Milos and Kímolos were Siamese twins, connected by an isthmus that had a Mycenaean town on it. But the isthmus sank, leaving a channel a kilometre wide.
Once known as Echinousa, or ‘sea urchin’, which it proudly depicted on its coins, the little volcanic island gave its modern name to kimolía (‘chalk’ in Greek, although it’s not chalk but a kind of clay, used since Minoan times for whitening wool), and to cimolite in English, a mineral similar to soft, chalk-like fuller’s earth, an essential ingredient in dyeing. Kímolos remains a top producer of cimolite, and you can see the workings as the boat pulls in.
Images by Amalia1984, Elena Alexiou, Ellie Βarmpagiannis, EnKayTee, Kritzolina