HomeTravelEurope10 Reasons Why Mykonos is Your Next Addiction Gabrielle Morley-Ham October 15, 2015 Europe, Greece, Top tens, Travel 19 Comments They say that Mykonos is an addiction, not a destination… but when we booked our first ever trip to Mykonos, we regretted it almost instantly. It wasn’t long before friends and family were filling our ears with tales of crowded streets, all day parties, drunken people and tourist traps. They had us expecting to rock up to some gay-exclusive, clothes-optional, party island orgy. But they couldn’t have been more wrong. Mykonos may be known as the ‘gay capital of Greece’ and it is wonderfully flamboyant… but it’s so much more than that. 1. The town When I checked out photographs of the town before visiting the first time, I was amazed. The white washed walls, secret streets and cobbled walkways – idyllic. But I SURELY there were only a couple of streets like this, where ALL of the photos were taken… it couldn’t be that perfect. But oh no no. I gave my cynical self a talking to in the corner. The whole of Mykonos town is a maze of photo-worthy nooks and crannies. Around every turn is a new beautiful sight you haven’t seen before, a new street to wander down, take in the atmosphere and get yourself lost for an afternoon. Number one rule of Mykonos: Step away from the damn map my friend. You most likely wouldn’t be able to understand the thing anyway. Mykonos is all about getting lost… you never know what you may find or where you’ll end up. But you will always find your bearings in the end. We came across all of our favourite spots purely by not having a bloody clue where we were. What makes this magical town even better is the difference between day and night. I still find it hard to pick which I prefer. By day the white washed walls glisten in the sun and the wind blows through the side streets, cooling you down. The iconic colours of Greece, white and blue sit perfectly alongside the bursts of bright pink borgenvelia. It’s so beautiful. In the morning you will see the town at work. The locals open their shops and restaurants as deliveries are driven through town on tin trucks and everyone is getting ready for the day ahead. As the sun rises over the town, casting golden hues against the buildings, it’s the best time to get snap happy. At night, none of the daily charm is lost. The streets and alley ways are flooded with light from the shops, bars and restaurants. The smell of classic Greek dishes fill the air. The moonlight replaces the sunshine, casting light through the town. An absolute must is to catch a movie under the stars in the open-air cinema. It’s a little tucked away but is just waiting to be discovered… and what’s even better? It’s free! (The film that is, not the food). 2. The people One of Mykonos’ greatest gifts is its people. Our first trip to Mykonos was our first taste of Greece. In many places around the world from Spain to Thailand and beyond, locals bombard and harass you as you walk past their shop, bar or restaurant, almost chasing you down the street as they try desperately to lure you in. In Mykonos, we have never experienced this. You’re always welcome to look around for as long as you like and the owners will be happy to help, chat or just leave you be. The restaurant and bar staff are just the same. They’ll show you the menu if you like and offer you a business card then wish you a pleasant evening. If you return then you may receive a hand shake in thanks but don’t worry about walking past the same place every night and never going in. You won’t be chased down the road…promise! We’ve made new friends each time we have visited Mykonos, regardless of the language barrier. Plus they always seem to be somehow related to a bar. Odd one that. Here’s us with good old George and Marcelino back in 2013… James was ever so slightly less beardy back in the day… Annnnd here we are last week with the fabulous Tasos. His cocktails are made with such love – if you ever come across this character, ask him for a mojito PRONTO. We’ve made new friends each time we have visited Mykonos, regardless of the language barrier. We have always been made to feel immensely welcome and would go as far as saying the Greek people are some of the nicest and most hospitable we have ever had the great privilege of spending time with. 3. The food If this isn’t your first visit to our blog then firstly, THANKS for the love. And secondly, you may have noticed that we’re proper foodies and have a habit of eating our bodyweight in anything going. Give us new and exciting local delicacies and authentic cuisine to try and we’re all over it like a rash. Greece is no exception and the food here is to die for. Mykonos is bursting with great restaurants. You really will be spoilt for choice. If you fancy sticking to traditional Greek then you’ll be salivating for their homemade filo pastry pies, haloumi, fried zucchini, tzatziki, hummus, pita, moussaka, taramasalata, gyros and our favourite street food, souvlaki… Annnnd I’m salivating. 4. The cocktails Great cocktail bars are not hard to come by in Mykonos. There are a ton of them but some are better than others and they will take a big slurp out of your budget. Sometimes though, a cocktail is necessary, budget or no budget. We have a couple of favorites: Scarpa is a perfect spot for sundowners, right at the water’s edge in Little Venice. Its cocktails are all delicious although I wasn’t too keen on their signature concoction that pretty much tasted like drinking pureed beetroot… James thought it was the dog’s wotzits though. Always did say he was an odd one. Try the ‘Scarpa’ if you’re a weird one too. Beetroot weirdness aside, Piano Bar ‘Montparnasse’, is and always will be our chosen hangout. This place is a Mykonos must! It’s tucked away in Little Venice and is a very gay friendly cabaret bar. Now if you’re thinking, ‘that isn’t my scene’ then you’re wrong… very wrong indeed. I absolutely guarantee you’ll love this place. Not only are the staff great and the drinks delicious but the cabaret will have you clapping along and swaying with the best of them. My one problem with this place is having to endure the sympathetic looks as James sung along to ‘It’s Raining Men’ at the top of his voice, with a Ginger Rogers in his hand. I’m sure they all think we’re both in denial. 5. The sunshine If you’re a sun worshipper, Mykonos won’t disappoint. Head to the island over the summer months (June-August) if parties and sun are your thang. The town gets really busy during this time and get ready for crowded streets, late nights and beach parties galore. Prepare to be faced with A LOT of speedos. We’ve been twice out of season (in late May and early October) and were spoilt for sunshine both times. We’d always choose to visit in the quieter months. It’s the perfect time to go for sunny days, cooler evenings and a calmer atmosphere. Don’t you worry though, the cocktails will still be flowing. From November through to April the town pretty much closes its doors. Bars stop opening, shops close up and restaurants shut down for the Winter season. Best to avoid this time unless you’re after a party for one. 6. The shopping I never expected Mykonos to be a place for shopping but boy was I wrong. There must be hundreds of boutique, cave-like jewelry shops full to the brim with stunning locally made pieces. There are even some shops you’d never expect to see… think Louis Vuitton, Accessorize, Timberland and Diesel. The shops are open crazy hours, from about 8.30am through to midnight without any kind of siesta. The Greeks sure are grafters. 7. The photography If you love photography, you’ll love Mykonos. It really is as simple as that. The colours, the paving stones, the secret streets, the character-filled faces… there’s a perfect photo opportunity wherever you turn. You could return to Mykonos time and time again and still find a new little corner you’ve never seen before. Make sure you’ve always got your camera handy I don’t care how painful it is, one morning set your alarm for 7am. (It really was a struggle after the cocktails) Get up, grab your camera and head over to see the sunrise over the windmills. There will be no one else around (although we did have to contend with some weird half naked photo shoot going on) and the lighting is ethereal. Stand back and enjoy the show. Early morning is also a great time to explore the town and see a different side to Mykonos. The locals are selling vegetables on the waterfront, deliveries are being made and streets are being cleaned. It’s worth the wake up call. 8. The sunsets Mykonos sunsets are some of the best we’ve seen. Perhaps it’s something to do with the pink and orange hues of the sky, the way the colours reflect in the crystal clear waters and create beautiful silhouettes from the white buildings. Or perhaps it’s simply because we watch them, sipping on cracking cocktails happy in the knowledge we’re in one of the most gorgeous places on earth. 9. The pelicans James wouldn’t agree with including these. The first time we visited Mykonos one was thrown in his face by an angry lady. I don’t think he’s quite recovered. Pelicans in the face aside, they are gorgeous birds and there are three that call the town of Mykonos home. Apparently one pelican was rescued on the island decades ago and became such a local celebrity that when he sadly died, they introduced three more to take his place. These guys should also fall into the photography section, just don’t get too close or you may get more than you bargained for. 10. The atmosphere The atmosphere in Mykonos is seriously special. A combination of the beautiful setting, the smiling faces of the locals, the greek music playing in restaurants as you walk past, the smell of authentic Greek cooking, and the hustle and bustle of a buzzing community make it one that can’t be matched. So book your flight, grab a cocktail, a plate of halloumi and soak it all up. We can’t get enough. Like it? Pin it. We’ll love you as much as haloumi. Almost. TweetShare on TumblrPrintEmail JMac How! Absolutely GORGEOUS! I think my husband and I may have to ditch the kids and go by ourselves. Though we like bringing our kids with us everywhere. This may be the exception. http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Ohhh you must! It really is absolutely stunning. One of those places that no matter how hard you try, a photograph will never do it justice. Your kids would love it too, but definitely worth trying to make a break for it if you can ;). Have a cocktail for me when you make it! http://www.compassandfork.com elizabeth We really enjoyed Mykonos for many of the reasons you list. The architecture and color of the island building is fantastic for photos. It was cheaper than I expected and more laid back (especially compared to its equally famous cousin Santorini). We also really enjoyed Naxos- there is a laid back island! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hi Elizabeth, really pleased to hear you enjoyed Mykonos as much as we did! And interesting to hear it was cheaper than Santorini. Thanks for the tip about Naxos… we’ll have to check it out. Totally in love with Greece :). http://Bubbleswap.com Theresa Lovely post! Noticed that your photos are clan with little background distractions (ie other tourists) was it low season? Or did you take them at a certain time? http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks so much Theresa :). We went just a few weeks ago at the very beginning of October… which is getting towards the end of their season. However, you wouldn’t know it from the sunshine!! We also got up early a couple of days and headed into town when it was really lovely and quiet…. Plus there was a fair amount of tactical lurking… waiting for the opportune moment 😉 We’ve been in late May also and it was very quiet then too. If you’re not into constant parties and crowded streets, the shoulder seasons are definitely the ones to aim for. However, if beach parties are your thang, head over in the summer months :). So pleased you enjoyed the post! http://www.touristingaround.blogspot.pt Marta Grilo I’ve been there and I absolutely loved it! It’s such an amazing island! Definitely wanna go back. http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers It’s magic isn’t it Marta. Hope you make it back some time soon. We’re already desperate to book a return trip :). http://travellousworld.com Maaike – travellousworld.com I was so curious about your Mykonos stories and photos! It almost looks too perfect! I can’t wait to visit this little island someday http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Ah thanks, Maaike. It really is a perfect little slice of paradise….at least it is in our books. Hope you manage to visit before too long. Perhaps it could be the first holiday break once settled into your new job 🙂 globetotting.com This so, so pretty! I love your photos, I love the pelicans and I love that person in the watermelon hat!! Thanks for showing that there is another side to Mykonos! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Cheers! So pleased you enjoyed the photos! The pelicans are great and that woman in the watermelon hat was a right character! She has a different quirky hat for every day of the week… pretty sure they were all fruit based. What a woman ;). Happy we could share another side to this beautiful island :). Gemma SOLD! I love the modern twist to an old town. Your photos are delicious! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks Gemma! It’s hard not to get delicious photos when you’re in such a delicious place surrounded by delicious haloumi. ;). Really pleased you enjoyed it and hope you get to visit before too long! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers The food is heavenly! 🙂 http://www.evankristine.com/ evankristine You got me. I’m booking my tickets soon! I want to experience this beautiful city! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Do it! It honestly won’t disappoint 🙂 http://www.evankristine.com/ evankristine You got me. I’m booking my tickets soon! I want to experience this beautiful city! http://www.milesofhappiness.com Miles of Happiness That’s a LOT of excellent reasons to travel to Mykonos indeed. Love the white/blue pics.