Mykonos is absolutely stunning. I had this picture in my mind of me lounging at a beach club, cocktail in hand and surrounded by all the fabulous people the island is known for. I was right, although I couldn’t actually afford the cocktails at the beach bars, or the sun loungers, but there were plenty of fabulous people.
Mykonos isn’t really the place to be alone and on a budget.
Lucky for me I went to Mykonos with Travel Talk Tours. Our guide Alex knew the best restaurants for the budget minded (although still, around £15 per meal) and I had an instant group of excellent people to explore with. I was on the 3 Island Explorer trip, with Santorini and Ios to follow.
Obviously I’ve travelled to a lot of places by myself, and had a great time, but the Greek Islands is somewhere you need to see with friends. And seeing as I didn’t have any (that were available), the trip was the perfect opportunity.
My group of 20ish were great entertainment from start to finish. It always amazes me how quickly you can get to know people on tours, and then how quickly they disappear again, although you know that if ever your locations match up in the future, it’ll be like you were never apart.
These guys were awesome.
Athens to Mykonos by ferry
Our Mykonos adventure began with the ferry from Athens. It was an early start, 6am to leave our Athens hotel if I remember right, and down to the port. After a 7am game of charades that left our fellow passengers praying for a ‘man overboard’ situation a few times over asap we decided to move up to the top deck and sample the local Mythos beer.
Trouble was, the wind. It was a choppy day and so not only was it hard to stay standing from the bar to the table where we were, but also to bring the beers over without the wind knocking them out of our hands. Oh, the hilarity that ensued. As in the whole deck was looking at us struggle to get the beer to our seats, with at least a little still in the glass, and then to battle the wind to bring them up to our mouths too.
Almost 5 hours, a few risque stories and one or two deep and meaningfuls later, and we were there. Watch the video that’s popping up somewhere on this page to see my crossing from Athens to Mykonos.
Exploring Mykonos Town
One of the best things about the tour was that we had someone in the know to give us island orientations on arrival. Alex made sure we were on the boats, that we had our transfers and that we knew the best (read, cheapest) places to eat and drink on the islands. Because Mykonos prices were more than double Athens.
Mykonos is so beautiful – everything you want in a Greek island. Clean streets, white walls, cute little pathways and little nooks and crannies. The island’s layout was designed to confuse the pirates that would come to Mykonos to invade, so the streets are so disorientating a map here is useless. And if you see something you like, buy it, chances are you won’t find it again.
Head to the heart of Mykonos Town and you’ll soon be well in the labyrinth of outdoor tables, scarves for sale and endless pretty jewellery. Come down to the front of the island and you can pick up a gelato from the many sellers, try some fish at one of the (pretty expensive) waterfront cafes and take some snaps of the white houses with their colourful accents against the blue sky.
Quad biking on Mykonos Island
There are three main beaches in Mykonos – Paradise, Super Paradise and Elia. A group of us rented out quad bikes for the day to explore as much of the island and its beaches as we could.
It was so much fun.
Our day quad biking the roads of Mykonos were my favourite of the whole week in the Greek Islands. We didn’t know where we were going or what we were doing but somehow, it unravelled perfectly.
There was one junction, on a hill, as most of Mykonos is, where we were revving our engines to cross the traffic to turn left. With minimal power in the bikes we couldn’t make it and so were forced to stop. Randomly finding ourselves outside a mini supermarket.
Cue epic picnic run and then bike to the beach.
But on arrival we realised the loungers were €10 a pop, €20 at the front! So we decided to see if there was shade under the only tree, where the rest of the budget minded holiday people hung out – we were in luck!
And so we had a brilliant picnic filled with local delicacies, followed by a group beach nap and then a swim to freshen up ready for the journey home. All to the sounds from the speaker right by us that changed from a chilled out Morcheeba feel early afternoon to some soul remixes of pop songs later on.
Could a day be any more perfect?
We just about made it down to Super Paradise. I swear that place was at the bottom of a 90 degree angle. Made for a fun trip down and up again on the quad bike though.
There was no way we’d make it back up with two of us on the bike, so my partner, Louise, had to jump off so I could take over alone. I stood up with thumb to the metal to make it up to the top.
Down at Super Paradise there were some epic dancers doing their thing. So strong and powerful whatever your persuasion (mostly gay boys) everyone was open mouthed watching. Made me wish I’d bothered to learn to dance in my time.
And the Moet Champagne was flowing (not for us).
This is where we found the mighty flip flop too. How cool is this shower?!
Accommodation in Mykonos
I’d been told before that the accommodation in Mykonos was so expensive and hard to come by that most Greek people can’t actually afford to go there.
Travel Talk Tours sort out all the hotels for you though, I guess with their group discount, and so in Mykonos we had a beaut. The Alex Hotel came complete with a pool overlooking one of Mykonos’ bays. Of course, the jumping in the pool shot was obligatory.
The Alex hotel was about a five-minute drive from the port and a 20-minute walk from town, or you could get the bus, which definitely ran on island time. Just walk!