Eat+Stay+Play: Magical Mykonos

Eat+Stay+Play Travel Guides, Food and Wine, Lifestyle, Photography, Restaurants, Travel / Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

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.

Day 1

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.

Greek flag flying on Sea Jets ferry from Athens to Mykonos

View of Greek islands from Sea Jets ferry

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.

Infinity pool at Vencia Boutique Hotel overlooking Aegean Sea in Mykonos

Lounge beds by infinity pool at Vencia Boutique Hotel Mykonos

Bartender Dimitri making a mojito at the pool bar at Vencia Boutique Hotel in Mykonos Greece

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.

Fresh Greek salad with large slab of feta cheese from Sakis Grill House in Mykonos Greece

White chapel in Mykonos against a deep blue sky

A pair of crosses atop a white chapel in Mykonos

Blue door with pink flowers in Mykonos

Little Venice along the water in Mykonos Greece

A glass of rosé next to a vase of purple and white flowers in Little Venice, Mykonos Greece

Waterfront bar in Little Venice Mykonos

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.

Four windmills on Mykonos island Greece

A single windmill on Mykonos island Greece

Mykonos windmill with blue gate

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.

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes Blog seated at Bakalo Restaurant in Mykonos, Greece

Stuffed grilled squid at Bakalo Restaurant in Mykonos, Greece

Lamb shank at Bakalo Restaurant in Mykonos, Greece

Honey pie ice cream at Bakalo Restaurant in Mykonos, Greece

Day 2

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.

Breakfast of croissant, Greek yogurt, coffee, and orange juice at Vencia Boutique Hotel Mykonos

Pool towel from Vencia Boutique Hotel with Rayban sunglasses and Panama hat in Mykonos Greece

A paradise martini cocktail from Dimitri at Vencia Boutique Hotel pool bar in Mykonos, Greece

View from pool lounge bed at Vencia Boutique Hotel in Mykonos Greece

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.

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes Blog and her husband enjoying pre-dinner cocktails poolside at Vencia Boutique Hotel in Mykonos, Greece

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes Blog, wearing turquoise shift dress from Old Navy, posing poolside at Vencia Boutique Hotel Mykonos, Greece

Sunset over Mykonos from Vencia Boutique Hotel

Rosé and Mykonos sunset

Sea bass at Karavaki Restaurant Mykonos

Night view of infinity pool at Vencia Boutique Hotel Mykonos

Day 3

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.

The shoreline of Platis Yialos Beach dotted with turquoise umbrellas in Mykonos, Greece

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.

Loungers and umbrellas at Platis Yialos Beach, Mykonos Greece

Lounge chairs at Platis Yialos Beach Club, Mykonos, Greece

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes Blog standing on Platis Yialos Beach looking over the blue Aegean Sea in Mykonos, Greece

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes Blog stands in the water at Platis Yialos Beach in Mykonos, Greece wearing a palm print bikini from H&M

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 Rom… Greece!

Erin from Cathedrals and Cafes Blog wearing an orange shift dress posing in an alley next to a blue shutter in Mykonos

Port view of Mykonos

Five windmills on Mykonos island, Greece stand facing the sea at sunset

The terrace at Katerina's Restaurant and Bar in Mykonos, Greece

The shrimp pasta at Katerina's Restaurant and Bar in Mykonos, Greece

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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