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Mykonos, Greece ~ My Love Affair with The Beach and Party Island

Greek party central with stunning beaches

One of the more popular of the Greek islands, Mykonos – part of the Cyclades cluster of islands – has the reputation of a party island and a favorite stop for the jet set celebrities and yachts of the wealthy. A stop on many cruise itineraries, most tourist visits focus is on Mykonos Town (the largest town on the island), varied beach tours and tours to the historically significant local island of Delos. While rocky and scrubby in appearance, the flavour and mood of the island complements this stark mountainous beauty. This happening island has a vibe likened to Ibiza meets St. Tropez – serious fun!

Mykonos - north, south, east and westIt seems all roads lead to the center of the island and flare out from there in all directions. North is the windy side and famous for windsurfing opportunities unparalleled in the Mediterranean. South hosts the beautiful leeward beaches and home to the great resorts and party zones. West hosts the capital Mykonos Town, Agios Ioannis (of Shirley Valentine fame) and the UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Island of Delos. The Eastern portion of the island is, as yet, an untapped beauty.

Celebrate the Flavor of Mykonos

shops and restaurants within Mykonos TownMykonos Town – White-washed buildings and shops frame the shoreline, making this a picturesque maze of delightfully refreshing shops, diverse and sumptuous restaurants, vibrant sunsets and historic 16th century windmills. Built in a maze-like mash-up it’s said the intent was to confound looting and thieving pirates, confusing them and discouraging attacks – this is not your designer shopping district like major cities. Mykonos Town is very busy on cruise days, it’s restaurants most busy along the waterside towards sunset. After dark, the bars and clubs crank up their thumping party vibes, keeping this town hopping from early til late. A definite highlight to your Mykonos visit that will not disappoint.

Elia Beach, Mykonos - stunning!Beaches – Beautiful beaches abound on Mykonos, bevy’d with equally beautiful people from around the world. The south-west portion of the island offers the most popular beaches (Paradise & Super Paradise party beaches, Elia, Ornos, Agios Ioannis) leeward out of the wind. Superb sandy beaches and sand bottom ocean, lounges, bars and restaurants make these a fantastic full day stop opportunity to spend some relaxing sun-worship time. Northern beaches are often very windy, but the most popular options (Panormos, Ftelia, Sostis and Fokos) are uncrowded and relaxing when the wind subsides. Keep in mind Greek beaches are European in style allowing topless sunbathing everywhere and some offer full nude sunbathing opportunities (West end of Elia, south end of Panormos, opportunistically at the Paradise Beaches).

Royal Myconian Avaton Resort - top shelf!Resorts and Guesthouses – To cater to the “A” crowd, the resorts offer and boast luxury (probably the highest of all the main tourist islands). Even if you opt for a lower than a 5-star accommodation, you’ll be impressed with the overall quality of the offerings on Mykonos. We stayed at the chic luxurious Royal Myconian Avaton and fell in love. Private patios overlooking Elia Beach and the Bay, infinity pool, top-shelf restaurant, uber-attentive service and the Thalasso Spa – we were in heaven! There’s no shortage of resorts and guesthouses to choose from – and comparably, we found, they delivered higher quality all around than their sister islands.

beautiful back country in MykonosRent a quad or scooter – As the island is only 10 km long and 15 km wide (6 miles x 9 miles) and the eastern portion highly untapped, this is an island easy to explore on a quad or scooter. Beautiful winding roads (with fun switchbacks on the hills), fields with goats and livestock, small towns and large, quads and scooters are everywhere sharing the roads with small cars and buses. A great way to explore some secluded beaches, ride into Mykonos town for dinner, or visit the Hippie Fish Restaurant of Shirley Valentine fame. Every hotel and resort has easy access to a “guy” who rents quads for under $50 Euro for a full day.

Super Paradise Beach from the Jackie O'Gay-Friendly – Fully accepted, popular, an out-in-the-open celebration of the LGBT lifestyle, Mykonos has become a must stop for a relaxed and celebratory gay-friendly experience. With resorts and hotels like the Elysium, Geranium, Jackie O, many smaller guesthouses, and bars catering to the gay traveler, this is a full-on festival of play, party and strut!

UNESCO World Heritage site - DelosUNESCO World Heritage Site on Delos – Mythically important as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, the Sacred Island of Delos ranks in mythical importance second only to Delphi. From Delos’ Temple to Apollo, the Sanctuary, the Lions, the Greek Theatre, the Cave of Zeus, ancient (by millenia) excavations and Archaeological Museum, Delos holds a wealth of stories rich to be heard.

a very efficient Greek Ferry ServiceGetting around the Cyclades and Greece – Mykonos is one of the few islands that have their own international airport, so it’s a common jumping off point for Greek island travel. The high-speed ferry system (SeaJet, BlueStar, Hellenic Seaways) is very efficient and cost effective to jump between islands and explore the scope of the Greek isles. Inter-island flights (Aegean Airlines) are also often available for larger distances between the islands and mainland. We found it very easy to navigate between the islands.

Mykonos Highlights

Key highlights to remember about Mykonos:

  • Mykonos ~ a treasure to exploreParty island with an energetic vibe
  • Excellent sandy beaches with lots of amenities and services
  • Luxurious resorts and guesthouses
  • Mykonos Town charm is a must visit
  • Gay-friendly and proud of it
  • Topless (and some nude) sunbathing accepted
  • Easy to travel to and continue exploring the islands

stunning sunsets in MykonosAfter visiting 5 stops on our recent Greek island-hopping adventure, I must confess to Mykonos being my favorite for the spirit and energy of this beautiful island. Over 3 days, we hit many beaches exploring on a quad, dined sumptuously many meals in Mykonos Town, and had one of the most beautiful resorts with private balcony overlooking the water of Elia Beach welcoming us every morning for coffee to start our days in the spirit of the Greek islands. Thank you, Mykonos, for sharing your treasures!

Continue with us as we document the beauty of the Greek Islands with upcoming posts on:

  • Athens and mainland Greece
  • Santorini
  • Crete
  • Rhodes
  • Beaches of Greece

Tell us about your favorite experiences in Mykonos, we’d love o know what you enjoyed. Drop a comment below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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