Recharge Your Batteries in Mykonos, Greece5 min read
As you step off the ferry and take your first few steps on Mykonos, you may start to feel something different wash over you. Peace? Relief? Impending relaxation? Perhaps a bit of “all of the above” since there’s something different about this island. You may have read about it in a guidebook or looked at pictures online, but nothing really captures the feeling of being there in real life. It’s the mix of sun-drenched beaches and tranquil sea, where Old World charm meets modern luxury.
For me, it didn’t hurt that I had just spent a whirlwind few days in Europe and mainland Greece. Sure, the hustle and bustle were lots of fun. But when you really need to recharge your batteries and experience a little downtime, a place like Mykonos is a perfect fit.
If you’ve heard of Mykonos, you may immediately think of its renowned party atmosphere. “Eat, Drink, and Never Sleep” is the mantra and yes, you can find that vibe if you look for it—especially during the summer months when nightlife is in full swing.
But that’s not my Mykonos.
My Mykonos is kinder and gentler, and it all started with that lazy ferry ride from the mainland. You can hop a short plane ride from Athens, too. However, floating on azure seas and thinking a
bout the Greece of long ago set the stage for the week that I was about to experience.
Your Mykonos may be completely different from mine, and that’s the best part about the island. You can find what you’re looking for to recharge your own batteries, in your own way—whether that’s slow and simple or high energy and exciting. If you do go, here are a few of the best experiences I had that you absolutely shouldn’t miss.
The Greek Food, Of Course!
One of the best things about any trip, in my opinion, is trying the local cuisine. As you can imagine, the island of Mykonos is well-known for its seafood. Where to start? Try the sea bass, which is a specialty on the island. Called lavraki, it’s caught fresh and prepared simply, usually grilled with a little pepper and lemon. It’s a pretty mild fish, so even if you’re not a “fish person” you should give it a try. Oh, and did I mention the calamari? And the octopus? And the seafood dip that just about every restaurant has their own special variation of?
Obviously, I liked the seafood.
However, it wasn’t only the seafood that made it so special. It was the laid-back, relaxing pace of the restaurants, too. You’re never rushed. You never feel like the waiter or waitress is itching for you to leave so they can seat the next patron. It’s simply not like that in Mykonos. In fact, you’ll probably have to ask for the check when you’re ready. You have as much time as you want to sit back, enjoy your meal, catch up with your friends or special someone, and reconnect in ways you haven’t in years. Who knew a little seafood could do all that?
Another practical note about dining in Mykonos. Typically, your tip will be included on your bill as a service charge and the bread is listed separately on the bill as well. So, there’s no need to tip above and beyond your bill.
Also, if you ever get tired of breakfast in your hotel (and you may not, since they’re good), stroll down to the old port and check out the fruit and vegetable vendors. It’s a great way to stock up on snacks for whatever adventure you have planned that day, and it’s fairly reasonable. You can get about a pound of fruit for a few Euros.
Getting Active – But Not Too Active
Mykonos is rocky with cliffs and windy roads dotting the coastline. It’s perfect if you want to get active on your vacation. My friends and I opted to hike one day, and it was strenuous but not overwhelming. The roads are dusty and rocky, but we did it in flip-flops; you won’t need your hiking shoes or any gear other than a water bottle.
It’s also perfect if you don’t want to be that active. We saw people zipping up the same windy roads on ATVs and dirt bikes and it did look exhilarating! Just be sure to bring a driver’s license if you want to rent one of those vehicles from a local shop, and be prepared to do a little haggling to get the best price.
The reward for our little excursion was a beautiful sunset at the 180° Sunset Bar. We sank into the plush sofas, sipped some wine, and watched the sun dip down below the horizon to mark the end of another perfect day in the Greek islands.
Did I Mention the Beaches?
The beaches on Mykonos have something for everyone. Want a high-action beach with jet skis and banana floats? Try Platos Gialos Beach on the south end of the island. If you’re looking to let loose and party with thumping music and plenty of drinks at the beach bar, then Paradise or Super Paradise beaches are for you.
If you’re in Mykonos for some rest and relaxation, however, the beach you’re really looking for is called Agia Anna. It’s small, it’s secluded, and it’s far from the raucous party crowds you’ll find on other beaches in the area. The beach itself is small but you can still find umbrellas and chairs for rent, which will provide you with a comfy spot to watch the fishing boats near the shore.
Get Lost, and Find Yourself Again
One of the things I enjoyed most in Mykonos was getting lost on all the small streets around our hotel. It was the perfect way to find something new and unexpected around the next corner. Just keep in mind that most of the streets don’t have street signs, so set a pin to mark your hotel on your phone’s map, and then use GPS to find your way back.
That feeling of getting lost and the discovery that followed is something I carried back with me from my relaxing stay in Mykonos. It was reinvigorating and refreshing, and helped me see my regular life through a new set of eyes. If you ever have the chance to go, take it; spend the time exploring and discovering your very own Mykonos and rediscovering yourself in the process.