I’m only back a week and already dreaming of future adventures to gorgeous Greece. If you have an opportunity to visit the beautiful Cyclades Islands, grab it with both hands! Our trip this time centred around Mykonos and Santorini. There is so much to say about both, so I’ll split it into two separate guides. First up, magical Mykonos!
One of the most asked questions was how we actually traveled to and between the islands. When it came to booking flights, I’ll admit it was very overwhelming! There isn’t a direct route and the connection options are endless. In the end, we settled on a direct flight to Athens with Aegean Airlines and a connection to Mykonos (which was only a 30 minute flight). This was a slightly more expensive route but it meant we didn’t have to re-check bags etc. and the whole trip was with the one airline. The flight from Dublin to Athens was only around 4 hours, which was perfect but our layover was 5 hours. Although this sounds painful, the time actually passed quite quickly. We booked into a lounge for €30pp, where we were able to avail of complimentary food and drinks, freshen up and doze before our next flight! It’s well worth the money, if you do find yourself with a few hours between flights. We arranged a transfer from the airport through our hotel and this made everything (almost!) seamless when we arrived. I wish I took pictures of the packed boot that couldn’t close with all our bags and had to be tied shut with a rope!! Anyway, moving on…
I’ve christened it magical Mykonos because there is truly something so special about the vibe of this place! It felt so different to anywhere I’ve ever been before and I loved wandering the cobbled streets and winding alleyways. Every corner unveiled a new surprise from beautiful boutiques to hidden gem cocktail bars and cute restaurants. Little Venice is a gorgeous spot that feels just like Italy – a must visit!
Where to Stay
When it came to booking accommodation, we decided on somewhere affordable but central in Mykonos. We found the Omiros Feel Good Hotel on Booking.com and I can’t say enough good things about it! Located close to old town, it was a 15 minute stroll to the centre of all the action. What we weren’t expecting was a stunning sunset view from the bar every evening, so that quickly became a little ritual before heading off to dinner. The hotel itself was small and recently renovated. It didn’t feel crowded at all – we actually had the pool pretty much to ourselves most days! The rooms were compact but very clean with scandi inspired decor and plenty of storage space. We stayed here for 6 nights and it was excellent value for money. We also LOVED the amazing staff, who were so helpful and friendly!
Food & Drink
Another popular question and one of my favourite things to talk about…food! We had been given a few recommendations and found a couple of gems ourselves and I have to say, every meal was amazing! A few favourites included:
+ Niko’s Tavern: Traditional Greek food in an open square setting. This felt very authentic and the atmosphere was buzzing! Don’t be put off if it looks busy, you may have the wait a few minutes but the staff turn tables around super quickly and the food is so worth it! The Mousakka here was my favourite of the whole trip. Mains were about €10-€15, so it was very good value.
+Avra: This was one we stumbled upon while strolling the winding backstreets. It’s set in a gorgeous garden adorned with pretty flowers and fairy lights. We loved everything about this place – the music, the wine, the friendly staff…and if you like curries, just take my advice and order the green thai curry. I’m still dreaming about it! This restaurant was a little more expensive but worth it for all of the above.
+ Nice & Easy: This one was recommended a few times and we really enjoyed it. The location was so pretty, just beside the water and it’s a lovely spot to watch the sunset. The food was basic enough but tasty and very well priced.
There are also plenty of restaurants along the front of the port and they all looked equally nice. We ate in a couple and thoroughly enjoyed both meals. If you’re in Greece, you have to try Souvlaki (meat and veg kebabs) and Gyros (still not sure what it is but it’s yummy!) – most restaurants do these dishes and they are to die for!
On the drinks front, we had heard that the islands were very expensive but like anywhere, it depends on where you go! There are amazing cocktail bars in Little Venice where you will pay €15+ for a drink but if it’s one or two, it’s worth it for the lovely experience. Other nights, we were happy sharing a €15 bottle of house rosè, which you can never go wrong with! My must visits include:
+ Scarpa, Little Venice – we stumbled upon this one afternoon (thank you Aoife!) and had the nicest time. Little Venice is such a pretty area and definitely one to see during the day. You can sit right along the front of the water, which is crystal clear and just gorgeous! These cocktails are up there with the best I’ve ever had, honestly!
+Galeraki, Little Venice – situated next door to Scarpa , we came back here one evening and it was equally gorgeous.
+180 Mykonos – this is a bit of an insta-famous spot for Sunset and we chose to go on the night of my birthday. Top tip here is to get there at 7pm as soon as it opens. It gets very busy closer to sunset and you may be charged an entrance fee later on. You can reserve tables at the front for a min €50pp spend but we were happy enough going early and getting a table back near the bar. The view is spectacular from any angle and the cocktails were lovely. Bear in mind this spot is located up a very steep hill, so leave the heels at home! The famous Mykonos wind is at its strongest there too, being up so high, so be sure to have bobbins/clips on hand to secure the hair!
Other things to do
Mykonos is famous for its gorgeous beaches and lively beach clubs – Scorpios, Branco and Nammos being the most popular. These book up in advance, so factor this in if it’s on your to-do list – we tried to go to Scorpios but it was fully booked through until August. Nammos is very high-end with sunbeds alone costing €150 per day for a pair! In the end, we took the local bus from Mykonos Town to Ornos Beach for €3 and had a lovely afternoon for only €18 per person!
We also took a day trip to Delos, a small island and archeological site rumored to be the mythological birthplace of Apollo. It was a lovely day out and the boat trip over and back was gorgeous!
When it comes to shopping, Mykonos has plenty to explore. From beautiful independent boutiques, alleys lined with greek leather sandals and stunning interiors, I literally could have spent hours browsing and wandering the streets! In the middle of it all is Sephora and Victoria’s Secret which was unexpected but handy for any forgotten cosmetics etc. Speaking of cosmetics, we stumbled across an amazing duty free shop at the entrance of the old town with brands such as MAC, Tom Ford, Chanel and Dior. I picked up a brand new Tom Ford fragrance and a lippie at 35% off – dangerous! I also stocked up on the favourite Chanel Chance perfume for about €65. This shop had a world of suncream from the likes of Piz Buin and Lancaster etc. and if I was going again, I definitely wouldn’t be laden down carrying this with me. It was cheaper to buy there than at home too.
To finish off, I have to give one last piece of packing advice! For me, heels were a no no with all the steps, hills and cobbles. I brought two pairs with me but neither saw the light of day. Also, as it can get breezy at night time, a light scarf or cardigan is definitely a good idea.
So that’s my whirlwind ramble about Mykonos which I hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for my Santorini guide, coming soon!