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AEGEAN ISLANDS

General info

Milos is the fifth island in size in the Cuclades. It extends over 158km2 and its coastline is 125km long.

Its shape reminds us of a horseshoe. In the middle it is more narrow and the sea penetrates  the land forming Adamantas, the deep, safe port of the island which constitutes the secong biggest bay in Greece.

Milos has a mountainous relief with mountains no higher than 400m on average. The highest peak is Profitis Ilias (751m).

The climate is mild Mediterranean, with lots of sunshine. The “meltemia” (strong north winds) blow from the middle of July up to August.

The island is one of the most important volcanic centres which constitute the volcanic arch of the South Aegean and consists almost entirely of volcanic rocks. The result of the intense volcanic activity which started almost 3.5 million years ago and continued up to the pre-historic years is the creation of rare geological structures and the appearance of many volcanic rocks, minerals and ores that played an important role in the development of the culture in the Aegean.

During the Turkish occupation the mining activity decreased. However, there was exploitation of gypsum, salt and millstones.

There are two – now inactive– volcanoes: the one of Fyriplaka with a crater of 1.700m in diameter and 220m in height and the one of Trachilas. The existence of underwater caves unique in beauty, such as “Smaragdenia spilia” (Emerald cave), Kleftiko and Papafragas is attributed to the volcanic activity.

* In the island complex of Milos many endemic species and subspecies of reptiles can be found which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The viper of Milos (Macrovipera schweizeri) is one of them, just like the wall lizard of Milos (Podarcis milensis). This particular viper is found in Milos (where the biggest populations are), Sifnos, Kimolos and Polyaigos. Until recently it was included in the species Vipera lebetina, which is widely spread in North Africa and Near and Middle East, from Turkey and Cyprus up to Kashmir. It is believed that the geographical isolation of the Greek populations counts 5 million years, therefore the differences that were developed between these populations led the scientists to rank it in a different species. The viper of Milos is a protected species according to the Greek legislation. It is protected according to the Conventions of Washington and Berne as well. Unfortunately, it is under the threat of extinction.

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Co-financed by Greece and the European Union - European Regional Development Fund
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