Your summer Instagram feed is probably packed with photos of your friends living the high life in Mykonos – but to take it all in, come in September and October; when the weather is still gorgeous, the prices are much nicer and the hordes are gone.
Between its golden-sandy beaches, Instagram-worthy churches with blue domes, and paparazzi shots of celebrities sunbathing on mega-yachts, Mykonos intrigues millions of travellers every year. Yet it’s hardly a secret that the most discerning among them, choose to skip the summer queues and instead come in the fall. Like most other well-trodden locales, Mykonos truly shines in September and October – when one gets to experience more than the dusk-to-dawn parties; more than the bronzed goddesses and gods frolicking in azure blue waters; and more than the latest hits blasting from every corner.
With the tourists now gone back to work or school, Mykonos reveals its many hidden charms allowing lucky visitors to connect with its authentic rhythms and cadences. Spend a little time wandering in the evocative Cycladic labyrinth of Chora; venture off-the-beaten-track to find Dionysus; board a boat to experience history’s mighty weight; discover a dining scene to rival that of any other jet-setting destination.
1. Embark on a cruise to Delos
How about exploring the island’s ancient past while sipping bubbly aboard your private yacht? History buffs with an appetite for glamour should not skip the chance to embark on a cruise to neighbouring Delos. The mythological birthplace of the sacred twins, Apollo and Artemis, was the most important religious, cultural and commercial centre of antiquity from Mycenean through to Roman times. As you wander around this remarkably well-preserved UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site, you witness history coming alive via an intricate array of sanctuaries and statues, stately public and private buildings and the artefacts they once contained. Watch the views from the hill for an insight into life some millennia ago – the power struggles, religion, art, commerce and everyday conduct. The entire island is an open-air museum – and so is Rhenea (or Rineia), a tiny islet that’s separated from Delos by a small patch of sea. This relatively unknown paradise is one of the few places on earth where you can admire ancient monuments in the same natural habitat they were originally built in, aeons ago. It also sports diamond-clear waters, perfect for a cooling dip – after all, the sea in Greece remains warm until October!
2. Live like a local
Autumn in Mykonos is the season of the annual Grape Harvest – and it takes merrymaking to a wholly new level. The local farms and wineries are busy harvesting – a copious process which also involves folk music, barefoot grape stomping, dancing and wine and food tasting. This unique, almost primordial and distinctly Dionysian experience is open to friends and families but also strangers with an appetite for immersive adventures. Check out Vioma, a biodynamic vineyard and organic farm that offers wine tours year-round – and if you find yourselves in Mykonos at the end of September make sure to partake in the annual harvest for an insider’s look into locals’ life.
3. Rekindle the flames at Little Venice
One of the most memorable things to do in Mykonos in the fall is to experience Little Venice without the busy season’s hustle and bustle. It doesn’t get more romantic than this atmospheric waterfront neighbourhood with its quaint balconies hanging over the water’s edge – especially if you don’t have to beat the crowds for the best sunset views. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the buildings were used by pirates to quickly load and unload precious cargo. Today, they are transformed into impossibly cute bars and restaurants that serve fine champagne and food to the jet-setters. Grab a table at the Semeli for delicious cocktails and light sustenance; enjoy a fusion of sushi and carnivorous delights at Cantera; head to Bao’s to see and be seen; or dance your worries away until the early hours of the morning at Toy Room. As the skies turn from blue to pink at dusk – and from dark to light at dawn, you’ll know there’s no other place you’d rather be.
4. Enjoy Mykonos from above
Experiencing Mykonos in the fall from the land is fascinating – but exploring it from the air is even more so. Consult with our concierge to book a helicopter ride for a thrilling adventure. Let your skilled pilot fly you over wild landscapes, sugar-cube villages, quaint churches, vineyards, picturesque lighthouses and glistening golden beaches along the coastline. As you soar above the island, the bird’s eye view will inspire you to plan your next day’s escapade in Mykonos – plus you’ll get to arrive in impeccable style, wherever you go.
5. Take a piece of the glitz back home
Mykonos Town’s cobblestone alleyways are perhaps the world’s most picturesque catwalk – flooded with beautiful people displaying their latest in-vogue acquisitions from the island’s lovely boutiques. Look for designer labels, striking beachwear, funky accessories and world-class jewellery. Mykonos is also home to several stylish art galleries featuring stunning works. Check out Rarity and Skoufa Galleries, Art and Soul as well as a handful of small studios hidden behind bright blue doors, for paintings, ceramics and glassware inspired by the Mykonian landscapes and life, and for one-of-a-kind sculptural pieces to give as gifts or adorn your home with.
Did you like our post about memorable things to do in Mykonos in the fall? Stay tuned for more insights and info for an unforgettable escape into Greece’s most thrilling destination.