Mesmerized by Mykonos
In my last post, I mentioned how Mykonos was my favorite island. I feel like many people were surprised by this because it's known for being the "party island." I don't know if it's because we were there during May which is before the "tourist season," or if it's because I just graduated college and have seen far worse, but it didn't seem like too much of a party to me!
Day 5 in Greece
We started our morning with a 7 am ferry from Athens to Mykonos. The only ferry I've ever been on before was the one you take in Galveston that travels across the bay and takes 20 minutes. Nothing like this. This was basically a mini cruise boat - seven different levels, three different restaurants, sleeping rooms (if you were fancy and upgraded), a bar, etc. Garner and I grabbed a cappuccino, bought some wifi and made the best of the 5-hour ferry ride.
For the next two nights we stayed at the most amazing hostel I've ever seen. If you go to Mykonos, you HAVE to stay here! The hostel is called Artemoulas and has a pool, a poolside bar, a workout room, a internet cafe room with computers, a kitchen in every room, a bathroom in every room with fresh towels and is beautiful! It's also a quick 10 minute walk to the beach.
They picked us up at the port, gave us fresh cranberry juice and helped us rent a "quad" or 4-wheeler for the week. If you've ever traveled Europe or stayed in a hostel, you know this is almost too good to be true.
That night we walked to a beach restaurant, Nicolas, where we were given free dessert and free mysterious shots of alcohol that I never want to taste again. We had yummy souvlaki and got some good use out of our rain jackets.
Garner and I woke up and had breakfast on the front porch - fresh fruit (which is hard to come by actually), greek yogurt and more frappes made by the nice pool bartender. She is Greek but lived in California for a few years and actually gave me a list of trendy bars to try and cool places to visit.
Afterwards we took the 4-wheeler to the most popular beach on the island, Super Paradise. We rented chairs, had a few cocktails and enjoyed the beautiful weather and crystal clear water.
Around 5 pm we were shocked when the beach bar area turned into a beach party with dancers, loud music and bright lights. I know I said it wasn't a party island, but this was the one exception that fit the stereotype.
Later that night we cooked pasta, got lost riding around the island on the quad and ate way too much gelato (necessary when on a European vacation).
After creatively strapping down our backpacks on the "quad," we left our beautiful hostel in Platis Yialis for the popular Mykonos Town.
It took us a few hours to find the place we were staying because the whole town is an actual maze of white plaster buildings. The streets are too small for cars and the buildings are so tightly packed you can't see where the ocean is, what is on the next street, etc.
We finally found our lovely apartment we rented with Studio Eleni. We had to call "mama," the sweet Greek older lady who owned the place, to come find us in the maze and lead us to the apartment! Turns out it was a block away from us the whole time, which was great because it was right where all the action was and also walking distance from everything we wanted to experience in town.
We decided to get back out there and maneuver our way through the maze of Mykonos Town. We somehow found the ocean and sipped on some wine while watching the boats and fishermen at the port.
Then we poked in a few shops and ate dinner at Pepper which had the most amazing food of the entire trip. The waiter suggested the spicy feta dip (basically the Greek version of queso) and I practically licked the dish clean. I asked for spicy feta dip the rest of the two weeks and didn't manage to find anything similar or as good! If you go to Mykonos, you HAVE to go here.
As we were walking back, we noticed signs for an outdoor movie theatre. Turns out they play free (yes actually free!) movies every night in a gorgeous garden and one was starting in 15 minutes! We ran back to the apartment, layered on all almost all of our clothes (it is surprisingly freezing at night! I got some good use out of my only long-sleeve shirt) and made it back just in time. We watched Angelina Jolie kick butt in Laura Croft Tomb Raider while snacking on some tszaiki yogurt sauce and homemade bread.
We started the day by going to the local market and picking up a few things for a picnic. We then rode the "quad bike" to a quieter beach called Elia. As soon as we arrived it started raining so we had to take cover in a nearby restaurant where we sipped cappuccinos and waited for it to stop. I was surprised we saw rain twice in one week as locals told us it only rains about twice every year!
It was Garner's first time to Europe and I wanted to show him what a pub crawl was! Unfortunately they don't do these on the island (so much for party island?!) so we got creative, looked up the most popular bars/clubs on TripAdvisor and decided to make our own fun! We had a BLAST dancing, trying different cocktails we had never heard of before and making new friends. Our favorite place and probably the most popular bar on the island was the Scandinavian Bar. It is an entire block of different buildings but all the same place! The club part or "disco" had an awesome DJ (even though he had never heard of some of the songs I requested....) and everyone was dancing and having fun! My favorite person to watch dance was this man in his sixties who was dancing on a table! He was showing everyone else up and didn't seem to have a care in the world! I hope I can be that fun and have that kind of confidence when I'm that age!
Day nine was one of our favorite days of the entire trip. We had booked a bike tour with Yummy Pedals on the other side of the island and Garner had been looking forward to this for days. Dimi, the owner and lead cyclist, was so incredibly nice and helpful. She picked us up in her own car from Mykonos Town and drove us to her father's vineyard in Ano Mera where the ride started.
We rode for miles up and down hills on gravel roads. I thought I might die - Garner rides his bike for miles on a regular basis and Dimi is a cyclist who does these trails every single day! But luckily we made stops along the way at an old mining town where we saw an Italian man painting on the old buildings, at a small church where Dimi taught us about being Greek Orthodox and then at a small beach where we swam and she served us homemade vegan cake, nuts and freshly squeezed lemonade!
Once we got back to Vioma Vinyeard, the other tourists had all left. So Garner and I had the entire place to ourselves! We tasted a white, red and dessert wine (they never have like "Pinot Noir" or "Pinot Grigio," it's always just "red" or "white") and had snacks of Greek salad, fresh bread, greek yogurt and honey, numerous types of cheeses and proscuitto ham.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Mykonos. I felt like we spent the right amount of time there, experienced the entire island and enjoyed doing a variety of things both relaxing and adventurous. The next morning, we headed out to the most popular and probably the most beautiful island that will be covered on the blog soon - Santorini.