Long before mere mortals inhabited ancient Greece, there was a great struggle for power between the Titans and their descendants, the Olympian gods. Upon their glorious victory, the three Olympian brothers—Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades—split the realms of the universe between them, as the Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus.
But Gaia, the great goddess of Earth and mother of the Titans, was incensed by the defeat of her children and called on their siblings, the Giants, to rise up in revolt. Always wise, the goddess Athena asked Heracles to help the Olympians in battle, and with the mortal hero’s assistance the rebellion was quelled. Six Giants were killed by Heracles’ hand and their corpses left to petrify in the Aegean Sea, eventually forming the island of Mykonos.
The days of the Titans and Giants are no more, but the legends of Mykonos live on; legends of year-round sunshine and vibrant blue seas, of luxury hideaways and extreme revelry. And what this dry, rocky island lacks in dramatic landscape and quiet charm, it makes up for in boisterous, fun-loving character. So grab a drink, bask in the sun, and enjoy Mykonos for the ridiculous scene that it is.
But for the sake of your sleep cycle and general well-being, we’re limiting this visit to the next two days.
The Merchant Of Little Venice
If you were a 16th century pirate prowling the Aegean Sea, the tangle of narrow lanes in Mykonos town was “designed” to confuse you. Thankfully, you’ll find a perfect place to survey your surroundings at Portobello Boutique Hotel, a quiet hillside retreat overlooking the whitewashed maze.
And as you spend the day getting lost amongst churches, boutiques, and fresh fish tavernas, keep three destinations in the back of your mind. Raya, a shaded café on the harbor esplanade, is a lunchtime staple for its classic Greek dishes. The Olive Tree, on nearby Maurogenous Street, has some of the island’s most beautiful hand-crafted olive wood. And Little Venice, the tidy row of waterfront homes on the western edge of town, is the best setting for sunset cocktails and beautiful sea views.
This Is The Rhythm Of The Night
As Mykonos begins to come alive at night, take a cue from the crowd mobbing the door of Kounelas Fish Tavern, a perennial favorite for delicious, no-frills seafood. You’ll have your pick of the day’s freshest catch—and a front row seat to some of the island’s most enjoyable people-watching. One flavorful meal and a complimentary bottle of masticha later, you’ll be dancing until dawn on the waterfront at Jackie O.
Live At The Apollo
According to ancient Greek myth, Zeus, the ruler of Mt. Olympus, fell in love with the Titan Leto and made her pregnant. Zeus’ vengeful wife, Hera, forbade Leto from giving birth on land, but Poseidon, in an act of pity, anchored the floating island of Delos to give Leto a place to rest. There she gave birth to Apollo, the god of music and light.
Today, this small island six miles from Mykonos is one of the most important historical and archeological sites in Greece. Not only do the ruins of Delos mark a sanctuary of Apollo, the Ionian religious capital, the meeting place of the Delian League, and a Roman commercial epicenter—they are an easy and inexpensive day trip from Mykonos’ harbor.
Beaches And Herb
You can scarcely strike up a conversation in Mykonos or walk a few blocks without hearing talk of the famed Paradise Beach. But beach-goers be warned: this version of “paradise” comes with immense crowds, pulsing beach clubs, and very little natural scenery. Instead, consider staking a claim on Agios Sostis Beach, a lovely and secluded stretch of sand on the island’s northern shore. An added bonus? Kiki’s, a local hideaway known for its simple, flavorful grilled meats and seafood, is only a few steps away.
M-eat, Pray, Love
After an action-packed day (on presumably very little sleep), spend a quiet evening on the flower-draped veranda of M-eating, one of the most exciting new additions to Mykonos’ culinary community. Between the exemplary service, the enchanted ambience, and the delectable Greek-inspired dishes, you’ll have three very good reasons to return next year.
A Few Notes
Mykonos is easily reached from Athens, Santorini, and many other islands in the Cyclades, and OpenSeas is your one-stop shop for ferry timetables and ticket sales.
TITLE: The many cafés of Little Venice; the narrow alleys of Mykonos town | SATURDAY: Mykonos town; Little Venice; the alleys of Mykonos town; a church in Mykonos town; the pool at Portobello Boutique Hotel.