Written and travelled by Kelly Corroon
I recently took my eldest daughter to Mykonos. We spent one night in Athens to do a historical tour of the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Acropolis museum (an architectural must), and then we took a short 40-minute flight to Mykonos the next day.
Though known as the "party" island, it is a great getaway for a family trip. We stayed at the Santa Marina, which is a beautiful 100 room property right on the tip of Ornos Bay. With two swimming pools, a beautiful beach, and lots of water sports, it was a perfect hub from which to operate. Other great options are in town are the Theoxania, and I loved the chic vibe of the Belvedere where you can find the "local" Nobu.
This was a trip for us to recuperate, so we were on a slow and steady cycle of eat, sun, shop, sleep, repeat. It is not often that I run that type of vacation in our family, so we took full advantage.
Each beach has its own vibe, and the people watching is a sport in itself. Make sure to book beach chairs ahead of time, particularly if you want ones with shade. Most Greeks don't arrive until noon, so often going early can be the best way to get chairs if you don't reserve before. The beaches turn into a massive party scene after 4pm, and many stay open for dinner.
Paraga Beach is a great beach that has more protection from the wind. The restaurant Scorpios is here, which is a scene but fun for sunset cocktails, lunch and dinner.
Kalo Livadi has a wide stretch of sand and a great restaurant called Solymar. There is also a nice smaller beach with an Italian restaurant just before it called Altro.
Agios Sostis is just up from Panormos beach, both are beautiful, though Panormos is more of a scene.
Interni This is an open-air courtyard restaurant in the center of town. Book for a Saturday night or something special.
Principote at Panormos beach- this was our favorite beach and lunch spot with the most stylish decor.
Scorpios for sunset drinks and dinner- there are cushions and a fire pit that look over the sea.
Solymar on Kalo Livadi beach, a lovely chic spot with wonderful food.
Spilla also nice for lunch is is just off of the Agia Ana beach near Kalafati. Amazing seafood.
Katrin's in town (Chora) which is charming and feels like you are in Venice or Capri.
Nammos- The scene of all scenes. Stilettos and jet-setters for lunch or dinner.
Astra bar after midnight for drinks, or Galleraki in Little Venice for sunset cocktails.
Chora for Home Design on the main road to Ano Mera
Liontis for hand-made Greek sandals including a design created especially for Jackie O. 55 Mukovoc Chora Mykonos
Ergon Mykonso for slip ons, slides and espadrilles with custom embellishments. Chora Mykonos
Iliana Bassiana for adorable straw hats. Kalogera 33 Chora Mykonos
Kopajos for a wild array of sunglasses. Kalogera 23 Chora Mykonos
Inasami tunics, jewelery, the Greek Isabel Marant. Panachrantou 9 Chora Mykonos
Kamara for souvenir jewelry (evil eyes, etc) with a huge range and inexpensive prices. Matogiannaia 24 Chora Mykonos or Apriati for more upscale treasures. 20 Matogianni Chora Mykonos
Sign beautiful clothing. Panachrandou 19 Chora Mykonos
Freeshop carries Starmela and other small fun brands. M. Andronikou 48 Chora Mykonos
Korres stock up at any pharmacy for this well-regarded Greek skincare brand with gorgeous packaging
We rented a car, which I would recommend, as taxis are virtually non-existent, and hotel transport is very expensive (typically running about 70 euros per way to some of the beaches and restaurants). This added a lot of hilarity and adventure to our trip, which made it all the more worthwhile. There is ample parking (and lots of valets) at all the beaches and in town. Also ask your car rental company about their own lot in town to use when you head into the Chora.
Book lunches on the beach well ahead of time, and make sure that you ask to reserve sun beds in the shade if you are planning to stay and swim before or after lunch. The sunbeds with covers are by reservation only, and you will absolutely want a place to retreat from the blazing sun.
Ditch your heels. You will certainly see a lot of women teetering in them in town, but the cobblestones and hills make it flat shoe territory in my mind. Sunset is an event here, so plan to get to town in time to make your way over to Little Venice to grab a good spot for viewing it if you aren't on the beach.