Happy Travel Tuesday! Today I’m so excited to share part two of my four-part Greek travel guide series – all about Mykonos! Head over to part one – Eat+Stay+Play: 2 Days in Athens – in case you missed it. As with all my travel guides, don’t forget to access my free downloadable pdf of quick links and resources at the bottom of the post, and pin to your travel folder.
We spent 3 days in Mykonos and in hindsight we should have spent longer on this island. Mykonos has many special qualities. We had read and were told that it was more of a “party island” and may not be where we feel most serene or rested. I found this information to be a little misleading. Yes, Mykonos has a party reputation and there are plenty of fun spots to celebrate your holiday to a DJ spinning some intense beats. But it also offers a beautiful labyrinth of designer shops, high-end boutiques, and cafés in pedestrian-friendly Mykonos Town (Chora). It’s a great place to get lost winding amongst the white walled buildings and brightly colored blue doors. The island’s iconic windmills look majestically over the city and are a great spot for watching the sunset and getting a view of Little Venice. In short, Mykonos is the perfect place for those seeking laid-back days, festive nights, or both.
Our 3 day Mykonos adventure began with a ferry transfer from Athens. As I mentioned in my Athens guide, all of our transfers were arranged ahead of time by Fantasy Travel. Our driver took us to Piraeus Port to board a Sea Jets ferry to Mykonos. There are a handful of ferry companies and we ended up being booked on a couple different lines. I found the boarding process to be pretty much the same for each. It can be a little bit of a cattle call to get on and off but the actual travel time is stress-free. We enjoyed sitting outside for a portion of the transfer for sea views and photos of the islands from the boat. Be prepared for your ferry to be running late. We experienced an on-time schedule for most transfers but not always. We arrived in Mykonos 1.5 hours behind schedule.
Our driver was waiting to take us to Vencia Boutique Hotel where we were warmly welcomed with a drink of fresh lemon juice and a small pastry. Vencia Boutique Hotel is perfectly situated atop a hill overlooking Mykonos Town. You have incredible views of the sea from the beautiful infinity pool. Being a boutique hotel, there aren’t many rooms. Hotel staff is exceptionally attentive and friendly. We also enjoyed the pool and bar because of the views but also the arrangement of lounge chairs. You won’t be seated right next to someone else, and it’s a small hotel so you can really enjoy a semi-privateness to it. You almost feel like you have the entire place to yourself. The bartender is also maybe the best bartender in all of Greece. His signature cocktails designed only for the hotel are carefully created with the freshest local ingredients.
Lunch was in Mykonos Town, a short walk from Vencia. Go to Sakis Grill House and arrive hungry. The gyro and Greek salad are perfect and well priced for a casual lunch. After lunch we spent some time walking through town on our way to Little Venice. Every corner you turn is another pristine white building sitting like a pretty little sugar cube dressed in blue shutters. Little Venice is an area right on the water where many early ship captains built incredible homes which today are now restaurants, hotels, and bars. It is consistently the top attraction in Mykonos and definitely worth spending some time in. We sipped on rosé and Mythos while enjoying the lapping waters at the edge of our feet.
On the way back to our hotel we went by the famous windmills, but it was a very hot day and the infinity pool was calling like a siren.
For dinner we went back to Mykonos Town and enjoyed an aperitif of Ouzo on ice and a freshly blended strawberry cocktail. We met a lively group of New Zealanders who were sailing around the Mediterranean. I always enjoy meeting people from other countries. It’s important to be a good travel ambassador.
Dinner was at Bakalò, a traditional Greek restaurant with courtyard seating on a cozy street. There is a beautiful tree growing through the middle of the courtyard which creates a romantic canopy. The food at Bakalò is some of the best Greek cuisine and the staff is very accommodating. I recommend the stuffed grilled squid and lamb shank. For dessert, we tried honey pie ice cream. Honey…pie…ice cream. With food comas in full effect, we lazily wandered back to our hotel.
Hallelujah for pool days! I was so excited to get to the pool early and snag a lounge bed. You have a choice of individual lounge chairs as well as lounge beds and bean bag chairs. There’s really something for everyone. After relaxing poolside for a bit we walked up the steps to the buffet breakfast. Vencia offers a large and lavish spread of breakfast selections. From the sweet to the savory and everywhere in between, I enjoyed sampling things I don’t normally have for breakfast at home. Even dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) made it onto the menu, one of my favorite Greek treats. You can take your breakfast to the terrace and enjoy a view of a few sailboats and luxury yachts dotting the horizon. It’s really the best way to start the day.
We swam, sunbathed, napped, and read books. With some glasses of rosé in the mix. We made friends with the little three-legged orange cat that lives at the hotel. She greeted us at breakfast each day. So sweet!
A day at the pool certainly works up an appetite. Dinner was at Karavaki, Vencia’s in-house restaurant. Make reservations and request the “sunset table” if you can. It’s the best table for taking in the sunset over dinner. There are many terrace levels to the restaurant due to the hotel being built into the cliffside, and the surrounding stone and lush gardens add to the romantic ambience. The food here is also exceptional. We enjoyed a dish of sausages cooked with bell peppers followed by sea bass and veal. Fresh fruit and Mastic shots completed a very nice evening.
Beach day! Make sure to build in some beach time in Mykonos. If you haven’t been to a European beach before you should know that there are options. There are public access beaches and then there are beach clubs, where the beach is privately accessed by those who have paid to use it. Depending on how long you want to spend at the beach, a beach club can be a nice option. For various prices, you can rent lounge chairs and an umbrella for an entire day. You’ll also have access to restrooms and changing facilities as well as food, beverages, and cocktails. Sometimes towels are provided as well.
When dedicating a full day to the beach we prefer a beach club. We spent the day at Platis Yialos Beach Club and had chairs on the first row along the water. The umbrellas had solar powered charging stations for your devices and the food and service are great. We wrapped up our beach day with more time in the pool before heading back to Mykonos Town for dinner.
For a pre-dinner cocktail we went to Katerina’s, a waterfront restaurant and bar in Little Venice. Katerina Xidaki was Mykonos’ first female ship captain. This place is a must. We started with cocktails upstairs with views of the windmills and sea followed by dinner downstairs of two incredible pastas – an orzo style pasta with shrimp and tomatoes and a classic bolognese. By the conclusion of dinner the upstairs bar was in full club mode. Somehow we managed to crash the private party of Contiki travelers, as our host and server ushered us upstairs to join in. Well, as the saying goes…when in
Thus concludes our time in magical Mykonos. Writing this 3 day itinerary has me wishing I could just hop on back. We will once again visit and for longer next time.
Next up…Naxos! Click here to download my free pdf of links and resources to quickly access everything from the post.
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