A week in Mykonos
And welcome to my short + sweet guide to Mykonos.
If you are looking for beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear water and stunning sunsets then Mykonos is the one!
With a reputation for being a party island I half expected luminous drinks, blaring music and hoards of British teenagers. But instead we discovered that Mykonos is peaceful, full of beautiful beaches and with a luxurious and relaxed atmosphere.
It’s the island of choice for the super rich, and is definitely not a budget destination. However if you plan ahead, and are savvy with accommodation and restaurant choices, it is doable even if you aren't a millionaire.
We spent a week on this beautiful island reading, relaxing and generally recharging which was a welcome change to our normal itinerary of sightseeing as much as possible (and not a lot of lying on a sunlounger).
Read on for where to eat, sleep and explore on the island as well as a couple of must-know destination tips. I can't wait to go back!
There are tons of beautiful Airbnbs on the island if you don’t fancy spending thousands on a hotel room. However, after a last-minute Airbnb disaster (it was cancelled the week before) we were extremely lucky to find a room at The Dorion Hotel in Ornos Beach.
It had excellent reviews and upon arrival we saw why. It is a beautiful hotel with a boutique feel, and despite being peak season felt very quiet. This is likely due to the abundance of small outdoor spaces dotted around the buildings - there are four small pools and numerous courtyards which you often had to yourself.
The service was impeccable and they even upgraded our room to a suite upon arrival for free. And if that isn't enough, it's only a ten minute walk to one of the best beaches on the island. It isn't a budget option, however it was a great deal cheaper than the other 4* hotels on Mykonos. I would definitely return!
Ornos beach has lots of upmarket restaurants and bars on the waterfront, which we generally avoided in favour or more traditional (and affordable) fare. Only a few moments walk from the beach were some authentic and delicious places to eat.
Apaggio - A little on the pricy side but soo romantic and the perfect choice for a special occasion (or just if you fancy treating yourselves!). We ate freshly caught sea bream grilled with lemon, charred octopus and locally baked bread. It's set right at the water's edge just a few minutes walk from Ornos beach. Fairy lights dance in the breeze and you can hear the sound of the water lapping against the boats as the sun sets over the bay - a magical spot.
Mpalothies - A restaurant a few moments from the beach offering traditional cretian food. We had a beautiful meal of saganaki (fried cheese), octopus salad, juicy grilled prawns on a bed of rocket and some of the best pork I've ever tasted. All accompanied by chilled local wine.
Lefteris - A cheap but yummy taverna serving traditional greek dishes and local favourites. A great option if you want something wallet friendly but delicious. We had chicken gyros (grilled meat in a pitta bread), tomatoes stuffed with rice and herbs and some of the best potatoes i've ever tasted.
On the way back to the Hotel we would stop by Pasaji for an after-dinner cocktail and sheesha, forgoing dessert to enjoy the beautiful sea breeze in the evening and twinkling lights of the boats that come into the bay to moor at night.
Mykonos town (or Chora as the locals call it) is a postcard pretty town of whitewashed walls, winding streets with canopies of sweet smelling flowers and beautiful views across the sparkling Aegean sea. It is quite touristy but still a lovely place to stroll around, with lots of bars, restaurants and small shops dotting the streets.
We wandered around the old port and then stopped in Little Venice for a cocktail at Negrita with the waves almost crashing at our feet. From Little Venice it's a short walk up the hill to admire the sunset and check out the famous windmills.
Chora is only a short bus ride away from Ornos beach, and I'd recommend going in the evening - it's cooler, more lively and you great a beautiful view of the sunset over the sea.
And a few must-know destination tips!
Getting around the island is easier if you hire a quad bike or car. We decided not to go with this option, as Ornos beach provided everything we needed and the bus system is cheap and easy to navigate. However, if you are interested in exploring the more remote parts of the island you will need a vehicle.
We weren't able to go (due to it's remote location) but I've heard that Kiki's Taverna is one of the most authentic and tastiest places to eat on the island. It's next to Agios Sostis, one of the quietest and unspoilt beaches on Mykonos so if you have a car I'd definitely check it out!
If you're island hopping you can get a ferry from Mykonos to the other Cyclades islands and to Santorini. If you wanted to save money you could fly to Mykonos first, and then take the ferry to Santorini as we found the flights to be much cheaper.
It is really windy on Mykonos (it isn’t nicknamed the “Island of the Winds” for nothing) which means even in high summer it doesn't feel unbearably hot. Perhaps bear this in mind though when you are packing - maybe choose shorts over flippy skirts! And lots of hairbands..