Coming back from Mykonos that I have visited around 6 times since I was a child, I wanted to write about our search for those still pristine bays, small traditional restaurants, empty lands that we first saw with my mum back in the 90ies.
Back then we rented a small apartment, off Ornos beach, with 7 cats visiting us every lunchtime. The beach had only one taverna, white and blue, smelling fish, where I was playing pinball while grown-ups were dancing on the tables. Chora was buzzing with shops and gay clubs, but it was nothing compared to what it has become today.
It all started when French archeologists started the excavations in Delos in end 19th century and the world has heard about its neighbor, Mykonos. After the war, the tourism in Southern Europe experienced a boom and famous locals started to frequent the island. And in the 50ies it was already frequented by Onnasis and Niarchos families, followed by Jackie O. in 60ies, and American movie stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando in 70ies. And since then on it was the glamorous holiday destination, despite the crisis that is completely not felt out there.
So yes, Mykonos is way too crowded will all kinds of people, nudist beach lover, backpackers, families, middle eastern jet-setters, transvestite show loving crowds, clubbers and everyone finds their own little beach to unite in their interests.
But the good news is: it still has amazing water to swim in, more great restaurants have opened up, there are still not that crowded places that I will share.
Where to stay
Stay in the north and rent a car or a scooter. This way you will be away from crowds, with your own private beach and will explore the rest of the island by car and see places that locals love.
By North I mean the area just above Agios Sostis beach. Besides Mykonos Thea and Mykonos Star, there is a wonderful house on Airbnb, that is a hidden gem (hint: its on the picture below). Besides, you will be the first in line to Kiki’s (read below). The downside though will be the winds, but actually, it is quite refreshing and you get used to it in a day.
Where to eat
During my last time on Mykonos, I found those simple tavernas that serve traditional and very fresh greek food, in typical small tables surrounded by a heard of cats. This has always been one of my brightest memories about Greece.
Kiki’s is located just steps up Agios Sostis beach and has 10 tables max., but it is so popular that people queue for 45 minutes at least in the hot sun just to have lunch out there. They make things It has such special friendly atmosphere and simply good food, that I was considering staying to write a Kiki’s history and cookbook. Choose different starters from the salad bar (on photo) and order some grilled fish or octopus!
Way bigger and way further from Kiki’s, Fokos is another restaurant located just off Fokos beach. There is nothing else but the beach and the restaurant out there. Even though they have been reviewed by Monocle and have a fancy website, the place is still very chilled and friendly. Ask staff for recommendations and order plates to share to try it all.
I call it a windsurfers beach, as its where they all mostly windsurf and then eat great pizza and have cocktails at Ftelia Restaurant. Its great during the day just to chill there and watch them surf and I must say the pizza there is the best on the island.
Once you are in Greece, you have to once try souvlaki. Its the famous greek fast food, which topped with tzatziki sauce, is a taste you can only get in Greece (trust me: I tried it everywhere, and nowhere it is the same as in Greece). The one from Souvlaki Story, in Chora, Mykonos town, is the best one on the island, in my opinion.
By quiet I mean, when there is no action like shows or clubbing going on at the beach, like on Paraga, Ornos, Paradise or Nammos. When it’s just you, your partner and your beach towel, and few other people who feel like they also want to own the beach.
Amazing water and Kiki’s is just above it.
Agios Ioannis (still has some beach bars, but fairly enough, they play reggae)
Head to Hippie Fish for lunch there.
Just above Agios Ioannis, it’s a tiny wild beach that not many people know about.
No denying, Mykonos has some great international level restaurant scene, so check out my next post where I made a list of my favorite ones. Because surely, the whole escaping the crowds and going to tavernas in Mykonos idea is great, but its also worth discovering the places that bring the international jet-set crowd from all over the world to it. Stay tuned!