Slow-living on Mykonos
If you are like me and Mykonos was on your bucket list for a long enough time, then go online and book your trip. Keeping things on lists, saving things for later, is the way I might have led my life in the past, but once I turned forty I decided to change this.
I like to look forward and with that, be adventurous, spontaneous and take go for it.
There was no risk booking our summer trip to Mykonos. The Greek island known for it's wind, hence windmills stand decorating the dry hillside of this charming island in the Aegean Sea. The city of Mykonos is built in the traditional Cycladic architecture, the white cubic houses, with the flat roofs with colourful doors and porches, mostly blue. The white and the flat roof reflecting the sun, keeping the cool in the summer through colour and shape. The old town is a labyrinth built to confuse pirates in the past and tourists are just as confused nowadays. But it also gives shelter from the strong winds which blow into the centre of the city.
What is sure is that you will always find a spot you feel is just right, a little cafe, a restaurant serving regional specialities and always, smiling locals who are happy to help you out. In fact, I was most delighted by the high level of service. By the professionalism of the waiters and restaurant owners, artists selling their crafts, a lending hand at the chemist where I could find my stash of natural beauty essentials all Made in Greece…Hats off to Greek hospitaliy keeping it so accommodating amidst the high season bustle.
I’d like to share of my our favourite places with you. Some I researched prior the trip, some we discovered by chance. If traveling as a couple or with teenagers, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
San Giorgio – Waking up to the beauty of the sea. This is a place of inspiration when it comes to bohemian gypsy style living. In the spirit of ‘less is more’ the hotel is designed by Annabell Kutucu, choosing pieces of original craftsmanship bringing warmth to the white washed spaces throughout the hotel. So many chairs, hammocks, bedouin carpets, pergolas and day beds to choose from, you will find it hard to leave. Excellent breakfast, lunch and dinners, serving classic Greek food with a twist and the fresh juices we like.
Aelia – new on the island, a small boutique hotel in a quiet area of Mykonos. Perfect for a short romantic stay in style.
San Marco -a family friendly hotel, one of the oldest ones on the island with a private floating deck on the sea, spectacular bedroom views and very friendly staff.
BREAKFAST / CAFE
Il forno di Gerasimo - fresh fruit juice, freshly baked bread and pastries, a to die for lemon tart, spinach pie and slices of pizza for garb cravers, any style coffee you may desire…a good place to wake up to.
Popolo – hanging out at the local cafe with the locals, especially when you rise and shine early like us, you will find yourself surrounded by the waiters and restaurant owners of the night before. The cutest cafe in town. If you are lucky enough to taste their spinach pie, you will know what a good one tastes like.
Matsouka Bakery – this is the cafe with the donkey and you know what they say? you know you’re in Greece when you see a donkey. This one likes attention particularly and will come running to the enclosure for petting time. The cafe is as local as it can be, serving the best coffee we had on the island. I did a little happy dance when I discovered that the place also makes their own Mikonian sweets! Fascinating to watch and so delicious. I bought a couple of boxes to bring home as gifts. Definitely worth a stop.
Gioras Wood Bakery – no website, hardly a sign outside, practically in a cellar, this is the creme de la creme of true baking. If this were down my road, I’d go there every time, literally roll there and back for the rest of my life. Everything is homemade, old style, no nasties, no fuss, just good freshly baked.
BEACH / LUNCH
Kiki’s Taverna – perched on top of a hill, overlooking the Aegean Sea. The cutest bay to plunge into. Make sure to go before you are hungry, because no reservations possible. Queue with a bunch of people whom you will most likely become friends with, sipping on free chilled rose wine, or going for a swim before the table is free for you. Grilled catch of the day, Greek tapas, an entire squid. Portions are generous at this authentic Greek taverna.
Fokos – another place that feels like home is this simple beach house restaurant by the Fokos beach. Local fish, BBQ, traditional cured pork, fresh salads with citrus fruit and creamy feta cheese. You can taste the sunshine in your mouth. No wonder chefs like Mr Nobu from around the world go out of their way to get a bite of it.
Alemagou Mykonos – hanging out with the islands hip gang here, lounging on deck chairs, doing a bit of shopping in the gypsy tent, cool music playing, Greek – international dishes one yummier than the next. You won’t want to leave.
Agios Stefanos – a hidden gem, where all the locals meet, families with Grandparents, a very non pretentious beach, bringing fresh air to the island with various beach restaurants to choose from. Our favourite? Petran Tavernon top of the hill. Small menu, fresh fish, Grandma in the kitchen, wine and ice cream scoops in the glass while sitting on handwoven rugs with a spectacular view of the ocean.
Spilia – need I say more? Set in the castle of Panigirakis, built half a century ago, overlooking the town the the bay of Mykonos, now a luxury hotel, a sunset bar and a spot for sunset yoga. Good vibes only!
Sunset bar – need I say more? Set in the castle of Panigirakis, built half a century ago, overlooking the town the the bay of Mykonos, now a luxury hotel, a sunset bar and a spot for sunset yoga. Good vibes only!
DINNER IN TOWN
Katrin’s – feeling home away from home. This is what this place is all about. With the whole family gathering in the kitchen, you’ll get a literal taste of Greece here. My favourite place in town!
Catari – a charming Italian restaurant in a courtyard great for people watching with a safe distance. Quite enough, loud enough, right behind the port of Mykonos town, serving delicious homemade pizza (can you tell I went for my kids?!), fresh salads and lovely wine. In fact Greek wine was great everywhere, especially the white wine.
Katerina’s – the best view of the sea from little Venice in Mykonos town. Greek food, middle Eastern desserts, top of the notch cocktails. Great for romantic evening as well as family time. As always, welcoming with smiles.