Mykonos, the “party island” where we relaxed instead.
I last blogged about our mid-year trip to Greece when I shared our experience hiking the Menalon Trail and saying in Vytina. I didn’t leave it on a cliffhanger, but I did mention the incident we had with the car, and it’s been a while since I’ve posted an update about the trip, so here we are! If you have kept up to date with my blog in general, you’ll know that I haven’t forgotten to share our experience staying on some of the popular Greek islands, and I definitely have been up to “usual life stuff” at home.
Mykonos is known as the “party” island. Nick and I are far from party people, and my friend Lilian was even surprised we went to Mykonos. We had some accomodation credit left from when we had booked the trip in 2020 and were refunded the same value. We stayed at Anax Resort and Spa, a rather fancy spot that was about half an hour from the port by taxi. Unfortunately, due to our new time of booking and the increase in popularity, we had to pay extra out of pocket when we re-booked.
We arrived in Mykonos in the morning on the ferry from Rafina port, after a couple of hours on the ferry. We had stayed for one night in Rafina, with me having my first gyros and Nick enjoying a “kebab” – as the waiter pointed out, it was “not a doner”, rather it was some kind of Greek sausage. We had a bit of ice cream and we enjoyed our stay in an Airbnb that was extremely well equipped and looked far better than the dated photos on the listing suggested. We were able to do some laundry, which was great – but there was a filter coffee machine, first aid kit, and other bits and pieces that you would normally find in someone’s house if they were living there. I always find it extremely pleasant when an Airbnb feels like a home.
Our first ferry experience was a pretty good one. We were able to board ahead of time, find the seats we had booked, and make ourselves comfortable. Upon arriving in Mykonos, it was really busy at the port but we had to look out for our taxi driver from Anax, who would be holding a sign with our name. It took some time due to so many other people being picked up, but we eventually located each other. Our taxi driver was impressed with our small cabin luggage, considering how long we were in Greece, and we also chatted a bit about Australia as he had been there and has a sister living in Sydney. It was nice to make the connection!
When we checked in, the reception staff made a little joke about our receipt being “from the memory box”, because it was actually printed from our booking in 2020. 😂 We enjoyed our complimentary welcome drinks in the common area behind the reception desk. Our room was ready shortly afterwards.
The staff were very nice and friendly. We could walk to our room via a couple of flights of stairs, but one of the hotel staff drove us down the hill in a van, along with our luggage. He joked that our room was “five hours away” but in reality it took about 20 seconds.
As much as I wanted to just chill out and do absolutely nothing, we did have to eat lunch, so we chose to do the short walk to Ornos Beach. It was a bit annoying that we had to basically walk on the narrow road and share it with the vehicles, but the alternative was to wait for a bus or call a taxi, both of which would take time and cost money, when it was quicker to just deal with the discomfort of walking on the side of road, since our accomodation was so close to Ornos.
We found meals in Mykonos to be expensive, but had an element of luxury to them. Compared to our other travel experiences, we can say that the price reflected the quality of food, especially considering the fact that Mykonos has pretty good quality seafood, and seafood is usually expensive to begin with. So even though we had to pay a lot of money, we couldn’t really complain. Mykonos did have a touristy vibe, and we chose not to visit the more traditional areas due to limited time. We also chose not to visit Delos, the island of an archaeological site, because we had seen a lot of archaeological sites in the Peloponnese region and wanted to experience more of the “island life”.
That afternoon we enjoyed using the pool at our accommodation and ate in the fancy restaurant there. There was a beautiful sunset! It was, as to be expected, difficult to photograph the sunset, but the waiter took a nice photo of us anyway. 🥲
The following day we caught a bus to the main town in Mykonos, the fully pedestrianised area known for its cute blue and white aesthetic and the purple bougainvillea flowers. (Later, in Naxos, we learned from our hiking tour guide about buildings being painted white to reflect the sunlight in the hot summers, but also because of the antibacterial properties of chalk/whitewash, and we also learned that the bougainvillea colours are from its leaves, and not the flowers.) As this was our last full day in Mykonos, it was our only opportunity to explore this area. I felt tempted to look in some shops, but it was more interesting to walk through the streets and get a little bit lost. We had lunch and then headed back to our accomodation. Since we had breakfast included with our accomodation, we were a little full from the breakfast buffet and didn’t want to eat all that much for lunch!
In the afternoon we had booked in a massage treatment at our accomodation. We were umm-ing and ahh-ing about it for a while, mainly because it cost a few hundred euros. 🙈 We were also considering the cost of the car damage, but really felt like we wanted to kick back and relax, so we chose to spend the money. It’s not something we do regularly, and we only really splurge on it every few years when we visit somewhere that has some spa or massage treatment worth experiencing.
We chose a place nearby for dinner, one that was just a really short walk (not on too much of the road!) from our accomodation. I really wanted sashimi, but felt emotionally pained by the cost. I just couldn’t justify some 10 euros on two pieces! I looked at the market rate, sort of forgetting that that whole process involves looking at and selecting a fish, but went for it anyway. All the fish on offer were huge, and although I love the absolute heck out of raw fish, I didn’t want to select anything that was too ridiculous in size, especially if Nick didn’t want all that many… I ended up picking the smallest of the bunch, which was a small red snapper.
It was really well served! Also not quite what I was expecting, but at least the price was pretty much what I expected: kind of expensive. 😆 It was still an interesting experience, and since we weren’t incredibly hungry, we didn’t feel the need to order too much food. In a way, we spent less money than we might have if we were really hungry, but of course, it was still a big bill at the end. 💸
Mykonos was a nice experience, and although we didn’t experience the partying or nightlife it’s known for, we were likely to not enjoy it anyway. Mykonos is not a place we would be rushing back to, but at least we’ve ticked it off the list.
The next day we were headed to the less touristy island of Naxos, keen to experience a contrast from Mykonos, and also keen for the Naxos Hiking tour we booked. Stay tuned for the next post! 🌞