11.14.18

TRAVEL GUIDE: MYKONOS, GREECE

HI FRIENDS!

I’m so beyond excited to share my Mykonos travel guide, the first guide in my Greece series! Check back soon for my Santorini and Athens guides, packings tips and things to know before you go! Mykonos was actually the second stop on our trip, but I wanted share my Mykonos travel guide with you first since that seems to be what I get the most questions about!

We went to Greece for our honeymoon in October. Many people actually suggested we skip Mykonos because of it’s “party island” reputation. We are VERY glad we didn’t skip it because it was definitely an incredible part of our trip! However, while reading the Mykonos travel guide, keep in mind that we went during off-season. This meant that the island wasn’t in full party-rage mode like it is during the summer months! We were very thankful for this since we prefer a low-key bar scene, as opposed to the club scene Mykonos is known for.

We traveled to Mykonos via ferry from Santorini. Which was an experience on its own and I would recommend doing that instead of flying (just a little change of pace ya know?)! Alright let’s get into the Mykonos travel guide!

STAY

We researched a TON of hotels leading up to our trip. When we came across Rocabella Mykonos we fell in love with their bohemian style décor and thought that would be the perfect laid-back beach hotel for us in Mykonos. As we looked into all they had to offer it sealed the deal that this was where we would stay. I reached out to them and they agreed to partner with us for the Mykonos leg of our trip (thank you Rocabella!) and man oh man they did NOT disappoint!

Rocabella Mykonos Hotel

TIP: Rocabella Mykonos provided one free (large) bottle of water for each day of our stay which was AWESOME. Not everywhere we stayed did this, and since you can’t drink the tap water on the islands it can get pretty pricey to buy bottled water everywhere! If you stay somewhere that doesn’t offer complimentary drinking water, I’d recommend finding a market and buying a small case of bottled water to keep at your hotel and take with you to the beaches and when exploring! 

  • ROOMS: We booked the “Front Sea View Suite With Outdoor Spa Bath” and holy moly it was more incredible than the photos! Many of the staff members told us this was their favorite room too. It was basically it’s own private “wing” of the hotel, and jutted out over the pool area with a full sea view. We loved leaving the curtains open and the windows cracked. This allowed us to take in the cool breeze and wake up to light pouring in as the sun rose high in above the sea. The room was spacious and clean and has a private terrace with an outdoor hot tub, set back a bit for privacy. There was a coffee maker, stocked mini fridge and a Marshall speaker which we used often to play music while getting ready!
  • AMENITIES: Rocabella’s amenities are unmatched (trust me I know because I looked at a zillion places before we decided on Rocabella haha). They have a free shuttle (we did tip our driver each day) which can take you around the island wherever you want to go. We took it into Mykonos town each day and they arranged our complimentary transfer from our ferry boat upon arrival, and to the airport when departing. I can’t say enough good things about our driver, George. He was our only driver the entire time and he was AWESOME. He was super friendly (a Chicago Bulls fan!) and he gave us recommendations and safety tips for exploring the island. The hotel has a full spa menu, we each got a Greek massage which used Greek olive oil rather than the generic massage oils used elsewhere. The masseuse said to leave it on as long as possible, so we did ours in the evening, then had dinner and went to bed to let the oil soak in. My skin felt SO soft the next day! 10/10 recommend! They also offer a Mini Picnic Basket service, which they can organize for you anywhere you’d like (think your private terrace or a local beach)! They have complimentary bikes you can use around Mykonos as well as a small gym if you want to get a workout in while you’re there.

Rocabella Mykonos Hotel

TIP: Take advantage of the pool bar too! We started there before each day and each meal to grab a delicious cocktail by the BEAUTIFUL pool. We also stopped there multiple times for a Greek coffee or a cappuccino!

  • BREAKFAST: The complimentary breakfast here is INSANE. In the United States, free hotel breakfast is powder eggs, McDonald’s quality bacon and make it yourself waffles. At Rocabella it is an endless buffet including, Greek yogurt with all the fixins’, fresh fruit, fresh baked bread and delicious pastries. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! You then get to order anything (or everything) from their breakfast menu, all complimentary! This included things like fresh baked goat cheese, Saganaki eggs, pancakes and Greek eggs benedict! Basically, if you stay here, don’t plan on getting breakfast anywhere else because you won’t need or want to!
  • DINNER: You MUST dine at ReeZa, whether you stay at Rocabella or not. It is rated #1 on TripAdvisor and we can attest to the fact that it was the best meal we had in Mykonos! We decided to order ala carte instead of doing one of the tasting menus. Kyle and I were blown away by how good everything was! We went with some of our server’s recommendations on some of the items because we wanted what was most popular but also what was closer to traditional Greek dishes. The appetizer called “Crab” (or “the crabby” according to our waiter haha) was the highlight of our dinner. It was so fresh and so different than anything we have ever had!

TIP: They also offer private dinners, Greek Wine Tastings and even Cooking Lessons! While we ran out of time to take advantage of these, they are too fun of options for me to leave out of my Mykonos travel guide!

  • CONCIERGE: Alright I already mentioned how our driver was incredible, and the rest of the hotel staff was amazing as well! The front desk, our masseuse, the servers and bartender were all super friendly and fun! The front desk gals had us download WhatsApp on our phones and put their number in so we could communicate via text if we needed something! This was SUCH a good idea because not everyone wants to use their minutes/data while in another country. The folks up front will arrange your transfers, make dining reservations for you and even arranged a company to bring a four wheeler to the hotel one of the days when we wanted to rent a quad!

Rocabella Complimentary Breakfast

EAT/DRINK

TIP: Unlike the States, the server won’t just bring you your check- you have to ask for it. If there is still food on your plate especially, you will need to let them know you are finished and would like to pay. Also, often times they would just start to swipe without allowing you to add tip. One server told us they feel it is rude or tacky to ask if you’d like to add tip. 9 times out of 10 there will NOT be a tip line when you get your receipt. So when you get your bill, decide how much tip you’d like to add and then let your server know BEFORE they even swipe the card.

  • REEZA RESTAURANT (ROCABELLA HOTEL): Hands down, best meal we had in Mykonos.Hotel restaurant at Rocabella, (see above under STAY-DINING for my review)!
  • PASTA FRESCA BARKIA (BARKIA, MYKONOS TOWN)We happened upon this place by chance. Mykonos is much like a labyrinth haha. So after 45 mins of walking around trying to find the restaurant we were originally going to (and passing the same things twice haha) we ended up passing the incredible display of fresh housemade pastas outside of Pasta Fresca Barkia! We couldn’t resist so we messaged our hotel to cancel our reservation at Nice N Easy, and we settled in to a table on the cobblestone streets and ordered a much needed bottle of wine. This place was a VERY close second for the best meal we ate in Mykonos. In fact, I would maybe say it was a tie considering this was Italian pastas which differ greatly from the carefully plated Greek dishes we had at ReeZa.
  • LIMNIOS TAVERN (AG. STEFANOS): Our lovely driver George recommended Limnios, so we walked up the white staircase to this local joint and it was most excellent! We were definitely the only tourists there which only added to its hometown appeal. Here we had the BEST Greek Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and the best Moussaka dish that we had in all of Greece!
  • KUZINA (ORNOS BEACH)This was the bar/restaurant that we rented chairs from while at Ornos Beach. The chairs were relatively cheap and the drinks were really good! We ordered mini souvlaki and the famous fresh fries from Naxos island. I have to say this was the best souvlaki we had on the island and the fries were double crispy and delicious! You can eat on the beach like we did, or there are tables in the open-air restaurant. We heard rave reviews about the sushi too!
  • PEPPER (MYKONOS TOWN)We set out to find souvlaki or gyros in the town of Mykonos when we came across Pepper. The atmosphere was very laid back and the interior reminded us of something we would see in a hip downtown Chicago joint! We both had a mixture of pork and chicken souvlaki and fries. My favorite part of this meal was their “special sauce”. This sauce was not the traditional tzatziki that you would normally get with souvlaki, so I would recommend getting both to try!
  • NICE N EASY: This place came recommended by almost everyone we talked to. We actually made a reservation here and then couldn’t find it! Haha (which was how we ended up at the aforementioned pasta joint). I would however, recommend going there if you can since so many people mentioned it to us!

Pasta Fresca Barkia

PASTA FRESKA BARKIA

 

Limnios Tavern Mykonos

LIMNIOS TAVERN

 

KUZINA Ornos Beach, Mykonos

KUZINA ORNOS BEACH

BEACHES

TIP: Bring some snorkeling gear! This was the one thing I wish we had thought of. The water everywhere is SO clear you can see for days! There are fish and coral even when you’re just waist deep. Unless you’re an avid snorkeler, I’d recommend you just buy a cheap mask and snorkel that you don’t mind pitching at the end of your trip to make room for souvenirs!

  • AGIOS STEFANOS BEACH: This is a quaint and BEAUTIFUL beach that was super close to Rocabella. We actually walked down to this beach and took two glasses and some beer we bought in Santorini with us. Once we were all out, Kyle walked up to a bar on the roadside to grab us some cold Mythos beers! If you visit during peak season, there is actually a bar/restaurant on this beach. However, it was closed while we were there, which was kind of nice because there were only a few other couples on the beach with us! The water was a little chilly, but was too beautiful and clear to not get into.
  • ORNOS BEACH: We rented an ATV to get here which was fun during the day and seemingly more dangerous after the sun had set haha. This beach is touted as the least windy beach in Mykonos because of how it is tucked back into the island. We rented chairs here and while there were way more people here than at Ag. Stefanos Beach, it definitely wasn’t crowded like I’m sure it gets in the summer months. I liked this beach and it’s views the best, although the aforementioned was more private and romantic.

 Ag. Stefanos Beach

AGIOS STEFANOS BEACH

 

Ornos Beach Mykonos

ORNOS BEACH

EXPLORE

TIP: Wear comfortable shoes. I ended up not even packing heels and I’m SO glad I didn’t. There is SO much walking (everywhere we went in Greece) and the streets are mostly uneven cobblestone streets. I have an entire post coming, dedicated to what to wear in Greece in October coming your way so check back soon!

  • ATV’S/QUADS: We rented an ATV one day while in Mykonos. Our hotel arranged it so that we didn’t have to travel anywhere to book one which was awesome! The guy showed up with our quad at the time we requested, gave us a quick lesson (none of which I actually understood haha) and we set off to Ornos Beach! We didn’t dare rent anything in Santorini because the driving there is INSANE. Mykonos seemed less busy so it was a great opportunity and I’d highly recommend it! Kyle did all the driving but he said it was easy enough and I sure enjoyed cruising around, taking in the views!
  • BOUTIQUES: There are endless shops and boutiques along the white-washed walls and blue doors of Mykonos! Everything from swimwear, to graphic tees with ridiculous party sayings/slogans on them, to fine jewelry and one-of-a-kind Mykonos souvenirs! Make time to stop in to whatever interests you while you’re exploring Mykonos town.
  • WINDMILLS: Many recommended that we watch the sunset from the famous 16th century Mykonos windmills. We didn’t end up doing that but I would definitely recommend at least visiting them while on the island, even if it’s not during sunset!
  • SUNSETS: You can watch the sunset from almost anywhere on the island (including your hotel if you stay at Rocabella). I would recommend at least one night watching it from 180°Sunset Bar. Get there early (like right when they open) because it’s limited seating! The view is incredible and the vibe is very upscale boho beachy. My only gripe was that they had the DJ booth set up in the center of the sunset view. So it seemed silly to watch the sun slowly set behind a dude in headphones bobbing his head to his beats haha. They have small bites and the drinks are waaay pricier than they should be, but it’s worth experiencing at least one night! We only had one drink, watched the sunset under the complimentary blankets, and then left to have dinner. FYI at 9:00pm it turns into quite the party scene if that’s your jam!

Things to do in Mykonos180 Sunset Bar Mykonos 180 Sunset Bar Mykonos

 

THE SWIMSUITS

I mean I can’t NOT share what I wore in Mykonos even if it was limited to mostly swimsuits and coverups! I’ve linked the exact pieces if they are still in stock, or very similar items below under “shop the look”!

Mykonos Swimsuits

 

Well that concludes my Mykonos travel guide! I hope you enjoyed hearing all about what we did on the island for our honeymoon! If you’ve been to Mykonos be sure to leave your recommendations below for anyone else who is planning a trip!

SHOP THE LOOK!

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