Mykonos, hedonistic idyl

Yumi Kayayan
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The story

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You weigh anchor on a beautiful summer afternoon and head for the beach of Agios Sostis, north of the island of Mykonos. Wild and bright, this fine sand and crystal-clear water beach is nearly empty of swimmers. After a long day of idleness, you return to the capital of the island, Chora. Dusk begins to descend on the village, bathing its incandescent white in a pastel pink. The village somehow softens, becoming even more charming.

Like the other Greek islands, its architecture is a timeless mix of white cubic houses, cobbled alleys and churches with blue domes. Making your way out of the labyrinth, you find yourself in the village port, full of cafés and welcoming bars, with fishermen pulling the last nets from their boats loaded with octopus and sardines. You are in "Little Venice", where balconies suspended over clear water recall the majestic Italian city. On a terrace only steps away from the water you can have a drink while watching the shadows of the windmills, symbols of the island, flitting over the hills.

The island of Mykonos lies naked and exposed. Aside from the sun-scorched grass, its wild and arid terrain is devoid of vegetation. There are no ruins like those found on many of its sister islands in the Cyclades. But that won’t leave you bored, quite the opposite. In Mykonos you are the master of your time, cultivating the art of idleness and walking among thatch-roof windmills and houses with rounded lime walls. You swim on turquoise beaches and stroll through rocky valleys.

The island expresses itself in primary colors, the bright blue of the sky and the sea, small colorful boats in the port. Fresh fruit and bougainvillea liven up the dry natural surroundings. At sunset, the biggest DJs follow one after another behind the turntables as you dance all night on the sandy beaches. The energy that this "new Ibiza" awakens is contagious and has been attracting devotees of the dolce vita since the sixties. Mykonos mixes the bohemian with understated luxury, natural beauty and stunning architecture, and looks just like paradise on Earth.

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When to go?

The hottest season in Mykonos is from June to September. As most visitors come to the island for its beaches and its nightlife, the months of July and August are particularly busy. The best month to visit the white island is June, when there are many fresh products and the landscape is less dry.

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How to get there?

Mykonos is easy to reach by air or by sea. Its airport, 4 km away from the city, is very well served by flights from major European cities. Several ferry lines connect Athens to the port of Mykonos. If you arrive by boat, you will be welcomed by the sight of its typical thatched windmills. Once there, the best way to get around is by scooter or car, which make it easier to find the more secluded coves.

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Experiences

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Dine under the sails of a mill

Dive into the culinary world of the island in an unusual setting. In the hills overlooking Chora, the table is set up in the garden of a mill. Dig into the typical dishes of the island prepared by a local chef: stuffed cuttlefish, Louza Loukaniko sausage, Kopanisti cheese ... all accompanied by Retsina wine. Dine to the rhythm of Balarist dances, performed by an orchestra of violins and bouzoukis, before joining the dancers yourself.

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Explore Rhenia and Delos by catamaran

Jump on a catamaran to discover the islands of Rhenia and Delos. Dive into the clear waters surrounding Rhenia and stop in a lonely cove for a lunch prepared by a chef on board. Then set sail to the archaeological island of Delos and follow our guide who will take you through the legends of the ancient city.

Our address book

Nikolas taverna

A family tavern

Nikolas taverna, on Agia Anna beach, is the perfect place to have lunch with your feet in the sand. This family restaurant (the last of its kind on the island), there since 1967, prides itself on its seafood dishes. The atmosphere is relaxed, the dishes traditional and authentic. Fresh produce comes directly from the family farm. Try the "sar", a local fish with lemon juice and olive oil.

Agia Anna, Paraga 84600

Spilia

The picturesque

This unique restaurant is burrowed in a cave jutting out over the water at the Agia Anna beach. The word “spilia” means "cave" in Greek, and in this case, it comes with a very romantic atmosphere, friendly service and a menu listing local recipes and seafood dishes. Do not leave the island without having tasted their sea urchins and lobster pasta.

Agia Anna, Paraga 84600

Kiki’s

A simple luxury

Kiki's is a veritable local institution that serves simply prepared pork ribs, octopus, and vegetarian mezze. The decor is as unassuming as the menu. Its terrace, in the shade of trees and a pergola, overlooks the sublime beach of Agios Sostis. Kiki's is the perfect stopover after a dive in the turquoise waters. The best lunch on the island has to be earned, however: arm yourself with patience while waiting to get a table.

Agios Sostis, 84600

Scorpios

Beach club for hedonists

Pleasure seekers will love the bohemian atmosphere of the Scorpios, located on a semi-private peninsula. Fresh cocktails are served on the terrace beneath bamboo huts. Famous DJs line up one after another. There is no better place to admire the magnitude of the Aegean Sea than this setting in total harmony with its environment.

Paraga, Mykonos 84600

Astra

A legendary bar

Astra, one of the most legendary and glamorous bars in Greece, seems to have existed forever. Its name means "star", a nod to its oft-famous clientele. One goes there to see and be seen. You will always feel perfectly welcome in the intimate, all-white décor, couched in a small cubic house. Once midnight comes, everything happens on the dance floor. Reservations required in August.

Tria Pigadia, Mykonos (city) 84600

Jackie O’

A nocturnal spectacle

A must-see establishment at the edge of the old port, Jackie O’ is both intimate and eccentric. Here the dancing goes from sunset to sunrise, moving from the covered bar to the terrace that faces the glimmering waves. The bar is famous for its colorful cocktails and ever-more-amazing drag queen shows.

Paraportiani seafront, old port of Mykonos

Agios Sostis

A wild beach

The most beautiful (and also one of the quietest) beaches on the wild coast of Mykonos. Swim here in turquoise waters with a view of a pretty white chapel above. It has no natural shade and no beach chairs, so you have to come prepared. Kiki's Tavern is perfect for a small break between swims. The ideal beach for those in search of tranquility.

Provatas, Agios Sostis 84600

Archaeological site of Delos

A cultural tour

After exploring the island of Mykonos, take a trip to the archaeological site of the island of Delos. Here, one wanders between the vestiges of this radiant former religious and commercial center, as in an open-air museum. The island of Delos is the birthplace of Apollo, and his spirit reigns over these spectacular ruins. Delos can be reached in thirty minutes, with daily departures from the port of Mykonos.

Delos Island

Church of Panagia Paraportiani

A masterpiece of architecture

The white-as-snow Church of Panagia Paraportiani is situated in the Kastro neighborhood in Chora. It is one of the most captivating monuments of the Cyclades. Dating back to the 16th century, it has been renovated several times over the centuries. One must return multiple times to relish its postcard-like elegance at different times of the day and watch it transform with the light.

Kastro-Paralia, Mykonos (city) 84600