After a five hour ferry – most of which I spent sleeping out on deck, we reached the first of the islands, known as the ‘island of the winds’. However, it turned out to be uncharacteristically tranquil and wind-free for our first three days on the island.
We stayed at Paradise Beach Resort, where we could soak up the sun and party on the beach quite literally from morning until night. As for the main town itself, it was just a short shuttle from the resort, and one of my favourite destinations of the trip. This destination was also the one where we had the most free time, and although I loved spending time with our group, I felt that we had the chance to 100% explore the island and see everything that it had to offer. That being said, I’d definitely go back – I could explore the streets for hours on end.
Thinking of visiting Mykonos? Here are the highlights from my three-night flying visit!
When I worked as a travel writer, Mykonos was one of the destinations that I was required to do a lot of research into, so I was super excited to explore the blue and white cobbled streets, and the restaurants of Little Venice. What I didn’t realise was just how enchanting the streets would be in person.
Mykonos is a maze of blue and white, but this is not just to keep things pretty – it’s actually the law! Dating back to the years when Mykonos had trouble with pirates, the buildings were painted white and blue to blend in with the coastline, as well as working to reflect the sun. Its maze-like design was also a bid to confuse the pirates, but its curious streets only made the island more enchanting.
One thing I will say about Mykonos is that it’s VERY expensive to shop. Most of the clothing shops are local designers or high-end brands, so unless you have cash to splurge on expensive goods, you probably won’t do much shopping. On the plus side, just spending time wandering through the cobbled streets is the perfect way to spend a day, so don’t get hung up on retail therapy.
As for Little Venice, the name given to the side of Mykonos’ coastline that is closest to its famous windmills, this is probably where you will spend most of your evenings. A myriad of cocktail bars and restaurants situated right on the sea front, there is no more relaxing a way to kick off an evening on the Greek Islands. Simply idyllic.
I know that gyros are by no means exclusive to Mykonos, but it was here that I discovered the best gyros on my entire trip, so I feel like they deserve a mention. For those of you who are yet to discover gyros, they are a tasty pitta bread snack, a little similar to what we would know as a kebab from the chip shop. It contains the meat of your choice (usually doner meat, pork or chicken), french fries, onions, tomato and tzatziki (a mixture of herbs and Greek yoghurt), all wrapped in a pitta bread and served in a cute little cone. Basically, it’s a little cone of yumminess that was too difficult to resist! What’s more, we found some amazing gyros for just 2.50 euros at the seafront – it *almost* matched my delight to find a Sephora shop among the cobbled streets (they have Victoria’s Secret too, just saying!)
From Paradise Beach resort, where we enjoyed a glow party and visited Cavo Paradiso, one of the biggest clubs on the island, to the streets of Mykonos themselves, this was one of our best stops for nightlife. Personally, I preferred to go into the town of Mykonos to enjoy the nightlife, but maybe that was because we took our resort a little for granted.
On our group night out to explore the island, we visited a number of clubs well worth a mention. First up was Room 101, which I will remember for its interestingly named shots – honestly, they make a Screaming Orgasm look tame! Next, was the Scandinavian Bar, my favourite nightclub of the entire trip, where we spent the night partying on a little platform that we claimed as our stage. It’s an absolute must if you’re planning on going out on the island.
I’ll be honest – when I researched the hotels that had been chosen for our Contiki trip, Paradise Beach in Mykonos looked like it was going to be my least favourite of all three, but it actually turned out to be up there with my favourite parts of the trip. Set on a hill, just a few minutes’ walk from the beach, was my very own little cottage, painted white in keeping with the traditions of the region.
If you’re searching for a quiet holiday, Paradise Beach is not the place for you. It’s tucked between two of Mykonos’ ‘super clubs’, Cavo Paradiso and the Paradise Beach Club, and you will undoubtedly hear the sounds of Club Tropicana blaring from the beach until the early hours of the morning. If, like me, you enjoyed the nightlife as much as what Mykonos had to offer by day, the music won’t cost you a second thought, but bear it in mind before you book!
But even if you aren’t staying at Paradise Beach, it’s well worth the visit, both for the party atmosphere and its gorgeous beach. The entire beach is lined with bars where the atmosphere is as lively as a nightclub at 3AM.
All that partying and exploring the cobbled streets of the island sounds pretty idyllic, but we couldn’t let our adventures slip past without throwing a little culture into the mix, with a visit to the island of Delos. Accessed by ferry from Mykonos, this island is the most significant of the Cycladic Islands, and also sits in the centre of the islands, offering an incredible view from its peak.
The island of Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to one of the world’s most extensive archaeological sites. Said to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, it is hallowed ground indeed for those interested in Greek mythology. As I explored the ruins, I really felt part of the history, thinking that they were once fully operational settlements.
After delving into the history of the island, Erin persuaded me to climb the monster of a hill that we had been marvelling at from the ferry – known as Mount Kynthos and once home to the sanctuary of Zeus. It looked daunting at first, but in reality, once you reach the top of the ruins themselves, you’re halfway up, and conquering the hill is a matter of climbing some intense but totally doable steps. At the island’s peak, you can see five of the innermost Cycladic Islands, so naturally this was the perfect opportunity for a little photoshoot before we braved the walk back down.