Tag: Shirley Valentine

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.


Agios Ioannis beach view of Delos island

The view toward Delos and Rinia islands from a soft sand area near the middle of Agios Ioannis beach.  The beach surface varies from hard-packed smooth sand, to soft golden sand, to tiny pebbles and small stones mixed with sand.


Two distinct stretches of beach

Unlike most beaches on Mykonos, Agios Ioannis actually consists of two distinct beach segments, thanks to a rocky slope that juts into the sea beneath the 5-star Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort. This hill naturally divides the seashore into two separate beach areas — the main one to the north, and a shorter, narrower stretch to the south, below the Saint John Mykonos Resort, another premium 5-star hotel.

Both resorts have lounge chairs and umbrellas on the shores below their respective properties, for the exclusive use of their registered guests, but the beaches themselves are public spaces and anyone can stroll or spread a towel on the sand if they like. Just take care while climbing up and down the hill if you decide to check out the smaller beach below the Saint John Resort — it’s easy to slip on the sand and rocks.



Since so many people have been seeking information about the Shirley Valentine beach, I’m republishing some of my photos and videos here. Below are several photos I shot during my last two visits to Agios Ioannis, in May of 2011 and 2012, followed by links to my Agios Ioannis Flickr albums, two of my videoclips, as well as two Shirley Valentine movie trailers.

You can also read more about the Shirley Valentine beach in my July 7 2011 post.


Shirley Valentine beach

A view of the main (north) beach strip that most visitors see. It’s at the bottom of the beach access road, and has a small vehicle parking area right behind it.


Shirley Valentine beach

Another view of the main section of the Shirley Valentine beach, as seen from the hill that divides the shoreline into two different segments. The lounge chairs and umbrellas in the foreground are reserved for guests of the Mykonos Grand hotel.


Shirley Valentine sign

The beach taverna that starred in the Shirley Valentine movie is still there — but it has been transformed into Hippie Fish, a trendy, upscale restaurant with a sushi bar. This sign near the Hippie Fish entrance lets visitors know they’ve found the original movie filming location. This page on the restaurant website provides photos and information about the movie.


Hippie Fish restaurant

Hippie Fish has a huge, open-air terrace offering views of the beach, bay and beyond. Besides sushi, the restaurant serves Greek cuisine, as did the traditional taverna that occupied the space when Shirley Valentine was filmed here, but I don’t think you’ll find chips and eggs on the menu.


Shirley Valentine beach

A view of the narrower, southern stretch of Agios Ioannis beach, below the Saint John Mykonos luxury resort. I shot this pic from atop the rocky point that divides the shoreline in half.


Shirley Valentine beach

If you feel the urge to talk to a rock, you’ll find that the ones on the beach below the Saint John resort are the best listeners.


Manoulas Mykonos Beach Resort

Manoulas Mykonos Beach Resort, partway up the hill behind Agios Ioannis beach, is where some of the scenes from Shirley Valentine were filmed


This is a video I shot at Agios Ioannis beach in May 2012


This is a short video I shot at the beach in May 2011.


A trailer for the 1989 Shirley Valentine film, starring Pauline Collins


From YouTube, more scenes from the Shirley Valentine movie


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.


A visit to Agios Ioannis, the beach where the “Shirley Valentine” movie was filmed


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. [Editor’s update: Christo’s is now Pili Restaurant.} 




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.

As for the beach: it’s nicer than I had expected, though it does feel much smaller and narrower than most of the island’s other major beaches. I would go back if travelling in May, early June or September, but would probably avoid it during peak season since it looked like it could get crowded quickly. (When we were there, it was incredibly serene — perfect for relaxing.) And it’s really not as out of the way as I had thought — only about 4 km. The bus runs regularly (it made seven return trips per day in May) and cost only €1.60 each way. We’d actually like to stay in Ag. Ioannis on a future visit since it was such a quiet area. Maybe next year … 

Keep scrolling to view a series of photos we shot on our walk to Agios Ioannis, as well as the beachfront itself.  More photos from our hike can be viewed in the Mykonos 2011: Agios Ioannis album on the mygreecetravelblog.com Facebook page.


Agios Ioannis bay on Mykonos

Approaching Agios Ioannis bay on Mykonos from a road atop a nearby hillside


cactus on the hillside above Agios Ioannis bay Mykonos

Cactus on the hillside above Agios Ioannis bay


Agios Ioannis Bay on Mykonos

Overlooking the bay and Delos Island from the road to Ag. Ioannis


a blue domed church at Agios Ioannis Mykonos

A blue-domed church on the hillside above Agios Ioannis Bay


sign along the road to Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

Vegetation obscures most of this sign next to the road above the beach …

  Shirley Valentine sign above Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

… but a closer look confirms we’ve nearly reached “the Shirley Valentine beach”


sign for Ag Ioannis beach on Mykonos

A sign on the roadside points the way to the beach and Hippie Fish …


Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

… which are at the bottom of the road that forks to the left


Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

The beach road has views of Delos island and the turquoise waters in the bay


Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

The road ends at a parking lot right next to the beach

  road to Ag Ioannis beach on Mykonos

A look back up the long road that leads down the hillside

  the long road down the hill to Ag Ioannis beach on Mykonos

There’s a tall stone wall on one side of the road, and hotels on the other …


Manoulas Beach Hotel at Ag Ioannis beach on Mykonos

… including Manoulas Beach Hotel, the resort where some of the scenes from “Shirley Valentine” were filmed


Manoulas Beach Hotel at Ag Ioannis beach on Mykonos

One of the buildings at Manoulas Beach Hotel


Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

The parking lot next to Agios Ioannis beach

  Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

Beach umbrellas, turquoise water, and views of Delos island

  Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

Umbrellas casting shadows on the sandy beach

  Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

Looking to the right from the beach entrance beside the parking area


Christos taverna at Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

The entrance to Christo’s taverna, which overlooks the beach. {Editor’s note: Since this visit, Christo’s has closed and Pili Restaurant has occupied the location.]

  Waves washing ashore at Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

Waves washing ashore;  Ag. Ioannis is a mix of soft sand and pebbles


Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

Looking towards Delos island from a sandy section of the beach


Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

Waves sparkle under the bright afternoon sun


Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

Two red-domed churches and a fishing boat at the far right end of the bay


Two churches at  Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

A closer view of the two churches next to the bay


Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

Looking to the left from the beach entrance near the parking lot




Hippie Fish taverna at Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

Lounge chairs and umbrellas in front of Hippie Fish restaurant


Hippie Fish restaurant and bar at Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

“Shirley Valentine” sign at the Hippie Fish entrance


Hippie Fish taverna at Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

Lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach below Hippie Fish


Hippie Fish restaurant and bar at Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

Part of the view from our table on the Hippie Fish terrace

  Agios Ioannis beach on Mykonos

Hippie Fish offers food & beverage service  on the beach


Hippie Fish bar + taverna at Ag Ioannis beach Mykonos

A group sitting area on the shaded beachview terrace at Hippie Fish; that’s the top-rated Mykonos Grand luxury hotel on the hillside in the background


Hippie Fish Mykonos

A stretch of soft sand  below the Hippie Fish terrace


Hippie Fish Mykonos

Another view of the open-air terrace (the restaurant has an indoor section, too)


Donny B at Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos

Taking one last look at Agios Ioannis beach before catching the bus to town


hotel at Agios Ioannis Mykonos

The bus to Mykonos Town stops across the road from Panthea Residence (above), which offers studio accommodations overlooking Ag. Ioannis Bay


Ag Ioannis Mykonos bus stop

Bus service times are posted on a stone wall along the main road at the top of the hill above Ag. Ioannis beach. In mid-May, there were seven return buses per day.