Tag: Agios Ioannis

Mykonos: Amazing for all ages

Best of Mykonos ♥ – Greece 2016 is a short but sweet personal travel film that spotlights some of the gorgeous sights and scenery a couple and their young son enjoyed during a visit to Mykonos this spring

 

Age appropriate: Here’s a newly published video I’m sharing on the blog primarily for any parents out there who might be wondering: Should we take our kids to Mykonos?

Concerned by its well-established reputation as a “party island,” readers regularly ask me if Mykonos is suitable for families with toddlers, young kids and teens. These parents say they would love to visit the island, but they’re worried about exposing their kids to the drunken debauchery, street brawls and public sex they’ve heard about or seen on television shows like the What Happens in Kavos series on Britain’s Channel 4 several years ago.

Although Mykonos is justifiably famous for its adult-oriented attractions of restaurants, shopping and nightlife, the island does have attractions and activities suitable for people of all ages — and its popular party scene can easily be avoided.

 

 

True, Mykonos has a few beaches where celebrations can sometimes turn wild, crazy and salacious — Paradise, Super Paradise, Paraga and Psarou among them — but the parties usually don’t start until 4 p.m. That means mornings and early afternoons are ideal for families to enjoy the sun, sand, sea and sensational scenery at each of these picturesque beaches. Moreover, there’s plenty of “non-party” beaches that are perfect to take kids, including Platis Gialos, Ornos, Agios Stefanos, Kalo Livadi, Kalafatis, Agia Anna/Kalafatis and Agios Ioannis, some of which offer a variety of water sports activities in which children can participate.

And unless they take the kids on a midnight (or later) stroll through the labyrinthine streets of Mykonos Town, parents probably won’t even notice the night-time party scene at the dozens of bars and clubs scattered throughout the town center. (Families can avoid peak party season altogether — and peak crowds and prices — by travelling to Mykonos in late April, May, the first half of June or during September and early October.)

Getting back to the video, you’ll join the Pfeifer family — Vanessa and Ben, and their young boy, Vincent — as they experience picture postcard-perfect places like the Little Venice seafront and the charming lanes of Mykonos Town, as well as the impressive coastal scenery and stunning turquoise sea at Agios Ioannis (better known to many people around the world as “The Shirley Valentine beach”).

Ben is a professional photographer with Fotostudio Lichtecht in Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany, and his skills are on full display in the video as he captures beautiful scenes and images from around the island and at their accommodations, the luxurious Mykonos Grand Hotel at Agios Ioannis– one of the island’s top resorts.

The video is only three and a half minutes long, so it offers a rather quick glimpse of Mykonos. But besides highlighting some of its most popular attractions, I think it shows parents that Mykonos is a place their kids will be able to enjoy, too.

What’s new on Mykonos for summer 2016

~ updated on Monday September 5 2016 ~

 

Mykonos Town and harbourfront

Overlooking the Mykonos Town harbourfront from one of my favourite vantage points on a hill behind the Remezzo area of town

 

Boom town: Many of the tourists who visited Mykonos last summer must have been wondering why they didn’t see obvious signs of the economic crisis that has ravaged the country for more than five years.  

Seemingly unscathed by the financial problems that have plagued the rest of Greece, Mykonos was absolutely thriving in 2015, with more than 100 new travel-related businesses opening up on the island last summer alone. The unprecedented renovation and building boom saw the arrival of new hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and personal services, many of which were aimed at the island’s rapidly growing luxury travel market.

 

 

It would be hard to top 2015’s astounding array of brand-new businesses again this year, but recent announcements about more upcoming new openings suggest the resilient Mykonos economy is poised for even further prosperity and growth.

So far there have been announcements on social media to herald the imminent debut of several new restaurants, retail shops, beach clubs, hotels, bars and nightlife venues, while rumours abound that many more are in the works.

Please click on the link below to read about the new businesses that have opened or been announced so far. I will update this post regularly as I receive more information about the newcomers.

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Mykonos set for 2015 season with over 100 new places to eat, drink, shop, sleep and party

Cayenne Mykonos restaurant logo

Located at Tourlos, just a short walk from the New Port, Cayenne is among dozens of brand-new businesses on Mykonos this year. 

 

[Updated October 30 2015]

 “Crisis? What crisis?” That’s a question many regular visitors to Mykonos will probably ask when they see the more than 100 new and completely-renovated businesses that have opened on the island this year.

While Greece shudders through its sixth straight year of devastating economic turbulence,  Mykonos appears to be in a different world altogether, virtually unscathed from the recession that has ravaged the rest of the country.

Last year, the island enjoyed a record year for tourism — receiving more than 2 million visitors — and some longtime local residents told me they could not recall ever seeing the island as crowded and busy as it was during July and August. Hotels were filled to capacity, flotillas of luxury yachts were common sights at many beaches, and champagne flowed by the caseload at bars and restaurants across the island. As I reported in a July 16 2014 post, hotel rates reached higher levels, too, with the international online travel firm Trivago noting that prices had soared as much as 61% over the previous year.

 

 

International brands flocking to Mykonos

In anticipation that even more tourists with thick wallets will arrive in 2015, local and international companies have been pouring millions of Euros into the construction of new hotels, shops, bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as the renovation or upgrading of existing properties. Indeed, since late last autumn, Mykonos has been experiencing an unprecedented building boom as small armies of contractors swarmed around the island in a rush to finish dozens of projects. Global business brands flocked to the island in droves, scooping up any available real estate for their new Mykonos outlets.

With many of the new enterprises aimed at affluent travellers, Mykonos mayor Konstantinos Koukas has told local media he’s confident that the island is now well-poised to compete for a bigger share of the the world’s luxury travel market, and will successfully lure big spenders who usually flock to other Mediterranean hotspots like St Tropez, Monaco and Ibiza.

To see what’s new on Mykonos this year, please click on the convenient quick links below:

Click here for page 2 to read about new and newly-renovated restaurants in Mykonos Town,  Tourlos, and the Ano Mera area.

Click here for page 3, which describes  new and renovated beach restaurants, as well as the island’s two big new beach clubs, Monarch and Scorpios.

Click here for page 4, which highlights new and renovated nightlife venues in Mykonos Town, including bars, nightclubs, and shisha lounges; and

Click here for page 5, which introduces you to the island’s new spas, retail shopping establishments, and hotels.

 

Food Mall Mykonos image from the restaurants' Facebook page

More than two dozen new restaurants opened on Mykonos for 2015, and five of them can be found under one roof at the Food Mall Mykonos on the highway between Mykonos Town and Ano Mera.

 

Aerial view of Scorpios Mykonos

Widely recognized as the hippest new beach club on Mykonos for 2015, the Scorpios Beach Restaurant and Bar became one of the most popular places on the island within weeks of its opening in an “idyllic haven” on a peninsula between Paraga and Platis Gialos. 

 

Monarch Restaurant & Beach Club at Kalo Livadi Mykonos photo from its website

Another new beach club and restaurant is Monarch at Kalo Livadi, which boasts cuisine designed by a Michelin-starred chef, comfy beachfront lounge chairs, and occasional special events and big parties. 

 

Buddha-Bar Beach restaurant and bar at Santa Marina Resort Mykonos photo from the resort Facebook page

The world’s first Buddha-Bar Beach restaurant, bar and beach club opened on May 20 at the Santa Marina Resort at Ornos. 

 

Ling Ling Mykonos entrance

One of the most eagerly awaited new arrivals on Mykonos was Ling Ling, a Hakkasan-branded Cantonese fine dining restaurant and  uber-chic nightspot.  It opened in July in the premises that had been occupied for decades by the famous Philippi Garden Restaurant, which closed a few years ago after its owner died. 

 

Bonbonniere Mykonos nightclub

June 27 saw the launch of yet another new nightclub when Bonbonniere Mykonos threw its opening party in the ODE Mykonos club in the Tria Pigadia area of Mykonos Town. It’s a summer “pop up” version of the world-famous Bonbonniere club in London whose owner, Joe Fournier (wearing the white polo shirt) is pictured after signing a contract to bring Bonbonniere to the ODE space for the season.

 

Caprice Bar Mykonos photo from inmykonos dot com website

Mykonos residents and visitors weren’t just buzzing about new business openings this spring — people were also chatting about the abrupt closure of the enormously popular Caprice Bar (pictured above) and its surprise reopening a few weeks later as Caprice, a restaurant-bar located just a few doors down from its old place at Little Venice. 

 

Mykonos No 5 Villas luxury apartments photo from the hotel website

Mykonos No.5 Villas is one of the island’s newest hotels, offering a selection of seaview apartment residences, lofts and maisonettes in the Kanalia district 3.5 kilometers from Mykonos Town.

 

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Mykonos restaurants 2015

Roca Cookery Mykonos photo from the restaurant's Facebook page

The scenic Mykonos Town harbourfront is part of the panoramic view that guests can enjoy with their meals at Roca Cookery 

 

[Updated on September 18 2015]

 

Where to eat: Each year I receive scores of requests to offer restaurant recommendations for people planning to visit Mykonos. Since the 2015 travel season is officially underway with Holy Week celebrations for the Greek Orthodox Easter, it’s time for me to start rolling out my annual round-up of places to eat on Mykonos.

This is an informal “work in progress” list of Mykonos restaurants, cafés and tavernas that are either already open for business, or that have announced they will be opening within the next several weeks.

 

I will update this post regularly as I learn about more places that have opened their doors for the summer, so keep checking back for the latest restaurant additions. As of the latest update, this list includes more than 180 dining establishments.

Keep in mind that this is only a rough guide, and is by no means intended to be a comprehensive catalog of the myriad dining options available on Mykonos.  There are more than 400 places to eat on the island so, as a hobby blogger, I couldn’t possibly keep track of them all! But as you’ll quickly see from the listings, you never need to worry about going hungry on Mykonos — the island boasts a vast selection of restaurants ready to satisfy even the fussiest tastes and appetites.

For information about opening dates and special events for beach bars as well as clubs in Mykonos Town, see my post Mykonos beach parties, bar & club events for summer 2015.

 

Quick links to restaurants at specific parts of the island

I have arranged the restaurant descriptions and photos according to the establishments’ specific locations on Mykonos; for example, in/near Mykonos Town, at Ano Mera, at a beach or elsewhere on the island. For fast access to restaurant information, here are some quick links:

Click here for restaurants at Agia Anna (Kalafatis), Kalafatis, Agia Anna (Paraga), Agios Ioannis, Agios Sostis, Agios Stefanos, Tourlos, Agrari, Elia, Lia, Fokos and Ftelia;

Click here for restaurants in Mykonos Town and in nearby areas, including at Megali Ammos, near the airport, on the ring road above Mykonos Town, and on the road from Town to Ornos.

Click here for restaurants in Ano Mera, Kalo Livadi, Ornos, Panormos, Paradise, Paraga, Platis Gialos, Psarou and Super Paradise.

 

Nammos Mykonos

 A sea view of Nammos, the world-famous restaurant, bar and nightclub complex at trendy Psarou beach

 

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Going to Mykonos this summer? Check hotels now for early booking discounts & special offers

De.light Mykonos

The gorgeous seaview swimming pool at De.light Boutique Hotel looks oh-so-inviting in this photo from the hotel website. De.light is among numerous Mykonos resorts currently offering early booking deals for summer travel.

 

 

Reserve now: If you plan to visit Mykonos this summer, consider booking your accommodations as soon as possible to get a good deal on the price — and ensure you get to stay at the hotel of your choice.

On New Year’s Eve, a travel tip entitled 5 things smart travelers should do in January caught my eye on the Condé Nast Traveler magazine website.  Item #5 recommended reserving summer hotel rooms on Mykonos and Santorini now to take advantage of early-booking bargains.

The article quoted Leftheris Papageorgiou of St Paul Minnesota-based Hellenic Adventures as saying this is the time of year many hotels on the two hugely popular Cycladic islands offer special promotions. “Not only will you get your top pick of hotels, but you’ll get them at a reduced rate,” he said.

 

 

Mykonos popular on travel website searches

But there’s another good reason to reserve soon — rooms at your preferred hotel could sell out quickly. Mykonos recorded one of its best-ever years for tourism in 2014, and the island’s popularity could soar even higher this summer.

In fact, Mykonos ranked in the world’s top 5 travel destinations for 2015 in data analyzed by Skyscanner, one of the major travel search engines. Additionally, Skyscanner found that Mykonos was the #2 most-searched destination for Australians, and #3 for travellers in the United Kingdom. (People around the globe conduct more than 30 million searches per month on the travel site. Working with trend forecasting firms, Skyscanner studied its treasure trove of data to predict the top places in the world “to be and be seen in 2015.”)

And just a few days ago, The Huffington Post singled out Mykonos and Santorini when it ranked Greece #4 in its Top 15 International Destinations for 2015. “These magnificent islands are every bit as gorgeous, romantic, laid back, and fun as any place you can find on earth. There’s Mykonos for romance, Santorini for breathtaking beaches, Crete for natural wonders, and so much more to discover.” the Huffington Post explained.

 

 Mykonos Town

A view of Mykonos Town and its harbour area. The Skyscanner travel search website has predicted that Mykonos will be one of the world’s top 5 travel destinations in 2015.

 

Random search for bargains at Mykonos hotels

To see if early booking bargains are indeed available right now, I randomly checked websites for dozens of hotels on Mykonos (sorry, Santorini fans — I just didn’t have the time to check hotels on that island, too). I discovered that many sites don’t explicitly indicate if any special promotions are available at all, while several still advertise early booking deals for last year. Quite a few sites have banners or navigation menus promising “special offers,” but the links took me to blank pages or basic online booking forms that didn’t indicate rate reductions. Clearly, many hotels haven’t updated their webpages in a long time! But with tourist arrivals expected to be strong on Mykonos again this year, I’m sure many hotel proprietors won’t need to offer discounts to fill their rooms. Nevertheless, I did find deals for certain room categories or specific travel dates indicated on the websites for several popular hotels and resorts.

What follows is summary of promotions I discovered during my random survey, listed by island location. If you’re interested in a different resort on Mykonos or any other island, for that matter, carefully check their websites for mention of early booking bonuses. If you don’t see any deals advertised, email or telephone the hotel to inquire if any benefits are available if you book now. It never hurts to ask, and many Greek hotels will be pleased to provide discounts if you reserve directly with them rather than through one of the major online third-party booking agencies.

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2 of this post.

 

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New clubs open & July/August events announced as Mykonos summer party scene starts sizzling

Nova Club Mykonos

Promotional image for tonight’s (July 1 2014) grand opening of Nova, an exclusive new private members’ social club on Mykonos

 

[Editor’s update: This report has been updated with information about special events taking place during August 2014. Be sure to check my post Beach parties on Mykonos this summer for updates on August events taking place specifically at Mykonos beach clubs.]

 Summer sizzle: July 1 marks the start of the peak summer party season on Mykonos, and with two new club openings and a host of additional entertainment events just announced, the island is set to cement its reputation as one of the top party destinations in the Mediterranean.

Here’s a look at some of the parties and special performances that will be rocking Mykonos this month:

 Nova Club grand opening

July kicks off with opening celebrations for a new high-end social club and special event venue, Nova, which is located in the Lakka Square area of Mykonos Town. The exclusive private members’ club will be open from 23:00 (11 p.m.) every night and promises to offer “the highest class and sophistication.” The Nova Club Facebook page recommends “dressy” attire for guests, and says walk-ins are welcome, though table reservations can also be made by contacting the club.

Check the club’s Facebook page as well as the Nova Mykonos Twitter feed for further information.

 Nova Club Mykonos

This teaser image was posted on the Nova Mykonos Twitter feed to show “a little of what is yet to come” from the brand-new social club and special performance venue in the Lakka Square area of Mykonos Town

 Sass Cafe Monaco party

This image, from the events listing on the Nova Club Facebook page, promoted an August 4 party held in conjunction with Sass Cafe in Monaco. The sold-out event is among many special theme parties taking place at Nova this summer.

 Click on the 2 below to read about more special events and parties taking place at bars and clubs across Mykonos.

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Revisiting the Shirley Valentine beach on Mykonos

Shirley Valentine beach

The southern section of Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos, known the world over as “the Shirley Valentine beach” from the 1989 movie

 

By popular request: Ever since television networks in the U.K. and U.S.A. broadcast Shirley Valentine in late December, interest in the movie’s filming locations has literally exploded. Thousands of people around the world have come to MyGreeceTravelBlog searching for information about “the Shirley Valentine beach,” wondering exactly where it is and what it looks like today.

Its actual name is Agios Ioannis beach, and it’s situated in the Agios Ioannis Diakoftis area near the southwest tip of Mykonos island.

 

 

Nestled in one of the most scenic locations on Mykonos, Agios Ioannis offers superb views of nearby Delos and Rinia islands. As the legendary birthplace of the mythological Greek god Apollo, Delos is one of the most important archaeological and historical sites in all of Greece, and is recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

 

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Overlooking Agios Ioannis on Mykonos

Below is a brief video I shot from the main road leading into the Agios Ioannis beach resort area of Mykonos. Agios Ioannis is often called “the Shirley Valentine beach” because it is where many of the scenes from the 1989 movie were filmed. Agios Ioannis has great views of Delos and Rinia islands nearby. Descriptions and photos of the beach and area are included in Part 5 of my Mykonos 2012 trip report two posts below this one.

 

Videos of Agios Ioannis and Kapari beaches

Below are four videoclips I shot showing views of Kapari and Agios Ioannis beaches and their surrounding areas on Mykonos. Descriptions and photos of both beaches are provided in my Mykonos 2012 trip report directly below this post.

 

Views of Kapari bay and beach, as seen from the beach access road

 

 

 Views of Kapari beach and bay from the middle of the beach

 

 

 Views from the section of Agios Ioannis beach below the Saint John Mykonos Resort

 

 

2012 Greek holiday trip report: Mykonos Part 5

Windstar Wind Spirit cruise ship

Mighty masts: A view of the Windstar cruise yacht Wind Spirit anchored near the Mykonos Old Port on a clear, sunny morning May 20 2012. It was perfect weather for a day at the beach.

 

 

Sunday May 20 2012

 

Beach weather: May 20 brought us a beautiful bright and sunny morning and the promise of perfect weather for the beach. Since I had only two full days left on Mykonos, I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and spend my Sunday beach hopping. My destinations would be Kapari beach, which I had never been to before, followed by Agios Ioannis and Ornos beaches, which I had previously seen.

I walked from Hotel Tagoo to the Fabrica bus depot where I was one of only five people waiting to board the Ornos/Agios Ioannis bus. By comparison, there were at least two dozen people lined up for the bus to Paradise, and even more standing beside the one going to Platis Gialos. I took the lack of a similar lineup for my bus to indicate that the beaches I was about to visit might be exceptionally quiet. Maybe the limited bus service explained why more people weren’t going to the same places as me. At this time of May, there were only 8 return bus trips per day to Ornos/Agios Ioannis, with the last bus returning to Mykonos Town at 18:45. Although the last bus back to Town from Paradise was scheduled for 19:00, service from Platis Gialos continued until 21:00.

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Top 6 memories of my Mykonos holiday in 2012 — #4: Surf, sand & sun at more than 20 beaches

Paraga beach Mykonos

A view of Paraga beach in the foreground and Psarou beach in the distance at rear right. Not visible in between are Agia Anna and Platis Gialos beaches.

 

20 beaches: Locals tell me there are more than 60 beaches on Mykonos, some of which are situated in remote areas of the island that few tourists ever get to see. In all my visits to Mykonos to date, I have seen less than 30 beaches, which means there are still plenty more for me to discover on future holidays.

Last month, I got to see more than 20 different beaches, and actually spent awhile enjoying 17 of them.  I visited Kapari and Lia for the first time ever, and made return trips to several beaches I had not seen in a few years: Kalafatis, Elia, Super Paradise,  Psarou and Agios Stefanos.

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Hit the beach! A visit to Agios Ioannis, the beach immortalized in the “Shirley Valentine” movie

Agios Ioannis beach at Mykonos

A girl plays in the sand at Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos,  better known to many as the “Shirley Valentine beach.” Delos (left) and Rinia (right) are the two islands across the channel.

 

Shirley was here: Like millions of other people, I first “saw” Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos in the 1989 “Shirley Valentine” movie starring Oscar-nominated actress Pauline Collins. It only took me 22 years, but in May I finally got to see “the Shirley Valentine beach” with my own eyes (and camera). On previous visits to Mykonos I had seen almost all of the island’s major beaches, but just never managed to get over to Ag. Ioannis. It’s a bit out of the way, for one thing, and several people had told me it wasn’t worth a special trip (they said the beach was small, wasn’t very scenic, and didn’t have much to offer apart from several pricey hotels and a couple of tavernas). But after renting the “Shirley Valentine” DVD during the winter, I decided it was time to finally check it out this year. It is, after all, one of the most famous beaches on Mykonos.

My partner and I walked there from Mykonos Town (with a stop to check out Ornos beach along the way) on May 17, a sunny and breezy warm day. Surprisingly, hardly anybody was at Ag. Ioannis, even though the weather was great. I could count on two hands the total number of people on the entire beach that afternoon, though there were probably twice as many gazing at the sand, the sea and nearby Delos and Rinia islands from shaded patio terraces at two of the beachside tavernas — Christo’s and Hippie Fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our very long (and mainly uphill) hike from Ornos we needed a break from the hot sun, too, so after taking a few photos of the beach and surrounding area, we beelined for a shaded table at Hippie Fish. It just happens to be the very taverna where Shirley Valentine got a job in the movie, and there’s a sign right out front that boasts: “As seen in the movie ‘Shirley Valentine.'” Well, not quite. The place was called Sunset Taverna back in those days, and looked like a typical rustic Greek taverna. Now, as Hippie Fish, it sports a sophisticated white colour palette that gives the restaurant/bar a bright contemporary look and feel. Hippie Fish still serves dishes “inspired” by traditional Greek and Myconian cuisine, but in keeping with the times (and more likely the particular demands of international travellers staying at some of the expensive luxury hotels on the surrounding hillsides), it has added a sushi lounge. We only dropped in for a drink so I can’t tell you if the food is good (we didn’t look at a menu, so I can’t even say if the prices are reasonable), but we did enjoy relaxing on their patio, looking at the islands across the bay and watching waves wash against the sandy beach just a few meters below our table.

 

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