Island of plenty
It may be famed for its sun-kissed beaches and vibrant nightlife, but there’s so much more to explore in Mykonos.
TIME TO SPEND. Mykonos Town is a charming spot where whitewashed houses, typical of the region’s architecture, line pretty streets. Pops of colour come from bright blue details on wooden doors, windows and balconies, while winding lanes are home to an eclectic offering of cafés, boutiques, souvenir shops, churches and restaurants. One of the most enjoyable ways to take it all in is by perusing the designer boutiques and big-name international fashion and accessory brands found here. Head for the warren of lanes in and around Matogianni Street where you’ll see the likes of Louis Vuitton, Lacoste and Franck Muller sit alongside well-known Greek designers such as Maurizio Mykonos. Browse a larger selection of international and Greek designers at concept store Dew which focuses on high-end beachwear, sunglasses, sandals and jewellery.
RIPPLE EFFECT. Continue your love affair with the colourful architecture of the Cyclades with a stroll through the meandering lanes of Little Venice. Rows of charming 18th century buildings, at one time the homes of the island’s shipping merchants, are built right on the water and now house cafés, restaurants, bars and boutiques. Just a short walk from Mykonos Town, stay for the spectacular sunsets and unique dining experiences at the water’s edge.
NEW WAVE. With the aqua hue of the Aegean stretching out as far as the eye can see, make the most of your visit and get out on the ocean for a serene sailing trip. With everything from luxury yachts to catamarans and speedboats, there are endless options to take you across the waves to some of the most idyllic spots in the region. Island hop to neighbouring Tinos, a sleepy isle where you can explore picturesque fishing villages, monasteries and ancient castles. Home to some simply stunning beaches, Paros is another nearby island that should definitely be on your list, while just over an hour’s sailing to Naxos reveals mountain villages, ancient ruins and long stretches of beach.
TIME AND TIDE. With a rich history dating back to the 11th century, Mykonos is peppered with charming reminders of its colourful past. Along with its whitewashed, cubist architecture, the island’s windmills are perhaps its most famous feature. Set on the hillside above the main port, the bright white windmills can be seen from almost every spot in Mykonos Town, and are thought to date back to the 16th century. Built by the Venetians, when Mykonos lay on the trade route between Venice and the eastern Mediterranean, ships carrying grain unloaded their cargo for the windmills to turn grain into flour, giving the island a vital income. Elsewhere, past treasures on the island include the 15th century Monastery of Panagia Tourliani and Paleokastro Monastery, an 18th century nunnery situated on a hill, which is well worth visiting for its distinctive architecture.
BEACH LIFE. No trip is complete without hitting the beautiful beaches of Mykonos. Famed the world over for its sun-kissed stretches of sand, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to soaking up the sun on the island. A half-moon shaped arc of sand around three kilometres from Mykonos Town, Platis Gialos is one of the island’s most popular beaches and is home to a flurry of luxury hotels and resorts. Another favourite is Agios Ioannis Beach which sits next to a picturesque village to the south of the island. Ornos is also a popular option, where there are two pristine beaches to choose from. A buzzing area, Ornos is packed with tavernas, restaurants and some of the best hotels on the island. Psarou Beach is a lively spot, famed for its bright white sands and the renowned Nammos Beach Bar, where lively beats, delicious food and a party atmosphere are sure to deliver an unforgettable experience. To the north of the island is wind surfer’s paradise Ftelia Beach and the laid-back Alemagou Beach Bar and Restaurant – the perfect spot to watch the sun go down over the waves with a cocktail in hand. Or to up the tempo, hit Super Paradise Beach, just outside of Mykonos Town. The place to get the party started is Jackie O’ Beach Club, a lively spot perched above the turquoise waters of Super Paradise Bay where cocktails, music and an upbeat vibe guarantee a night to remember.