The iconic Greek white buildings, cobbled narrow pathways and the rhythmical flow of sea air blowing through your hair, everything you see in those travel brochures or think as quintessentially Greek will be found in Mykonos.
I decided for my Greek adventure this time around, I will travel without a tour and would explore Mykonos with an old friend, Sammy. There are cons and benefits with both styles of travel but I feel like I get a more sense of the culture and more genuine experiences when I travel by myself or without a tour. There are definitely a lot more mishaps with solo travel, that’s for sure, but that just makes the journey all the more richer.
I am not a very traditional backpacker as I haven’t stayed in very many hostels. I guess i just love my own space and honestly would rather pay slightly more to wake up to an amazing view and that little bit of ‘fancy’ on my travels. In Mykonos, we stayed in this hotel/bnb called Villa Vasilis. Staying here was like staying at a distant relatives house. The owners were so welcoming, helpful and friendly and the room we stayed in was beautiful with stunning views of Mykonos. The only downside to this room was that it was 30 min walk to Mykonos town and Paradise beach.
I don’t know why, but every time I go to a new country I get overzealous with walking and decide that I can walk everywhere. I made this mistake in Mykonos and we decided to walk to mykonos town. This sounds achievable, only a 20 – 30 minute walk right? Well the thing with Greece is that they don’t really have pathways and they have narrow winding roads. Sammy and I were terrified at some points walking close to oncoming traffic and even running some points to get to safe walking zones. Eventually though you do get used to that aspect of sharing roads with cars, ATV’s and scooters and this all becomes less scary after a few days. However, we decided to never do the walk again, not when there were frequent buses…but this comes with its own unique problems.
The public buses go to each destination every half an hour. Our hotel was in between the main stops of paradise beach and Mykonos town, so we would have to wait on the street and wave down the bus to get anywhere. The bus would just stop on the street and you will have to quickly scramble on the bus and pay the 1.80 euro bus fare (2.40 euro return). My favourite bus driver was quite jovial (some were very cranky) and had a proclivity for blasting traditional Greek music loudly. I loved that he would change the songs throughout the ride almost as if to match the songs to the views or vibe outside. I felt sorry for the ATV’s, cars and scooters that dared to get in the public buses way as they were met with angry yelling from outside the bus driver’s window and the bus practically tail-gating their vehicle until they moved out-of-the-way. It was hilarious and yet terrifying at the same time. In the public buses, there were no buzzers to alert the driver of your stop. We tried to rectify this by alerting our driver before getting a seat, but often they would forget and we would end up riding the bus until the next stop. We eventually became known to our drivers and we became more confident to yell out when we needed to stop.
Mykonos town was quite touristy but within the maze that is the town you will find pockets of quiet and you will often be the only people on the pathways. The town was quite expensive but it is expected in a touristy area. One thing that you will learn quite quickly is that Mykonos is very windy. You will learn quickly that it is not wise to wear a flowy dress. I did not go out clubbing in Mykonos town this time around but opted to go to Tropicana at Paridise beach.
The beach party scene was phenomenal and just soo much fun. The MC would hilariously call out “Mykonooooos” in low dulcet tones sporadically throughout the night and the atmosphere and vibe at the beach party was contagious. The party usually kicks off at 4pm every night and will go all the way into the early hours of the morning. People are dancing on the tables, having champagne showers and having large cocktails contained within half a watermelon. Needless to say I had the best time at this beach party.
There are a few beaches to go to on the island. I only went to Paraga beach and Paradise beach. I loved both beaches but particularly felt that Paraga beach was nicer as it was less resort-like with less sun bed chairs set up along the beach. As I am scabby and I guess just accustomed to just wacking my towel down on the sand, I didn’t opt for sun beds at the beaches. The sun beds are generally 20 euro and upwards depending on where you are hiring them from.
I loved my 3 days in Mykonos but it is time for me to move on to my next destination….Paros.