Where to Play and Party on Mykonos!
From Paradise Beach to The Bars
There really are windmills in Mykonos.
Welcome to the world's adult playground. Mykonos is the Acropolis of PubClub destinations, a place where the afternoon scene exceeds the nightlife at many other destinations, where nights roll effortlessly into daybreak and where meeting people is as easy as seeing them.
If parents were truly interested in teaching their kids sex education, they would take them to Mykonos and let them observe the ancient process up close. The stuff written in the books happens here in the flesh.
Mykonos is Club Med without the choreography. It's nightlife is so active and the people so friendly, it's impossible not to become intoxicated from its lively atmosphere and, oh yes, the endless amounts of alcohol.
Learn your way through these narrow and confusing streets.
Mykonos Town looking out toward the harbor.
This is a small island, or at least what true PubClubbers see of it. In fact, one could blissfully survive here by sticking to a "Paradise Beach by day, Skandinavian Bar by night" routine. Mykonos is the most popular of all the Greek Islands, and is therefore its most crowded and expensive (at least when compared to other island destinations).
It has a fairly well-deserved reputation as one of the world's most popular gay hangouts. True, it is very accommodating for those individuals. However, for heterosexuals, shutting out Mykonos for this reason would be akin to casting aside San Francisco. Yes, there is an active gay scene, but unless one really seeks out such activities, that aspect of the island will scarcely be noticed.
And we must also note that while Mykonos is the adult party playground of Europe it is also ideal for couples, families and individuals seeking solace from the fast pace of life. There are many beaches and places to go that are so quiet and secluded, it is impossible to believe there is major raging happening on parts of the island.
Rooms to Let
Finding Accommodations is No Problem
There are plenty of people with clean rooms to let off the ferry.
Insist on a place adjacent to the port town (also known as Mykonos; don't say you want to stay in Mykonos because this could be interpreted to mean the island and have you located halfway across to nowhere). Be persistent; ask specifically how far a walk the room is to town. Any response longer than "5 minutes" is unacceptable.
PubClub always stays right in town at a lovely Greek apartment run by the lively Evangelia. It's capacity is just three people, so it doesn't work for big gropus, but it's as sweet as the owner. Sometimes, she can accommodate another person or two elsewhere (50-80 Euros). Evangelia can be faxed at 0289-26931.
Beach-lovers and super-budget travelers should consider Paradise Beach. It's sparse but livable, right on the sand (8 Euros a day in summer). It's a bit inconvenient for the in-town revelry but buses run until 4:30 a.m. (1 Euro). The bars at the beach also are holding more night parties to not only keep the backpackers at the beach but also to pull people from town. Clearly-marked vans provide transport from the ferry and airport.
Finding social activities on Mykonos is as easy as going to the beach. In fact, that's the place to start. The revelry starts late afternoon and goes until you decided to call it quits. It's not quite morning, noon and night, but more like afternoon, night and morning.
Mykonos By Day
Paradise Beach is Spring Break for Adults
This, folks is Where The World Goes to Party – Paradise Beach!
Follow Me To Paradise Beach. You will see this phrase on T-shirts and flyers, and they are words well heeded by serious revelers.
Paradise Beach is both a quiet, sleepy patch of sand and water and a seaside fraternity party. It has a pair of restaurants (go to the cafeteria because the fruit is refreshing, the Greek salad is fresh from a garden and the chicken soulvaki is very tasty), grainy sand, a few small thatched trees providing shade and topless bathers stretched out on rented lawn chairs (2.5 Euros).
Buses run every half-hour to and from town and water taxis come along every hour (what suffices for a bus station is at the far end of town; ask at the adjacent convenience store for the water taxi departure point).
Daredevils arrive by moped and dozens are lined up behind the beach. The roads from town are narrow, bumpy and steep. Considering the party the beach throws in the daytime, it's best to leave the driving to someone else. After alll, the bus is only a single Euro and while its SRO in summer, it's the best option. The station is at the edge of Mykonos town away from the port; buy the R/T tickets in advance at the adjacent mini-market.
Most people emerge from their nighttime den to Paradise in the early afternoon for some swimming, relaxing and the all-important power-napping. The beach offers limited recreational activities (jet skis, tubing, water skiing, even scuba diving). Put on a mask and fins but the snorkeling is not too exciting. The water temperature is in the 70s; – cool and refreshing!
At some point in the afternoon, the Tropicana Beach Bar – #1 in PubClub's rankings of World's Best Bars – starts sending out musical messages to beach-goers. At first, it's a subtle tap on the shoulder with some mellow tunes. Next it's more like an "okay, time to start gathering up your belongings" jab in the ribs. Finally, it's a sledgehammer to the head, an all-out techno blitz that forces people to either join the party or leave.
Not surprisingly, most choose to stay. With 16-ounce beers selling for 3 Euros and a feast of foreign travelers to meet, how can one resist? It doesn't take long for the party to crank into high gear. People jump up to dance on the bar, others wiggle in the sand and water and beer baths become common. It's what Paradise Beach is all about, what Mykonos is all about.
To keep things active, the Tropicana hires a few people to raise the party bar a few notches. Okay, they only get a few dozen Euros plus room and board, but think of the benefits! These "employees," male and female, dance on the bar, entice patrons with drinking challenges and often undress each other in a show that would cost a fortune to witness in a sex club. It's wild, it's wet and oh, so wonderful.
This continues until about sunset. The Sunrise Bar at the far end of the beach tries to compete with this scene, especially earlier in the day, but the real party is at the Tropicana.
About once a month in the summer, Paradise Beach hosts a Full Moon Party at night. Blow off all other forms of nightlife for this beachside bash. The other almost-nightly beach parties make a nice change of pace from the town; it's basically the same beach party under the stars. Look for flyers around town for information.
A beach alternative is Super Paradise Beach. Best accessible by water taxi, Super Paradise has a pool and a party, although the real action is at Paradise Beach. Contrary to the name, it is not super to Paradise. Super Paradise is the most popular beach destination among gays.
Sunset om Mykonos
Tavernas in the Venice Area Provide Romantic Viewing
The Caprice Bar is not as wild as Paradise Beach and sunset and that's fine for some people.
A classier way to spend sunset is at the Caprice Bar in town. Located in the Venice section of Mykonos, it is right on the water and offers a pastoral setting either inside or on tables outside right over rushing waves. Mykonos' famous windmills are just to the left, adding value to the view.
The cocktailing cost is higher than most other bars in town – 6-7 Euros for a beer – and the lively attitude inspires multiple trips to the bar. The fruit drinks and zesty margaritas for which it is famous are 8-9 Euros.
Caprice Bar has several archways, giving the impression of an open-air cave. The only problem – if you can call it that – is that the place is so cool, you may be tempted to stay there and blow off dinner and the evening nap. It is especially popular among the Greeks visiting the island.
A large, mostly mellow sunset/post-sunset crowd also gathers next door on the waterside tables at Gallaraki.
Once the sun settles, the people do not; from dusk until midnight, the town packed with hearty revelers.
Mykonos at Night – Bars and Nightclubs
Now The Real Partying Begins; But When Does it End?
The Skandianavian Bar is THE nighttime party place on Mykonos.
The party at Skandianavian Bar is what Mykonos nightlife is all about.
For the serious party people – and this involves just about everyone on Mykonos – the evening begins around 11 at the Skandinavian Bar and Disco. This is ranked as our #2 selection of the World's Best Bars. It's located in the middle of a highly-traveled pedestrian intersection and is THE social gathering spot of the entire Cyclades. This is the standard meeting place for hooking up with people you encountered at the beach and where everyone begins their nighttime partying.
Skandianavian Bar takes up an entire block and is comprised of two tiny open-air service bars, an elevated outdoor patio and a thumping disco. Cheap drinks (large beers for 4 Euros, cocktails for 6) and just about every shot imaginable plus a few that aren't) make this a haven of uninhibited fun. Stay outside for people-watching, bond with the bartenders inside for some serious drinking fun and head to the disco for sweat-soaked dancing.
After getting lubricated at the Skandi Bar, as it's called by longtime Mykonos party zealots, Celebrities is a good choice. The music is great, the employees energetic and it's a frenzy of fun. Opa! We keep thinking that Down Under, right around the corner from the Skandi Bar, will get back to at least part of it's old fury – it was once an incredibly crazy place – but it's mostly in a long lull. A couple dozen lively patrons and some good party tunes would liven up the place considerably.
Back up by the Caprice Bar (away from the port), authentic Greek music and dancing is played between dance sets at Mykonos Bar. Any Greeks not at Caprice are likely at Mykonos. Another great thing about the Mykonos Bar is that it also plays those fun party tunes, like the movie Grease theme. It's pounding and the flashing strobe lights create a dizzying head display (an effect accelerated, no doubt, by the previous party activities).
Across the small street is a hip lounge, Seargo, a good "break bar," meaning it's a place to recover the senses.
The nights out in Mykonos are wild and full of fun.
If you ever see these girls in Mykonos, well, you see what can happen.
In Mykonos, bartender love pouring shots.
The biggest dance club on the island is Space Bar, located near the bus station and the post office. It's a sister to the popular club in Athens and brings in people from all over the island looking to dance. With a capacity of about 1,000, it's one of the largest bars in all the Greek Isles. The music is non-stop techno. The cover is 10 Euros and so are the beers, but people come here to dance, not to drink. There are other clubs, one by the harbor that's like a Vegas lounge, but Space Bar gets the nod.
Mykonos also has a Hard Rock Cafe. It's far outside of town although pink shuttle buses depart every half-hour at the end of the port. The bar itself is a high-priced poolside outdoor dance club but it does have an awesome go-kart course out the back door of the hotel. It serves beers, plays techno and has a very challenging track.
Back in town, the bars shut down long after many of their patrons, which is about 4 a.m. Clubs stay open until 6 on weekends, though on Mykonos it's hard to tell one day of the week from another. Diehards then head down to the ferry dock to the bar that never closes. It is unofficially called the Port Bar (because it's at the port) and some refer to it as The Yacht Club, but it really has no name. It does, however, have great pizza and offers one final opportunity to meet your soulmate for the night. The bar is also very popular among gay men.
The Late-Night Alert
Watch Out for the "Mokes"
Mykonos – and all of Greece – is thankfully incredibly safe and free of crime. However, Mykonos can present challenges to small groups of girls in the wee hours.
One of the fun things about Mykonos is the never-ending party where all of a sudden it's 5, 6 or even 8 in the morning. But this can also pose problems for inebriated girls walking through town. On weekends, Greek males come in from Athens and other places and pray upon what they perceive are easy pick-up targets. And the drunker, the easier, they believe. They are as persistent as flies at a picnic and try and take girls to "private parties" or a late club. In Hawaii, these people are known as "mokes,"which means the punks on the outer islands. So ladies, use your common sense, keep some wits about you and be forceful. Eventually, they will give up the chase, like a lion giving up on a gazelle.
Dining in Mykonos
Where to Eat Great Meals in Town; Click Here for a Typical Greek Menu
In a town with taverns located side-by-side, Mykonos has many choices for food. Seafood and classic Greek dishes are specialities and some restaurants specialize in Italian food.
The easiest way to find a taverna is to check the menu and then see how many tables are taken. We will give a couple of our favorites. The best place for authentic Greek food is the large and ever-popular Niko's Tavern. Just in from the harbor, it's has daily specials (roasted lamb, fish, for example), seafood and pasta and Greek dishes, all for 5-10 Euros (and beers are just 2 Euros). For appetizers, the dolmades and in particular the humus are conversation-stopping delicious.
Mid-town is Kostas, which always has a crowd, and for good reason. Prices are 7-10 Euros and items like the lamb and roast pork are fantastic.
Restaurants charge a Euro "cover charge" to sit down (this includes silverware and bread) but tavernas by the water – especially along the harbor – bump this up to 4 Euros. These prices are supposed to be posted on the menu; if not, ask in advance.
Mykonos Sightseeing And Activities
See Post Party for all active adventures in Greece
Mopeds are okay for a one-day adventure on Mykonos. There's really not much to explore beyond that time frame.
Mopeds offer a chance to see remote areas of the island -- head out of town past the port, along the cliff and up the dirt road past the hotel. There's a taverna up there somewhere. It's illegal to ride the mopeds through town -- the streets are narrow and are almost exclusively reserved for foot traffic.
The island's only other village is Ano Mera, 7 km from Mykonos town. Quiet beaches, such as Plati-Yialos, are within easy reach of moped travel. Buses also go to these beaches.
There's also a small stretch of beach a 10-minute walk past the busy bus stop.
Here is one of Greece's great contradictions -- the islands offer the chance to be completely alone or in the middle of the world's wildest party. These seemingly impossible situations can change as quickly as one's mood, in either a few hours or days.
Walking around Mykonos town and shopping is a daytime or nighttime treasure. Jewelry -- particularly of dolphins, which represent love to the Greeks -- is a specialty. Bargaining for price reductions is part of the deal.
The seemingly million travel agencies offer day trips to Delos.. It's an extensive historical site containing, among other things, a temple to commemorate the birthplace of Apollo. For us, a trip to Delos is hardly worth passing up a day on Paradise Beach.
For a more detailed look at non-bar activities in Mykonos, check out the Beyond PubClubbing section of Greece.