The glamourous island of Mykonos must be visited at least once. With a party scene to rival Ibiza, the exclusivity of St-Tropez, and some of the finest villa rentals in the Mediterranean, it’s a popular vacation choice for those with discerning taste.
Steeped in Greek culture, there also lots to enjoy outside of its stretches of golden beach, and throbbing night life. This includes a vibrant food scene, delightful markets and a chic café-bar culture.
Here’s how to enjoy the full cultural experience.
Growing in popularity since the 60s, this one-time fishing village, is today known as the most exclusive of all the Greek islands. Its mix of luxury Mykonos villas, hip restaurants, and cool beach bars adding to its charm.
Visit outside of peak season though, and you’ll find a very different island. One that is sleepy and quiet, with a close knit-community feel. And because it’s the gateway to the nearby ruins of Delos, it remains a popular destination all year round.
Much like all the Greek islands, locals are warm and friendly, with excellent hospitality skills. Food is central to family life here, so a visit to a local taverna is a must on a night out from your villa rental.
Indulge in fresh seafood and mezze dining, with local delights such as kopanisti (a spicy cheese), louza (cured meat) and a fabulously comforting Kremidopita (creamy onion pie) on offer. Cinnamon, nuts and honey feature heavily in local cuisine and best celebrated in the local dessert ‘Melopita’ – a kind of honey pie finished in crispy pastry. This is best washed down with a class of local Ouzo or Raki – take note; these spirits are not for the faint-hearted and have been known to leave a lasting effect on lesser trained palettes! In other words, proceed with caution.
Early riser foodies should head down to the waterfront early doors, where local fisherman sell fresh seafood, alongside farmers offering up fresh fruit and vegetables, reminding you of the simple delights of Greek cuisine.
Local Customs and Traditions
Mykonians are proud of their heritage, and celebrate local feasts and religious events to keep their much-cherished traditions alive. As a visitor, this may not be immediately apparent, but if you visit any of the local churches, especially on Saint Days or key religious events, you’ll be privy to these customs.
Churches as decorated in all-white, with candles, flowers and basil on show to create a fragrant welcome. Most events are marked with small feasts that often take place with families cooking up homemade meals to be shared with friends and neighbours. Many of the luxury Mykonos villas have state-of-the-art kitchens, as well as outdoor dining facilities, if you decide to follow suit.
Just some of these religious festivals include; The Virgin Mary of Tourliani, Agios Haralambos and Agia Anna. Alongside good food, good music can be enjoyed with local musicians bring their violins and drums to the streets!
It’s no secret that Mykonos attracts a roll call of stars, in no small part thanks to the former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who visited in the 60s with her husband and international entrepreneur Aristotle Onassis. Since then, the island has welcomed A-listers, from Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor, to today’s stars such as Leonardo di Caprio, Ariana Grande and Bella Hadid. When not entertaining at their swish Mykonos villa rentals, you can find A-listers hanging out at Nobu, Caprice Bar, or docked in their superyacht at Tourlos marina.
Made in Mykonos
Finally no trip to Mykonos is complete without picking up some local produce. The locals are known for their craft skills, utilizing gem stones and turning them into bespoke jewels. Visit any of the cobbled streets in and around Mykonos Town, and you’ll see for yourself. From international names such as ‘Gofas’ to boutique stores like ‘Rousounelos’ and ‘Actipis’, you’re most likely to go home jewelled up than empty handed.
Mykonos – a stunning and welcoming island for all seasons.