What we did on our holidays to Mykonos
As one of the most famous islands of Greece and lying to the south-east of the mainland, it was inevitable that one day the promise of 300+ days of sunshine a year would make us take a holiday to Mykonos. Visiting in September 2014 we have many vivid memories, many are wonderful and some we’d just like to forget.
For starters our accommodation in Mykonos was a real highlight, it wasn’t anything overly expensive but the friendly, and at times funny, host family who made us feel welcome. We were picked up at the airport by the husband of the owner and driven to our residence by Platis Gialos beach. Then we were given our choice of apartments since there was one spare (not often you get to choose your room!). This was followed by complimentary drinks in the main reception area where we lost an hour chatting away with our hosts and getting tips on how to spend our time in Mykonos.
My wife is a real sun lover so it was inevitable that we would hit the beach. We were also in the perfect location. Within minutes of our accommodation we could walk to at least 3 stunning beaches. Add 10 minutes walking time and we would find a fair few more.
The Platis Gialos beach is a real hub for tourists on the Greek island. There is a feast of restaurants, cafes and shops along the beachfront. There was also an area to catch boats for trips to various spots around the island. (Just be wary of the American who works there. We found him to be a right grumpy so and so. He spoke down to us as if we were school children even though I’m now in my forties. He was definitely one of the disappointments of Mykonos for us.)
Some days we stayed where we were since everything we needed was there. However sometimes we did venture further to discover an interesting array of places.
The beaches to the east of Platis Gialos became the biggest talking point of Mykonos for us. I hadn’t been involved in planning our trip (I travel enough as it is) so my wife organised it. Yet at no point during her research did we receive any warning of what we were about to encounter!
We had walked to a rather soulful and chilled out beach location called Paraga Beach. Sunbeds laid out, umbrellas, tables, cafes and even massage on demand if you wanted further relaxation. We paid our fee for the sunbeds and settled in for the afternoon.
It was only when we first went for a swim that we discovered that this wasn’t a typical beach, it was also a nudist beach! This is something we were totally not expecting.
There were no signs at the entrance way to indicate that this behaviour would occur although of course it wasn’t obligatory by any means. Don’t get me wrong, if people want to strip off on a nudist beach then go for it, just give us a warning please. After returning home I tried to research Mykonos further and to be honest, unless you specifically look for the term “nudist” then you will probably not come across this in your research at all.
Over the next few days we ventured further east to discover more beaches. The boat rides from Platis Gialos can get you here a lot quicker than walking. Either way we tried our luck and visited the beaches aptly named Paradise Beach and Super Paradise.
These places are certainly some of the best places to party in Mykonos. Loud speakers of music, cocktail bars, DJs and a clear dance area meant that these places rocked. The tempo starts picking up from around 4:30 onwards and can go on all night. Just make sure you check the bus timetable or arrange a taxi home.
If you are a real die hard partier then there is a backpackers hostel at Paradise Beach too.
Nudists were also present at these beaches however we found it to be less prevalent than Paraga Beach.
Our holiday to Mykonos would not be complete without a trip to Mykonos Town, also known as Chora. Getting there was fairly easy via a cheap bus service. Some people would hire motorbikes or even quad bikes to get around the island too.
Mykonos Town was an absolute delight. Like many Greek islands, white buildings throughout the centre make a wonderful and soothing setting. Narrow streets provided lots of character and shopping as well as eating opportunities. Also since Mykonos is a party island lots of bars and clubs would happily take a few euro from you in exchange for a drink or two.
We however chose to have our cocktails at the edge of town. There is a wonderful area known as Little Venice in Mykonos Town. The buildings and walkways are right by the water for stunning visual effect. We enjoyed a cocktail (€12, maybe a little steep?) and a more reasonably priced beer as we had the best viewing position for a sunset in Mykonos.
Within minutes of Little Venice is another beautiful landmark. For here are some historic white windmills. They were actually created by the Venetians hundreds of years ago yet have been out of service for a long time. Now they make a stunning tourist attraction and a wonderful sight on the horizon.
Armed with picturesque memories and commemorative souvenirs we were delighted about our holiday to Mykonos last year. My wife even bought me a CD with the sounds of Mykonos as a Christmas gift to remind us of this trip. We hope to return soon to enjoy the vibe and atmosphere of this gorgeous island. Only next time we are a little more aware of what to expect from the beaches!
The Guy / The Guy Who Flies is the writer behind Flights And Frustration. He has been taking international trips almost every month for the last 15 years. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
This great story is part of the series Tales from Greece, where travelers share their experiences from their holidays to Greece.