Mining on Milos: In the old sulfur mines

Buildings like stairs and pipes like rockets, the Milos sulfur mines

The Greek island of Milos is characterized by mining. Above all, a trip to the old sulfur mines worth, one of the many places on the island, which look so unreal, as if they were built for a movie set.

Like a mushroom, the rock protrudes from the ground, it stands on a very narrow foot, becomes wider at the top, as if it were carrying a parasol. Only a few meters further on a rock arch spans the rolling sea and the many holes in the rock show that the island once grew out of volcanic activity. Although Milos is one of the Cyclades, it is not a Cycladic island like the others. There the gods seem to have been more generous. When it came to the distribution of mineral resources, they spread their gifts especially richly through Milos. The ages are changing as well as the fashion of raw materials. But no matter what is urgently needed in the world, Milos somehow always finds the right mineral, stone or precious metal.

Sulfur yellow walls

In the Paleolithic period obsidians were needed for weapons and tools, because they were so sharp-edged, later millstones, which may have been responsible for the island name, and more recently kaolin and sulfur, but today concrete and perlite are no longer underground, but won in the open pit. Especially at Pollonia but also on the way to the disused sulfur mines in Paliorema you can see again and again on the wayside the big holes. They are like huge amphitheaters, dug into the earth by powerful excavators to get raw materials. What today holds with technology, big engines and a lot of machine power, the people on Milos once worked hard.

Secret Doors in the mountain

Hiking trail to the sulfur mines on Milos

They picked their mountains with pickaxes, hammered into narrow passages. Time and again they pushed to their limits, as a film in the mining museum shows, it was burning hot in the volcanic mountains under the Greek summer sun, after all, Milos is at the same height as Tunisia. It must have been hard, tough conditions that are still written on some of the older people in Milos to this day. In the film in the mining museum in Adamantas some tell so impressively of their hard work at that time, that it already terrifies me when listening. It sounds like dust, physical exhaustion and enormous heat. But mining belongs to Milos as we do to the Ruhrgebiet.

Houses built on the mountain

What was in it?

Many caves and passages are located under the roads and paths of the island, but probably the most beautiful mine are the abandoned sulfur mines of Paliorema on the east coast of the island. The woman from the rental car rental had already warned us and looked me in the eye: "Do not drive on these streets. But our cars are not made for that. "Of course we did, because the way to the sulfur mines with children in the heat is much too long for hiking. And we came a bit too far, but finally we had to leave our sweet Fiat Panda and run the rest of the track. And that was a good thing, otherwise we might never have discovered the sulfur yellow stones on the way.

A swath between the rocks

The huge potholes on the unpaved road, in which one could get stuck so beautifully, have only confirmed us in the decision not to drive here. It was not bad either, but a nice hike - with a really movie-ready endpoint - a factory site like a ghost town. Loren rust on old tracks in front of him and can be loud squeaky move piece by piece. Rails lead into the mountains, sometimes ending in larger holes. Later, buildings become visible in which the workers and the administration were active.

Pretty round arch buildings

Bridge with screeching lores

The fact that the mines were shut down in 1958 must have come somehow suddenly. This is what happens when you visit this abandoned place on Milos. As if people just did not come to work the next day, left their bed, their plates or their tools and left the sulfur mines to themselves. A typical Lost Place, which not only arouses the spirit of discovery among the children. They push the old wagons a bit over the rusty tracks and are faster than you can see disappeared in the factory buildings. Inside, it's scary-exciting: mattresses are blubbering, in some rooms there are even dishes.

Bed with bricks

The children want to hurry to another building, but there they are quickly given out again: A group of amateur photographers (all men) gather around a naked woman and try to set her nicely in scene. Yet there is still plenty to discover between the houses and even a small beach lures. For bathing but we prefer to find another job .

Beach at the sulfur mines

Something is rusting everywhere

Demolition-ready houses

Directly on the sea were once the sulfur mines of Milos

You want to read more about Milos? Then have a look at my other articles. I also wrote about the most beautiful beaches on Milos . Sarakiniko is probably the main attraction of the island and got its own report. Another story is dedicated to the various activities on Milos . Are you interested in the spiritual side of the island? I describe Milos as a place of power here.


  1. Wow, very atmospheric and a bit enchanted ... I know these abandoned houses in Italy, which are sometimes encountered when hiking, but sulfur mines are something completely different again ... Nice that there is even a museum in which the eyewitnesses have their say can.

    • Oh, that's not the wrong impression: The museum is located far from the mines, it is dedicated to mining on Milos, the mines are completely deserted and that's what makes the charm. Yes, these Lost Places have their special appeal, whether in Germany or Italy, but I also found sulfur mines very special.
      best regards

  2. a really great and interesting contribution! That would be something for the photo booth !!!!! I'm really excited! Lost Place and Greece what more could you want !!! If it were not so far away I would go tomorrow! Honestly !!!! Thanks for the great contribution !!!! LG Manni

    • Dear Manni, well then - were you still waiting? After Milos one comes well from Athens, we paid for the flight from Athens (back and forth) 100 Euro, that was really great. And I love this island, as you have already seen. And if I introduce you to Plaka, then nothing will stop you anyway. Oh, did I say that there are also connections from Crete to Milos? best regards

        • Oh, I'm curious, too, dear Manni. I do not know Rhodes yet. I'm looking forward to your impressions. Best, of course, the blue hour. Greetings and I hope you are in top shape again!

  3. A great area, albeit emblematic of the way humans first exploit planet Earth and then leave everything behind. Such places are fascinating as well as admonishing at the same time. Definitely worth a visit. Thanks for the great documentary

  4. You're so excited about Milo. A beautiful island with mining as Lost Place sounds interesting and for your children that was certainly very exciting
    LG Andrea

    • Dear Andrea, That's right, I'm completely in love with this island <3 and would like to stay there longer. Thank you for your words, have a nice day. best regards

  5. Dear Andrea,

    Visiting the old sulfur mines was certainly an adventure, especially for your children. But I would have been scared there, because it looks very bad.

    But your report was very interesting. The pictures have clearly brought the decay over.
    In modern times, it is unimaginable under what circumstances people have worked and lived.

    Love from,

    • Dear Lilo,
      it was an unforgettable adventure for all of us. And yes, it is ailing, but that's just the charm. Thank you for your words, they are always encouraging and motivating. Very many greetings

    • Dear Maline, thank you for the compliment, I am very happy. And thanks also for the nomination. I was really happy, but I will not participate, because I decided against such actions last year. But many, many thanks! And best wishes

  6. Pingback: 10 ways to spend your holidays in Milos -

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