Ask me where my favorite place to vacation is in the entire world…..and the answer will always be Mykonos. It is the most enchanting and magical island I have ever been to. This year was my fourth time visiting for one of my bestie’s 40th birthdays and although I say it’s time to choose another travel destination for the next year, something always draws me back to this island I call paradise.
This isn’t a place that’s super luxurious, but you can definitely find luxury if that’s what you are looking for. It’s real. The gorgeous views of the water, the white houses with blue accents, the breeze, the people and the simple way of life is what really brings me back year after year. Oooh….and the best part: the sunsets in Mykonos are priceless and can be seen every night because it doesn’t rain, at least not during the time of the year I go.
Here are some of my favorite things in Mykonos.
1) Elia Beach
This beach is one of my favorites. Little palm umbrellas line the sand as you sip a cool drink, feel the breeze and enjoy the views. Now remember, many Europeans travel here and there is a lot nudity, but you are in Mykonos – so let it go and enjoy the show. To the far end, is the gay beach, which also has some AMAZING views I might add 🙂
2) Pinky Beach, Super Paradise
I love this beach. It’s chic, filled with gorgeous people, with soft music playing loungey beats in the background from the fabulous restaurant at the top of the beach. You can simply lay and bake in the warm sun, order some champagne from the bar and enjoy the company of your friends. Then, when the day starts to end, you gather your things and walk to the end of the beach and up the rock stairway to Jackie O’s, or I like to call it, Jackie “Hoe’s” LOL. It’s a straight friendly bar on top of a cliff that overlooks the ocean. It’s simply delicious and magical and the eye candy is fantabulicious! Take a look at the last pic and what the birthday boy found. Need I say more?
I simply love the food in Mykonos. Everything is fresh and healthy and delicious. I rarely eat tomatoes, but they are so ripe and juicy in Greece that I just can’t get enough. Also, when it comes to the lamb: there is nothing like it. The Mousaka is to die for and the desserts, although I usually only have a bite, are simply decadent. The Gyros are one of my favorite things to eat when I need something quick or when I’m done with the bars in the evening. The best part, they add french fries to them. Who knew?
I have two restaurants that are my favorites, which I have listed below. But, you can find great food nearly everywhere in Mykonos.
This restaurant is so gorgeous, simple, and elegant. It is located in the main part of town. You walk through these doors, down a short hallway and there, you find yourself in an open sky courtyard with candle lit tables. Surrounding the courtyard are gorgeous bougainvilleas, in all colors, that are all in full bloom. There are also trees wrapped with lights, which makes the ambiance is simply breathtaking. The food, OMG, is “Greekalicious.” I’ve had the lamb here and it’s just like a piece of butter. My absolute favorite, however, is this appetizer. I don’t know what those Greek men do in the back of the kitchen to this dish, but honey, let me tell you – it’s like heaven. It’s a sesame feta plate that has been deep fried and slightly drizzled with honey. Served warm, it just melts in your mouth. I know it doesn’t sound that good when describing it, but when that first bite comes in contact with your taste buds, I feel like standing up and thanking good ole Zeus for this culinary masterpiece. It’s FANTASTIC. Take a look at this gorgeous restaurant and if you get the opportunity to visit Mykonos, put this on the top of your list.
2) Pasta Fresca Barkia
I know. Why do Italian when in the Greek Islands? Well, let me tell you. As the end of your stay in Mykonos draws near, and after you’re done taking off your shirts at parties and dancing all night, sometimes you just need to eat a carb or two. When you’re done with the Greek feta cheese, try a bite of the Italian sausage for a change. This restaurant, although not that big and not the most comfortable to sit at, is fantastic. All of the pasta is homemade and they have someone making it right on the street. How fun is that?! I go each time we travel to Mykonos and it’s really, really, really good. I have two dishes here that I love. Both of which, I would normally never choose, but when I tasted them – I couldn’t get enough:
-Spaghetti alla Carbonara-
From what I have learned, this dish originated in Lazio, which is really part of Rome, but don’t hold me to it. So, the plate is a sauce made of egg, mostly yolk depending on who makes it, with Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Regiano cheese, pancetta or bacon, olive oil, fresh parsley, some seasoning and some other things that I really can’t spell or pronounce. It is creamy, with a bit of a smoky taste, but it’s absolutely delightful. It’s one of those food items you don’t eat often, but you must treat yourself.
-Tagliatella with porcini mushrooms-
I love mushrooms and I enjoy pasta, but I wasn’t really a fan of joining the two togehther. I really can’t tell you how they prepare this, but how ever they do it, they do it right. I’m usually not a fan of thick pasta, maybe of other things in life, but not pasta. Anyways, let’s proced: the tagliatella pasta at this restaurant isn’t super thick. It’s almost in-between fettucini and tagliatella. But the difference is that this is homemade. The sauce, in my opinion, has to be done with a touch of beef stock, porcini mushrooms and bits of pureeed mushroom. I just can’t put my finger on it, but I am sure could put my mouth on it. The taste was so different, so unique and so yummy. Again, a dish you don’t have often, but it was gorgeous. It’s best to go with friends so you all can order a different pasta and taste a little of everything. A pasta orgy; now that’s eating!
WHERE TO STAY:
There are thousands of places to stay in Mykonos. You can choose from the most luxurious to the most inexpensive. The most exclusive hotels are outside of town, on cliffs overlooking the ocean. They are fantastic, gorgeous and romantic. However, you will have to pay the price. If you have the dough, then I suggest you go. They are gorgeous, but not convenient to downtown unless you have a car. And just so you know, if you are not in town or near town, it’s impossible to get a taxi, especially during the busy season or at night after the bars have closed. You can acually wait for two hours or more at the taxi stands. Actually, the entire island only has under 40 taxis total (last time I heard). Rent a scooter, if you dare, a 4 wheeler or a car.
Hermes Mykonos Hotel:
Each time I visit Mykonos, I do not go for the luxury stay. I go for mid-level with comfort, views and coziness. I have stayed at the same for the past three years and will continue to stay there each time I go back. It is like home to me. It’s familiar, comfortable and perfect for my needs. It’s close enough to town but also far enough away. The owners are on property at all times and staff know my name, which is always nice. When we stay here, our group of friends take up almost half of the rooms at this hotel. Maybe that’s why they remember our names. They have a full breakfast each morning, full bar and light menu for lunch time. The views from the hotel are amazing and I love everyone who works there. This is definitely my home away from home.
This is a gorgeous, chic hotel that just happens to be straight-friendly. They welcome all, but the hotel is primarily owned and operated by a gay staff. The views are incredible, but the walk up to the hotel is absolutely awful. By the time you reach the top of the hotel, you are soaking wet and out of breath. I suggest a scooter for sure or taxi, if you are lucky enough to get one. If you want a little workout, then definitely climb this mountain. It is one of my favorite hotels, although it’s pricey to stay there and the drinks are not cheap. The highlight of this hotel is each and every evening they have sunset party. There is fantastic music, lovely boys and breathtaking views of the sunset. After the sunset, the music continues for approximately one hour and after that, it’s time to head down the hill for dinner, drinks or some more cocktails at the local bars and cafés. I simply adore this place and if you want to go layout by the pool in the daytime, you are more than welcome.
Elysium Hotel & Sunset Cocktails:
HIGHLIGHT OF THE ENTIRE VACATION:
Our very dear and generous friend, Andy shocked all of us when he decided to treat the entire gang (which is usually about 20 of us that travel together each year on one big vacation) to what I thought would be a day excursion on a boat, which we have done previously. The boats were nice, a bit cramped, but that never mattered to us. What mattered is that all of your “brothers” are sailing on the Aegean Sea and having a blast together. Well, when we arrived at the docks, we did not see a boat, only a small tender that barely fit 10 of us. Not even enough room for an extra bottle of champagne! What we didn’t realize was this little tender was bringing the island queens to a MEGA YACHT; a 140 feet long mega yacht. I know, talk about gagging a little bit. The small tender had to make two trips to get the entire gang to the yacht. Well, when we finally arrived, an entire crew greeted us with champagne. As we toured the boat, we ended up on the top deck where the bartenders were anxiously waiting to pour even more champagne. Then, the party began. I think each and every one of the friends had a moment of tears, thankful for how blessed we were to have so many friends that are family, and thankful for our friend Andy, who selflessly treated us to something most won’t experience in a lifetime. As we set sail for a 24-hour overnight adventure, we all had the opportunity to bond, talk, cry, laugh and dance. And when I tell you dance,,,,,I mean like really dance. Later in the evening, another surprise was that Andy had arranged a DJ to arrive on the boat for a four-hour dance party for all of us. This is an experience I will never forget as long as I live. I am truly grateful for my life and my wonderful friends that I call my brothers. Now take a look at these pics…
Waiting on the docks for the tender:
The Big Surprise:
Pour the Champagne:
What more can I say…Paradise!