OST's Top Ten Stays of 2016
Sometimes privilege and luxury don't cost the earth, come with 5 Stars and require Hotel staff to wait on you hand and foot catering to your every whim and desire. Sometimes privilege is something far more simple; It is the privilege of having found a small boutique family run B&B that has availability when you require it, and that you were
fortunate enough to stay in for 5 incredible days. As for luxury, having a beautiful basket of local produce and homemade cake delivered to your door as you watch the sun beginning to set over one of the most picture perfect horizons, is more than enough. If you couple this with a warm and friendly welcome, a level formidably high level of service, a lovely, simple, spotlessly clean suite with fabulous bedding, wondrous outlook and abundant space, and you'll soon get the picture. There's even a small kitchenette should you need it..... Not that you will, as the level of local food on the Cycladic island of Milos is amongst the best you'll find anywhere in Greece.
To begin with, you are greeted at Adamantas port by Captain Zeppos himself - In broken english he will chat about the island during the short 15 minute drive to Pollonia and to these wonderful apartments overlooking the bay to Kimolos.
Michael, his son will then take over and show you to your well appointed suite and he'll talk you through everything you need to know. You feel immediately at home, and it soon becomes apparent that nothing is too much trouble for the busy Michael. Always looking at ways to improve Captain Zeppos to the benefit of the guests, he is a whirlwind of organisation and friendly, informative chats. He'll book a rental car for you and within minutes it will arrive, with no fuss or bother. He'll organise sailing around the island, advise on restaurants and help in anyway he can, and it works. It's a delight.
Our stay at Captian Zeppos was certainly a highlight of this particular trip, and there were many 5 Star hotels we stayed in that could learn something from Michael and his parents. The facilities appear slight but more do you need really? I know there are plans to incorporate a small bar somewhere in the communal area in the near future, but we didn't feel the need for one during our stay.... not that the need for a bar won't change on future trips, of which I hope there are many. Our 'Green' suite, had a double bed in the mezzanine and also another in the main bedroom, a kitchenette as mentioned before, two couches and a deck overlooking the bay. The communal area has seating looking out on to the water, a lovely big table for dining or chatting and a jacuzzi. It really is that simple.
Captain Zeppos is such a short walk to Pollonia harbour that you really don't need anything else.... and I mean a short walk. Out, past the beautiful little chapel, down the sloping path and you're there - You have just stepped into one of the prettiest and most unspoilt harbours in the Cyclades. When you close your eyes and try to conjure up the ideal bay in the Greek Islands, Pollonia is what should appear.
A crescent of restaurants, cafes and bars, a few small shops and some cashpoints. Again, its simplicity is key. It's this that makes Captain Zeppos so perfect, it's what makes Milos the most wonderful of destinations, far away from the cruise ships and tour groups of Santorini and Mykonos, and it's what made this leg of the trip so idyllic. When things are brought to you like this; so pleasant, so easy, so quiet, so .... how it must have been elsewhere in Greece before the hoards took over, that you feel privileged to be here before it all goes gangbusters and overrun.
Milos isn't the naive young cousin of it's far busier relatives either.... It's as if the business owners here, have cherry picked the best of what's on offer elsewhere, have learnt from the mistakes of the larger islands and have formulated a beautiful plan that will keep Milos fresh, small, professional and civilised.
Milos is very much 'Old School Traveller'. It's a throwback to The Greek Islands in the 70's but with a modern, joyous heartbeat driving it on - You won't believe your luck, honestly. Don't be looking for modern tourist traps, just enjoy the local tavernas, the empty and spectacular beaches, the incredible landscapes, mind-blowing sunrises, and the warmth of the welcome. With Greek wine from the region becoming increasingly drinkable and awarded, an evening by the harbour, eating great food, drinking this wonderful wine, and in the company of your delighted partner, should be more than enough to sustain you during your stay here. Captain Zeppos only goes to further the joy, the spirit and the experience found here on Milos - It fits, and they are a match made in heaven.
Please go, please love it, but please be careful.... Don't you dare spoil it.