When you think of Greece, you think of the different things that come with it; the music, the food, the architecture, the people and history. Which is ultimately what Greek culture is, all in one. Who doesn’t dream of going there and immersing themselves in a complete blast of a time!
When I was assigned my second contract as a Photographer with an internationally known cruise line, I was so excited to know that I would be travelling the Mediterranean Sea. I was more excited to know that I would be going to Greece, a bucket list spot for me since middle school history class. As hard as it might be to explain this gorgeous country, I will do my best to entangle my favourite moments of my time in Mykonos Greece.
I will always remember how excited the crew of the ship was, a few days before overnights in Mykonos. Everyone would talk about the amazing music, dancing at the disco clubs, the fun, casual and open environment, and the late night snack of a warm chicken souvlaki before heading back to the ship. I have heard before that Mykonos is like the equivalent of the island Ibiza. In the summer months jet setters head to Mykonos for the amazing beaches during the day and then dance the night away at one of the many dance clubs.
Disco’s of Mykonos:
There is a big pride influence in the night clubs, and there are some of the best parties. When you go to gay clubs things are more laid back. As a female I feel more comfortable and there are always amazing dance moves to watch! Going to Jacky O’s is a must, yes it is named after Jacky Kennedy Onassis! She would regularly visit Mykonos on summer vacations! There are still many famous visitors to the island. DJ’s come and play there, and movie stars relax on their yachts. One weekend Snoop Dogg was on the island, I saw him but I didn’t really want to talk to him, or get any photos with him, because I would have totally fan girled and made a fool of myself. I suppose I regret that now but I SWEAR I saw him!
I can say for sure that the first night I had in Mykonos will go down as one of the best nights of my life. We went to a few clubs that night, and the one that treated everyone like Greek Gods and Goddesses was the Scandinavian Bar. Crew members we were able to get in for free and also get a few free drinks. Believe it or not the club was absolutely packed and a quarter of the occupants were crew members. There was a huge dancing stage with different levels, and as long as you kept with the every 10 minute scream of “MMMYYYYYKKKKOOOOOOONNNNNOOOOOOSSSSSSSSS” were you able to stay up and dance there all night!
At the end of the night we would find our way through the maze of streets. The only way you could really remember where you were going was by recognizing coloured doors or unique stores. We would make our way to the only souvlaki shop that was open, and was best known for being open late throughout the night. I had the BEST wrap of my life. It had chicken that was so fresh, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, french fries (no lies), tzatziki sauce and feta cheese on a pita that was really nice and thick, and warmed to perfection. The best part was the meal came with a drink and only cost 5 Euros. One night I ate two pitas I was so hungry, I tell you I was full until the next afternoon!
I always thought it was so amazing how a country that is being portrayed as one that is in such poor shape wasn’t even all that bad. Sure the economy is down but the locals still made their way making money and keeping their stores running. I personally don’t think they were charging an arm and a leg for good quality stuff. I bought some gorgeous jewellery at this fabulous store where I got an opal ring, 4 sets of opal earrings and a bracelet all for less than 300 Euros, not too bad!
I wish that I had a tour of some of the amazing churches and buildings. I was always so tempted to knock on someone’s miniature sized door to see what their house looked like inside. I could imagine it would be really small considering most of the buildings are attached in block like sections.
Here is a fact you probably don’t know, the reason why the houses are all painted white is because it helps reflect the sun. I was told that when the houses were built that they didn’t have white paint but they would use asbestos which would create an almost white colour, isn’t that STRANGE! In most of the Cycladic islands there is a law for all the houses to be painted white, and they may do what they like with their doors. Most churches are white with blue domes, the colours on the Greek flag. The reason for the colours white and blue, is a symbol of the white sky and the blue of the beautiful Greek clear sea.
Something you have to check out is the iconic windmills of Mykonos. There are 5 that stand on a hill facing north towards the wind and the harbour. These were made for grinding flour, and now there is one with a museum inside. I always like imagining the building of old architecture, how they had the idea to make the windmills let alone the materials used and how they heck they got to build something that big in the 15th century is mind blowing to me.
Even though I didn’t have a need to stay at a hotel, I was always looking at them anyways. There are some really cool hotels that have their own private infinity pools, and they are built close to the sea. I’m sure the owners / managers would have been unique, and have some great and suggestions of places to see on their small island. I could only imagine that these hotels would cost a lot considering the location and the resort. When I go back I only dream of staying at a hotel like this!
Food of Mykonos:
The food was always so fresh on the island, before it was touristy, it was a fishing village. You can always count on having great seafood! One time I thought I would splurge and I went to an Organic Restaurant called Nice N Easy (yes that may make you think of the hair dye company in North America). My friend and I had a fabulous and full meal. The meal started with a tzatziki and hummus dip with a freshly made pita bread. I had to have a Greek salad, typical I know, but there is nothing like a REAL Greek salad. For the main dish my friend got the fresh sea bass (which she said was the best she has EVER had) and I had the salmon which came with a nicely made tabouli. For dessert we went to hands down the BEST ice cream and gelato place I had ever been to. They made everything on the premises, I would normally a scoop of raspberry and mango gelato to cool me down. The gelato had real pieces of fruit in it. They would give you a little extra if you asked for it! They had nice seats outside that would face towards the harbour where the fishers would tie up their boats. It was a very entertaining spot and we ended up making it our usual ice cream place after a long day in the sun. I was so upset one of the last times the ship docked in Mykonos because they had closed up their shop for the winter season. I guess I had a few good months going there, as the ship stopped there from July until mid November.
It was easy to walk around the island it is only 105.2 km² and 40.61 mi², with a population of around 10 thousand people. Just keep in mind that the island can easily become a maze, the buildings all kind of look the same, and no matter what you will always have water around you, as believe it or not it is an island! I did take a taxi a few times and it was fun to get the locals view on the “best spots to see”. They also rent out scooters and mopeds to get around, and without a licence it was not an option for me. At night the clubs typically will have courtesy vehicles to get you around.
I would absolutely suggest going to this island, if it be for a week or even just a few days. I know that I will be going back at some point. Greece is so cultured and full of history, and it is nice to have unique islands like Mykonos. I know that things change when you go back to a place after a while. I am sure that this island will always have a spot in my heart. It is one of the nicest places I have been to. Beautiful memories that warm my heart.