Everybody knows Mykonos for its preceding fame – the legendary parties and the luxury lifestyle. Besides the incredibly vibrant night scene, though, Mykonos remains one of the most stunning Greek islands. As such, it offers unique adventures and a lifestyle that goes beyond the cosmopolitan mantle wrapped around the Queen of the Cyclades. In fact, the islanders have their own way of living life – they choose to do so in a more laid-back and relaxed manner, away from the noises and the bustle of the DJ decks and the ample flow of champagne.
And, although you could easily combine both aspects of Mykonos life, most visitors are carried away by the glam of its popularity and forget all about authentic Greek island experiences, missing out on an important factor in their holidays. However, if you only give Mykonos a chance, you can pack your bags for the return trip feeling the most fulfilled you have ever felt in a long time. Here are some ideas.
Hanging out at its beaches
The Mykonos coastline is lined with some of the most stunning beaches with fine sand and crystalline, cobalt waters. Now, depending on the beach experience you are after, you may choose among the more than 30 different shores on the island – from more remote, isolated, and tranquil to more cosmopolitan, lively, and animated.
Of the ones most beloved by celebs looking for more privacy and chilled moments by the sea and locals alike, Elia Beach stands out. Ideal for all sorts of water sports, including snorkelling, windsurfing, and scuba diving, it is the perfect getaway from the bustling tourist locations. Expect a waterfront lined with bars, cafes, and restaurants, as well as water sports facilities. Plus, ample space for those preferring nudism and sections where it can be nothing but you and the gentle sound of the waves splashing to the shore.
Surrender to the thrill of water sports
With such an amazing shoreline of unsurpassed natural beauties, it goes without saying that taking a glimpse into the even more stunning aquatic Mykonos world will be hugely rewarding. Whether from the comfort of a luxury yacht or glass-bottom catamaran amidst the archipelago or from the beach you have selected, activities like scuba diving and snorkelling will introduce you to sheer magnificence featuring shipwrecks, coral reefs, an amazing plethora of schools of fish and a variety of marine life, such as barracuda, sponges, starfish, and more. In fact, Mykonos is home to a fantastic range of dive sites. Some great sites are Dragonisi (a small island off the Mykonos coast with gorgeous submarine rock formations) and Paraga Beach with calm and clear waters for snorkelling. Other than that, the northern winds that blow steadily in the Cyclades make Mykonos a dreamland for lovers of windsurfing, kitesurfing, and the likes.
Mingle with the locals
The Myconeans celebrate life via food and music. They have feasts for even the plainest occasion. In the mornings, you will find them at the waterfront kafeneia enjoying their early morning coffee accompanied by small snacks and delicacies, while debating about current affairs, laughing, and waiting for fishermen to bring in their day’s catch to get fish for their wives to cook!
Around midday, you will see older people having their ouzo or raki at local tavernas and nibbling on delicious mezedes just before they head back home for dinner. Again, the atmosphere is fun and somewhat electric as there always seems to be a fiery topic to debate about! Again, this interesting “session” ends with them treating one another to ouzo shots, some singing, and pats on the back (“let bygones be bygones” type of energy)! If you jump into the conversation, they will gladly take you in as part of the group and make you one of them, pampering you with whatever it is they are drinking or eating. As simple as that!
Watch the sunset
Whether you choose one of the many sunset-watching hot spots around Mykonos, such as the imposing Windmills, scenic Little Venice, Armenistis Lighthouse, or prefer to witness the exquisite light show about to happen from the luxury of your elegant suite or private villa or next to your private pool, nothing can prepare you for the unforgettable experience you are about to have. Partying till the wee hours is great. But, nothing can beat the hypnotic and soul-pleasing magnetism of a spectacle that amazing. As the sun slips behind the shimmering Aegean Sea, watch the whitewashed Cycladic houses and rocky terrain being showered with shades of orange, red, and yellow and feel the tranquillity and peacefulness injected in your every molecule. A once-in-a lifetime moment reminding us that the most beautiful and heart-gratifying things in life are the simple ones that often get overlooked.
Now you know what Mykonos truly feels like. Enjoy!