Greece Part 1: Mykonos

Hey y’all,

We just got back from an amazing week-long vacation with some of our good friends, Megan (American) and Hamish (Brit) in Greece.  It was really fun traveling with them, and having 4 people allowed us to stay in some cool apartment-type accommodations.  Our itinerary consisted of an overnight layover in Athens, 3 nights in Mykonos, 3 nights in Santorini, and 2 final nights in Athens.  The blog posts are going to be split up into 3 parts: Mykonos, Santorini, and Athens.  This one covers our time in Mykonos, and the others will be coming out shortly.

Greece travel plans: Athens to Mykonos to Santorini and back to Athens

Greece travel plans: Athens to Mykonos to Santorini and back to Athens

I’ve always wanted to visit Greece, especially the picture-perfect island of Santorini, so this was one of my favorite vacations to date.  Especially since we got plenty of beach time and I finally got to put my swimsuit to use.

So we left England on Friday, September 20th, flying from London Heathrow to Athens.  Instead of using our usual low-cost airline, we actually flew on a legitimate airline, Air Aegean, which also happens to be a Star Alliance Member, in which Doug has Gold Status.  Hello airport lounge!  Luckily, Hamish also had Gold Status, so we all got to hang out in the lounge before the flight.  This vacation was already starting off well!

Airport Lounge Time!

Airport Lounge Time!

We arrived in Athens late at night, and had a 5:50am flight out the next morning to Mykonos, so we spent the night at the airport.  I had advocated for sleeping in the terminal (being the ultimate cheapskate), Doug had pushed for a cheap airport hotel that you had to take a shuttle ride to, and Hamish had suggested the convenient, walking-distance Sofitel across the street from the airport.  I’m happy to say that Hamish convinced us and I’m very glad he did because we had a good night’s sleep and didn’t start our time in Mykonos already drained.

As mentioned, we arrived in Mykonos extremely early Saturday morning (I believe around 6:30am).  We were under the impression that we couldn’t access our apartment until the afternoon that day; however, the previous tenants had vacated a day early, so we were able to go straight there!  Woohoo, lucky break.

We found our accommodation on a website called AirBnB, and if you remember from this year’s Wimbledon post, we haven’t always had the best luck with AirBnB.  However, we had booked the accommodation before the Wimbledon fiasco, so we just made some follow up communications to make sure the apartment was real, and then we stuck with it.  I’m glad we did because the place was amazing.  It was called the Mimosa house, had sleeping accommodation for 4, two full bathrooms, a completely furnished kitchen, including an American size fridge and dishwasher, two patios, free wifi, and AppleTV.  Woo, we were set.  The apartment complex also had a pool, and we were walking distance to Ornos beach, as well as to local shops and restaurants.  There was even a friendly donkey across the street.

Loved our place called the Mimosa House

Loved our place called the Mimosa House

I won’t really go into detail about each day because most of our time was spent chilling at various beaches.  Our nearest beach was Ornos beach, which was walking distance.  Even after exploring numerous beaches, it was still our favorite because it was family friendly (i.e. less European nudity), had plenty of amenities nearby such as restaurants and shops, and also had calm, clear water and soft sand.

We also rented ATVs one of the days (after failing to rent scooters because Hamish was the only one with any experience) and explored a lot of the island that day.  There was frequent bus service from our little town of Ornos to the bigger town of Mykonos as well as to other beaches, so we took advantage of that as well.

Ornos Beach and the guys playing some frisbee... not gonna lie, I was definitely the worst frisbee player in the group and would often be banned from throwing with them for fear of injuring innocent bystanders

Ornos Beach and the guys playing some frisbee… not gonna lie, I was definitely the worst frisbee player in the group and would often be banned from throwing with them for fear of injuring innocent bystanders

Pretty much what vacation is all about

Pretty much what vacation is all about

Obviously this was one of our favorite activities in Mykonos

Obviously this was one of our favorite activities in Mykonos

As you can tell from the pictures, we enjoyed the Greek beer.  I think I’ll have to do a beer collage, or maybe Doug can do that.  Mythos was good, as was Alfa, but I think the group favorite was Fix.  We always had to #GetOurFix.

Our other favorite activity on the trip was eating.  Wow, Greek food is glorious: Greek salad (I’m currently obsessed with feta cheese), pita bread, tsaziki, gyros, souvlaki, moussaka… it was all incredibly delicious.  Since we had such a well-equipped kitchen in Mykonos, we actually cooked most of our dinners there, only eating out one night.  However, in Santorini, our kitchen was much more bare, so we ate out every night there.  The Greeks sure know how to eat well.

Me and Megan at dinner in Mykonos

Me and Megan at dinner in Mykonos

And the whole crew

And the whole crew

We also explored Mykonos town and had a pretty epic night out there.  Mykonos is known as being a party island, and also as being the gay island.  We at least experienced the first half of it (party).  I also liked that all the souvenir and local shops stayed open late.  Going shopping at 10pm would be unheard of in the UK and probably most other places we’ve traveled.  I think only Spain and potentially Italy would be open that late.

Mykonos town at night

Mykonos town at night – I really loved the whitewashed buildings with the blue trim

Megan and Hamish in the pedestrian friendly streets of Mykonos

Megan and Hamish in the pedestrian friendly streets of Mykonos

They even have bunting in Greece! *love*

They even have bunting in Greece! *love*

Hard to see, but this is known as "Little Venice" - it's an area of restaurants that line the water, somewhat reminiscent of Venice.  I didn't really get it though since it was just the ocean and there were no canals.

Hard to see, but this is known as “Little Venice” – it’s an area of restaurants that line the water, somewhat reminiscent of Venice. I didn’t really understand it though since it was just the ocean and there were no canals.

I think this is before the tequila shots

I think this is before the tequila shots

This beach was considered the "castaway beach" since it was relatively empty of people... too bad we still got photobombed!

The Agios Ioannis beach was considered the “castaway beach” since it was relatively empty of people… too bad we still got photobombed!

Love the pink towel Hamish

Hamish fit in on the gay island with his pink towel

My artsy shot... too bad I couldn't figure out how to get it off black and white mode after that

My artsy shot… too bad I couldn’t figure out how to get it off black and white mode after that

Hamish is now trying to help get it off black and white mode

Hamish is now trying to help get it off black and white mode

Watching the sunset at the beach

He succeeded!  Watching the sunset at the beach

Beer tower... not sure if this was inspired by the jenga game that was available at the house?

Greek beer tower… not sure if this was inspired by the jenga game that was available at the house?

Another nice beach... I believe this one was called Stefano and it was found by accident

Another nice beach… I believe this one was called Stefanos and it wasn’t even our intended destination

ATV time!

ATV time!

Hamish is happy that he's not walking up the hill behind him... the ATVs didn't have enough power to carry both people up the steep hill; most of the time that meant the guys were walking

Hamish is happy that he’s not walking up the hill behind him…

Mykonos's famous windmills can be seen in the distance

Mykonos’ famous windmills can be seen in the distance

Nice colorful planters with a straight shot to the ocean

Nice colorful planters with a straight shot to the ocean

Beach in Mykonos town

Beach in Mykonos town

Nice stroll through Mykonos town

Nice stroll through Mykonos town

Gotta think of health and safety and wear those helmets

Gotta think of health and safety and wear those helmets

Mad cow

Mad cow

Agari Beach... pretty sure this was one of the most nude-friendly beaches, which most often is not a good sight

Agrari Beach… pretty sure this was one of the most nude-friendly beaches, which most often is not a good sight

Agari beach umbrellas... we spent some time in these

Agrari beach umbrellas… we spent some time in these

Epic fail and walk of shame... Doug and I ran out of gas in our ATV

Epic fail and walk of shame… Doug and I ran out of gas in our ATV (we are still convinced we got siphoned)!

We found our oasis while Megan and Hamish fortunately went off to get us some gas...

We found our oasis while Megan and Hamish fortunately went off to get us some gas…

Topping up... thanks Megan and Hamish!

Topping up… thanks Megan and Hamish!  And yes, that’s a liter water bottle.

Back on the road!

Back on the road!

Hamish getting ready to go on a drag race

Hamish getting ready to go on a drag race

Time for a drag race!

Oh wait – this is the right picture

At a crossroads: do we want Paradise or Super Paradise?

At a crossroads: do we want Paradise or Super Paradise?

Super Paradise it is!

Super Paradise it is!

There were literally two beaches named Paradise and Super Paradise.  Naturally, we chose to go to Super Paradise.  In reality, it was sort of a disappointment.  It was very much a party beach, with people dancing on platforms and really loud party music.  Not really my kind of paradise, but I can see why Mykonos is considered the party island.

Super Paradise

Super Paradise

Gotta cheers since we made it to Super Paradise!

Gotta cheers since we made it to Super Paradise, even though we ran out of gas trying to make it there!

We spent our last day in Mykonos enjoying the beach and finishing our cold beers before heading to the port to catch our ferry to Santorini.  Ornos beach was full of vendors walking around trying to sell sunglasses, watches, and purses.  I’m not sure why the sunglass seller came up to our group (since we all already had on sunglasses), but he would not give up.  I think his original price was one pair of sunglasses for €20, but in the end we got two pairs for €10.  I got some turquoise “Ray Bans” and Doug got some “Oakleys”…

I got some authentic turquoise Ray Bans for only 5 euro... what a bargain

I got some authentic turquoise Ray Bans for only 5 euro… what a bargain

Megan drove a hard bargain for the purse... in the end the seller wouldn't give in.  It's a shame, could have had that Louis Vuitton for only 12 euro.

Megan drove a hard bargain for the purse… in the end the seller wouldn’t give in. It’s a shame, could have had that Louis Vuitton for only 12 euro.

Our transport to Santorini

Our transport to Santorini

Me and Doug on the ferry... sporting our new shades

Me and Doug on the ferry… sporting our new shades

The middle and bottom right food pics are actually meals that we made ourselves, but from local ingredients

The middle and bottom right food pics are actually meals that we made ourselves, but from local ingredients

Overall, Mykonos was amazing.  I loved the turquoise water, especially set against the whitewashed villages.  The people were really friendly (and pretty much everyone spoke English), the food was great, and the beer was refreshing.  That’s what a vacation is all about.  Up next: Santorini.

xoxo

Tara

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Greece Part 1: Mykonos

  1. Pingback: Greece Part 3: Athens | Schetzels in the UK

  2. Pingback: Langkawi, Malaysia | Schetzels in the UK

  3. Pingback: The Best and Worst of 2 Years in Europe | Schetzels in the UK

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s