Because it’s more than just Brits abroad.
YES, TIME TO BOOK IN EARLY AND DISCOVER THE SECLUDED LUXURY OF THIS TOURIST HOTSPOT.
Everything both read or heard is true – Mykonos remains a go-to for backpackers with god-awful tattoos, whose idea of sophistication is a foam party blasting out Pitbull remixes. But the Greek island offers more. We’re talking top-notch resorts, impeccable dining, high-end shops and sublime Mediterranean beaches – all a 30-minute fight from Athens. At 105km2, hire a car to visit the dozens of seaside strips, as well as the main town of Chora. Just avoid anything with the word ‘paradise’ in it. PLAN Things get crazy in July and August, when the island’s population swells with visiting celebritards and London-based Aussies wondering what the Greek for ‘Bintang’ is. So book now for a June or September stay, when the temperature mirrors an Australian summer and you can enjoy all the island has to offer, without crowds. aegeanair.com STAY San Giorgio hotel, on a headland beside Paraga beach, is the kind of place people dream about while chained to a desk. Think airy white rooms with expansive Aegean vistas, staff so friendly their beauty barely intimidates, and a lively bar centred around a communal pool. From the complimentary airport chauffeur to breakfast included in the room rate, this designer hotel delivers in understated style. sangiorgio-mykonos.com DO For an obligatory taste of antiquity, take a trip to Delos Island, a 25-minute boat ride from Mykonos. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s littered with sites dating back to 3000BC and has an outdoor museum that tells all you need to know. Book through Keytours, with prices at $60 per person for a half-day tour. To mix with beautiful European types, head to Psarou or Ornos beaches, but be prepared to pay $15 for a lounger. For something less commercial, there’s Agios Sostis beach, and spend an evening at the Cine Manto (open-air cinema) in its own cobbled courtyard, with rows of deck chairs and a buzzing restaurant. keytours. gr; cinemanto.gr EAT Hit up Hippie Fish, at Agios Ioannis, for the quintessential Greek beachside dining experience. Bypass the sushi for fresh spaghetti with sea urchin, grilled sardines and steamed mussels. In town, eat at Mamalouka and have the braised baby lamb wrapped in vine leaves and served with homemade hummus. But the isle’s standout restaurant is Nikolas Taverna, a mainstay since 1967, where the calamari is reason enough to book. Wherever you go in Mykonos, be warned meals routinely end with a glass of potent, on-the-house Arak-like liqueur and it’s considered rude to pass on. hippiefish-mykonos. com; mamaloukamykonos.gr; nikolastaverna.com DRINK Check out the sprawling Scorpios bar/restaurant near Paraga Beach. Owned by the same crew as San Giorgio, it channels a hippie chic vibe with daybeds, shaded canopies and a sunset lounge. Cocktails are sublime and the roster of musical talent is equally dizzying. If, after all the dips, souvlaki and seafood, you’re hankering for red meat, this place offers one of the better grills on the island and beautiful people aplenty. scorpiosmykonos.com SHOP For a spot of retail therapy, stroll along the labyrinthine streets of Chora. There are plenty of stand-alone stores, including Dsquared2, Love Boutique for those must-have Vilebrequins, Diesel and the Soho-soho for Rag & Bone, Creed fragrances and Ligne St Barth bodycare. dsquared2.com; sohosoho.gr