Several years ago, my Dad shared a story with us about a trip that he took in High School with his family. My Grammy had planned a holiday through Europe for my Dad and his siblings, and while they were touring around Italy, she had heard from some other travelers about their plans to take a boat to Greece. And if I’ve got the story straight, the mention alone was enough to sell my whimsical and free-spirited Grammy on the idea. So just like that, she changed their travel plans, and took them all to Greece.
Ever since hearing that story, I just knew that someday I needed to go to Greece and explore Santorini and Mykonos just as they had. I could practically just imagine my Dad in Greece. . .tall and handsome, probably wearing some bell-bottom pants, a patterned button-down shirt, and maybe a lariat. And then my Grammy. . .oh my, she was very glamorous. I’m sure that her hair was all done, and she was probably wearing some sort of belted dress, looking very Grace Kelly.
Going into our trip, we had read from a bunch of different travel sites that Mykonos is a serious party island (which I am pretty sure was not the case when my Dad had visited). And although the words “party island” made us feel a little bit nervous (especially since we are both lounge clothes loving homebodies), we felt strongly that a trip is what you make of it. You could visit the smallest, tiny little village in the middle of nowhere, but if you are looking for a party, you will find one. And likewise, we figured that we could visit Mykonos and find the roads less traveled.
Well, the tricky thing about finding the road less traveled on Mykonos, is that one, there are a lot of tourists; and two, there are not a whole lot of roads. The Island is much smaller than some of the other Greek Islands, which meant that finding ourselves an unorganized beach (like Agios Sostis Beach, and Fokos Beach), or stretches of completely natural land was a little bit more difficult. At this point, most of the Island has become pretty overrun by beach clubs, bars, nightclubs and restaurants catering to drinking. . .pretty much all of the things that we were not planning on doing while on Myknonos.
But partying aside, I can absolutely see why so many people fall in love with Mykonos. The town is beautiful. Truly idyllic. It is definitely what everyone is thinking about when they create a mental image of Greece – an endless spread of whitewashed homes, bright blue shutters and church cupolas, tiny little stone-laden streets weaving all around the town, taking you deeper into the maze of homes and stores, and then back out to the sea again. There are fishing boats lined up along the shore, the famously large and gentle Mykonos pelican wandering about the town, octopus hanging along ropes outside of the restaurants, the windmills hovering just above the sea, and an unforgettable sunset every single night.
Yes, that is the Mykonos that I will remember. The one that we saw in the early morning hours before anyone else was awake, or had even started home from a night out dancing. The one where, even when surrounded by a crowd of tourists, we chose to drown out all of the noise and just be in the moment. It is the Mykonos that I most definitely like to believe is the one that my Dad and Grammy enjoyed all those years ago. And that is the one that I will keep in my heart.
While staying right smack dab in the center of town is normally our top priority, it was actually quite the opposite for us when we were searching for accommodations on Mykonos. We wanted to stay very close to Mykonos Town, but we also wanted to make sure that there was enough peace and quiet to enjoy plenty of r & r.
the view from our rental / our atv rental
We settled on a truly wonderful Airbnb rental that sat just ten minutes by ATV from town. It was a quaint, traditional pigeon house (probably built ages ago), that had been renovated into a beautiful little studio.
Aside from being super close to Mykonos Town, we were minutes away from a local fruit stand, a few markets, and most importantly, a bunch of Greek bakeries. Our host Evan was beyond helpful in guiding us to the quietest spots around the island; which he also happened to mention would probably not be so quiet as soon as next season. And additionally (and also most gratefully appreciated), he picked us up from the Mykonos Port, drove us to the ATV rental shop, and also dropped us off at the airport when we were leaving. . .which was definitely above and beyond.
While I must agree with the masses that Mykonos is in fact a party island, through our determination, and Evan’s thoughtful advice, we were able to find ourselves the perfect slice of relaxing Greek heaven that we were in search of.
Our stay at Evan’s property was provided complimentary to us; however, no financial compensation was received. All of the opinions that I have expressed are my own, and are an honest account of our experience.