The best time to visit Milos and Kimolos in Greece depends on what type of vacation you are after. Here are some suggestions from a Greek who’s been all around these two lovely Greek islands.
The islands of Milos and Kimolos in Greece
Milos and Kimolos are two of the Cyclades islands in Greece. The photogenic island of Milos is an up-and-coming destination. Sleepy Kimolos, a short 30-minute ferry trip away, is still well under the radar.
Both of these Greek islands were created millions of years ago due to volcanic activity. As a result, they offer wild, unspoilt beaches and unique landscapes. Visitors will also find dozens of white-washed churches and plenty of ancient and medieval history. Scenic hiking trails, fantastic food and friendly locals complete the picture.
While we’re at it, here’s how to get to Milos in Greece.
When should I visit Milos and Kimolos in Greece?
Travellers often wonder about the best time to visit Greece. If you immediately came up with the word “summer”, you are not alone.
My country is tiny, but it has a suuuuper long coastline. For any nerdy readers out there – Greece is smaller than the State of New York, but our coastline is 1.84 times the coastline of Brazil. At least according to Wikipedia. Crazy eh!
We have dozens of inhabited islands with wonderful beaches. Apart from the Cyclades, there are several more groups of Greek islands. As you would expect, our beautiful beaches are the main reason why summer is the most popular season to visit.
But is summer the best time to visit Milos and Kimolos? Well, as you will probably know, Greece is a warm country overall. Some people even swim year-round.
If you are flexible, late spring or early autumn may actually be the best seasons to travel to Milos. Then you can enjoy sightseeing, hiking, exploring and tasting the delicious Greek food without the extreme high temperatures – or the high numbers of other tourists.
This is what to expect when visiting the two beautiful islands at different times of the year.
Milos and Kimolos in Summer – What’s the weather like?
Milos and Kimolos are pretty warm by most people’s standards. Summer temperatures can easily climb above 30C / 86F on some days.
If your main aim is to hit the beaches, the best time to visit Milos and Kimolos is in summer or early autumn. Most people will find the sea a little too fresh in spring.
With that said, you will need to be aware of the meltemi winds. These are strong northern winds that affect the Aegean Sea. They generally blow in July and August, and occasionally in the early days of September. These seasonal winds are strongest during the midday, afternoon and early evening, and tend to die off at night.
On strong meltemi days, many of the north-facing beaches will not be as relaxing as you hoped, and swimming could be unsafe. Some boat tours might be altered or, in rare cases, cancelled altogether. Here’s my experience swimming at my top ten Milos beaches!
Here is some more information about the meltemi winds in the Cyclades.
What are Milos and Kimolos like in peak season in terms of crowds?
August is a busy month pretty much anywhere in Greece. As many offices and businesses close, this is when many Greeks – and other Europeans – take their holidays.
Unsurprisingly, August is the peak tourist month for both Milos and Kimolos. Whilst these islands don’t get nearly as busy as Santorini or Mykonos, you should still be prepared for more people than usual. If you are planning to visit in August, make sure you book your accommodation and ferry tickets well in advance, especially if your dates are fixed.
You should also know that hotel prices will generally be higher for this month. Still, they will typically be very affordable – nothing like the peak season prices of caldera-view suites in Santorini!
Visiting Milos and Kimolos outside peak season
Visiting the Cyclades outside peak season will offer you a different perspective of life in Greece. In fact, if you visit in the off-season, you will find what most visitors are after – the authentic, Real Greece, without the tourist crowds.
With that said, many visitors will find the off-season too quiet, especially in Kimolos. Several tavernas and rooms to let are seasonal, and some of the tourist attractions will be closed. There might also be a cloud or two – but they won’t last too long. With that said, winter months (December – February) can be really cold and damp, and on rare occasions it might even snow.
One more thing to consider is that there will be considerably fewer ferries per day from Piraeus, which will typically take longer to reach the two islands. Sometimes, if the winds are very strong, the ferries might be cancelled altogether. In these cases, flying into Milos might be a better option.
Things to Do in Spring and Autumn
Like all the Cyclades, Milos and Kimolos have plenty of hiking paths. Summer temperatures would make long hikes uncomfortable for most people. So, if your main aim is to hike, visiting in spring or early autumn is ideal.
In fact, I found it pretty warm when we hiked to Kleftiko Bay in Milosin late September! And I’m supposed to be used to our warm climate… With that said, hiking in Kimolos at the same time of year was just perfect.
In terms of nature, the Cyclades are really beautiful in spring. Even though Milos and Kimolos are not the greenest of islands, they will still take you by surprise with their pretty, varied landscapes.
As for swimming, expect the sea temperature to be colder in spring than in summer or autumn. I definitely do, but I swim anyway, so if you are coming from cold climates you will be fine.
Finally, if you are looking for a unique cultural experience, you could consider visiting the islands during Greek Easter, when the villages come alive with the local traditions.
Easter in Milos and Kimolos
Not many visitors plan their travels to coincide with Greek Easter. This is a shame, as observing our most important religious and cultural event is a really special experience.
The way Greek Easter is celebrated has little to do with the Catholic or Protestant rituals. Most locals and the few lucky visitors thoroughly enjoy Greek Easter traditions, especially the culinary ones. Local celebrations and customs may vary from area to area, and even from one island to the next.
Neither Milos nor Kimolos are especially well-known around Greece for their local Easter traditions. Yet, this doesn’t mean that they are not special!
Apart from the various religious ceremonies, Easter celebrations in Milos and Kimolos typically include lots of fireworks, as well as burning an effigy of Judas Iscariot. Traditionally, there are also other customs, mainly related to dating and mating. In addition, there are plenty of special dishes during the Easter period.
Greek Easter is celebrated on a Sunday in spring, in either April or May. Here are the dates for the next decade, to help you plan!
Here’s some more info on Greek Easter traditions.
Local events and panigiria in Milos and Kimolos
Like most Greek islands, Milos and Kimolos host dozens of our local feasts, called panigiria. These are traditional celebrations, which normally involve copious amounts of local food and wine. Furthermore, you will have the chance to observe certain religious rituals, as well as local music and dance. All in all, they could easily be one of the highlights of your trip.
Panigiria are linked to our religious days, and the festivities take place close to the numerous churches on the two islands. Incidentally, the words “Agios” and “Agia” that you will see on almost every church, mean “Saint”.
Important panigiria and festivals in Milos
Some of the most important panigiria in Milos include:
- Holy Spirit Day (50 days after Easter Sunday) in Agia Triada church in Adamas
- Day of All Saints (56 days after Easter Sunday) in the Catacombs
- 16 July, Agia Marina
- 19 July, Profitis Ilias
- 26 / 27 July, Agios Panteleimonas
- 15 August, Koimisi tis Theotokou and Agios Haralambos in Adamas
- 22 August, three panigiria at Komia, Kipos and Trypiti
- 28 August, two panigiria at Agrilies and Provatas
- 8 September, Panagia Korfiatissa in Plaka
- 26 September, Agios Ioannis Siderianos monastery
In addition to panigiria, keep an eye out for Milos Festival, an ambitious project including musical and theatrical performances.
Local feasts / Panigiria in Kimolos
Kimolos also has some big panigiria:
- 20 July, Prophitis Ilias
- 6 August, two panigiria at Chorio and Klima
- 15 August, The Assumption of the Virgin in Chorio, with daily religious ceremonies starting on 1st August, in preparation for the big festivities on 14th and 15th August
- 20 August, a unique panigiri in Polyaigos
- 13 September, celebration of the Holy Cross with bonfires
- 21 November, The Revenue of the Virgin in Panagia Odigitria, the big metropolitan church in Chorio. This is one of the most important panigiria in Kimolos, happening during the off-season.
Other events in Kimolos include the Feast of Ladenia, on 15th August, where visitors can taste a local delicacy resembling a cheeseless pizza. In addition, the voluntary group Kimolistes organize open-air cinema in the Castle of Kimolos now and then – just ask around. Finally, check out the Kimolos International Film Festival, featuring independent film-makers.
Best time to visit Milos and Kimolos – My opinion
Having visited Milos, Kimolos and many other Cyclades in different seasons, I’d say that my personal preference is either June or September. The weather is milder, the islands are quieter, and there is an overall relaxed atmosphere. Ah, well, last but not least, accommodation is cheaper…
With that said, I would love to visit during spring, to join the Easter festivities and hike the lovely trails. Watch this space 🙂
While you are here, check out these two quick guides:
Hello, I’m Vanessa!
Hi! I’m Vanessa, a travel writer from Athens, Greece. My passions are travelling, exploring, snorkelling, learning, cooking and introducing my country to visitors.
I love helping people with tips about Greece! I’ve been sharing my local knowledge (and, quite often, my personal views) for over 15 years, in numerous groups, forums and blogs.