Decide on what kind of vacation you’re looking for before choosing Mykonos. This vacation was pretty much based on bouncing around Italy then to Greece and meeting up with friends, knowing that I’d probably come back from vacation even more tired than when I left.
I arrived in Mykonos early afternoon after coming from Capri and within 5 minutes of waiting in the car rental line, I already saw two friends from New York. Around the end of July to early August, Mykonos almost seemed like the Hamptons, but situated on the beautiful waters of the Aegean Sea.
If you read my blogs before, you know I usually talk about the car rental situation. The roads in Mykonos are extremely narrow, almost looking like they’re one way – but they’re actually not. I thought the most practical choice was a Fiat 500 convertible. Most people rent either scooters, atvs, or very small cars, but remember, as I said, this was very much like the Hamptons on the Aegean Sea so of course, you saw some people with very nice oversized cars who probably almost instantly regretted it as soon as they left the airport.
A good friend of mine took care of the villa arrangements; I went into this not knowing exactly what to expect. After about a 20 minute drive from the airport, I came to a large, wooden gate, almost as if this gate was concealing something. As I’m trying to figure out if this is the house, or how to open up this damn gate, an older Greek man I’ve never seen in my life before came outside the door and said, “You must be Michael, welcome.” Dimitris, who was the house manager, then hit a button for the large gates. They opened revealing an unbelievably gorgeous and huge villa: 180 Aegean Blue Villa.
If I remember correctly, my exact words were: “This is fucking dope. I think I love Mykonos.” Dimitris shows me the lay of the land through this 12 bedroom, stunning villa. I also immediately noticed that this was definitely going to be the party house because I kind of felt that I was at a day club as I met at least 12 people on the way to my room, 8 of which – we’re models from all over the world. At this point, I know you’re probably rolling your eyes because myself at that moment said, “Where the fuck am I?”
After settling in, I made my way to the kitchen where there were two female, authentic Greek chefs with an array of the most delicious snacks and welcome drinks. Incredible arrival. Shortly after, my buddy appears and of course the look on my face read: “you’re crazy, but this is kind of awesome.”
As I mentioned before, I had come from just visiting Italian friends in Capri, and of course they didn’t let me leave without bringing me out to each of their favorite places (and of course – excessively drinking). So me being tired and still pretty hung over – my buddy says to me, “In 1 hour, we’re headed to Scorpios – get ready.”
For those of you who have heard anything about Mykonos – you would have also heard about Scorpios. It’s the most famous restaurant + beach club on the island. So I’ve got to say, the food was actually pretty good. The setting was incredible and as the night went on – it probably takes one of the top slots of any club I’ve ever been to in my life. These days, I’m getting a little bit older and clubs aren’t necessarily my thing, as house music is also not my thing. But, the djs they had paired with the percussionists and music performers were incredible and made the entire club electric.
This was the one big party night I intended because I knew I wanted to spend the rest of the time in Mykonos eating a whole lot of octopus and beach hoping. The thing I wasn’t really aware of, was that pretty much all the incredible beaches, were beach clubs with really fancy setups (beach chairs costing 50 Euros each day). The first beach I went to was definitely the most chill and really approachable, Ornos Beach. Chairs were very reasonable, if I remember correctly – they were about 15 Euros each and you were able to order drinks and food on the beach - perfect for a chill, not pretentious, no blaring music beach to recover from a hangover.
After spending most of the early hours of the day there, I drove about 45 minutes to Spilia Seaside Restaurant that came highly recommended. Now this was definitely a much more upscale beach restaurant that was connected to a hotel. All the food that we ordered was absolutely delicious with the most beautiful patio view. But the true standout was the sun-cured octopus. Now most people when they see the octopus curing, they might be a little grossed out. As you walked down a rocky path on the side of a small cliff to the bathroom, there’s a little hut with over 20 octopuses just hanging in open air. Yes of course, there were some flies, but I’m sure they’ve been curing octopus like this for a very long time and after a quick char on the grill with Greek olive oil, sea salt and lemon, this was one of the best bites of the entire trip. The beach that the restaurant overlooks is Agia Anna Beach, which is definitely one of those fancy Mykonos beaches. My plan was to just go grab a drink and go for a swim, dry off and then head back. I was there for a total of about 20 minutes and went to go pay the bill for my drink and saw a 50 Euro beach chair charge. Yes, absolutely ridiculous and most expensive quick jump in the ocean I’ve ever had. If you were to make a day out of it, it might be worth it because it was probably one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
Later on that night, in the outdoor kitchen that overlooked the sea and the pool area, the local chefs prepared an amazing meal: tons of local fish, of course octopus, and many – very interesting and flavorful dips and shareables. Again, what a small world it is, especially this time of the year, a couple people from New York that I knew were also at the dinner unexpectedly.
Since I was only here for a few days, I wanted to make the most of exploring. I spent one afternoon down at the Old Port, which was definitely touristy, but worth the visit. I stopped into what were a couple of the famous gyro stands which were definitely tourist traps, but still good. I found a couple delicious gelato shops and a quaint bar to grab a drink at with the patio being directly on the port and if a big wave came in, you had to prepare to get wet. The nightlife in this area of Mykonos was much more normal. A lot of hole in the wall bars playing familiar music and a mixture of tourists and locals. For the rest of the trip, I headed back to the house on the earlier side to enjoy a cigar and drinks by the pool while it was still relaxing before the party arrived back to the house.
Greece is still on the list of countries to explore because I feel that Mykonos is still the small snapshot of Europe’s “Hamptons.” Yes it’s absolutely stunning, the food is very good, the culture is extremely energetic, but I don’ t think Mykonos is a destination you’re headed to for some r&r and to catch up on your favorite book.
I hope you made it this far along because I know the beginning of this did sound kind of douchey, but that’s totally not me – but I can’t lie, this was an extremely fun trip.