You’ve heard the rumors. Oh yes, with semi-clad celebrities and next door, bronzed gods and goddesses sprawling out in its beaches or superstar DJ’s parading in its clubs 24/7, Mykonos is the Mediterranean’s party central. Yet aside from its blue and gold seashores or bacchanalian merrymakers, the island of the winds has much more to offer to early birds and night owls, alike: A charming, quaint ancient town with whitewashed, cube-shaped buildings, iconic windmills and maze-like alleys; contemporary architectural masterpieces; picture pretty sunsets; Unesco heritage sites; glamorous shops to rival those of any metropolis in the world and a foodies scene to dazzle any self-respecting culinary jet setter.
In fact, despite its minuscule size, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Mykonos. Read on for what you need to know especially if traveling there for the first time.
When to go to Mykonos
The peak season is from June to September. However bear in mind that temperatures -and hotel prices- are at a record high and everything -beaches, restaurants, and nightclubs- is packed. Shoulder season (April to early June, late September, and October) is a great time to visit – you can still swim, party and see the sights, sans the crowds. Plus accommodation prices are lower and you may get some really good deals.
How to get to Mykonos
By Air: There are numerous direct and connecting flights via Athens, which is only 20 minutes away. The airport is located just 4,2 km from Mykonos Town. There are buses that connect the airport with Chora and other parts of the island during the summer season; while a taxi to town should be around 15 euros. Upmarket hotels like the Semeli Mykonos luxury boutique hotel, however, often offer free transportation services. Direct flights from all main European countries and the Middle East are moreover available, whilst a direct flight from Ibiza, has been just added.
By Boat: The journey between Athens and Mykonos takes 5 hours by normal speed ferry or 2.5 hours on a faster one. In peak season, ensure you book tickets in advance. If you are visiting on a cruise boat, they dock at the new port and liners usually provide a free pick up and drop service every 30 minutes. There are also several boats from Crete to Mykonos that also stop in Santorini and Paros. Due to Crete’ s easy accessibility (many direct flights from all over the world) a good idea is to start your journey there and then go island hopping!
Where to stay in Mykonos
Most shops, restaurants, and bars as well as iconic attractions, monuments and museums are located at the remarkably well kept, world-famous lovely, Mykonos town. It is almost mandatory to get lost in its Cycladic labyrinth; engage in people-watching; take in the sights, smells, vibes, and atmosphere. Yet with loud music blasting from almost every nook and cranny, your best option is to base yourself somewhere central, albeit quiet. Perched on a slight slope at the edge of town, the Semeli Mykonos luxury boutique hotel, is ideally situated close to the action, yet safely removed from the ruckus. After all, you’ll be wanting your good night’s rest, to keep up with the frenzied Mykonian rhythms! Affording panoramic vistas over the emblematic Chora; whilst sporting state of the art facilities like its rejuvenating Aegeo Spa, luxurious rooms and suites, and exceptional design, the Semeli is a VIP hangout, whose star-studded pool and luscious gardens have time and again welcomed celebrities, stars, and A-listers.
Another great bet is the Mykonos View, climbed up on the hill looking down on the town and the sea beyond. Thanks to its mesmerizing views and archetypal Cycladic architecture, it has become the darling of TV crews and fashion photographers.
Getting around the island of Mykonos
Rent a car or a bike in Mykonos
If you are planning on staying longer this is a great option, as it’s quicker to get to the beaches. Nothing is too far really. But the narrow lanes and traffic require attention, and you should always remember to wear a helmet if driving a bike. Parking too is generally problematic. However, as a guest at the Semeli best luxury hotel in Mykonos Town, you get free valet parking. For a scooter in Mykonos, you shall need a motorcycle license, but you may rent an ATV with a driver’s license. The Semeli concierge can arrange everything for you.
Public transport in Mykonos
Buses are available, and quite frequent in the summer months. They operate regularly to and from Fabrika in Mykonos Town to all major beaches and many of the big clubs and are very affordable.
Taxis are much quicker but scarce and expensive. Water taxis and small boats are available too. These may get you to and between the beaches. You can also grab a boat to Delos Island: The sacred birthplace of Artemis and Apollo in antiquity; nowadays a remarkably preserved -and that’s not to mention, superbly energetically charged- world heritage site.
Where to eat in Mykonos
Every Greek island has its must-try local dish and in Mykonos, it’s louza, an air-cured pork delicacy, a kind of thick-cut, fat-free prosciutto.
Introducing the concept of Greek fine dining, Krama at the Semeli Mykonos luxury boutique hotel offers palatable temptations prepared with the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. The chicken fillet with louza, is such an example. Michelin awarded chef Ioannis Parikos, also signs the menu of Thioni, Semeli’s other restaurant, which is renowned for its hip, fun atmosphere and delectable Greek-Mediterranean creations. Oniro bar-restaurant at the Mykonos View moreover combines an exceptional culinary experience with signature cocktails and perhaps the island’s most striking panorama. Any time is great to visit but go there just as the sun is about to make its dramatic exit for the day and you’ll be forever hooked.
Where to drink in Mykonos
If you choose Mykonos, then you’re probably in for some quite intensive partying. Start with cocktails in Little Venice, at Semeli the Bar, the beloved stomping ground of all Mykonos cognoscenti; then head to Bao’s, home to the world’s glitzy, champagne sipping, paparazzi snapped, crowd. As the night unfolds all roads lead to uber fashionable Toy Room, the playground of models and celebrities.
What to do in Mykonos
From splashing around, partying or just seeing and being seen in society beaches; to venturing off the beaten path to discover Mykonos’ secret paradisiacal shores; and from shopping till you drop at Chora, to exploring quaint churches, ancient monuments and iconic sights, the island of the winds, not only never sleeps but also never fails to amaze. Stay tuned for more tips and info by the Semeli Mykonos luxury boutique hotel!