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Abandoned sulphur mines, Milos

Milos geological tour

Abandoned sulphur mines, Milos

Milos is a volcanic island with a range of topographical features, from multi-hued landscapes and dramatic rock formations to curious geological phenomena.

This private, guided tour takes you to the best of the island’s geological sites and offers an engaging explanation of how they were formed and the role they have played in the island’s history. Mined since Neolithic times, riddled with hot springs, hidden caves and surreal beaches, it’s a story of human progress and raw natural power.

You’ll be collected from your hotel in the morning by your guide and set off into the central part of the island. Your guide will begin by explaining the earliest history of the island and how some of its most unusual geological features were formed.

Its volcanic nature and valuable mineral deposits shaped the economy on Milos for thousands of years. Obsidian was mined here as early as 15,000 years ago and a visit to the Milos Mining Museum gives you a useful overview of the different regions of the island and the various mineral deposits found in each one.

Next, you’ll continue on to Kalamos where the smell of sulfur lingers in the air and small fumaroles spew out streams of hot steam that can be felt with the back of your hand.

You’ll pass salt fields and port towns made rich by the trade in mineral deposits and finish up your tour with a visit to the abandoned sulfur mines on the coast at Paliorema. Here, a roughly hewn road leads down a steep cliffside to the waterfront where a ghost town sits on a pebbly beach.

The mine ceased operating suddenly in the 1950s and was abandoned almost overnight, the miners walking away from their homes and equipment, leaving the site almost intact. The old buildings set into the red-orange rocks of the hillside are now empty shells and you can peer through the windows and see the rusted tools, old equipment, and even the miners’ beds and lockers.

It’s an eerie but beautiful place with the russet-hued hillside juxtaposed with the cerulean waters right beside it. If you wish, there’s time for a swim at the beach to cool off, before heading back to your hotel by mid-afternoon.

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Audley Travel Specialist Shannon

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Other experiences in Milos

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

  • Milos cooking class
    Typical cuisine, Greece

    Milos cooking class

    Milos cooking class

    Learn to cook traditional Greek dishes on the island of Milos where you’ll join a local restaurant chef in choosing ingredients, preparing an array of meze-style dishes, gaining new skills and getting an insider’s guide to Greek cuisine.

    View details

Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.