Mykonos experiences not to be missed

Alix M Campbell

Senior Contributor

If relaxing at a gorgeous beach is on top of your Mykonos to-do list, you don’t have to look hard. Whether you’re after a party beach, you’re looking for the perfect family spot in the sun, or you’re hoping to find a quiet stretch of fine sand just to yourself – this Greek island has got you covered. But there's more to Mykonos than just beach life. Watch out – you might not want to leave!

Stroll around the cobble-stoned alleyways of ‘Mykonos Town’

Have your phone ready and fully charged when you take a stroll around the picturesque old town of Mykonos, also called Hora, where narrow alleyways snake in between whitewashed houses with colourful windows and doors. Purple bougainvillea looks vibrant against the white facades as you follow the maze of small cobblestone streets to see where it takes you.

You might just land in front of a nice restaurant, perfect to enjoy a refreshing drink and a bite before continuing to wander around. In the main street called Matogianni (also Matoyanni) you’ll find several restaurants and bars. Browse the boutiques for local jewellery, artwork, and crafts as well as beachwear. The area is rather peaceful during the day, slowly filling up in the afternoon and evening when people come out for a meal and watch the vibrant sunset. The windmills located on a hill not far from Little Venice are a great location to watch this daily colourful spectacle.

Another gem to visit is the beautiful church of Panagia Paraportiani in the Kastro neighbourhood, contrasting beautifully with the blue of the ocean it borders. It consists of five small churches built next to as well as on top of each other with the oldest part erected in the late 14th century.

Get to know the island through its delicious cuisine

On Mykonos, you’ll find classic Greek food with a refined modern twist as well as lovingly prepared local dishes. You can indulge in exquisite Mediterranean and international cuisine like fine octopus carpaccio or panna cotta with prosciutto, figs, and goat’s cheese as well as traditional dishes.

Kopanisti is a creamy, spicy cheese made of cow’s milk and it’s often served with tomato and olive oil. The typically sun-dried sausages of the island are often seasoned with spices, salt and pepper as well as finely chopped oregano. Kremidopita is an onion pie made with tangy onion, the local tirovolia cheese, and refined with aromatic dill.

If you’re craving something sweet, try a piece of the traditional almond cake called Kalathaki, which is made of a few basic ingredients and is rich in flavour. You’ll find it in various bakeries and pastry shops around the island. Melopita is a honey pie, also made with the local tirovolia cheese wrapped between two crispy sheets of pastry and seasoned with cinnamon and honey. This is one of the most popular Mykonian sweets and has even been turned into an ice cream flavour.

See traditional Mykonian homes and farmsteads

Now that you’ve had a leisurely stroll through Mykonos Town, done a little shopping and tried some traditional dishes and seafood, you’ll be ready to venture inland where you can gain a new perspective of Mykonos and its inhabitants.

The second-largest village on the island is called Ano Mera, where you can see traditional Mykonian houses away from the hustle and bustle of Mykonos Town. Here, locals keep farm animals and produce their own products. A landmark not to be missed is the Panagia Tourliani monastery, which was built by two monks in the 15th century. You’ll find a beautiful marble fountain in its yard, and the building itself boasts the typical whitewashed walls and a coloured dome. Once inside, you can admire intricate wood carvings by Florentine craftsmen.

Exploring the interior of Mykonos, you’ll come across farms and dairies that offer an authentic farm-to-table dining experience. You can learn how to knead bread like the locals do and see how the famous cheeses of the island are produced. Picking fresh produce from the organic vegetable patch, you’ll get a taste of traditional Mykonian cuisine. 

Enjoy a first-class stay

Bill & Coo Mykonos is an ideal spot if you’d like to explore the culture and history of Mykonos but also want to participate in the active nightlife on the island. This chic getaway is not far from restaurants and bars as well as popular landmarks. Offering three accommodation options, you’ll be able to enjoy nature-inspired and glamourous spaces a la barefoot luxury. Bill & Coo’s signature restaurant serves traditional Greek cuisine with a twist, and their fabulous beach bar is THE spot to end the day with a tasty cocktail.

Another great option is the family-owned Kalesma Mykonos, a five-star boutique hotel overlooking Ornos Bay. Their all-suite accommodations come with in-room bars as well as private terraces with outdoor showers and private heated pools, perfect to enjoy sunrise views over the Aegean Sea. Sip on a refreshing drink poolside and enjoy a romantic dinner in your own suite.

Finally, the stylish Katikies Mykonos offers guests a serene location on the Agios Ioannis peninsula, only ten minutes from the buzzing centre. The spacious rooms come with a jacuzzi on the terrace, Superior Suites have a private saltwater plunge pool, and all rooms offer generous ocean views. You can enjoy classic Aegean cuisine elevated to an exciting culinary level at the restaurant, and if you feel romantic, you could even renew your vows at the onsite chapel!

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