MILOS



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Milos - Phylakopi, Zephyria and the east of the island - Zephyria


Zephyria

At Kanavas, 3.5km south from Adamas along the shore line road, directly opposite the electricity generating station, geothermic springs rise at c. 50°C both on the beach, with orange ferrous deposits, and under the water offshore where bubbles and movement are visible on the surface from the shore.
   Immediately beyond, a left branch leads inland to Zephyri­a (5.5km), sometimes still called ‘Chora’, a community in low lying fertile land, which from the 9th century up until 1767 was the island’s capital. When Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, the French emissary to the Ottoman Empire, visited in 1700, the town had 5,000 inhabitants and 17 churches, but it was abandoned not long after, and the populace moved to Plaka and Trypiti­. The abandonment is attested by many sources, some attributing it to a curse, some to malaria; others have recently explained it by an increase in noxious gases due to evolving volcanic activity. Today it is a quiet and under-populated village centred around the double-church of the Panaghia Portiani­ and Aghios Charalambos. The church has a particularly attractive profile: a pleasing configuration of long low vaults, different-sized octagonal drums and cupolas, emphatically pedimented windows, simply carved marble door-frames and the low arches of the mediaeval ‘porta’ to the west, which gives it its name. Its present form dates from a mid-17th century rebuilding. Spolia from an earlier church are conserved in the court on the east side. The paintings in the interior are recent, except for the areas of 17th century work on the south wall, where a Nativity scene, among others, has survived, although in bad condition because of the poor adherence of the plaster. The icons of St John and of the Virgin and Child on the templon screen are fine examples of 17th century local work. Standing in a field 200m north of the Portiani­, the roofless ruined church of Christos in a delicate grey perlite stone, now inhabited by a large colony of white doves, is a poignant reminder of the abandonment of the town. The elegant building was of an interesting domed tri-conch plan: sections of the dome and vaults lie col lapsed in the nave. The curious double blind-arch, on the exterior wall above the aperture of the west door, suggests that the building also had a vaulted narthex.
   Southeast from Zephyri­a the road continues to the south coast at Palaiochori, a tiny settlement on a shingle beach backed by low cliffs, whose name, meaning ‘old town’, refers to an Early Christian settlement on the site, which was already ‘old’ by the time Zephyri­a was settled in the 9th century. The cliffs have many colours of volcanic rock and there is once again considerable geothermic activity. There is a fumarole with visibly escaping steam from a gash in the hillside in the field to the right hand side as you descend to the shore: other fumaroles and springs are concentrated around the far end of the second smaller bay to the west. Beside one of the tavernas on the shore is an area of sand which is so hot from the underground heat (in excess of 100°C) that it is used for slow-cooking meats in terracotta vessels.


Milos Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.
Zephyria.

 

access

Milos Island, Greece.

By air: Olympic Air operates two 40-minute flights from Athens to Milos daily. The airport is 4.5km from Adámas.
By boat: Ventouris Lines run a daily car-ferry service from Piraeus (dep. 7.05 am, arr. c. 3 pm), which calls at the other Western Cycladic Islands both on the outward and return journey, guaranteeing daily connections with them. This is supplemented by at least one high-speed connection (4 hrs 30 mins) every day in the summer only.
There are three weekly connections between Milos and Santorini. The F/B Panaghia Phaneromeni makes 5–6 crossings daily from Pollónia (in northeast Milos) to Kimolos; it accommodates vehicles, and the journey takes 25 mins.

Milos Travel Guide

beaches

Milos Island, Greece.

 

Milos Travel Guide

eating

Milos Island, Greece.

To Petrino in Zephyría is one of the most trustworthy places on Milos for simple, fresh Greek cooking, and it remains out of the tourist loop.
The Mezedopoleion Phocas in Pláka, and Zygos in Adámas, prepare their dishes well and freshly, and offer local wine in the spring.
For good fish, Pelagos, the easternmost taverna on the beach at Palaiochori, is to be recommended: it remains open all year.
The speciality of the tavernas at Palaiochori is a succulent lamb dish, slow cooked in terracotta vessels on the geothermically heated sand of the beach outside.

Milos Travel Guide

further reading

Milos Island, Greece.

An Island Polity: the Archaeology of Exploitation in Melos, edited by Colin Renfrew and Malcolm Wagstaff, CUP, 1982.
Disarmed—The Story of the Venus de Milo, by Gregory Curtis, Vintage Press, 2004.
Milos—Geologic History, by Ian Plimer, KOAN Publishing House, Athens, 2000.
James Theodore Bent, The Cyclades (1885), reissued 2002 by Archaeopress, Oxford in the ‘3rd Guides’ series.
Thucydides’s Peloponnesian War, V, 84–116 is poignantly relevant to Milos.

Milos Travel Guide

lodging

Milos Island, Greece.

The island offers mainly simple accommodations.
In Adámas, Giannis Apartments are spacious and pleasant and in a quiet neighbourhood (T. 22870 22204, fax 22144, www. giannisapartments.gr).
Attractively situated above the harbour of Klima, and close to the archaeological areas, is the Hotel Panorama (T. 22870 21623, fax 22112); while higher up in the alleyways of Pláka are two charming alternatives with good views: Archondoula Studios (T. 22870 23820) and Betty’s Studios (T. 22870 21538).
Across the island, be hind the beach at Palaiochóri, are the pleasantly appointed Artemis Bungalows (T./fax. 22870 31221).
At Pollónia, the Kostantakis Farm and Studios offers comfortable and attractive studios, as well as wine and produce grown on its own farm, (T. 22870 41357, fax 41500, www.kostantakis.gr)
The most unusual solution of all, is in a converted windmill on the ridge at Trypití: there are three units at the Marketos Windmill and its out buildings, all with clear views (T. 22870 22147, fax 22384).

Milos Travel Guide

museums

Milos Island, Greece.

Ecclesiastical Museum
Milos Archaeological Museum
Mining Museum of Milos

Milos Travel Guide

practical info

Milos Island, Greece.

848 00 Milos: area 158sq km; perimeter 139km; resi dent population 4,736; max. altitude 748 m. Port Authority: T. 22870 23360. Travel information: Milos Travel, T. 22870 22000, fax. 22688, www.milostravel. gr, (Pollónia) Blue Waters Travel (Patrick and Sheila Warwick), tel. 22870 41234. General information: www.milos-island.gr

Milos Travel Guide

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