Mykonos is a no-brainer stop on the Cyclades island-hopping trail. Of all the islands on my island-hopping adventure, Mykonos was definitely the most memorable. My boyfriend and I had a total of 5 days in Mykonos, which made for ample amount of time to explore all of the nooks and crannies.
Upon arrival via ferry from Athens, we walked from the port to the closet car rental place, which was Quattro Car Rental. Our hotel was located in a more remote part of the island, chosen purposefully. The cost of our car rental was about $50 Euro's per day and totally worth the independence it gave us to explore the island. Luckily for me, my boyfriend can speak Greek fluently and drive manual cars. He has been visiting Greece since he was a child and can confidently drive stick shift on mountainous terrain, something I do not excel in. I was not expecting the Cycladic Islands to be so mountainous!
Helpful Tip! Before visiting, I read that we could rent ATVs to get around the island, which was our initial plan. However, upon arrival we were informed that 2 months ago the laws have changed and they no longer allow tourists to rent ATVs without an "international license". They would not accept our Canadian License to drive an ATV.
Our hotel, AC Village Christoulis was beautiful. It was located closer to the airport and just a short drive from Mykonos Town. The hotel staff were all incredibly friendly and helpful. Our room led to the infinity pool, which had a bar and jetted tub, something we enjoyed daily. We also enjoyed watching the planes take off during sunset. The hotel was $140/night and in my opinion, worth every penny. Aside from the luxuries the hotel had to offer, we really became fond of the stray kitties that called these grounds their home. A beautiful mama cat with 4 little babies really tugged on my heartstrings, I wish I could have taken them home with me. Instead, I fed them every morning and gave them lots of love. On my last day I left a little extra food, gave her a hug goodbye and wished her the best of luck - after all, life for strays can be hard in Greece.
Every morning we got up at the crack of dawn, so we could explore Mykonos Town before the cruise ships dumped 1000's of tourists in the narrow streets. I HIGHLY suggest doing this if you are:
1) Travelling between the months of June-August (aka high season)
2) Do not like hoards of people
3) Want to take nice photos (nearly impossible to do after 10am)
4) Would like some peace and quiet
5) Would like to take your time to enjoy all of the beauty this town has to offer without people pushing or stepping on you
Mykonos Town aka "Chora" is truly beautiful. The narrow cobbled streets surrounded by whitewashed stone cubic buildings are simply iconic and look exactly how the postcards depict.
Must dos/sees in Mykonos Town are:
1) The windmills
2) Simply getting lost in the narrow streets (which is really easy to do)
3) Shop at the artisan retail stores
4) Eat delicious Greek or Italian food
5) Grab a frappe or cocktail and people watch
There is also an incredible party scene on this island. Although because of our early mornings and sun drenched days, I have to admit, I didn't take full advantage of. I mostly got day drunk at the beaches, which had their own party scene going on. The parties in Mykonos Town seemed to start around midnight, right when I was ready for bed and lasted until at least 5 or 6am. The dress attire was rather scandalous but understandably so, it was damn hot outside.
Now, let's talk about the beaches on the island.
We spent most of our days beach hopping - visiting so many amazing beaches. All of them offering something a little different but also all having what I needed, clean turquoise water and sun!
Here are a list of the beaches we visited:
My favourite beaches were Paradise Beach and Agios Sostis Beach. Both for different reasons.
Paradise Beach had a definite party vibe. We spent quite a bit of money at Paradise Beach, it's not cheap to hang out for a full day. We did however, indulge in phenomenal food and cocktails, so no regrets! You have to pay through the roof for day beds here, about $60 Euros and little to no space to lounge for free. There was dance music pumping which made for the perfect day time party atmosphere. The beach itself was clean, with small pebbles that led to refreshing turquoise water.
Helpful Tip! Remember to bring sunscreen and a hat. The sun is HOT and you WILL get burnt if you don't put on sunscreen and reapply throughout the day. I saw A LOT of people burnt to a crisp and looking for aloe vera.
Agios Sostis Beach was the exact opposite of Paradise Beach. It was secluded, hard to get to and free to use. The day we came, it was a bit overcast but still HOT. This may have attributed to why we were the only ones on the beach, it felt so VIP. We put some music on and I was able to go topless. Luckily, before we arrived we stopped at a bakery and grabbed some food and drinks for the day. We spent the day laying on the sandy beach, taking intermittent swims in the salty turquoise water. It was pure secluded perfection!
We found an abundance of vegan and vegetarian food on the island, there was an option for us at every single restaurant and cafe we visited. Almond or soy milk for our frappes and lattes, grilled veggie sandwiches, Greek fava beans, stuffed tomatoes and of course, olives!
My favourite place to get a morning latte was Marenga Milk Bar, they also had a fabulous brunch menu and a really modern chic atmosphere. Cosmos Cafe, located in Mykonos Town, had the best fruit bowls, with mountains of fresh, juicy fruit. Sadly, I didn't pay much attention to the other "mom and pop" places that we ate at, so I don't have the names of them to share with you, but they were all very accommodating and understanding of our dietary needs. I am certain that if you simply describe your preferences they will guide you in the right direction and when all else fails, you can always order a Greek salad (without feta) and a side order of olives, which I did on a few occasions. Plus, everyone has french fries ;)
If you have any questions, comments or need any travel information/advice on a future trip please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email!