Although the capital of Milos, one of the volcanic islands of the Cyclades, is Plaka, Adamas village is its main, busiest port. Also called “Adamantas,” the name literally means diamond in Greek, and this shimmering little town absolutely lives up to the name.
Adamas is one of the biggest towns in Milos, with iconic whitewashed houses and a bustling population of over 1,300 people. Its port serves most boats stopping at Milos, keeping Adamas bustling with life throughout the year.
What’s more, it is one of the few areas in the Cyclades that is almost completely protected by the infamous Meltemi winds. More often than not, the sea at Adamas is calm, with minimal or no waves. This is wonderful since there are many beaches and several things to do in Adamas without having the wind push against you!
Here is everything you need to know about Adamas, Milos, so you can enjoy everything it has to offer to the fullest:
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A brief history of Adamas
Though there are due traces of the area being inhabited since early antiquity, Adamas was founded in 1830 by Cretan refugees who fled to Milos. They were settled there by decree by Greece’s first ruler, Ioannis Kapodistrias. That’s why you might hear Adamas dwellers locally being called “Milokritiki,” which means “Cretans of Milos island.”
Adamas’ roughly two-century history is quite tumultuous. During the Crimean War, the French fleet docked at its port. Today, that part of Adamas’ history is commemorated by the English-French cemetery from that era and the French contingency, which pays annual tribute to the dead resting there.
During WWII, Adamas was ravaged by bombings and later during the Occupation by famine. After the war, the town picked up commercial activity, swiftly recovering thanks to Milos’ mining of obsidian, among other things.
Best things to see and do in Adamas
Visit the museums
Adamas has a few important museums documenting its history and activity, which you shouldn’t miss!
The ecclesiastical museum
Housed in the Church of Aghia Triada (Holy Trinity), the ecclesiastical museum boasts several rich collections of rare books, unique works of ecclesiastical art such as wood carvings and iconostases, precious old icons dating as far back as the 14th century, and more. The church itself is beautiful, with an impressive floor mosaic connecting the museum with it.
The maritime museum
Milos has always been a maritime power in the Cyclades, and the maritime museum in Adamas holds artifacts of its rich and long history as such. In the museum, you will see collections of ancient and even prehistoric maritime equipment made of obsidian, rare maps and instruments, and a whole wooden boat typical of those combing through the Aegean.
The WWII Bomb Shelter
This haunting underground shelter and bunker is a powerful reminder of the grim history of WWII. With meandering underground passageways and chambers, the shelter features several photos and other commemorative works. It has often hosted artistic displays, including a powerful audiovisual account and history of the shelter and the relevant Milos history.
Though the shelter has been recently closed, check in with Adamas’ community to see if it is open again and when.
The mining museum
Milos has a long-standing mining history, and the mining museum at Adamas is definitely a stop you should make. Especially if you plan to visit the abandoned sulfur mines of Milos, visit this museum first to make your experience a lot more rewarding.
In the museum, you will enjoy displays of Milos’ geological wealth, including samples of minerals and extensive descriptions. There are also collections of mining tools dating from antiquity to the 20th century. At the museum’s basement, you will be treated to a great documentary about Milos’ mining history.
Visit the Kimisi tis Theotokou Church (Church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary)
This church will reward you twice for visiting: for its spectacular panoramic view from Adamas’ highest hill, where it is located, and for its courtyard and interior.
In the courtyard, there is a beautiful floor mosaic to enjoy. Inside, the church has a gorgeous iconostasis and several old icons from Milos’ old cathedral in Zefyria, Milos’ previous capital.
Walk around Adamas
Adamas has beautiful Cycladic architecture, often mixed with neoclassical or modern elements. Walking its paved streets is relaxing and offers you more chances to discover shops and places to visit on your own.
Make sure to include Adamas’ harbor front with the typical Cycladic promenade right next to various docking boats. You will be able to see anything from fisherman’s boats to yachts bobbing peacefully beside the ferries.
Hit the beaches
Adamas is within walking distance of two gorgeous beaches. Make sure to enjoy them both!
Lagadas beach: Lined with tamarisk trees and forming a quaint, cozy bay, Lagadas beach is a slightly pebbly yet still sandy beach. The beautiful, crystal-clear waters contrast with the bright colors of the seaside, offering you a great place to relax. Lagadas also has a beach bar during high season, so you will be able to get your chilled coffee or cocktails while you lounge!
Papikinou beach: This is yet another tranquil beach, guaranteed to have calm waters even on windy days. The sand is pebbly here too, and there are trees offering ample shade along the entirety of the beach, which stretches out roughly half a km. Papikinou’s water is gorgeous turquoise, and there are some taverns nearby to enjoy the view while you have lunch.
Get on a tour
There are several tours that you can join with Adamas as your starting point, such as the boat trip to Kleftiko bay, where pirates used to be during medieval times, or complete tours of Milos’ various sites.
Where to eat in Adamas
There are several places to eat in Adamas, but here are some of the best you shouldn’t miss:
Oh Hamos! Taverna
You will find one of the most fun taverns of Adamas at Papikinou beach. Situated on the other side of the street from the beach, Adamas is the perfect place to go when you get hunger pains from a day at the sea. Oh Hamos! is decorated in a modern traditional style and serves very tasty dishes based on cheeses and meat made by the family that owns the taverna, so it doesn’t get more authentic and wholesome than that.
If you are craving seafood or fresh fish, Nostos is the place to go! Located in Adamas, right at the harbor’s front, so you will be enjoying your meal with the sea at your feet. Nostos sources its fish and seafood daily from local fishermen so that you will get the freshest produce in delectable meals representative of the Cycladic cuisine.
Easily serving the best ice cream on the island, Aggeliki’s dessert shop is where to go after a good meal or when you get sugar cravings. You will find Aggeliki in the center of Adamas. Visit daily to taste a different, delicious homemade sweet or pastry each day. Aggeliki is also great for brunch or breakfast.
If you’re looking for a tasty breakfast and delectable snacks, Milors has the best on the island! With great prices, you will be getting great value for your money. Make sure to try the crepes and waffles. You will find Milors in a central spot in Adamas, too.