Why Mykonos has become a super hot-spot
I had been away from Mykonos for ten years exactly. Are things different now? Yes. Absolutely yes. Ten years ago it was already a happening spot in the Mediterranean and celebrities had started to flock to this Greek island for many years. And that trend didn’t stop there, over the last years it seems to have exploded into a chic destination that many people want to visit. So how have they managed this change on such a small island that was once just a fishing town with locals living a quiet life?
Since the moment that I was at the Athens airport waiting to board our flight I noticed something different. All the brands. The people waiting at the boarding gate were covered with Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Prada and many other brands, some coming from the new Four Seasons at the Athenian Peninsula, formerly Astir Palace, with loaded shopping bags displaying the Four Seasons logo on them. Travelers were dressed like a fashion show and I finally noticed some of those outrageous outfits that I had seen before only at fashion shows in magazines, off the runway to the boarding gate at Athens International Airport.
There are not a lot of options to fly directly to Mykonos, so a connection at a major airport will be needed. For us it was coming from magnificent Athens to the island, just a very short flight of thirty minutes, up and down. Another option is taking the ferry from Athens which I believe takes five to six hours, for that reason a flight seemed like a best option for us.
As soon as you arrive to the island you feel like you’re in different world. Paradise. Sunny skies, dry land, relaxing breeze and tiny roads loaded with vespas going in all different directions. Arrange for transportation from your hotel, it’s very convenient and they know how to drive around. And once you get settled at the hotel rent a vespa, that’s the most efficient and fun way to get around. One of the downsides of being such a popular destination, specially during the summer months, is the traffic, there are not many taxis but everybody rents or owns a vespa and it’s the easiest way to get around with traffic.
Our hotel, Ammos Hotel in Ornos, was the perfect place to experience the island. Located just about ten minutes from Old town, but still far enough that it feels a little more relaxing and secluded from the crowds. Summer is busy everywhere, and Ornos was not the exception. One of the cool things about Ornos is its beach, semi-secluded with easy and beautiful Aegean Sea to explore and swim in. Ammos hotel has its own private area so you’re always guaranteed to get a day bed or lounge chair right on the beach. Next to it there is the Ammos Beach Club which is open to the public at a cost per chair, still accessible but with a cost. The hotel was small but large enough to host all the amenities of a big hotel.
Boutique hotel and part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World guarantees great service. If you stay here I strongly recommend that you upgrade to a sea view room, which comes with a private balcony where you can see the sea and the cliffs surrounding Ornos beach. Going with the theme, the property is decorated in a minimal way, white washed walls, textures all throughout the hotel with décor perfectly placed on walls and floors and bougainvillea’s growing along the different areas of the hotel. Simple, stylishly easy and very relaxing.
Mykonos is a party town and there are plenty of things to do. We were there for five days and felt like we didn’t have enough time to do it all. During the day there’s so much to explore, so many beaches, towns, beach clubs, and shopping, there’s great shopping on the island, mostly located in Old Town, and expect to see all your favorite brands. Ten years ago it was good shopping with local handicrafts and local designers of jewelry and clothing. Now it’s shopping heaven with all the big brands there. At night, go out to have a great dinner in town, check out the bars and clubs and be prepared to stay up until sunrise. At least that’s how we did it, it’s a town that starts partying late, probably around midnight and it goes all the way to sunrise.
Here are some of my favorite places to visit and things to do while in Mykonos, like I mentioned earlier, rent a vespa or scooter for your stay so you can have the freedom to go anywhere anytime. During high season it’s about 30 to 40 euros per day:
Super Paradise Beach & Jackie O’s
One of my favorite beaches. Head out there and rent a chair for the day right on the beach. There are several beach clubs here and my favorite is Jackie O’s. Lay on the beach and just get lost watching the water or sexy people around, if you want some more excitement then climb the rock steps up the hill and spend time at Jackie O’s bar, with a private pool, views of the bay, awesome cocktails and fun music playing all day.
Agios Sostis beach
This is my favorite beach, a little secluded on the north side of the island, it gives you that sense that nothing is there but you, the beach and the sea. This is not a developed beach so there are no beach clubs or bars, just you and your sunscreen. This makes it very special to me as it feels like an authentic desolated beach. Definitely less crowded than the other more popular beaches.
This is a party beach. You can rent a chair at Ammos Hotel Beach club and spend the day with people around you, mingle and meet new people while DJ’s come in and out of the bar spinning good club mixes. There are other beach clubs and restaurants here so this is a good option to have variety on where to go for drinks and fun.
Old Town, port and windmills
Definitely spend time in Old Town where you can walk endless streets, alleys and staircases all painted white with fun blue and red doors throughout town. Get lost in it and go shopping, or sip Aperol Spritz’s in Little Venice overlooking the sea from tiny bars and restaurants all perched up above the sea crashing against the buildings’ foundations. Shopping is great and you can find anything from the local textiles, glass and art to the more commercial stores like Replay, Louis Vuitton and more. Food is amazing and honestly I’ve had really good food anywhere in Mykonos.
Elysium Hotel and Sunset bar is further up on the town hills, giving you a great spot to watch the sunset. Seriously the best sunset on the island. They have a great sunset bar out by the pool and at sunset they have one of the best drag shows that I’ve ever seen. Production is amazing, good cocktails and just having the view of Mykonos as a backdrop made it just perfect.
Jackie O’s Bar
With Jackie O's not only they have a beach club in Super Paradise beach but the bar in town is so fun. It’s so lively and attracts the gay visitors..and some straight. This is my favorite bar and you get to meet so many people here, everybody is friendly, location is great right by the water and the music doesn’t stop until early in the morning. Party place for sure.
All the food in Mykonos was incredible, fresh food and Greek salads all over so food won’t be an issue. Two restaurants stood up for me as the food and ambiance were great, friendly people and really good views at both restaurants. Kastro’s in Old Town and Buddha Bar in Ornos.
There were many changes in Mykonos but at the end of the day it still feels like it felt ten years ago. A small finishing town that suddenly got the attention of the world, with great hotels, amazing pristine water beaches, friendly people and delicious food. For this and more it still is one of my favorite spots in the world and will definitely be going back soon.