Travel Journal: Greece – Part 2, Mykonos

It’s island time!

For today’s Travel Tuesday, I’m bringing you details from the second stop on our Greek trip: Mykonos. Mykonos might be an island, but it’s not the serene beachfront experience you may be envisioning (we’ll get to that later in the trip). As I mentioned, we planned this trip to go from most to least hectic, which is why we put Mykonos, known for its party scene, at the front of the trip.

Day 3: Sunday, 9/1

There were not a ton of options when it came to ferries. Because we were only spending two nights in Mykonos, we wanted a full day on Sunday. That meant taking a high speed ferry, which is offered less often and still takes 2.5 hours…so we had to take a 7 AM ferry since the next one would have left us with only a half day. Waking up at 5:45 AM after a late night was not easy, but worth it to have the time in Mykonos.

Our hotel sent a transfer to pick us up and by 10 am we were in the lobby, checking in. Our room wasn’t ready so we left our bags at the desk and headed to town to explore and grab breakfast. Note: after seeing the breakfast offered at our hotel, I regret not just staying and eating there, but It was good to stretch our legs a bit.

We were starving and in need of coffee so we stopped at a place called Lotus for breakfast. Not gonna lie, it took us a minute to find someplace open. At 10:30/11, Mykonos felt pretty dead. Apparently, people stay out so late that the trend seems to be a lazy breakfast/pool time at the hotel before venturing out at (at least) lunch time. This place was chic and afforded us some good people watching since we were sitting outside. We both got espresso fredos, followed by a focaccia sandwich for Albert and an egg white omelette with cheese and fresh veggies for me. This felt like a fancy person meal. Light and trendy…which makes sense, given the girls with extremely expensive handbags and lip fillers sitting next to us.

After breakfast, we moseyed back to our hotel where we sat by the pool for a couple hours.

Then we decided to go back into town to check out the famous windmills. The windmills are a famous attraction, and they are pretty cool looking. It takes you back to another time, a simpler time, which is what I loved so much about Greece in general. Note: everyone is clamoring to score a photo in front of the windmills, but I actually really liked the angle from the back.

After our windmill adventure, we walked back through town and spent some time in Little Venice. There’s an Insta-famous spot outside Kastro’s that I wanted to see. The service wasn’t great (I think they were just ramping up) so after sitting for a while with nobody taking our order, we moved along. I admit, the little nook there was pretty…but all the restaurants in Little Venice on the water are nice.

We decided it was time for a snack and stopped at one of the waterfront tables in Little Venice called Sunset Taverna. The food (Tzaziki, grilled shrimp, Greek salad, and grilled octopus)was fine. Not the best we had all trip, but it’s hard to complain about seafood and wine right on the water. All those restaurants seemed pretty similar. My recommendation is to go to whichever one you can get a table right on the water. We could feel the mist from the water at our feet – nothing better! After our very late lunch, we walked around a bit more, taking photos and gazing at the docked boats as we made our way back to the hotel.

I closed my eyes for a bit and then met Albert by the pool around 6:30 pm for some more relaxation and a glass of wine.

Just before 8 it was getting windy and chilly so we went back to the room to shower up for dinner. Our only plan for dinner was to eat at one of the seafront restaurants. We went with Kavos because we liked the table there the best. We got olives, a sampler of spreads, and fried calamari to start. For the entrees, Albert got grilled salmon and I had pasta with tomatoes and crab that was actually packed with tons of crab. It may have been pricey by Greek standards, but everything there is generally cheaper than in the US. If you ever want to splurge on lobster or octopus, Greece is the place to do it because it will be significantly cheaper.

After dinner we walked to Scandinavian Bar, a large bar in the center of town. It’s not exactly trendy but draws a large international crowd. People finally started arriving around midnight but after dancing for a bit, we took our old selves home. Of course, we didn’t go straight home…stores stay open super late so we popped in and out of boutiques and grabbed a late night souvlaki pita from Jimmy’s.

We walked in and out of the town three times that day. That’s a lot of stairs. It was over 8 miles and about 20,000 steps. Made me feel better about eating so much.

Day 4: Monday, 9/2

For some reason I stayed up and watched a whole movie on Netflix and didn’t go to bed til 2:30 or 3 am so we slept til 11:15 am. Who cares – it’s vacation! We got changed and had the hotel arrange a transfer to one of the beach clubs. We had heard tons of great things about Scorpios so we went there. They have a partnership with Soho House so this place is definitely on the bougie side. It was hoppin the day before but they were hosting a wedding that night so it was pretty quiet when we were there. We still figured it was worth it to get a cabana since they were $120 – a minute fraction of the price of any cabana in America. We had some guac and yummy drinks until it was time for them to set up for the wedding at 4 pm, at which point we hopped on over to a couple of the other clubs on that strip, parking ourselves at Kalua for a bit where the music was pumping and everyone was having a grand old time. I actually knew a friend who was in Mykonos when we were and they were heading to Nammos (high on my list of beach clubs) to party, but we were ready to head back and chill by the pool for a bit.

After a couple glasses of wine by the pool we got ready to meet another friend and her fiancé who happened to be in town (seriously, Mykonos was the place to be!) for dinner. We found a spot called Mamalouka, where the food was good but not the best of the trip. Actually, most food was good, but just my chicken was dry. Oh well, we were sitting in a lovely garden. No complaints here. The plan was to eat a smaller dinner the check out Saki’s souvlaki. I had to compare to Jimmy’s! FYI: Jimmy’s wins, hands down. The proportions at Saki’s we’re all wrong. Too many fries, not enough meat, sauce not incorporated. You should be happy I’m looking into this for you. I’m doing god’s work here.

Mykonos Details

  • Accommodations
    • We stayed at the Hermes Mykonos Hotel and really liked it. If you’re not staying at one of the beach hotels, I highly recommend this one.
      • This hotel was very conveniently located. Basically, think of Mykonos Town as a circle. Within that circle it’s pedestrian only so you can freely walk around the winding cobblestone streets. There’s a street (atop a bunch of stairs) surrounding that circle (the closest you can get to town) than a bunch of [more] stairs leading up to another street – the main road. Our hotel was on that main road. It was so nice to be a 10 minute walk into the heart of Mykonos Town.
      • Overall great accommodations:
        • Loved that they had Netflix in the room
        • We had a lovely balcony with a beautiful view
        • The room itself was a fine size and decorated simply, but the bathroom felt extra nice – loved the shower and bath products. (Pretty sure it was this brand, Korres.)
        • I was into the design overall – black and white, natural wood, modern. Very cool aesthetic.
        • The breakfast was incredible. Best of the trip.
    • When it comes to choosing a place to stay, the main decision is whether to stay by a beach or stay by the town. We chose to stay in town because we figured we’d be spending more time there. Since we were traveling as just a couple, we would want to check out the beaches but wouldn’t be partying in a cabana just the two of us for the whole trip.
  • Foodie Field Notes
    • You’re on an island so seafood is your best bet. More than at other islands we visited, I noticed seafood pastas on the menu so definitely try some sort of seafood linguine while you’re there.
    • More than any other spot, Mykonos is a late night place. Most people don’t go to dinner til 10pm. Because of that, most places don’t open til noon, which is why I highly recommend staying somewhere that includes breakfast.
    • Restaurants and bars we didn’t make it to (but heard good things):
      • Pepper (looked through the window – the souvlaki looked awesome)
      • Hippie Fish
      • M-Eating
      • Eva’s Garden (great patio area)
      • Sea Satin (nightclub that doesn’t get crankin til late – lots of tabletop dancing)
  • Tips
    • Ferries:
      • The ferry system is great. So many things I read warned that the high speed ones are super bumpy and it may be worth it to take the [very long] slow ones. NOT TRUE. We took only high speed ferries and found them to be super smooth. The seats were also very nice. Don’t bother with the slow ones.
      • If you’re traveling to Mykonos from Athens, give yourself time to get to the ferry. We were staying in a central location in Athens and told by many people that it would take maybe 20-25 minutes, depending on traffic. Even though we were going in the very early morning and gave ourselves 45 minutes to get there, traffic was crazy and we almost missed our ferry. Definitely allocate more time than you think you need to get there.
    • Spring for a transfer to your hotel if it’s not included. It just made life much easier.
  • Bottom Line
    • Mykonos Town is as bright and colorful as it looks in the books. I was in awe. In general, I like being in bright places – kinda like seasonal affective disorder, but extending beyond the weather – so this environment was ideal for me.
    • You can sense the money in Mykonos. The boutiques in town are stocked with all the high end designers and the beach clubs are all about cabanas and bottle service. I felt like I needed to have the trendiest resort wear. I didn’t love that vibe, but I guess it’s all part of the experience.
    • Mykonos definitely lived up to the party hype. People RAGED. First there’s the beach club day parties. Then there are the night clubs, which don’t even open up til 1 or 2 AM. We stayed out late but not the way other people did and still had a great time – it’s definitely possible to enjoy Mykonos without going crazy. That said, Mykonos is a place I would have enjoyed even more if we went with a group of friends. You’re not going to dance on tables when it’s just you and your spouse, ya know?