Magical Mykonos | Travel Diary
For our next trip, we had planned something very exciting, as we could cross some of our most anticipated bucket list destinations: Mykonos and Santorini. If you have followed along for a while, you might know that Greece is probably my favorite destination in Europe. I have spent fantastic vacations on the Greek islands and the mainland and tried to cure my nostalgia while stuck in Singapore with regular visits to the local Greek Tavern. However, watching all the Europeens enjoying a pretty empty Greek Cyclades in the Summer of 2020, enjoying the amazing views, hanging out in beach clubs all day, listening to world-class DJs, and taking breathtaking photos, really made me go to Mykonos even more and I am so glad we finally made it in Summer 2021 (who would have thought that after all?). In this travel diary, I share with you all the details of our trip to Mykonos in the Summer of 2021.
–– This travel diary was originally written in German.
Tip: Book a Multi-Stop Flight if you want to explore more and spend less!
Although we chose to fly to two Cycladic islands, we ended up getting to Mykonos first, though, since it was cheaper and made more sense to book a multi-stop flight. That’s something I can generally recommend for traveling on a budget and exploring as much as possible: If a roundtrip to one destination is too expensive for you, or if the flight time schedule doesn’t fit, you should look up if there is any other airport nearby that you find worth exploring too. It is often cheaper to book multi-stop flights. And one can see more, too.
We, for instance, booked BER > JMK (Mykonos) and JTR (Santorini) > BER, which was cheaper and more convenient than a round trip from only one of them. From Mykonos to Santorini, we went by ferry.
The hospitality went to the extent that when we checked in, the lovely lady at the front desk didn’t only draft us a whole plan on what to do on the island (including insider tips!), but she also organized a quad to get there and didn’t hesitate to call up restaurants and beach clubs to make reservations for us. This is why we didn’t spend much time in the room eventually, just dressed up for dinner and walked down the hills to our dinner reservation which happened to be in one of the restaurants at the waterfront, with first-row seating during sunset. It couldn’t have been better, really.
Although the way to the restaurant was incredibly stunning, the sun was about to set and colored everything around us golden. So that by the time we arrived at the waterfront, the iconic windmills, the old town of Greece, and buzzing Little Venice appeared almost magical.
In case you were wondering where the lovely lady at our hotel’s front desk brought us–we ended up in Katerina’s Restaurant & Cocktailbar, at their cute little terrace on the first story, right at the ocean. If you look closer, you might be able to see the restaurant in one of the And while the So while the sun was slowly disappearing behind the horizon, bathing Little Venice in the most spectacular shades of blue and purple, one by one we were served Oven-baked Feta, Greek farmer’s salad, Moussaka and all sorts of other Greek specialties. I’m being honest when I say this moment blew me away and made me emotional. After two years in Singapore, it felt unreal to now be sitting here right on the waterfront, watching the sun set on the horizon and enjoying my favorite dishes with my favorite wine with my favorite person. It was simply magical and I still get goosebumps when I think back on it.
Day II – Beach Clubs, Nammos Village, And Moussaka
For the next day, we rented a quad––one of the best decisions during the whole time in Mykonos. The incredibly helpful lady at the reception had also advised us to rent it and marked her favorite spots on the island for us. Thanks to the organization of our hotel, the 4×4 was delivered to our hotel the next morning and picked up from there in the evening. With the quad, we were unspeakably flexible and could explore the whole island.
After a quick stop at the local supermarket (I always like to carry some water…), we headed south with the rough goal of going to one of the famous beach clubs in the south of the island. To anticipate: We never did that (thankfully). We just had one day on the island, and the quad was so valuable for exploring the island that it would have been a shame to just to use it for transportation to a beach club. But we didn’t know that even at the beginning of the day. So we drove to the first, closest beach club, the NAMMOS Mykonos on Psarou Beach. This is also the location of the shopping center of the same name, which has already provided one or two Instagram pictures with its fantastic integration into the environment. The outdoor stores are located in a park with picturesque stone paths and beautiful fountains and do not look like a classic luxury mall. The beach of the same name has Google but not so good rating and alone the approach was difficult (15 euros parking fee for our quad, whether for an hour or a day?!), so we quickly decided that we would come later again for shopping and strolling through the NAMMOS Village, but wanted to spend the beach day in another beach club.
Beach Time & Lunch at the Nikolas Tavern
So we continued south, past Paralia Platis Gialos and the beach Agia Anna, up and down on winding roads. On the way, our fuel gauge suddenly came on, and we were already afraid to break down… so we finally stopped at Paralia Panangka Beach. Here are two of the famous beach clubs, the Kalua Beach Bar-Restaurant, and the Scorpios. Both are comprehensively styled, extravagant hotspots that have been regularly hyped and linked to by influencers not just since. Well-known high-ranking DJs also play here, and celebrities like Bella Hadid are said to have hung out here… Both beach clubs are correspondingly expensive, and the waiting lists are long to boot. After we were promised “any sunbed” at “any time” possibly (but we should wait standing next to the reception, otherwise our spot would be gone directly?!) was us the admittedly somewhat artificial atmosphere and the many money but really not worth it, so we ran back to Agia Anna Beach, where on the way there the Pinky Beach Club had already jumped into our eye and on top of that the Nikolas Tavern was already bookmarked as a potential lunch spot in our google maps. At least, the valet parking assistant at the Kalua Beach Club, to whom we had already paid the daily rate for parking anyway (it was similar to NAMMOS, the price is always the same), offered us to organize some gasoline and fill up our tank in the meantime… The Greeks are really nice, aren’t they?
At Pinky Beach, we got two sunbeds in the front row, right by the sea, at a bargain price––compared to the neighboring beach clubs––for 25 euros or so. Considering that Scorpio Beachclub wanted about 400 euros and just one beach away can hardly offer so much better, we were also really quite happy with our decision.
So it was not difficult at all for us to leave the Pinky Beach Club after a few hours and have lunch at the Nikolas Tavern. Again we had Greek farmer salad (a must for every visit to Greece – the tomatoes taste so much sun-kissed and aromatic) and, of course, Moussaka (all-time favorite) and a glass of Greek house wine.
After lunch, we drove back to the hotel (not without making another stop at the gas station…) and sat down for a short time at our hotel pool, where we heard American voices. We quickly started a conversation with the three girls who were here for a wedding, and it turned out that all three were from California: The federal state we would soon be moving to. We talked a bit about Singapore and our previous move had a glass of rosé with them, and exchanged numbers and Instagram. On the way back to the hotel room where we would shower and change, I told Daniel how much I was looking forward to America and the openness or open-mindedness of Americans. The experience here at the pool was so different from any Saturday afternoon visit to Singapore’s Rumours Beach Club and left me hopeful for many new and especially fast contacts in the US.
After we got ready, we drove back to NAMMOS, the beautiful shopping center at Psarou Beach. Even though I couldn’t afford anything here (and didn’t want to), it was a unique shopping experience to stroll through the small alleys here and marvel at the design of the individual houses.
From NAMMOS Village, we finally drove towards the north of the island. There we had a reservation for dinner at the Alemagou Beach Bar Restaurant. Thanks to our quad, we were so flexible that we could stop again and again on the way to Ftelia and marvel at the picturesque surroundings. This resulted in outstanding photos in the sunset, which I must share.
Alemagou was an extremely interesting and fun experience, but not necessarily because of the food. Due to the Corona pandemic, no music was allowed to be played in the clubs and restaurants during our time in Mykonos, so the restaurant guests simply created their own musical “background” by singing, bawling and with the help of iPhones and speakers… With the result that it actually sounded different from every corner and the whole beach club was immersed in an eclectic, wild atmosphere.
To us, all this was nothing (but we are also not so the clubber anyway), which is why we drove home after dinner. On the way back it was noticeably fresh on the quad and especially in the north of the island blew a cool wind, which would tune us already once on Santorini.
DAY III – Wonderful breakfast and departure to Santorini
The next day was already our check-out day, as we had booked the ferry connection to Santorini on this day. We actually only went to the hotel for breakfast in the morning (which is truly worth a mention!). Sitting there by the pool in the sun, overlooking the sea and the colorful, flowery surroundings, we were served delicious coffee with coconut milk, sweet pastries, French toasts and a house specialty, Eggs Florentine. I can really recommend the Ostraco Suites hotel quite clearly and would book it again and again when in Mykonos.
After breakfast, we were driven by a hotel driver to the port, where our ferry to Santorini should leave. From the ferry ride and, of course, from Santorini and what we experienced there, I will report next time!
Have you ever been to Mykonos, or are you planning to go there soon? Then read here my top tips on what to do in Mykonos, where to find the best beach clubs, the most beautiful beaches, and the best restaurants.