Mykonos: The Esquire Travel Guide

Labyrinthine streets, superstar DJs and fine dining on the beautiful Cycladic island

Most Popular

The beautiful Cycladic island of Mykonos has tried out a number of different looks over the years, from haunt of the jet-setting Jackie O and co in the Sixties to Eighties-era Shirley Valentine package holidays and, more recently, becoming a hugely popular gay destination.

It may be too early to call Mykonos the new Ibiza, but using the number of celebs spotted (Rihanna, Kanye, Cristiano et al) and PJs parked at the airport these last couple of summers as an indicator, Mykonos is most definitely hot.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

***

1 | Where To Stay
At Bill & Coo, named after the call (and beak tapping) made by its loved-up doves. With just 24 minimalist suites and a killer infinity pool with views of the bay and the island’s iconic windmills, this chic boutique hotel is perfect for lovebirds of a non-avian persuasion. Chef Athinagoras Kostakos has turned its restaurant into one of the best in Mykonos (if not Greece) and the new spa has a whole range of hangover erasing treatments, key on an island as hedonistic as this.

Most Popular

bill-coo-hotel.com


2 | Where To Lunch
Mykonos is all about beaches (see When In…) so you’ll want to lunch there most days. Our pick is Fokos Taverna on the beach of the same name: it’s a task to get to down a dirt track, but this keeps the hordes out, and it’s worth it as the tiny taverna serves top nosh. Try the broccoli, bacon, almond and raisin salad with grilled fish of the day and an iced bottle from the short but sweet Greek wine list.

fokosmykonos.com


3 | Where To Dine

On the terrace at Roca Cookery looking across the picture perfect harbour in Mykonos Town and thus an excellent place for spotting the “have yachts”. The food is high-quality modern Greek meze with a mean line in seafood, too (try the red snapper). As it’s Mykonos there is also, of course, an outpost of Nobu Matsuhisa’s sushi empire (at the Belvedere Hotel) for anyone prepared to take out a second mortgage.
rocacookerymykonos.gr; belvederehotel.com


4 | Where To Drink
There are some cracking sea-view balconies and terraces to watch the sunset from in Mykonos Town’s Little Venice, with homes perched precariously close to the sea. Hit Semeli The Bar for its cheeky ouzo, lime, apple, cranberry, strawberry syrup and grenadine cocktails. After dark, wend your (bleary) way around the corner to Astra, identifiable by the beautiful people spilling out.

semelithebar.gr; astra-mykonos.com


5 | What To See

The uninhabited Delos Island, a Unesco world heritage site and supposedly the birthplace of the Greek god Apollo, and now a useful decompression chamber after partying in town. Take an early morning boat from Mykonos harbour to beat the ferry crowds and wander alone around 2,000-year-old temples and amphitheatres on what was once among the most important islands in the Med.
whc.unesco.org/en/list/530


6 | What To Do
Get lost wandering the labyrinthine lanes of the Old Harbour. A quieter alternative to the New Port, you can take in the stunning views. After a tipple or two from the local bars, take a tip from Theseus on another Greek island and pay out a ball of string to find your way back home.


7 | Where To Shop
At the venerable Mykonos Sandals, which has been making high-quality leather footwear since 1948. ’Er outdoors will love its gladiator sandals, while the men’s Sagionara leather flip-flops are great value and will last you for decades. Socks strictly banned.

mykonos-sandals.gr


8 | Where To Party
Cavo Paradiso sits on the cliffs above Paradise Beach and is the place to watch the sun rise out of the Aegean Sea as Armin or Alesso lay down excellent house beats. Don’t even think of getting there until after 2.30am. cavoparadiso.gr


9 | Where To Avoid
North coast resorts in July and August when the strong northerly “meltemi” wind blows. South coast beaches are better protected – however, the wind does make the beaches on the north coast perfect for kitesurfing.


10 | Why Now?
Because the Greeks could do with your cash, and prices are down. May, June and September guarantee sun without scorching heat; the first half of July sees the greatest parties, the best crowd and an uplifting atmosphere.


11 | When In... 
Know your beaches. We’ll mention more about Fokos (see below), but other beaches have very distinct scenes. For a party, head to Jackie O beach club at Super Paradise beach for an all-dayer. For celeb spotting, Psarou Beach is the place; Nammos restaurant is a favoured haunt for those with deep pockets. Want to flaunt what you’ve got? Agios Sostis, a lovely and relatively quiet beach, has a secluded southern end for naturists.

jackieobeach.com; nammos.gr


12 | How To Get There?
BA and Easyjet have regular flights to Mykonos in summer.

Tom Barber is a founder of the award-winning original-travel.com


***
MORE TRAVEL GUIDES:

Amsterdam
Seville
San Francisco
***

What do you think?

The-Groucho-Club-Promo-43
Food & Drink
Share
A Guide To London's Best Private Members' Clubs
Where to take your social life to the next level​
Bond-bed-43
Food & Drink
Share
Where To Go On A Date In London
A guide to wooing in the capital
Restaurants
Share
Meet The Brothers Redefining The London Eating Scene
Brothers Sam & Eddie Hart revolutionised eating out with the tiny, no-reservations, Michelin-starred tapas restaurants, Barrafina
Gnocchi at the Bluebird
Food & Drink
Share
Where To Eat & Drink This Week: Steak & Whisky, Weekend Brunches & A Spot Of Art
​Your week in food​​
Cheese
Food & Drink
Share
Finally: The Health News You've Been Hoping For With All Your Cheese-Clogged Heart
It's good for you it's good for you it's good for you
Food & Drink
Share
How To Make Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake
Total Time: 25min
Level: Easy
Yeah it doesn't really get much better than this
Bangers mash Manna
Restaurants
Share
London's Best Vegetarian Restaurants
From pad thai at Notting Hill's best raw restaurant to vegetarian sushi in Kings Cross​
food floor
Food & Drink
Share
Science Is Here To Ruin The 'Five Second Rule' For Everyone
​Shut up science, and let us eat our pavement ice cream in peace​
Food & Drink
Share
The Secret Guide To Lunch In Soho
Do lunch properly with our pick of the best lunch restaurants in the heart of the capital​
Coffee barista
Food & Drink
Share
​A Barista Explains Your Morning Coffee
​What exactly is a flat white? And should you only drink espressos in the afternoon? All the complexities of caffeine culture answered...