MYKONOS

Be­cause it’s more than just Brits abroad.

GQ (Australia) - - INSIDE -

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

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