Μύκονος – Cyclades
Mykonos has the most exclusive (and hence most expensive) offerings of all Greek islands. If luxury is what you seek you will find it here and you will have some of the best in both accommodation and restaurants available. Not that anyone is forcing you, there are cheaper options.
A nice (but overrated in my mind) town in a nice (but again overrated) bay as well as many good beaches are the main attractions that people are drawn by. And yes, the sunsets are nice in real life as well! But it is funny how the large number of postcards depicting this place manages to elude almost by magic that insanely long and ugly ferry quay that destroys so much of the bay’s appearance. The island can also become horribly crowded, windy and dusty. Best savored in late May, early June. Traffic is also annoying in the very narrow streets. That said, Mykonos town has one of most entertaining labyrinths of back (and main!) streets around. And it is one of the most whitewashed towns in the Aegean. Add some windmills and a couple of pelicans (Sorry, but old Petros has now departed for the eternal fishing banks in the sky, killed in traffic, what else?) and you have a cocktail that is irresistible for lots of people.
The interior of the island is rather flat with development almost everywhere, but has also some amount of farmland and quiet spots. Nice walks can still be found, and even quiet beaches, at least in mid-season. The excellent beach at Panormos in the north could very well be the best on the island, but when winds are strong you may not be able to enjoy it to its fullest. Even a good fish restaurant above the beach. Hopefully there will never be a bus going to this place… I did not try any of the other more well known beaches, as these are far too crowded and noisy for my taste.
With its international airport Mykonos serves as a good entrance port to the Aegean islands. Anyone should be able to survive a day or two, even here.
Accommodation does not come cheap in town, the cheapest hotel option might be the “Apollon” at the waterfront, but you will have to share shower and toilet. Some extremely nice hotels are hidden in the side-street Kalogera. I stayed two nights at “Zorzis” here, great place indeed. Utmost care is needed to get what you are paying for (which could be a lot) when it comes to eating. “El Greco” has food that both looks and tastes well prepared. “La Casa” is good for pasta and pizza, but (surprise!) has Greek specialties of gourmet quality, even with decent prices. Fantastic! I like Greek food, but I love what they are serving here, I had no idea that seemingly simple Greek dishes could be THIS good…
Selected walks: For walks on Mykonos take a look in Walking the Aegean Islands by Dieter Graf (referred to below as “/Graf/”) or his newer Amorgos, Naxos, Paros and the Eastern & Northern Cyclades, which should be more up-to-date. Some amount of road walking will be necessary, but this might be a welcome break from steep hills and mountains.
•1 PALEOKASTRO – FTELIA – PANORMOS – HORA (net walking time 2h31, and this time I really mean NET, excluding for once all time scudding about trying to find the way, as well as all sidetrips not described in the text…): This is walk 18 in /Graf/. For the most part this is very easy walking. Some care is needed to reach the first sandy cove. There is no use entering that tempting ravine on your right on your way down, you will end up on a ledge five meters above the beach, with no way of getting down safely. Instead curve around to the left higher up, then walk down to the western (pebbly) part of the beach, the continuing way is by climbing the crack in the ravine wall on your left (the sandy part is still isolated by cliffs, but it looks like a safe climb down, not that it is at all interesting, as these beaches are far too dirty and windswept to be ideal for anything). The beach at Ftelia is equally uninteresting. By all means add the trip down to the beach at Panormos to this walk. It is a bit more sheltered, and clean. I spent the rest of the day here… Eastern part ideal for nudism. The fish restaurant above is also good. Had a great lunch there, then it was back at the beach. Back on the main track there only one more detail to mention: The “Bridge of August 20” mentioned in the text is actually “August 12”, as far as I can remember.
• Good starting points: • Mykonos town – frequent buses to trailheads, you can even walk straight out of town
• How to get there: • By ferry from other islands • By ferry from the mainland • By tour boat daytripping from Naxos or Paros (on the same tour as Delos, may be enough for most…) • By air (both domestic and international)
• More info: • Harbour and Windmill Photographs from around Mykonos Town by Foxy’s Island Walks
This page was last modified at October 17, 2014.