The Greek islands are famed for many things, most of which are represented by the colors of the national flag: blue and white. The former is manifested in the crystal seas, different shades dotting the horizon and moulding into the clearest of skies. And the white, curved buildings are eponymous, crisply standing out against the strongest of backgrounds. The islands all vary; some are more hilly than others, some more relaxed. But all are beautifully scenic and engulfed in culture. We visited Mykonos, one of the more chic and outgoing islands, and we were not disappointed. Welcome to our guide of where to stay, where to eat, and what to do on this island of timelessness and escapism.
Spilia is, hands down, our favorite restaurant on the island. Imagine a restaurant that you can only get to by walking along a cliff edge, balancing precariously on little bridges dotted above the lashing waves. A place that is, pretty much, positioned in a cave, perched over little pools of sea where your fish is caught as you order it. That is Spilia. So fresh, so rustic, so purely fantastic. It gets shrouded in music late afternoon, so come then if you want a party atmosphere. Come earlier if you want a serene lunch overlooking the bluest of waters. Or go for supper, for simple romance. Just make sure you do it.
Pretty much the opposite to Spilia, Interni is all elegant lighting and chicness. The restaurant sits in the middle of the town, so it’s a great excuse to walk through the beautiful streets at night (shops also happen to stay open till around 2am, but that’s just a side note, of course…). The restaurant itself is heaven, an outdoor mecca of style. Tables are dotted around a central bar, and are shaded under the biggest of trees, which is itself lit up in a variety of purples and blues. It is nature meets fashion at its best, and the food is pretty great, also. We recommend the wagyu beef tartar, over and over again.
Whilst some may wonder why we are recommended an Asian restaurant in Greece, all you need to do is go there – you’ll see why pretty quickly. At the foot of the most beautiful Santa Marina Hotel, Buddha Bar sits just above the ocean (which happens to be lit up in the most aquamarine of blues and framed by yachts). The music, bizarrely, is Mediterranean-house. But it just works. And the food is some of the best we’ve ever eaten. Truffle-enhanced chicken gyozas, and glazed crispy duck with poached pears. Just, wow.
If you want an authentic Greek taverna, this is the place to go. Situated on the north of the island, it is quite hard to get to. But it is so, so worth it. There is no electricity, making the restaurant that much more special and romantic. Eating there can send you back into history, to whatever era you like: this place is timeless. But that also means no card machine, so make sure you take cash. It has the most delicious sea views, accentuated by the neighboring red-roofed chuch. Just divine.
When approached by water (which just has to be done, of course…), Nammos is a cluster of tightly packed beach chairs filling a wide cove. On arrival, however, you realise it’s magic. Sit under palm tree and eat the freshest of fish, before the music starts. And it’s good, good music. The drinks start flowing, and before long revellers rush into the sea, dancing in the water until sunset. If you like the party vibe and love the beach, get there now.
For a sunset party, on the most picturesque beach that is dotted with palm trees and hammocks, Scorpios awakes. A slightly more spacious atmosphere than Nammos, this is where to come for a hippy meets chic evening. Fairy lights dot the vista, and everything is wooden. Scorpios is ‘bohemian luxury’ and it really, really is. The most perfect place ever, we say.
We also recommend you go to Little Venice for sunset drinks. There is no where specific we suggest you go; each bar is delightful and all are on the water for the most perfect of views.
Head to Astra from 1am, and Moni from about 3am. Dinner starts quite late here (around 11), and these are the perfect places to head if you want to continue your evenings.
Astra is designed by Minas, a world famous jewellery designer – so expect some serious style. There is a fibre optic roof designed to reflect the night sky – with 2500 lights making up different constellations – so you can even add some star gazing to your deliriously fun evening.
Moni was created by a group of international friends, whose love of Mykonos brought them there every year, for 25 years. So this place is a story of friendship and love – something that is certainly reflected in the atmosphere. There are spontaneous sets from some of the world’s most famous DJs, meaning that Moni is almost always popping. It has the funnest, funnest vibe.
The Belvedere is a white slice of heaven, perched at the top of Mykonos town. It’s location is perfect – the island is a large place with very few taxis, and so getting from A to B can be difficult. But everything you could ever want is within walking distance from the Belvedere: whether it’s one of the island’s AMAZING boutiques, a little taverna, or the sea front. Everything about the hotel is crisp white; we could find no other color, other than the vibrant pink of the island’s bougainvillea spicing things up. Their breakfasts are on another planet (their eggs with asparagus and truffle are some of the best we’ve ever had).
Price range: $900-$2500 per night
One of our favorite hotels in the world, the Santa Marina is everything you could want. Views? Check. Every room seems to have a view of the sea, whether it be the hotel’s own beach, the village of Ornos and its many beach bars, or a cove in the distance seemingly specifically designed for wind surfing. Pools? Check. We found three on our wanderings, each one slightly different and on a different level. All amazing. Food? See above for our review of Buddha Bar, sat at the foot of the hotel. Beachfront? Check. They have the dreamiest beach, and little ‘eggs’ dotted along a jetty, guarded by a glass windshield (whilst this does not sound too exciting, the island is pretty gusty so it’s important to find some sanctuary!). Even better, the hotel has a water taxi to zip you along the shore to endpoints like Nammos, even though it’s only on the next cove along. They do things in style here, you see.
Price range: $1000-$2500 per night
A haven of billowing white curtains shading views of the crystal clear sea, Grace is the epitome of Mykonos chic. It’s intimate, a boutique hotel designed for spoiling its guests. And that it does – it has the dreamiest of spas, enormously puffy beds and frozen towels, the perfectly ingenious compliment to the heat.
Look out for Petros the pelican. He’s been the island’s official mascot for 50 years, and you’re pretty likely to find him waterside at Grace.
Price range: $650-$900 per night
The town is filled with the most glorious little shops, and we definitely recommend you wondering around with plenty of time on your hands. Just some of the places to check out:
Soho Soho – this place has the best international designers perfectly tailored for island dressing.
Nikos Koulis – A jewellery store to kill all others, we could get lost in here for hours.
Rarity Gallery – for a bit of culture, we suggest you head over here. Focussed on contemporary and new-generation artists, it is full of the new and exciting.
Shop our Greece style: