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While fears of the Grexit loom large, Mykonos, the gitzy Greek party island remains untouched, with seaside clubs that blast the latest EDM and parties that stretch on until much after dawn. Don’t want to plan your itinerary? See below for the best beaches and bars that the island has to offer.
The beautiful island of Mykonos is renowned for a lot of things, but its public transport system is not one of them. The busy town has one of the smallest networks of taxis in Europe—only 30 cabs serving the island, making them an expensive resource. A cheaper option is taking local buses that ply between one end of the island and the other, but be ready to wait a while for them.
• Check with your hotel: Most hotels have shuttles to and from Mykonos Town and other popular spots.• Uber: Cheaper than a taxi and more easily available.• Rent your own car or two-wheeler: A very popular option in this easy-to-navigate town. Beware: most roads are very narrow, and winding and parking is almost impossible at night.• Hire a chauffeured car: If you have a higher budget, this is the best way is to see Mykonos. Most of the drivers are locals and are happy to plan your entire itinerary and even assist in making restaurant bookings for you.
• Kiki's Taverna: A rustic taverna atop Agios Sostis beach (it doesn't stay open past dusk), this one has mouth-watering grilled food and a friendly atmosphere.• Nammos: Eat, drink, dance—the unofficial mantra of Nammos, one of Mykonos's most popular beach clubs, which serves healthy and decadent food options. Soak in the sun on its enviable beach or dance the day away on its sturdy tables.• Spilia: A local favourite, this laidback restaurant is built into a cave on the water and has unobstructed views of the sea. The lobster spaghetti with white sauce (not red) is a must. Vegetarians, try the spaghetti without lobster—it's just as good.• Sea Satin Market: A Mykonos favourite, where you're guaranteed to have a great time. Located under the famous windmills, this restaurant serves fresh seafood, self-grown vegetables and hand-made pasta. Their signature 'loukoumades' (fried honey puffs) are to die for.• Caprice Bar: The perfect spot for sunset drinks. Thanks to a location in the picturesque Little Venice area of the island, the bar's quaint and romantic backdrop perfectly accentuates the dramatic Aegean sunset.• Matsuhisa: If you want a change from Mykonos's local treats, Matsuhisa Nobu's renowned Japanese cuisine has been drawing in the crowds for years.• Scorpios: This summer's hot new beach club is a tiered property that is a beach pad by day with cabanas and sunbeds. After dark, move to the sunset terrace, where the DJ sets the tone for the evening as he pumps up its signature house music.• Ling Ling: Hakkasan's Mykonian avatar, the newly opened Ling Ling, scores very high on the trend stakes. A perfect cross-section of Greece and the Far East, it serves delicious Asian delights that are quick to impress.• Buddha Bar Beach: Located in the beautiful Santa Marina Resort, it's a great place for healthy food, delicious cocktails and the mesmerising Buddha Bar sounds.
1) The classic itineraryDays required: Up to five • Beach, booze, bookings: Apart from beaches to park your bum at, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in Mykonos. Make sure you book, and book late—the atmosphere is even more abuzz past midnight, while famous clubs such as Guzel and the newly opened Toy Room get going even later than that.• Soak in the local history: Take a cultural break and visit the island of Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that tells the mythological story of the birth of Apollo, the god of sun.• Shop till you drop: Burn the dinner calories away with some intense retail therapy. The alleyways are packed with diverse shops and art galleries, where you will find everything from international brands to talented local designers and artists.
2) The cool itineraryDays required: Up to 7–10
• Beach hop: Start with the serenity of Agios Ioannis and Lia, sample the water sports at Elia and Platis Gialos, and then join the party at Paranga and Psarou.• Take a bicycle tour: Discover the unknown trails of the island with a guided bicycle tour. A great way to experience rural communities, secluded beaches and breathtaking views.• Spend the day on a boat: Rent a boat for the day and explore the small islands surrounding Mykonos. Set sail in the morning, stop off at a picturesque island for a long lunch and make it back just in time for a sunset beach party.• Sunset drinks in Little Venice: Sit back with a cocktail and look out on to the rooftops of the Cyclades houses, glimmering as the sun dips into the Aegean.• Watch a famous DJ perform at Cavo Paradiso: Mykonos's ultimate 3,000-capacity club attracts all the famous DJs from around the world. Stay out until sunrise as you dance the night away against the most beautiful backdrops.• Diving and snorkelling: Start in the crystal-clear waters of Lia beach and manoeuvre your way through its enchanting reefs to arrive at the famous shipwreck of Anna II.• Early-morning souvlaki and gelato in Mykonos Town: As daylight creeps in after a long night of partying, Mykonian revellers queue outside open-all-hours souvlaki and gelato haunts before they head home.
Mykonos Town: Stay here if you want to be close to food, music and dance. The trendiest restaurants, local shopping and bustling nightlife are steps away.
1) Cavo Tagoo Hotel: Carved into a cliffside, this 83-room hotel offers rooms, suites and villas and overlooks the Aegean Sea and the island of Delos. There's a saltwater infinity pool and a 43 feet aquarium, and onsite restaurant Kiku serves some of the best sushi on the island. What's not to love?
2) Hotel Belvedere: A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, it has gone through a recent renovation. A boutique hotel with 43 rooms, it has spaces sound-proofed and decorated with dark oak furniture that overlook the traditional Mykonian buildings of Chora. Its luxurious amenities include two world-class brands: a Six Senses Spa (in collaboration with the Six Senses Hotels and Spas) and a Matsuhisa Nobu restaurant.
Ornos Beach: Stay here if you want to be close to the best of the magical beaches of Platis Gialos and the energy of Mykonos Town.1) The Santa Marina Resort and Villas: A Starwood Luxury Collection resort, the Santa Marina has just gone through an extensive renovation, which arguably puts it at the top of the list of luxury hotels in Mykonos. A discerning traveller's dream, the hotel offers 101 rooms, suites and villas. Since 2015, it has also launched the first Buddha Bar Beach restaurant, which overlooks the hotel's private white-sand beach.
2) Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel: Nestled above its own private beach and built on a rocky slope, this charming hotel has 39 rooms, suites and an ultra-luxurious private villa. Standout amenities include world-class restaurants, a 17th-century chapel and a private yacht, fully crewed and skippered. The Prince de Neufchetel is available for private day cruises and romantic dining.
Platis Gialos Beach: Stay here if you are holidaying with kids, love beach-bumming and prefer laidback luxury.
1) Palladium Hotel: Perched on a small hill above Platis Gialos and Psarou beaches, the hotel has 40 rooms, suites and villas that look out on to beautiful sandy beaches. It is known for its personal service and hospitality.
2) Mykonos Blu Grecotel Resort: A long-time favourite of Mykonos loyalists, the Mykonos Blu has chic whitewashed buildings with touches of azure, holding 103 rooms, suites and villas. Overlooking Psarou beach, the Mykonos Blu has the enviable location of being the closest hotel to Nammos, making food, drinks and music just a few steps away.