave
The area of Sikia Cave is stunning due to the volcanic nature of the island. Black obsidian cliffs lie on top of the white rock. Sikia Cave & beach is only accessible by boat, or swimming. A fig tree stands above the hole where the roof of the cave collapsed & the cave is named after this.
Unfortunately, due to the size of our boat, Eleni couldn’t enter. We could see a few smaller boats which had negotiated their way in. It’s an interesting location, even without being able to go inside…but there’s plenty of beautiful things to explore on this island!
World-famous Kleftiko is one of the highlights of the day & any Milos boat tour. It is the most photographed spot on the island. Here we got a chance to stop & have a swim in the beautiful turquoise water that surrounds the white rock archway.
The caves here were once a refuge for pirates & if I was a pirate, I could happily hide in this gorgeous spot forever!”
We borrowed masks from the boat, so we could see the rocks under the pristine waters. The fish were swimming under us & we were mesmerised by the ripples in the sandy bed as we swam through the caves.
Although on the boat tour we did not get to this beach, I loved the concept of it. The beach is only accessible if you climb over the cliff & lower yourself down by a ladder & rope. Once there it is clearly a popular place to be & apparently also has a small café.
This was one of my favourite beaches in Milos & is again only accessible by boat. We stopped & took up the opportunity to swim there through the crystal-clear water. The boat provides fins & floats if you aren’t a confident swimmer, but we decided to go without. Once on the beach, it is formed of gravel & is a beautiful spot to sit & enjoy the views.
Beware that the gravel has a strong attraction to getting stuck in your bikini & I spent a good 10 minutes to clear mine after a short sit on the beach as the waves lapped my legs!”
Once empty, its great people watching to see the realisation as others stand up to assess the contents of theirs:-)!
Polyaigos is a small island just off Milos with orange & white rocks, forming a dramatic backdrop to the waters which challenge to be the bluest I have seen anywhere. Even I couldn’t believe how filtered & photoshopped the pictures looked without any work & how almost unnatural the colour of the sea is here.
It’s a very inviting swim & a great place to take advantage of the underwater camera with the pristine waters & excellent visibility.
9. Glaronisia Islets
Spectacular & breath-taking are 2 words that sprung to mind as we approached these rocks, looking striped as the formations show their volcanic origins.
Through the impact of great pressure, the rock has shaped into long thin hexagonal columns. They soar from the water to create an otherworldly landscape.”
Apparently, you can only view a similar phenomenon in Tasmania. To me, it resembled a much smaller version of the Giants Causeway in Ireland.
Sarakiniko beach is made of volcanic white rock which has been eroded by the wind & waves. It literally looks like marble or the surface of the moon. As we passed on the boat brave souls were jumping from the higher rocks into the sea, performing to their audience across the water.
We also visited on foot, taking the bus. Yet another must-do on this stunning island. See below for more details.
This was the final famous site of Milos which we passed on our way back to the port. Arkoudes is also known as “Bear Rock”.
My friend thought it looked more like a rabbit from a distance. At the right angle though, the bear-like resemblance is unmissable.”
There is no doubt Arkoudes is an impressive sight. However, with all the other incredible formations we had seen today, it kind of paled into insignificance.
Milos is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most beautiful islands I have visited just for its stunning & varied geology. Although I love to recommend this place, please don’t feel pressured to go. I love the fact that it still feels a little less “discovered” than its more famous neighbours!
Where To Stay in Milos
Milos has many options of accommodation & I would recommend staying in Adamas. This will put you close to the busy port with its wide selection of hotels & restaurants. Obviously, my top recommendation would be Hotel Eleni but if you would like to save money then why not try Anna Zisimos? Alternatively, if you feel like totally blowing the budget then check out Arco Solium Suites.
Where else should you visit in Milos?
In terms of Milos, then I would recommend a couple of extra days to explore even more what this stunning island has to offer. My recommendations are:
You will have seen this from your Milos sailing tour but it’s well worth closer inspection. We had been told that this is a ‘must-do’ when visiting Milos & I couldn’t agree more. Sarakiniko is nicknamed “Luna Beach” & it truly felt like we were walking on the moon.
The beach is made of volcanic white rock which has been eroded by the wind & waves. It literally looks like you are walking on marble.”
Take a couple of hours to explore (we arrived by bus just after 11 & left at 1pm), swim, relax & marvel at the beautiful rock formations. You can make camp for the day but there is limited actual sand & no shade.
Plaka is an inland town which is very picturesque & well worth a visit. Our first stop was to climb to the top of the Kastro, a church on top of the one very dominant hill. My advice is to get there early & go straight up. This is partly because you can avoid the intense heat & there are fewer people (we were alone). However, the main reason to go early is that it stops you from assessing how high it looks & talking yourself out of the climb (it looks way worse than it actually is!). The views from the top are well worth the effort as you take in the whole island, stunning villages & the sea surrounding Milos from this vantage point.
From Plaka, we decided it was only a 30-minute walk to get to the picturesque fishing village of Klima. In the midday sun, we started our trek, realising ½ way that it was all downhill & we would need to make it back up in the heat before we could get the bus back home.
The walk was worth it (a drive would be even better!), despite arriving very hot & with a huge sense of foreboding about the return journey.”
Once again, Klima is worth closer inspection than you are able to do from the sailing boat. As mentioned, Klima is a collection of gorgeous fishermen’s cottages, all painted brightly, with the sea lapping against them. It’s very picturesque & in Astakas, you have a welcome restaurant in the centre for some shade & a chance to cool off.
Finally, when we decided to brave the walk back up the hill, I came up with the genius plan of trying to hitch a lift & after a few unkeen drivers passed us, we struck lucky with a couple who gave us a lift all the way back to Adamas. Therefore, my advice is to think carefully before you brave the walk, knowing you may have to climb back up in the heat. Be prepared.
If you haven’t got the picture yet, I loved this island & one of the best ways to see everything there is to take a Milos boat tour. I hope I have been able to offer a comprehensive summary of what you need to consider when you are planning your perfect trip. Milos is one of the islands not to be missed on your Greek Island Hopping Itinerary around the Cyclades.
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I have never done any Greek Island hopping so it is lovely to hear about these lesser-known islands that can offer great adventures. The Eleni trip certainly fitted a lot of sights in and I would love to experience the snorkelling in that clear blue water. The last boat trip I went on was in Jamaica and involved rum which got a bit messy!! Boat trips are such a great way to sights only accessible by the water and of course, make new friends. Great photos – they really make me want to go now!
Thank you, Angela, & I’m glad I’ve sold in a trip to Milos! I understand about the rum on the Jamaican boat trip & have to admit that this one finished with plenty of white wine too…rude not to when they offered it complimentary! 😉 Sue x
I have not been to any Greek Island yet! The different unique rock formations you have described here are simply amazing. The rainbow colored rocks, the orange and white rocks and the hexagonal column structures are all wonderful. I would love to take a trip to Milos and discover these someday. Thanks for pointing this hidden gem of a place! 🙂
Thank you Jan & glad I’ve managed to add Milos to your list when you get to Greece! Sue x
I would absolutely love a boat tour like this one! And I really appreciate your advice about how to select the right boat and tour. What a beautiful island–I really need to get to Greece soon.
Thank you Wendy, glad you found the post useful & hope you can make the trip soon. Stay Safe, Sue x
Accept for the sailing part, I would love to see that with my own eyes.
We did a sailing tour some years ago and ended up in a HUGE storm, huge enough that we saw the waves above the mast… scary as hell! So that makes me seasick as soon as I am on a dock.
Wow, Ann! That sound really scary & not surprised it has put you off the idea of exploring by boat. Thank you for sharing. Sue x
The irony of the whole thing is that I am working as a saleswoman… selling boats and boatequipment 😀
That’s brilliant! 🙂
Looks idyllic. It’s been years since I’ve been to Greece. Was hoping to be there last month but obviously that didn’t happen. Very interested to read about this island as know nothing about Milos Island at all and it looks quite stunning.
So sorry you had to cancel your trip, Sarah. It’s such a tough time for us travellers, I should have been in Iceland right now too. I hope you manage to get there once we can travel again & that Milos will be on your itinerary. Sue x
I’m a little be scared to begin my next round of Greek Island Hopping, because I’m fearful that once I start I’ll never stop! I visited Greece for the first time last year, and I loved it, but we’ve only visited one chain of islands, and even then, not all of them. The Greek hospitality is wonderful, and add to that the food, and the water, and the boat trips, and you have a recipe for success.
Thank you, Jay & I know just how you feel! I have done a similar trip to this 6 times now & my friend recently suggested returning & I signed up immediately! Such an amazing, beautiful & relaxing part of the world. Sue x
So lovely. It makes me want to go even more. The Greek Isles are on my list especially after watching Mama Mia 1 & 2.
Thank you, Marguerite & Mamma Mia always gets you in the mood to go to Greece! Glad I have added to the urge 😉 Sue x
Greece has been on my to-go list forever. Your post really makes me think of packing my backs right-away and head to the blue waters of Milos! What wonderful pictures. And boat tours are such a refreshing way to relax and let the breeze do its magic on our bodies.
Thank you for your comment & really pleased I fuelled your urge to visit. I hope you enjoy the island as much as I did when you get there. Sue x
Living in Crete has given wonderful opportunities to visit many of the Greek Islands (right now, I’m on the island of Kythira). Milo is certainly high on a list to visit. I have only ever heard wonderful insights about this island and you’ve provided more inspiration (not that it was needed). ? ?
Thank you, Marilyn & I’m very jealous that you have made a home in Greece. I hope you enjoy Milos as much as I do when you do make it there. Safe travels, Sue x
Thank you very much indeed Sue! as a new solo traveler this will be my first time in Greece and after reading your information definitely this is the winner ticket!!! But having only 12 days where 4 days I will be in Athens, do you think Milos for 3 days – with a full day sailing tour and Santorini for 5 days will be a good choice? or any suggestions? All the Best and Thank you again for such a great, practical, friendly and helpful blog!!! x
Thank you, Mariella! I am so excited for you to start your solo journey & Greece is a fantastic choice. If you haven’t already, please also check out my other guides & I have one on Paros & more on Milos, Naxos & Santorini still to come in future posts too. 3 days for Milos is a good amount of time & gives you a few options to get the best weather conditions to make the most of your boat trip too. Santorini for 5 days is quite some time. I’m not sure what time of year you are planning to go but in peak season it can get very busy & is also the most expensive island. Please make sure you do the walk from Fira to Oia while you’re there – it’s amazing! I would consider trying to fit 3 islands into your 8 days island hopping if you can. If you enjoy beaches then the best ones aren’t in Milos or Santorini. My recommendation for an extra would be Paros – they say it’s like Santorini but 20 years ago. Less busy but very classy & a bit more budget friendly. Naxos is great for beaches & cheaper still. Please let me know if you have any more questions – I love Greece & am always happy to help. Safe travels, Sue x
Milos has been on my radar for the past two Summers. The opportunity for me to spend a week enjoying the sights you’ve shared, will certainly be worth the wait.
Thank you Marilyn & I hope you get there soon. I love Milos!
I just got back from a trip to Greece 2 days ago which included a visit to beautiful Milos! Thanks to your blog, my friend and I did the trip around the island on the Eleni and it was one of our top 2 experiences on our trip to Greece! Just to give you an update, I booked this through Sailing Milos. It was 80 Euros for the all day trip and they took my credit card number to reserve at booking. My friend and I visited their office in Adamis the day before and the lovely Alexandra let us split the cost on each of our cards The wonderful Dora was our guide and took great care of us! She is like the Energizer bunny! They didn’t have a GoPro, so no underwater photos/video, but Dora took wonderful pictures of the guests at the Instragram spots. We had a PERFECT day on the Eleni seeing the incredible island of Milos! Thanks for the recommendation!
Thank you Margy for your update & for letting me know. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip & that Eleni delivered once again! You are more than welcome & thank you again for the feedback. 🙂