Mykonos was expensive but beautiful and so much fun.
Often compared to Ibiza, it’s a touristy place that attracts travelers from around Europe, Asia, and other corners of the globe. At many times, I was reminded of Cabo or Miami with all the street vendors selling shot glasses, swimsuits, and bro tanks.
I was also surprised to see the strong Italian influences. Apparently that’s why we kept seeing so many Italian restaurants and gelato shops. Evidently, Italian tourists like to eat their own food when they travel.
Despite the distinct lack of Greekness, we loved Mykonos. Here are a few of our favorite things:
Andronikos hotel is a budget luxury hotel but the service we received rivaled that of any 5 star hotel. Not only did they help with restaurant and ATV reservations, an early check in, and a room upgrade, they really got to know us. They even helped us figure out how to stream Warriors games. By the time we left, the hotel felt like home and the staff felt like friends. Additionally, the hotel is very modern and chic-looking and just a 10 minute walk from Mykonos Town.
Driving an ATV
This was the definitive highlight of Mykonos. I loved riding around the island, taking in the desert landscape and feeling the wind in my hair. In our case, the rental company brought the ATV directly to us and picked it up, but there are a plethora of rental companies right in front of Mykonos Town.
Perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, Kiki’s is a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of the Mykonos party scene. A favorite among locals and celebrity tourists, the wait can be an hour long or more. To pass the time, you can enjoy a glass of rose on the house or take a short walk down to the beach and take a dip.
As with most tavernas, the menu was largely meat and fish based, and everything is grilled to order right in front of you. But I still managed to find vegetarian options easily. Besides the standard mezze dips, Kiki’s offers a variety of hearty salads that change daily, grilled veggies, and breads & olive oil.
We settled on a rich, creamy tzatziki, a smoky quinoa salad with pepitas, dates, fennel, a lentil salad with feta and sundried tomatoes, a luscious tabbouleh dripping with olive oil, a marinated artichoke salad, and grilled eggplant. My husband Sid got the grilled stuffed chicken and also enjoyed that. Apologies for the dark photos – Kiki’s is kind of like a treehouse and the lighting was poor.
We definitely over-ordered; the portions are huge.
Pasta Fresca Barkia
My parents recommended this place and I’m so glad we came. This is a family run restaurant that makes their own fresh pasta every day. There were dozens of pastas to choose from but we settled on a ravioli baked with 4 kinds of cheeses. It was a small portion but very filling because it was so rich. They served it alongside a trio of spicy Italian peppers and freshly grated parmesan cheese. They also have a full menu with mezze, bruschetta, soup, salad, risotto, and pizza.
Everyone raves about Santorini’s stunning sunsets and vista points, but Mykonos has some nice views of its own. Whether driving around the island, sitting at a waterfront restaurant in Little Venice, or at a beach bar like Hippie Fish or the newly opened Buddha Bar, we loved taking in the natural beauty of Mykonos.
The gorgeous cobblestone streets
They were every bit as beautiful as the photos I had seen, all blue and white and decorated with bougainvillea. I’ve never seen anything else like it. Same goes for the windmills; they’re striking.
This was a beautiful setting with great people watching and a killer DJ – worth the high prices and snobby service. Apparently Lindsey Lohan frequents this place. While we were there, we saw an MTV photo shoot in progress.
The bars and clubs in Mykonos Town are a blast. We just followed our ears and kept hopping to whichever spot had the best music: Bar Semeli, Argo, etc. Even though we went before high season (July-August), they were packed until the wee hours of the morning, playing American top 40, EDM, and throwback hits like Mambo no 5, Hips Don’t Lie, and La Vida Loca.
What I couldn’t get enough of
The fresh fruit in all the cocktails: passion fruit mojitos, lychee bellinis, watermelon martinis. Yum!
Go for the
Stunning ocean views, nonstop partying, luxurious meals and drinks, and beautiful Mykonian architecture
Don’t go if
You hate commercial places
Dos & Don’ts
Do stay in or close to Mykonos town. That’s where the most activity is and its a short distance from the beaches in the south.
Do consider going in shoulder season (late May-end of June). It’ll be slightly cooler but still pleasant enough to enjoy the beaches. Plus, you’ll find good deals, be able to get reservations at the best restaurants and hotels, be likely to get upgrades, and get better service.
Don’t book a dinner reservation until at least 10. Most restaurants don’t open until 1 for lunch and 9 for dinner. This is especially true if you plan to go out in in Mykonos town afterwards. Nightlife doesn’t start till 1am and runs til 6am or later.
Do go to a swanky beachfront bar for cocktails at sunset, but…
Don’t bother staying for dinner. You’ll find better quality and more affordable food inland. At these restaurants, you’re paying a big premium for the view.
Do rent an ATV, scooter, or buggy to get around the island and see Mykonos in a new way. Cheaper than a taxi or car and way more fun too.
All in all, I really enjoyed our time in Mykonos and would recommend it to anyone in their 20s or 30s looking for a few days of nightlife and beach time.