We had really enjoyed our time in Santorini and were very slowly falling in love with the Greek Islands. We decided that we could squeeze in one more before we moved ourselves to France for the summer months. Our choice of Mykonos proved to be a truly fitting end to our Greek Island hopping.
Mykonos on a Budget, not really
We has enjoyed amazingly cheap stays in Rhodes and knew that our luck would run as we hit Mykonos . This island has a reputation as an expensive destination and in our minds that reputation is well deserved. We tried and failed to find any real budget accommodation in the main town, we needed to be located here as we had just two days on the island and wanted to be at the centre of things.
We stayed at Ledra Apartments and snagged a rate of 33 euros per night. This was expensive by our recent standards but was the best we could find on the island with a decent location. This provided us with an apartment with a full kitchen, free wifi and the place had five beds, so if we were a bigger group the place would have been a bargain. The location was even better, just a five minute walk into the harbour or Little Venice and, as it was perched on the side of the hill, we had a fantastic vantage point to sip a glass of wine and watch yet another fantastic Greek sunset each evening.
Eating on Mykonos
Nor could we find any cheap places to eat or drink. Even eating and drinking away from the harbour areas of Little Venice and the port we could not get a glass of beer below four Euros or 2.40 for a glass of local wine.
You can eat relatively cheaply in the Gyro shops that are dotted around the village lanes, but enter any restaurant and you won’t walk away with much changes from 80 Euros.
Even cooking for yourself will not save you a great deal, most of the small mini market prices were exorbitant. We did find one on our last day that stocks Carrefour products and seemed a little cheaper. If you get to the main bus stand, with the bus stop behind you follow the road around for about two hundred metres and the place is on your left.
Mykonos is known as a party destination, but there is plenty to do if you don’t want to rave with the youngsters till the early hours.
- Take a day trip to Delos a UNESCO listed uninhabited island awash with archaeological treasures.
- Go shopping in the town – wandering the narrow streets of Little Venice and the rest of Mykonos Old town will provide your with hours of entertainment looking at the souvenirs, works of art, jewellery and boutique fashions available. For those who have brought along their flexible friend (I’m talking credit card, not a friendly contortionist) you can do serious damage to your balance or simply window shop and enjoy the cobbled streets, blinding white walls and blue doors.
- Find a windmill – windmills are a traditional favourite with the Greek holiday photographer (I have not let you down) and as well as the famous quintet you will find perched on the edge of the port others can be sought out nestling across the hills around the old town.
- Take a walk in the hills that surround the main town and joy the daytime views onto the cobalt blue sea and the spread of white houses and do it all again just as the sun goes down to catch one of the magnificent sunsets that light up the old town with an calming orange glow.
- If its rainy, find a museum – there are plenty to choose from covering the archaeological sites, the maritime and Greek history. There is even one in the traditional windmill overlooking the town. Most charge an entrance fee of around 2 Euros, all have different opening hours so check before you set off.
- Visit a church for spiritual enlightenment or just to admire the unique architecture. Panagia Paraportiani is the most famous and some form of church has stood on this spot since the 1400’s.
With our limited time on the island, we didn’t venture to many beaches but there are plenty dotted around the island. You can get there on the local buses that leave from the bus stand in Mykonos town, or do what we did on Santorini and hire a scooter or quad (ATV) and get there yourself.
There is a great list of the beaches available in Mykonos of the wikitravel site. We ended up just walking to the small beach nearest to the town at Megali Ammos, its a very tranquil beach with only a single tavern (Joanna’s Nikos Place)to eat and drink at. If you eat there you get use of the sun-beds by the tavern, but we just flopped our towels on the beach and enjoyed watching the yachts go to and fro the harbour and took an occasional dip to cool ourselves down. We enjoyed the place with just a half a dozen other tourists and it really was a peaceful relaxing afternoon.
Getting to Mykonos
We arrived on the lime green Hellenic seaways high speed catamaran from Santorini (three hour journey) but Athens is only three to four hours away too. The island also has a small airport with regular flights across Europe in the high season. We ended up leaving from the airport to get to France via Milan.
The airport is small and there is very little in terms of eating places or entertainment, across the road you will find a big supermarket where you can get drinks and snacks for a fraction of the cost of a coffee or sandwich inside the main building. There are some tables dotted outside the terminal building where you can eat your supermarket fayre. There is a bus to the airport from Mykonos town, but it does not run very regularly and so a taxi costs 8-10 Euros depending how much luggage you have with you. You pay extra per bag in the boot!
Mykonos was truly beautiful and in our next post we tell you what we thought of the gay nightlife on the island.