Sifnos vs. Milos: Greek Islands Showdown

Sifnos vs. Milos: Greek Islands Showdown

Santorini might be the cover star of the Greek guidebooks, but Milos and Sifnos don’t deserve to sit in its shadow. Two of the prettiest islands in Greece, they each have their own individual charm. Milos is home to volcanic geology and the Venus de Milo (though that’s now far away in the Louvre), while Sifnos is a treasure trove of white-washed houses (over 300 of them to be exact) and seafood tavernas. When it comes to a Greek escape, both deliver in mythological history and magical views, but which one deserves your visit? Let’s deep dive into Sifnos vs. Milos and just how they compare when it comes to beaches, eateries and all-around atmosphere. Read on to discover which island comes out on top



Let’s face it, if you're visiting the Greek islands, you have one thing on your mind (and it’s probably not ouzo…). The Cyclades are famous for their picturesque beaches and hidden coves, but which island in the Sifnos vs. Milos debate has the absolute best? Milos is off to a great start for sheer volume alone – the island has over 80 beaches to explore. The quality is out of this world, too. Sarakiniko alone is sure to move Milos up your list of must-visits. The beach is surrounded by a moonscape of smooth white rocks that you can dive off into the turquoise water if you dare. If you prefer a more traditional seaside, there’s Papafragas beach with its pools carved into the rock face and small, secluded strip of sand and Agia Kyriaki with its almost-green shore. Sifnos certainly delivers in beaches, too, from Kamares, where the beach will draw you in the second you step off the ferry, to Platys Giaols, where you can watch the light change the colour of the water as the sun sets (and dip into boutique pottery shops, too).

We have to hand this one to Milos for personality and sun-tanning spots aplenty. This island has some of the most photogenic beaches of all Greece. 




From fresh fish to filo pastries and hearty warm salads, traditional Greek cuisine is unparalleled. Nowhere is that more apparent than on Sifnos. As the birthplace of Nikolaos Tselementes, the forefather of modern Greek cuisine (and the creator of moussaka as we know it today), it might just be the epicentre of all things delicious. Be sure to put revithada at the top of your must-eat list – this yummy chickpea dish is traditionally eaten on Sundays after church. Amygdalota (almond cookies) will be your go-to snack on Sifnos, too, thanks to their crumbly texture and subtly sweet taste. Milos dishes up traditional eats just as well – don’t leave the island without trying pitarakia (cheese pie), preferably at family-owned restaurant O Hamos, where you can dine with a view of Papikinou beach. Let us suggest it before you shirk it… the watermelon pie (karpouzopita) here is definitely worth a try, too.

Overall, Sifnos comes out on top when it comes to food. With everything from street food to boutique restaurants, we’d book a trip for the eats alone. 

Sifnos Church



If you’re looking to party all night, the Sifnos vs. Milos debate won’t give you a holiday hot spot. Both islands are relatively quiet and so perfect for a couple’s getaway or family holiday. Milos has an addictively slow pace that epitomises island living. The sleepy Plaka villages have the best of both worlds, being quiet during the day and just-bustling-enough lively at night. In fact, much of the south coast of the island is inaccessible by public transport and so perfect if you’re looking for seclusion. Sifnos has a slightly chicer feel, thanks in-part to its capital Apollonia. The village is teeming with meze restaurants and cocktail bars with a luxurious vibe. It’s a great place if you want a boutique hotel, too, hosting the likes of Verina Astra – a complex of high-end cottages based on an exclusive cliff top setting and finished with infinity pools overhanging the blue horizon. 

It’s a tie for atmosphere. Each island has a slow pace and quiet vibe that’s perfect for a short escape. 

Milos cats


Must Sees

While both Sifnos and Milos are relatively small, there’s enough to do on each to keep you occupied. Milos offers quality hiking – look up the Miloterranean Geo Experience routes as a guide. These sign-posted trails will show you the best of the Natura 2000 reserves and the island’s old mining areas. Try the Trypiti Catacombs to Milos Ancient Theatre route to see the best of the island's archaeology (it’s a short-but-sweet 20-minute loop). Over on Sifnos, you can wander Apollonia’s Steno – the central alley of boutique shops – before sipping a craft cocktail in Heroes’ Square. There are a huge amount of walking trails, too. For panoramas of the Aegean Sea, try the walk from Glyfos beach to Apokofto beach and take in the view of the chapel in Agia Ekaterini. 

Again, we’re tied on the must-sees of Sifnos vs. Milos. Both have just enough can’t-miss-this points to keep you busy (without running you off your feet).

Ultimately, these two Cycladic beauties are both well worth a visit. The best thing? They’re both small, well connected (the connecting ferry is just two hours) and so close together, you could easily double up and discover both in one trip… 

Header image by Olivier Romano