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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”…
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.