A look at two unique places where visitors to Loutraki can sunbathe, swim and enjoy beautiful scenery within a 20 kilometer drive of the city
Encircled by pine forests, Vouliagmeni Lake is a salt-water lagoon where visitors can swim and sunbathe on sandy beaches and enjoy refreshments at tavernas along the shore.
At the Sanctuary of Hera, visitors can explore an archaeological site, swim and cliff jump at a small beach below the ruins, then watch the sunset from a 125-year-old stone lighthouse perched high above the Gulf of Corinth
Into the Corinthian countryside: Sunshine, light clouds and temperatures in the mid-20s Celsius prevailed on our first full day in Loutraki in May. It was perfect weather for a drive through the Gulf of Corinth countryside to visit two of the area’s noteworthy attractions, Vouliagmeni Lake and the Sanctuary of Hera.
First stop was Vouliagmeni Lake, about 15 kilometers from the city. (Like many places in Greece, it is known and referred to by a variety of names, including Limni Vouliagmeni, Lake Ireon, the Heraion Lagoon, and the Blue Lake. To add to possible confusion, there’s another beautiful body of water named Vouliagmeni Lake that is also well-known by Greeks and tourists alike; that one is situated on the Athens Riviera.)
Surrounded by pine tree forests, rolling hills and steep rock slopes, the Vouliagmeni near Loutraki is an oblong-shaped salt-water lagoon connected to the Gulf of Corinth by a narrow channel. The lake is roughly two kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide, and its waters reach depths up to 40 meters. With sandy beaches extending across shallow stretches of its shore, and several tavernas and beach cafes located at varying points on the lakefront, it’s quite a popular daytrip destination for people seeking relaxation or fun in the summer sun — seasonal activities such as snorkeling, water skiing and wakeboarding, as well as cycling and hiking tours, are available at the lake.
Surprisingly, few other people were around when we were there, though that may have been because it was a Tuesday morning, and since we spent most of our time walking around and sitting in the sun on the northeast shore, near Taverna Hera, one of the lake’s handful of restaurant venues. There may have been more people at beachfronts on the southwest shore around Ypanema Seaside Food & Drink, or near the picturesque blue and white waterside chapel dedicated to Agios Nikolaos. Still, there was barely any traffic in the area, so it was remarkably quiet.
Above, photos we shot from the lakeside near Taverna Hera
Above, three views from the lake’s north shore
Above, two photos of the charming Agios Nikolaos chapel on the shore of Vouliagmeni Lake. The images were shared on the social media pages for Ypanema Food and Drinks, one of the lake’s top beach venues. More photos of the lake and the restaurant’s beachfront facilities can be seen on the @ypanemaloutraki page on Instagram.
This aerial film by Dronetube_GR runs nearly 4 minutes and tours viewers above the lake, its beaches and the channel to the gulf
Please click on the link below to read about our visit to the Sanctuary of Hera on page 2.
With its exceptionally long beachfront and lovely pedestrian promenade, plus expansive views of mountains and the Gulf of Corinth, the small city of Loutraki proved to be an ideal place for us to shake off jet lag at the beginning of our trip to Greece in May 2022.
How we discovered that the coastal city of Loutraki is a great base for travellers planning to explore the Corinth and Peloponnese regions of Greece
Somewhere out of Athens: While we were thrilled to be going back to Greece for our first trip in three years, we were almost dreading our flight to Athens in May. Local news reports kept showing long, queues of frustrated passengers waiting at understaffed check-in counters and security checkpoints in Toronto’s Pearson Airport, which was making international headlines for its record-high rates of flight delays and cancellations.
As if getting to the airport more than three hours before departure wasn’t bad enough, we certainly weren’t looking forward to the 9.5-hour overnight flight in cramped economy class seats, either. Though we were fully vaxxed with Covid shots, we wondered how we would manage wearing face masks and sitting mere inches from other people for such a long time. (Masking would be mandatory from the moment we walked into the Toronto terminal until the second we stepped out of Athens International Airport).
And then, of course, we would have to cope with jet lag fatigue and lethargy as we adjusted to the 7-hour time difference for a few days after arrival.
With so many unpleasant hurdles to overcome just to get off the ground and across the Atlantic, we didn’t want to stay in busy, bustling Athens at the beginning of our holiday. We simply weren’t ready to deal with crowds, noise and traffic congestion, and would have to find somewhere less frenetic. But where could we ease into vacation mode and shake off the jet lag before our scheduled flight to Karpathos island three days later?
Ideally, it would be a place on the seaside with great scenery (bonus points for mountain and sunset views); parks or walking paths; a wide selection of restaurants and cafes close to our hotel; and interesting historic sites or scenic outdoor areas we could visit on short daytrips. The Athens Riviera ticked most of the boxes, but we had already stayed in Glyfada, Voula and Sounion numerous times, and wanted to experience something different.
Loutraki came to mind, and seemed even more appealing when I did some research. When I mentioned it to an Athens friend who knows our travel style and preferences quite well, she agreed that Loutraki would be a good choice. What’s more, she could join us for those three days, even picking us up at Athens airport and driving us back there for our island flight. That settled it — we were going to Loutraki!
This 5-minute video from Visit Loutraki shows aerial views of the city, and profiles some of the highlight attractions in the mountains and coastal areas nearby
A small city with about 12,000 residents, Loutraki is located in the Peloponnese, on the southeastern coast of the Gulf of Corinth. It’s just over an hour (80 miles) from Athens, so it would be a relatively short and tolerable trip from the airport following our long flight. It looked inviting in pictures and videos, and sounded good in descriptions on travel blogs and websites. Once we got there, however, it was even better than we had expected.
To our delight, Loutraki offered a lot for us to love:
♦ a coastal location boasting miles of waterfront, much of it lined with beaches and pedestrian walkways
♦ impressive views of mountains and the gleaming waters of the Gulf of Corinth
♦ dozens of restaurants, cafes and bars for all budgets
♦ extensive options for hotel and private rental accommodations,
♦ close proximity to important historic sites and amazing natural attractions to visit on short outings or daytrips, and
♦ lots of other places and things to see and do, including a renowned thermal spa and a casino.
Best of all, it was a perfect place us to overcome jet lag, since the seaside paths and daytrips to nearby historic sites enabled us to take long walks in fresh air and sunshine — something travel experts strongly recommend for adjusting to new time zones.
There was really only one thing we didn’t like, and that was our schedule — with only two full days and three nights at our disposal, our visit ended quickly, and we couldn’t see and do as much in Loutraki as we would have liked.
On our first full day in Loutraki, we drove to see one of the area’s most popular natural attractions, Vouliagmeni Lake (upper photo), along with the beautiful archaeological and historic site nearby, the Heraion of Perachora (the Sanctuary of the Goddess Hera)
On our second full day, we wandered around the massive Acrocorinth Castle (upper photo) and the archaeological site of Ancient Corinth
If you’re interested in learning more about Loutraki as a holiday or daytrip destination, check out Visit Loutraki, the official web portal for the Loutraki Tourism Organization. The website is packed with information about accommodations, dining, nightlife, sports and other activities, religious and historic sites, nearby beaches and much more. There’s also a Visit Loutraki page on Facebook, and more than 1,590 photos on the Instagram profile @visitloutraki.
To see a series of photos from our time in Loutraki, please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2.
Two of the places we loved on Karpathos were the villages of Finiki (top image) and Arkasa, both situated on the island’s scenic southwestern coast.
Photos from Corinth, Karpathos and Attica: Sometimes travel doesn’t happen as planned, or doesn’t happen at all. Holidays were ruined for thousands of people around the world this year because of flight cancellations and airport delays, lost luggage, extreme weather, Covid infections and other unanticipated events.
For us, a long-awaited trip to Greece — our first vacation in three years — had to be cut short when I sustained a severe injury in a fall just hours after we arrived on Karpathos in early May. What was supposed to be a carefree 5-week holiday was turned into a nightmarish experience by a split-second walking accident.
Instead of sightseeing, swimming and chilling out on beautiful beaches, I spent two days in the island’s small hospital, frustrated and stressed out from phone calls with travel insurance company personnel who wouldn’t help me secure medical treatment. And rather than enjoying the lovely hotels we had reserved, and exploring scenic mountain villages, I was scrambling to cancel reservations and hastily re-arrange transportation so I could get home quickly for surgery. The Greek holiday that was supposed to give us a mental break from the doom and gloom of the Covid pandemic turned into an unexpected trip to a Canadian operating room, followed by a painful recovery period and months of grueling physiotherapy.
Our holiday disaster is a long, complicated tale I might tell another time. It’s also the reason I haven’t added any new posts to this blog in more than seven months.
And while my story still isn’t finished, it does have a happy chapter: When doctors and physiotherapists gave me the go-ahead to travel, we booked a last-minute trip back to Greece in late September. This time, I’m pleased to report, our vacation was low-key and injury-free. It provided three weeks of rejuvenating rest and blissful relaxation at some of the places we didn’t get to see in May.
During our accident-shortened spring holiday, we visited the Loutraki and Corinth areas of the Peloponnese, and the town of Pigadia on Karpathos island. In late September, we went back to Karpathos for three weeks, then wrapped up our autumn getaway at the Porto Rafti seaside town near Athens before flying home.
A fishing boat tied to a pier in Loutraki, a town situated on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Corinth. We spent three nights here in May, finding it an excellent base for exploring the Corinth region of the Peloponnese.
The long golden-sand beach at Pigadia, the main port town on Karpathos island. We spent several nights in Pigadia in May, and again in October during our return trip to Karpathos.
A hilltop view of one of the bays at Porto Rafti, a picturesque seaside town in Attica near the Athens International Airport. We enjoyed three nights here at the end of our vacation in mid-October.
As always, we took plenty of pictures during our travels, and you can see dozens of them on our two main social media accounts:
I’m still posting additional photos several times a week, so you will discover new content if you check back regularly for updates. (You can view the images even if you don’t have your own Instagram or Facebook accounts, by the way.)
I’m currently busy working on some blog posts about our holiday destinations and experiences, and hope to publish those soon.
The rugged coast at Amoopi, a resort area on Karpathos. We were fascinated by the clear turquoise waters and intriguing rock formations, and loved discovering secluded coves as well as Amoopi’s organized sand and pebble beaches.
The colourful neoclassical mansions of Gialos port on Symi island provide a dramatic backdrop for singer Amanda Tenfjord and actor Nicolas Melachrinidis, seen in two screenshots from the music video for Die Together
Scenery to die for: The official music video for Die Together, Greece’s entry in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, has us wishing we could hop on a boat and sail to Symi.
The island’s port town, Gialos, plays a supporting role in the video, which stars singer Amanda Georgiadis Tenfjord and actor Nicolas Melachrinidis. But for us, the picturesque harbour and the Gialos hillsides lined with colourful neoclassical mansions were total scene-stealers, capturing our attention far more than the music and the video’s two performers.
Don’t read us wrong — we do like Amanda Tenfjord’s song. But the video’s background scenery is what really wows us. Watching the 3-minute film, we can’t help but imagine how breathtaking it must be to sail into Gialos and see the impressive surroundings in person. We hope we get that opportunity sometime.
The Eurovision Song Contest gets underway May 10 in Turin, Italy.
You can view the Die Together video below. To see more of Symi, scroll past the video to find direct links to several articles and island travel guides we have collected, as well as to a few Instagram accounts that feature wonderful photos of Symi sights and scenery.
Open now and coming soon: If you’re planning to visit Mykonos in 2022 and are wondering what places will be open this season, and when, we’ve got that information for you.
We have compiled a series of articles to spotlight what’s happening on Mykonos this year, including exciting new arrivals; opening dates for hotels, bars, nightclubs, beach clubs and restaurants; as well as a listing of top activities and attractions.
For those of you who have been to Mykonos before, this collection of posts will show you what’s new for 2022, along with opening dates for your favourite hangouts.
If you have never been to Mykonos and are planning on paying it a visit for the first time, our series of posts will give you a preview of where you’ll be able to eat, drink, party and play — and will give you ideas for potential places to stay during your holiday.
Tours, cooking classes, wine & beer tastings, fitness activities, outdoor entertainment and other things to do on Mykonos
Images from some popular Mykonos activity and tour providers, from top left: Mykonos Horseland; Mykonos Raceland go-kart center; Mykonos Kayak; Maria-Eleni Sfaellou from Bespoke Mykonos guided tours; a cooking class at Mykonos Spiti & Farm; Kite Mykonos; a Mykonos Phototour picture of the Armenistis lighthouse; Yummy Pedals e-bikes; animals at the Mykonos Spiti farm; kids on a horse riding lesson at IPPOS Mykonos.
Beyond the bars and beaches: Mykonos may be famous for its beaches, boutiques and nightlife, but there’s a lot more to do on the island than just sunbathe, swim, party or shop ’til you drop. Activities abound for visitors, whether they’re travelling solo, as a couple, with family or in a group — either visiting the island just for the day on a cruise stop, or staying on Mykonos for a few days or an extended holiday.
Want to go sightseeing? There’s a wide variety of guided tours available that will show you scenic off the main tourist path parts of the island either on foot, by bicycle, on horseback, or in a jeep or other vehicle.
Are you a foodie who’d like to take a cooking class, taste traditional Greek dishes, or learn about olive oil or cheese making? Or are you more interested in sampling local craft beer or wine, either at a craft brewery or local vineyard, or on a private scenic tour? There’s a number of tours focussed on food and wine, as well as specialized cooking classes and demonstrations, wine or beer tastings, and more.
Looking for fitness, fun outdoor activities or watersports? You can choose from kayaking; horseback riding; windsurfing, kitesurfing & boarding; yoga, pilates & other fitness classes; go-karting; and boat, sailboat and yacht tours and excursions galore.
If you’re a history and culture buff, the ruins and archaeological site of Delos island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — are a must-visit, and easily reached by boats that depart from a pier near the town hall in Mykonos Town. There’s several interesting museums, along with a municipal art gallery and a number of excellent private art galleries that showcase works by Greek and international artists.
And for evening entertainment, how about watching a movie under the stars at the Cine Manto outdoor cinema in the heart of Mykonos Town?
Below, and on page 2 of this post, we spotlight those and other top Mykonos attractions and activities:
A brand new arrival
As of July, Mykonos visitors can enjoy games of padel tennis at Padel Mykonos, a brand-new facility located in the Korfos area near Ornos beach. Padel, a sport that has rapidly been gaining popularity around the world, is a fun sports activity that can be enjoyed by families and people of all ages and abilities. The first padel courts open to the public on Mykonos, Padel Mykonos is open daily from 8 a.m. until midnight. Lessons with a qualified coach are available, while anyone who wants to give the sport a try is welcome to drop by. Court bookings can be made by phone to +30 6975532566; by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or by using the online reservation form on the Padel Mykonos website.
Guided tours, sightseeing excursions and day trips to other islands
The most popular partial day trip/tour excursion available on Mykonos is one of the daily boat trips to nearby Delos island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important and historic archaeological sites in all of Greece. (Admission to the site costs €8 per person, payable at the entrance gate.) Since the 1970s, the Mykonos-based family business Delos Tours has been operating boats that ferry tourists to Delos to explore the ancient ruins of what was once a thriving and wealthy cosmopolitan port city. From April until the end of October, the Delos Tours boats make daily return trips (weather conditions permitting), and visitors can either buy €22 per person tickets for just the boat transfer so they can see Delos at their own pace, or they can purchase €60 per person tickets for organized tours that include the boat trip, entrance to the site, and a guided tour of the ruins by a certified tourist guide. (Guided tours are free for children under 6 years old, and €30 for kids aged 6 to 12.) Full details of boat and guided tour schedules, and online ticket booking, are available on the Delos Tours website.
Operating for the past 27 years, Kyklomar Tours will resume its popular series of excursions and private tours this spring. Its City and Island Tours start on April 3, while its Jeep Safaris will begin on April 18. Tours to Delos island start May 2, Tinos island day trips on May 3, south coast boat cruises on May 21, and sunset cruises on May 22. A Wine & Culture tour can be booked anytime upon request. The company also offers transfer services. Full details of the tours, including start times, meeting points and prices, are outlined on the Kyklomar Tours website.
Open for bookings and requests throughout the year, Yummy Pedals began operating its guided bicycle and hiking tours on March 15. Yummy Pedals offers a variety of half- and full-day adventures for people of all ages and abilities, with excursions tailor-made for singles, couples, families, honeymooners, and cruise passengers. Romantic escapes and special events can be arranged, and electric bikes are available for booking.
A part of the Mykonian Spiti farm and cooking class business, Mykonos Excursions offers an extensive array of adventures and activities, including cooking demonstrations and classes; farm visits; hiking, walking and jeep tours; sunset and southern beach cruises; island tours; and even a day trip to Andros island. Their season started in March.
Again this year, Blue Lion Safari is offering its selection of private and semi-private specialized Jeep tours of Mykonos. The options include 5-hour private and semi-private morning tours and sunset tours through northern regions of Mykonos; a 10-hour full day private tour; and a special occasion private tour that will be customized to private a unique adventure experience on Mykonos. The tours include a meal and wine stop along the way. Maps and descriptions of the tour itineraries, along with contact information, are available on the Blue Lion Safari website.
Mykonos Photo Tour returns April 24, offering private island photo tours and photography shoots, location guides and travel coordination services hosted by its founder, Achim Eckhardt
Private guided tours on Mykonos are available now from licensed tour guide Maria-Eleni Sfaellou of Bespoke Mykonos. Starting on April 1, Maria-Eleni also will be available to provide guided tours at the Delos island archaeological site.
Food, beer and wine-focussed tours, classes and activities
One of the island’s best-known food and farm attractions, Mykonian Spiti & Farm hosts cooking classes and demonstrations, wine tastings, and tours of its farm. Located in the island’s Messaria district, Mykonian Spiti offers day and evening cooking classes hosted by Teta Fragedaki. The spiti’s other activities include wine tastings, traditional lunches and dinners, a farm bakery class with lunch, a farm barbecue, olive oil tasting, and a variety of experiences — ideal for children — on the farm.
A 5-acre property in the Maou area near Ano Mera, Rizes Folklore Farmstead offers guided tours of a re-created Chorio (traditional Myconian farmstead), including its house; chapel; vineyard, olive grove and vegetable garden; wine pressing vat; cheese workshop; folklore exhibitions; stable, dovecote and chicken coop; and a visit with the domestic farm animals. Cooking and bread baking classes also are offered. In addition, the farmstead has a popular restaurant where visitors can enjoy freshly-cooked traditional meals, including homemade pies, salads and spreads, and vegetable and meat dishes, all prepared according to Greek and Myconian recipes and techniques, and made primarily with local ingredients and products. On Sundays, Rizes presents live Greek folk music entertainment, and hosts party feasts to celebrate national holidays and important religious events. During winter, Rizes was open only on weekends, but since April 16 has been open every day from noon until 9 p.m.
April 1 is opening day for Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Winery, located in the Maou area near Ano Mera. Operated by the Asymomitis family, the farm offers daily free guided tours that show visitors its biodynamic cultivation and wine making techniques. The farm also hosts tastings of their wines and local products, and kids can meet and play with the farm’s four-legged residents.
The unique Tour in Mykonian Land experiences return on April 1. The two-hour guided tours of an estate in the Marathi area take visitors through an olive grove, vineyard and wine press facility, and conclude at the on-site taverna. There, guests are treated to traditional live music entertainment while they sample local food delicacies and some of the estate’s wines and olive oil.
Located in the Agios Lazaros area, Mykonos Farmers is a facility that specializes in the production of Mykonian cheeses (including the spicy Mykonos Kopanisti cheese) and other dairy products using traditional methods. Visitors are welcome to drop in for a tour of the facilities, and to sample the products. Mykonos Farmers also offers interactive cooking workshops that will introduce participants to cheese making, along with recipes to take home. Tours and workshops are available for large and small groups alike.
From May 15 to October 15, Anita Zachou of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting will again host her group tasting workshops every afternoon. Private tasting sessions, special event tasting parties, on-yacht sessions and children’s workshops also are available. Full details of the company’s tasting sessions and activities, as well as booking and contact information, are available on the Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting website.
Mykonos Brewing Company is the island’s first, and only, craft brewery, and makes the local Mikonu brand of beers. Located in the Argyraina area just outside Mykonos Town, the brewery is a complete brewhouse and taproom in an underground facility that once housed the island’s bowling alley. Visitors can advance book tours and tasting sessions, or can simply walk in to visit the taproom and sample the brews. The taproom has windows offering a view of the brewery production area, and “is a family friendly, pet friendly, snack friendly, board game friendly space with a bar and table seating area.” The taproom is open year-round; its hours of operation for the spring and summer are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Wine Society exclusive wine tastings return on April 1, along with other unique holiday experiences curated by Georgia and Stelios, co-owners of Your Concierge. Their company’s one-of-a-kind activities include a variety of walking tours (a morning excursion that includes a breakfast break; an evening tour that includes a stop for a cocktail, and another that features a beach picnic); a souvlaki cooking class; a Greek cocktail masterclass; and a fish meze picnic at a secret beach. Your Concierge also can create customized private tours and memorable activities for visitors celebrating special occasions. Their experiences can be scheduled for anytime between April 1 and October 31. Full descriptions and details of the various experiences can be found on the Mykonos Experiences page of the Your Concierge website.
Open-air movie entertainment
Cine Manto is an outdoor cinema located in a beautiful botanical garden oasis in the heart of Mykonos Town. Open from the beginning of June until the end of September, it presents a nightly roster of original release, first-run movies (usually in English, with Greek subtitles). Besides the nightly Hollywood entertainment, Cine Manto boasts a cafe-restaurant which operates from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, offering a unique, tree-shaded spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Mykonos and relax with a reasonably-priced breakfast, lunch or BBQ dinner meal and beverages. The garden also hosts special events as well as mosaic workshops and morning yoga classes offered by Sweat Vacay (you’ll find information about both of those activities on page 2 of that post.
Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where we profile fitness, sports and outdoor fun activities; cultural attractions and activities; and boat, sailboat and yacht tours and excursions.
With the arrival of autumn, the Greek Islands have moved into shoulder season — and even on busy Mykonos, the atmosphere has become much quieter, with a noticeably more chill and relaxed vibe than the frenetic and crowded party months of July and August.
As happens every September, clubs and restaurants gradually begin to close as the tourist crowds slowly thin out. The pace of closures picks up in early October and accelerates by mid-month. Sometimes businesses provide advance notice of their season finale parties or closing dates but, more often, venues shutter their doors with little or no prior announcement.
Below is a listing of popular beach clubs, nightclubs and restaurants that have already wrapped up their operations or that have announced their season-ending party celebrations.
On page 3 of this post, you can see our at-a-glance roundup of regular DJ shows, parties and live music events that took place on Mykonos this summer on each day of the week, along with some of the summer event calendars for major clubs including Alemagou, Cavo Paradiso, Ftelia Pacha, Sanctus, SantAnna, Super Paradise, The Sanctuary, Tropicana and Void. They will give you an idea of the events you might expect to find if you happen to visit Mykonos during 2023.
For listings of special one-time-only DJ or singer appearances, parties and other events, see our separate posts:
Mosaic is party central every night during Christmas Week 2022
Vegera will close out 2022 and ring in 2023 with parties on Friday December 30, Saturday the 31st, and Sunday January 1. DJ Simos Anastasopoulos will be on the decks for all three parties.
Velanos will be ringing in the New Year with a December 31 party featuring music by DJ Babis Lazos
DJs MaPet and Jerry will be on the decks for the New Year’s Eve Party at Mosaic on December 31
Appaloosa Restaurant & Bar has announced it will remain open during the holiday season from 7 p.m. daily (except Mondays and Tuesdays, when it will be closed).
Rizes Folklore Farmstead has announced that its restaurant will be open Saturdays and Sundays, from noon until 9 p.m., for the winter season
This fall, DJ Thanos Desypris will be playing “mainstream vibes” every night after 8 p.m. at Promenade
Beginning November 14, the Vegera Mykonos bar will be open only on Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. for drinks, music and dancing. Food won’t be available — the Vegera restaurant kitchen will be closed for the winter.
Paloma Bar will be open for Friday and Saturday night parties until December 18. After a Christmas and holiday break, the bar will re-open on January 13 2023.
Season closing events and announcements
Mykonos Brewing Company, makers of the island’s iconic Mikonu craft beer, will be closed for the holiday season starting on December 23. The brewery will reopen on January 4.
On December 18, Lovemeze restaurant in Ano Mera announced that it has permanently closed, after three years of operation
The Cook in Ano Mera will be taking a holiday break starting on December 16. The restaurant will re-open on January 16.
El Burro will hold its season closing party on Sunday December 11, with music by DJ Nick Sintilas
Sunday December 4 is season closing day for Apozouraki cafe in Ano Mera. The cafe says it will reopen in the new year “with many changes and many new surprises.”
Jayont Coffee Brunch & More in Ano Mera will celebrate the end of its first season with a closing party on Wednesday November 30. It won’t be closed for too long, though — Jayont says it plans to reopen on February 19 for the 2023 season.
Bistrot de Nicolas is serving its winter menu until November 26, when it will be closing for an extended break. Until the 26th, the restaurant will be open Tuesday through Saturday nights, from 6 p.m. until midnight.
To Maereio taverna posted this season closing announcement on its social media pages on November 9
Aperanto Galazio restaurant at Ornos beach announced the end of its season on November 8
Captain’s — Food for Sharing mezedopoleio opened for the final time this season on Sunday November 6. “The good times are taking a break. We’ll be back in early 2023,” the restaurant said in a season-closing post on its social media pages.
Photos from a few of the many restaurants on Mykonos, seen top row from left: Farina Cucina Italiana; Baboulas Ouzeri; Apaggio; Scorpios beach club; Sakis Grill House; Coffee Break; D’Angelos; Maizevelo; Branco; Byblos; Tasos Taverna; Coya Mykonos; Ceresio7
Tastes of the island: With its hundreds of snack bars, cafes and restaurants serving up fast food/street eats, fine dining/gourmet cuisine, and everything in between, Mykonos is a veritable paradise for food lovers. Visitors will find Greek, Italian and Mediterranean fare, including fresh fish and seafood, all around the island, along with French, Japanese, Mexican, Peruvian and other international cuisines, as well as vegan food.
The dining options are extensive, ranging from local family-owned tavernas to iconic high-end dining establishments known around the world. The restaurant roster includes places that have been welcoming visitors to Mykonos for decades, plus brand-new arrivals hoping their food and beverage selections will make an impression on the island’s vibrant hospitality scene.
In this post, we present an overview of places to eat that have already opened their doors or that have announced their opening dates for the 2022 travel season. We will be updating this post as we learn of additional restaurants that have started their seasons, so check back from time to time to see more.
Below, on this page, we profile the dining spots that have been operating for decades, and that have become beloved favourites for many Mykonos repeat visitors. We also spotlight the establishments along what we call “restaurant row” — the Akti Kampani harbourside promenade in Mykonos Town.
♦ Traditional Greek tavernas, grill houses and local restaurants
♦ Restaurants specializing in fish, seafood or sushi;
♦ Vegan, vegetarian and healthy food restaurants
♦ Places offering international cuisines;
♦ Breakfast and brunch hangouts;
♦ Italian and Mediterranean cuisine restaurants;
♦ Beach cafes and dining spots;
♦ Fine dining and gourmet restaurants;
♦ Fast food and street eats;
♦ Bakeries, creperies and coffee shops
Island icons, legends and long-timers
Below are snapshots of the island’s most enduring and legendary restaurants. Some are traditional Greek tavernas, several are beach tavernas, one is a renowned bistro that made its name blending traditional Greek dishes with classic French cooking, and another is a popular Italian ristorante. A few have been welcoming guests since the 1960s, while the others opened their doors in the early 1970s. During their collective decades of operation, they have seen hundreds of other restaurants come and go with the passing trends of their time. But these stalwarts have ensured that visitors and residents can still enjoy a piece of authentic, traditional Mykonos, something that has becoming increasingly difficult to find given all the rapid change and development on the island in recent years.
Family-owned and operated Nikolas Taverna has been a fixture at Agia Anna Paraga beach for the past 55 years. We took this photo during one of our lunch visits 10 years ago. Since then, the taverna has installed a new sign, and painted all its tables and chairs white, but the food is still delicious and the service remains excellent. It’s our favourite beach restaurant on Mykonos, and we recommend sitting at one of the tables on the sand for great views of the beach and bay while you dine. This year, Nikolas Taverna opened on April 15.
Situated on picturesque Nikiou Street in Mykonos Town, La Maison de Katrin has been a Mykonos fine dining institution since 1971. Operated by the Giziotis family, Katrin “marries traditional Greek recipes with French gourmet cooking, warm hospitality with elegant surroundings, luxurious top–quality ingredients with the simplicity of the Cyclades.” The bistro-style restauration is a favourite shooting location for photographers, and is one of the most-Instagrammed places on the island. This year, Katrin will hold its grand opening on April 16.
Located near Lakka Square in Mykonos Town, Marco Polo Taverna has been a popular go-to spot for fish, seafood and and reasonably-priced traditional Greek food since 1967. The taverna was founded by fisherman Marco and his wife, Maria, and named after Marco’s fishing boat, Marco Polo. The taverna is still a family business — today, it’s operated by the couple’s three children. This year Marco Polo Taverna opened its doors on April 8.
Tasos Taverna has been a popular lunch and dinner destination at Paraga beach since 1962. It has maintained its traditional Greek taverna focus and atmosphere even though newer trendy restaurants and clubs have arrived with contemporary menus of fine dining, sushi and expensive champagne to the beach. This year, Tasos opened on March 25.
Casa di Giorgio Ristorante has been serving Italian cuisine since 1970 at its Mitropoleos street location behind the Catholic Cathedral near Alefkandra Square in Mykonos Town. This year the restaurant opened its doors and patio on April 6.
For the past 55 years, family-run Kostantis restaurant and bar has been serving fresh fish and seafood, and Greek and Mediterranean cuisine “with cosmopolitan notes.” Located on Ornos beach, Kostantis started its season on April 15.
Kastro’s started as a bar in 1976, and later morphed into a restaurant, recently adding three private dining balconies that overlook the Little Venice seafront and offer superb sea and sunset views. For the past several years, the row of tables and benches in the narrow alley outside Kastro’s has been one of the most-photographed Mykonos sights on Instagram. Kastro’s opens this year on April 29.
It’s easy to spot Niko’s Taverna at Agia Moni Square, a short stroll from the harbour promenade — just look for the rows of tables with Niko’s signature red and white checked tablecloths clustered in the lane below red-domed Agios Nikolaos church. Niko’s has been serving traditional Greek food since 1976, and is one of the busiest tavernas on the island — it’s usually packed with customers.
Operating since 1975, Maria’s Traditional Myconian Restaurant is tucked into a quiet, plant-filled courtyard steps from the small harbour beach in Mykonos Town. Easiest way to reach Maria’s is to look for the narrow lane, lined with potted geraniums, that leads off the beach promenade — it will take you directly to the restaurant. Word is that Maria’s could be closing after this season or next year, so don’t miss the chance to enjoy a traditional meal here if you visit Mykonos in 2022. Editor’s update: In posts to its social media accounts, Maia’s announced that it permanently closed on September 20 after 47 years of business.
March 29 was opening day for Mourayio Cafe-Restaurant on Akti Kampani, the Mykonos Town harbour promenade. The family-owned taverna has been operating since 1976. Its specialties are grilled fish, calamari, octopus, shrimp and other seafood dishes, but the restaurant says it has long been renowned for its home-made sweets, too.
Located on the Akti Kampani restaurant row (more on that below), Bagoyias Gialos is often overlooked by visitors, especially cruise ship daytrippers, who typically flock to the larger, stylish and much more expensive restaurants that surround it. Since 1977, Cafe Gialos, as it’s also called, has been a longtime meeting place for Mykonos locals, who gather for coffee, conversation, delicious mezes and traditional Greek taverna fare, served at what are very reasonable prices by Mykonos standards. We’re told the breakfast omelet with Myconian sausage is a must-try.
A family-owned and -operated restaurant in the heart of Mykonos Town, Eva’s Garden has long been a favourite dining destination for new and repeat Mykonos visitors who enjoy the charming and romantic ambiance of its hidden courtyard garden terrace, dining room and veranda — as well as its delicious Greek food, seafood and other menu items. Eva’s Garden has been in business for 40 years, and this year it opens on April 29. You’ll find it at Goumenio Square, with another entrance (with outdoor seating) at the north end of Kalogera Street.
Restaurant row at the old harbour
Another Mykonos icon is the row of restaurants along Akti Kampani street, the long pedestrian promenade that curves along the shore of the Old Port harbour in Mykonos Town, from Manto Square to the Mykonos Town Hall and the iconic blue-domed fishermen’s chapel, Agios Nikolaos, at the dockside. The flagstone walkway is lined with places to eat and drink, including a couple of tavernas that have been in business for more than four decades each (Mourayio and Gialos, which we described in the previous section of this post), along with contemporary and fine-dining restaurants that arrived during the past decade. Most offer all-day dining, opening early in the morning to serve coffee and breakfast, and remaining open throughout the day for lunch, dinner and late-night drinks. Almost all serve Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, fish and seafood. Some become lively and festive party spots at night, with music played by in-house or special guest DJs. Here’s a look at the establishments along Mykonos Town’s busiest restaurant strip.
Mosaic MSC restaurant and bar, next to Manto Square, is open throughout the year. The MSC stands for “meat, sushi cocktails,” and the menu features an “eclectic but thoughtfully curated” mix of tastes and flavours from around the world. Last summer the restaurant regularly hosted live music entertainment by local singer Kelly Kaltsi, and during the winter Mosaic was a popular weekend party spot.
One of the newer harbourside eateries, Pelican restaurant, made its debut in the spring of 2020, just as the country’s tourism industry was reeling from the staggering drop in international travel during the first wave of the Covid pandemic. The restaurant has been resilient, though, and commenced its 2022 season on March 23. An all-day dining spot, Pelican is open for breakfast, and for lunch and dinner serves innovative Greek and Mediterranean dishes that offer “a culinary ride from every corner of Greece.”
A new arrival to Mykonos in the fall of 2020, the elegant Vento restaurant features “creative Italian cuisine” by chef Alsi Sinanaj. The restaurant serves breakfast each morning, and for lunch and dinner treats its guests to “a breezy taste of Italy” with fresh-made pasta, fresh fish and succulent meat. This year Vento started its season on March 15.
A new restaurant and bar arrival in 2021, Promenade Mykonos promised “a modern spin on old world traditional cuisine and stylish parties.” Since its re-opening on March 4 after a two-month winter break, the upscale restaurant has been one of the island’s most popular places to dine, drink, dance, and party. It season-opening night featured a live performance by singer Tilemachos Zeis , and since then Promenade has regularly hosted party events with music entertainment by special guest DJs.
Open throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks, Rouvera restaurant and bar has been in business more than 20 years. Its menu includes Greek, Mediterranean and vegan dishes, as well as meat, seafood and desserts. Rouvera started its season on March 28.
The all-day Bouboulo Fine Mykonian Cuisine arrived on the harbourside promenade in July 2020, the newest member of the nice n easy hospitality group, whose other Mykonos venues include the nice n easy and Spala restaurants on the Little Venice seafront, the SantAnna beach club at Paraga, and Olea Greek Cuisine at Kalafatis (formerly called Farm ‘n Sea). Bouboulo takes pride in its local and Greek cuisine, which is prepared with fresh ingredients sourced from small producers. Bouboulo held its season opening on March 24.
Raya is an all-day restaurant and bar offering “elegant dining by the sea,” with a focus on fine Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as sushi. Raya is open throughout the year.
Kazarma opened its doors in 1997 in a historic building which once was owned by Greek revolution heroine Manto Mavrogenous, who used the premises as an arsenal to store arms and munitions.Kazarma opens at 7 a.m. to serve hearty breakfasts, and its kitchen and bar remain open until at least 1 a.m. for late night snacks, meals and cocktails. The menu focusses on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine as well as fish and seafood. Following a brief winter holiday break, Kazarma re-opened on February 3 for this year’s tourist season.
Kadena restaurant is another all-day establishment, serving home-made Greek and Mediterranean dishes, salads, pastas, desserts and cocktails. Kadena opened for the season on March 15 this year.
Open for the past 7 years, Captain’s specializes in mezes — small plates of Greek and Mediterranean dishes that are perfect for sharing. The restaurant is open all day, and is popular for its selection of Greek wines and ouzo and local craft beers. This year, Captain’s commenced its season on March 5.
Stylish Vegera restaurant is easy to find — its harbourview patio is only steps away from Agios Nikolaos, the iconic blue-domed fisherman’s church that is a magnet for Instagrammers. The all-day restaurant and bar serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as coffees and cocktails. This year, Vegera held its opening day on March 4 and has been a popular weekend party destination, featuring music by special guest DJs.
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