When thinking of European summers in Greece, islands like Mykonos and Santorini undoubtedly come to mind. Mykonos is renowned for its glamorous beach parties, fiery sunsets, and white cobbled streets, making it truly beautiful. I have visited Mykonos several times, including one year when I spent most of the summer experiencing the island.
However, this time was a bit different, as it was a more romantic trip rather than a group holiday, as in previous visits. We stayed on the island for an entire week, which is considered long, unlike most people who tend to island-hop and visit places such as Santorini or go snorkelling in Crete.
GETTING THERE Mykonos' peak season runs from June until September. We visited at the beginning of August, which is the busiest time. Even in June, bookings for restaurants and bars were filling up fast. Prices across the islands, such as hotels, taxis, and sunbeds, will start to rise.
Typically, the temperature during this time ranges from 24-29°C, with the refreshing Cycladic breeze.
From London, the quickest way to reach Mykonos is by a direct flight with a duration of over 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Athens or other surrounding islands.
While I usually recommend renting a car for freedom, Mykonos is one place where you can do without it. Firstly, it's difficult to find parking, and even if you do, it's likely you'll still have to walk quite a bit. Secondly, if you plan to have a few drinks, it's best not to get behind the wheel. The island is notoriously known for having erratic drivers on the road, so keep this in mind for your own safety.
Hailing down a taxi can be a nightmare, so it's best to pre-book your transport with Aegean Taxi. Trips start from around 45€ each way. We were lucky enough to stay in a hotel that provides free shuttle transfers to the main town, Little Venice. Although I've personally never taken them, there are public buses that can take you to your desired location for as little as 3€.
PARTNERSHIP PR STAY
WHERE TO STAY
During our time in Mykonos, I was fortunate enough to experience three different places in the southern area of Elia Beach, which is also the less windy area.
Myconian Utopia - Part of the impeccable Relais & Châteaux collection and is a great hotel geared towards couples with modern boho interiors.
Myconian Villas - One of the larger Myconian properties and boasts a grand infinity pool overlooking Elia beach. The villas are lavish and luxurious.
Myconian Avaton - A member of the prestigious Design Hotels group and offers a livelier environment compared to the other hotels.
WHAT TO PACK
It's worth noting that although these islands can heat up during peak season, you might find the Cyclades can get a little breezy, especially during the evenings. Here's my packing list:
Light linens, such as shirts and shorts.
Swimwear, including a mix of both 2-pieces and one-pieces that can easily take you from day to night with just the addition of a skirt or cover-up.
Beach cover-ups, for when you visit beach clubs.
'Nice' sandals. High heels aren't the best option for sand or cobbled streets. If you want to add height, opt for a small block mule heel or espadrille. Honestly, I never actually wore my heels and most people at the clubs are in sandals.
Comfortable shoes, either sneakers or walking sandals, such as Tevas, especially if you plan on participating in daytime activities.
Summer evening wear that isn't overly formal. Slip dresses or a nice blouse will be your best bet if you plan to go somewhere fancy.
A pashmina or light beach scarf. I personally dislike wearing jackets as I get too hot in them, so I tend to pack something I can throw over my shoulders as and when needed. Mykonos is notoriously windy, so this helps to double up as both sun protection and for keeping you warm in cooler temperatures.
Lightweight Shirts - Luca Faloni provides a great selection of Linen shirts in various shades.
Swimwear - For something fun that will suit the beach club vibe, Frescobol Carioca will be your best bet. Offering classic and tailored style swim shorts to bring you from sun lounger to bar, as well as their signature and vibrant prints inspired by Rio De Janeiro.
Comfortable shoes - again either sneakers, sandals or an espadrille-style flat
Summer evening wear - A pair of cotton/chino trousers paired with a cotton shirt
Top tip: If you're planning to spend the entire day at a beach club that transitions from day to night, be sure to pack a change of clothes, especially if you're not within walking distance of your hotel or apartment. At places like Scorpios, you'll notice guests arriving slightly more dressed up as the evening draws in.
WHAT TO PRE-BOOK HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, NEW FOR 2022
Super Paradise Beach Club - Super Paradise has truly outdone itself with its new look after undergoing a renovation to kick-start the 2022 season. The interior has a slight moonscape-meets-boho style. We visited the beach club on the day after our arrival and ended up spending the entire day there because it was so much fun.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, NEW FOR 2022
Allinblusive Riva Lounge at Nammos - The newly launched Riva Lounge by Allinblusive, located at the world-famous Nammos Beach bar, is an experience not to be missed. Enjoy a memorable time in one of Mykonos' best private lounges, and indulge in the allure of the Riva Lounge while taking in the breathtaking landscape and crystal-clear waters. The luxurious boat boasts plush cushioned lounge areas, and even a downstairs area with two bedrooms and a lounge.
Scorpios - Perhaps the most coveted hotspot in Mykonos, where people come to be seen. The atmosphere here is relaxed, with bohemian-style decor heavily influencing the vibe. The beach is divided into three areas: the private beach, the oasis, and the slope area. Access prices vary according to each area, and private cabanas can be rented by reservation.
NEW FOR 2022
Nōema - Tucked away in Little Venice, Nōema is a contemporary Greek restaurant that aims to celebrate the free spirit of the Cyclades. Upon entering, you'll be seated in their waiting area, where you can choose to sit down and enjoy the views of Mykonos, or you can visit their boutique. The restaurant uses high-quality ingredients and offers an eclectic atmosphere with Aegean sounds.
DAY 1: Getting settled in
Not the most exciting day, just as we had a late arrival. We touched down at our first hotel Myconian Utopia Relais & Châteaux where the hotel combines natural beauty and modern opulence. This hotel is perfect for couples and honeymooners, offering luxurious services and fabulous entertainment.
Before settling into bed after a long journey, we were able to enjoy a four-course meal at their Pavillion restaurant, which helped put us in the 'Greek spirit'.
DAY 2: Getting into the spirit at the new Super Paradise
Feeling rested and refreshed, we finished up on breakfast, then got changed to head down to Super Paradise Beach Club for 11AM. The plan: beach all day.
We didn't plan to spend the entire day until evening there, but we enjoyed our time so much that we lost track of time. We mostly lounged on the sunbeds, took a dip in the sea, and relished some delicious cocktails and food at the restaurant/bar. The team of trained masseuses also walked around offering a complimentary 5-minute massage on our loungers, and we were able to view their range of services.
The team here is super friendly, and we even made friends with our sunbed neighbours who offered us a glass from their bottle.
DAY 3: A trip into town
Started the morning with a gym session and breakfast at Utopia. We then checked in o our new hotel just 2 minutes away, Myconian Villas nestled hillside above Elia Bay. Part of the Preferred Hotels Group, Villas offers a spacious complex and a much larger infinity pool. We decided to spend the afternoon at the hotel, having lunch poolside overlooking the beautiful views.
For the evening, we ventured into Little Venice where we were invited Nōema to try their chefs-choice menu. This new restaurant is stunning and is perfect either for couples or a group. When we were taken downstairs to the restaurant, we couldn't believe the change of atmosphere from how it was in the waiting area/boutique. There's a lively ambience with welcoming staff and a DJ.
Afterwards, we walked around Little Venice and found a spot by the sea where we enjoyed a bottle of red wine as the evening set in. One noticeable aspect of Little Venice is the diversity of people during the evening. On one side, you'll see people in their mid-twenties partying the night away, while on the other side, families enjoy exploring the streets of Mykonos. If you plan to venture into Little Venice, it's highly recommended to wear comfortable shoes. Although the streets are charming, the path is uneven and slightly inclined in some areas, which may lead to twisted ankles.
DAY 4: Bond-style boat trip
Mixing up our days a bit, we went for a private yacht tour with Allinblusive's Rivammos, located on the chic Nammos beach. Despite mother nature providing a very windy afternoon, it was great to be able to get out at sea and enjoy the views facing inland.
.The James Bond-esque boat was luxurious and comfortable, with plenty of lounging and seating areas to soak up the sun. The captain and host were extremely friendly and even provided some information about the island. Rivammos was an incredible experience, perfect for a small group of friends or even for couples. The boat is like no other, and we were completely shocked when we boarded such a chic boat with wooden decking. You'll certainly feel like an A-list celebrity during this sail.
After the boat trip, we decided to have lunch at Nammos, where we tucked into perhaps the world's largest Greek Salad, along with plenty of fresh seafood. If you haven't been to Nammos before, it's worth checking out the village, adorned with an array of high-end boutique stores such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, etc. You can enjoy a spot of glitzy shopping, and even if you don't plan on buying anything, the village itself is beautiful to wander around. They even have parrots and a resident peacock on the grounds.
DAY 5: The famous Scorpios
After a morning at the hotel, we spent the afternoon at renowned Scorpios. If you're new to Mykonos, this place should definitely be on your bucket list. The large space offers a restaurant, scattered beach cabanas, boutique and bars to lounge in. It's worth coming here even just to see the sunset and enjoy a bottle of wine.
We actually ended up spending the rest of the day here, hiring a beach cabana (140€), enjoying a delicious lunch and spending the evening dancing the night away until close. Whilst the price of the sun loungers may seem steep, I would actually say for what you get, it's worth it compared to other lavish beach clubs. Also works out a lot cheaper when you split the cost between a group.
If you do plan to eat, want a table or plan to spend the day here, I cannot stress enough to book in advance. Walk-ins are available, but if you're planning to go during peak season, expect it to be full or have a long wait.
As the evening started to draw to a close, we took a taxi back (with a much needed stop at a Gyros joint), and headed to our room at Myconian Avaton.
DAY 6: Resting up
For once, we were actually able to spend the day enjoying the area of our hotel within the Elia location. After quite a heavy night, we woke up near midday and headed straight to lunch at Avaton, where they served Italian cuisine. With a heavy meal sitting in our stomachs, we decided to head to the beach and just relax.
DAY 7: Farewell (for now)
A fairly quiet morning, which included packing up for Rhodes. Since our flight was midday, we were only really around to enjoy the breakfast buffet at Avaton.
CLOSING NOTES I'm going to be brutally honest - as beautiful as the island is, Mykonos will set you back a bit. Both Mykonos and Santorini are relatively overpriced, compared to islands such as Paros, Naxos or Milos. It definitely has a livelier vibe and is excellent for those wanting a more glamorous holiday, however, be prepared for the prices that follow.
It is possible to do Mykonos on a budget. Such as going in the off-season. Whilst the weather may be cooler, it's also a great opportunity to stroll through places like Little Venice without the crowds.
Ready to visit Mykonos?