According to Greek mythology, the beautiful island of Mykonos [/ˈmiːkənɒs/] was once the very scene of the mythical battle held between Zeus and the Titans, and so named, in honour of Apollo’s grandson, Mykon. Mykonos is located near the sacred island of Delos and the island of Rhenia, which are all encompassed in the group of Greek islands referred to as the Cyclades. Perhaps smaller that one would estimate, the island’s population is only about 9,000, and yet, Mykonos attracts thousands upon thousands of visitors each year. And is it any wonder?
To reach Mykonos, one can arrive by sea or by air. But do be warned, you may feel completely overwhelmed with its intoxicating beauty upon arrival. Indeed, your camera will likely become your closest companion, as you take in the mosaic of hues that makes up the Aegean Sea, with colorful boats, scattered about the water’s edge, or floating along. And just as inspiring is the rather charming Cycladic architecture that trails up the cliff side and over, awash in pure white and linen-like: fresh, imperfect, and entirely livable. Brightly colored shutters, doors and building tops break up the whites, but perhaps most refreshing, are the potted flowers and plants, that spill over into courtyards, and frame windows and tiny balconies, and often completely unexpected along tiny pathways.
An ever-connecting maze of narrow stonewashed streets created long, long ago to confuse unwanted raiders, and to help protect the city, wind about, but today, create the charming allure of surprise—step through an archway and up the hill, and you may discover the iconic chapel of Panagia Paraportiani [the most photographed church on the island] located in Chora, dating back to the 15th century. Or perhaps you will come across the series of windmills that were first established in the 16th century. For there are a number of museums, hidden piazzas, water wells, lovely little cafés and restaurants, inviting shops, artists [you might discover a beautiful painting to bring home with you] and artisans to discover. Dash about the city in a taxi, or if you prefer, by foot, or take a tour and enjoy the breathtaking views from the sea . . .
Amoungst the little villages and many beaches to explore, Ftelia Beach is the largest of all the undeveloped beaches in Mykonos. This wild, northern beach is one of the favorites of wind surfers, and ideal for those who enjoy a quieter beach.
And in Greece—perhaps only Greece, there is the most beautiful intermingling of a myriad of colours, from white to golden, to a soft and faded blue, as the sun sets in the evening sky. Glittering lights reflect poetically against the ever-changing, moving waters, and staggering rocky cliffs that surround, and the night has just begun. For in Mykonos, live music and lit beaches call visitors to celebrate the day, celebrate the evening, celebrate being alive. And so, abandon all forms of schedule, maps and itineraries, if only for a day, and lose oneself in the rich culture and explore. Explore the narrow paths, streets, waters and hills, for you may come across a market, crates upon crates of fresh foods, vibrant flowers, and jovial locals. Here, tradition and culture are a part of everyday living, the very rhythm of life in Greece. Get lost in the city, lost in the waves and winding pathways; lost in the beauty that is Mykonos . . .
An intimate and contemporary boutique hotel located just north of Mykonos town, the Grace Hotel is perched above the lovely, protected beach of Agios Stefanos. Each of the 31 guest rooms have been furnished with a king-size bed and crisp white linens, a modern luxurious bath, and other elegant details. Indeed, modern facilities and furnishings coexist beautifully here, amidst traditional architectural elements and local craftsmanship. Just beyond the walls, one may relax in the sun, nestled comfortably in sun-loungers with umbrellas, or king-sized sun-beds. Cocktails and other delectable treats, as well as refreshingly cool towels, can be requested at a moment’s notice. There is also a fitness room, restaurants, a lovely spa, a library, and many other spaces to enjoy.
A considerably newer hotel to the area [constructed in 2001], this five-star accommodation is aptly named ‘grand’, promising an unforgettable experience. Built upon land that once held a beach tavern, its white-washed buildings and Cycladic architecture create strong lines and elegant gestures. And to ensure the feeling of escape from regular busy days and fast-paced city life, the resort has been set within five acres of land, complete with spaces to enjoy indoors and out. Inside, there are 107 rooms and suites in total, all spacious, and finished with sheer white drapes, canopy beds and the most incredible baths. Outside, guests may enjoy the hand-carved marble, elaborate mosaic tiles, wide entryways, and pathways. Additionally, there is a spectacular stone outdoor amphitheater, ideal for yoga and pilates, as well as tennis and squash courts, a fabulously enormous swimming pool, a fitness centre, and more. You may never want to leave . . .
Here, one can feel free to take off one’s shoes, relax from the pressures of life, and enjoy all that Mykonos has to offer. More recently renovated under the guidance of the famous Paris Liakos, this luxury five-star hotel sits on a cliffside, with panoramic views that are indescribable. According to sources, the 80-suite Cavo Tagoo is the favorite hotel in all of Mykonos—not only for the beautiful architecture and award-winning design, but also for the wonderful service, and luxurious, yet relaxed feel. Guests can enjoy the well-considered, central Mykonos location as well as the hotel’s many facilities and areas—including a stunning lounge, a glamorous restaurant, a much talked-about spa, fitness centre, and much more. Surely one of the most well-designed hotels, with a clever balance of minimalist design and luxurious sensibilities.
“Avra”, which means “The Breeze”, is very well-received, not only for its excellent cuisine and service, but also for the intimate and most romantic atmosphere. With over 20 years of experience, the chef [also the owner and manager] brings his pristine reputation to Mykonos. Set in a secluded and beautiful garden courtyard, [with the addition of a picturesque rooftop terrace], those stopping by will appreciate the charming traditional décor, carefully chosen for a comfortable and welcoming feel; pretty florals, vines, and twinkling lights add a little romance; and with dishes such as tender slices of fillet steak served with a rich bearnaise sauce, and fresh steamed mussels in a tomato, garlic and vegetable white wine sauce, one can not resist.
Tucked into a stunning garden brimming with colorful flowers, plants and trees, Kalita, a Greek fusion bar & restaurant, is famed for being one of the top restaurants in Mykonos. The mood is elegant yet contemporary, with modern, uplit walls, comfortable seating, and a air of simplicity. Dishes such as homemade white fish roe dip, trilogy meatballs flavored with Cycladic aromas, Cretian organic pasta with Naxos cheese and Grouper with vegetables and a fisherman’s sauce are just a sampling of things to choose from; [the cinnamon ice cream to finish is also, apparently, a must!]. In addition to its fine ingredients, prepared so artfully, and service, Kalita restaurant prides itself in providing a true culinary experience, reflective of Greece, itself.
Set in one of the most glamorous beaches in Greece, the beach of Psarrou, with its golden sands and crystal waters, this outstanding restaurant calls many to stop in on a regular basis—both locals and visitors alike, for that matter. In fact, Nammos is frequently been referred to as, “the best beach restaurant in Europe”, by celebrities and global journalists, and has been mentioned in hundreds of magazines since its opening in 2003. The restaurant is divided into three different areas, ideal for different sensibilities : a beach club, lounge with bar, and a more formal dining area. Perhaps Nammos calls many for its beautiful deck chairs and chic, oversized wine goblets, the quality of food, the impeccable service, or maybe it is the vivid and lively atmosphere, an atmosphere that many all over the world remember as magical and completely unforgettable.
Whether you prefer to spend your days by the pool, taking in the sun and views, or wandering around the island, be sure to pack lightly, as Mykonos is considerably mild throughout the year. Warm sunshine is in store for Spring and Summer months, with a comfortably cool climate for the winter; [the island enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per year]. And so, we suggest you pack a pair or two of lovely and comfortable espadrilles and flats, ideal for exploring, a few breezy dresses, and cozy things for the evenings, and fabulous jewelry. You might also wish to include a wide brimmed hat for the daytime, sunglasses, and swimwear—particularly if the beaches are calling your name . . .
A few additional links you might enjoy : for chic shopping, stop in at Carouzos and also, Gem & Deluxe /// pick up a pair of sandals created by the locals — some of which you may find on Matogianni street /// and lastly, soft colored polaroids of different points on the island