From Samos, we took the Ferry at 1:30 pm to Mykonos and arrived at 7 pm. We rode the Hellenic Seaways (50$) Yacht which was nicer than any Yacht I’ve ever been on. The first 2 floors are work area and the 3rd/4th-floor are savvy parking lots for cars and motorcycles. The 6th and 7th floor have sun decks where people could kick up chairs and lounge. Certain sections in the ferry are for VIP lounge, bars, restaurants, theatres with different movies/shows playing.
Day 1 in Mykonos: Searching for Fun in the wrong Places
The whole ferry trip was beautiful as we stopped off at least 3-4 other islands before reaching Mykonos for other passengers who’s destination it was to get off. It was like a mini-tour. After a short nap, we started exploring all around the cruise ship, through ever lounge possible. We arrived safe and sound to New Port in Mykonos (the main port) located in the western center of Mykonos. From there, we had expected dozens of locals soliciting us for a homestay, as we had heard from other friends, but we did not encounter that. So we hopped on a taxi and asked him to take us to Paradise, where we heard is the beach with the youngest best vibe for partying. He dropped us off at Paradise Beach Resort & Camping, seemingly the biggest accommodation that provided almost every style of hoteling one needed for the young budget traveler.
Paradise Beach is for the Young Backpackers
We asked for the cheapest which was 11 euros and he led us to a canopy style tent hut, which was way too small and dirty even for the standard that I’ve traveled upon. We asked for an upgrade which was 17 euros to a Bungalow. It seemed ok from the surface. We walked over to the beach and saw no more than 10 people there. The beach itself was pretty with neatly lined straw umbrellas and a few bars, though a small beach. We looked at one another and thought there was no way this was “the most fun part of Mykonos”. As we asked around, everyone said ‘Yes, this is Paradise.’ We had heard there were more people during the day and they had gone home to change to go back out, to either Paradise club or Cavo Paradiso which were the 2 biggest night clubs in Mykonos. We were still confused. Even with the lowest of standards, how could this be?
Literally everyone that was there was between 17-20 years young. It reminded me of a tacky Rosarito town we use to embark in back in College spring break, for an all-inclusive package of 150$. Mainly Americans, Canadians and Aussies.
We gave it a rest for now, and took a bus ride for 1.40 euros (1.70$) to Old Venice which is the ‘main city’. This is where all the fun restaurants, bars, shopping, and action is if you want to get anything done like the internet, bank, etc. We loved the vibe around town. So romantically lit. We found a fancy outdoor restaurant right along the water for dinner. I ordered a baby lamb dish. Marissa ordered fish soup and stuffed tomatoes. The food was OK but the ambiance was lovely. We walked around a bit more then decided to bus back to our Bungalow by 11 pm. The big much-promoted party at Paradise club which was right next to our hotel was to start in an hour at midnight. But we saw no appeal in it, so we decided to call it an early night and save our energy for the next day.
Throughout the night, we were awoken by the most annoying buzzing noise of a fly, and the uncontrollable itching of lord knows what bug. Perhaps bed bugs, mosquitos, spiders, who knows, but we couldn’t stop scratching. It was incredibly annoying. And it was moments right when we thought the itching or biting had stopped, that we’d then be awoken by that fly reaching near our face. When those 2 slowed down, obnoxious drunk college students stumbling back from the bars passing our rooms woke us up. It was the most uncomfortable sleep of our lives. When the sun finally rose, which seemed like decades, we finally were catching up on some sleep, when the only somewhat funny event of the night happened:
2 guys were walking outside the room obnoxiously loud as hell, and we hear from a neighboring bungalow “Shut up! We’re trying to sleep!’ The guys trying to be smart-asses, echos back ‘Who’s trying to sleep!?’ I shout out now “We’re trying to sleep!” And we hear one of them go “I think those were the girls trying to fight the bugs all night!”
Marissa & I must have been louder than we thought cussing and screaming and clapping the bugs off of us. We must have seemed like crazy ladies. hahaha.
Finally, in the morning we checked out and jetted the hell out of that shitshow island they call Paradise. Our hotel manager recommended we go down to Hotel Association by the Old Port for other rental options.
Day 2 in Mykonos: Hedonism at its Finest
After some heavy bumps in the road, we never let the spirit get us down. We arrived at the Hotel Association of Renters at Old Port and entered the room to a sweeter lady who asked us what we needed. We told her we prefer a homestay for 50 euros or less. She had the perfect one for us, showed us pictures, and we took it. Within 20 minutes, a friendly-faced lady in her 50s showed up in her minivan to pick us up to her house.
Where to Stay in Mykonos: Maganos Apartments
The house was more of an Apartment complex. Maganos Apartments is located in Paraga Beach, just west of Paradise beach but way quieter and with a more sophisticated crowd than the crazy backpackers. The buildings are painted in the typical Greek style: white base with the windows and doors painted blue. These beautiful small apartments were EXACTLY what we envisioned when searching for the best apartment to stay. Nestled on a hill, overlooking the beach. There is also a private pool area overlooking the ocean which is where breakfast is also served.
We took out all our luggage and made ourselves at home. Once settled in, we took a walk to Platis Gialos Beach, a favorite of mine with a young good looking crowd, but not so party-ish. A lot of young families with toddlers too. From there we bought a 5 euro round trip boat ride to Super Paradise, where the day party is.
Head to Super Paradise for the best Beach Day Parties!
After a gorgeous 30-minute boat ride in the crystal clear Mediterranean water and perfect weather, we arrived at Super Paradise. It was a bit quiet at first, but you could sense that the party was just about to start. Super Paradise is traditionally known to be the most gay-friendly beach, playing dance music hits from Madonna to Kylie which are favorites among the LGBTQ community. No one was nude as you’d see more in Spain or France, though most men were in speedos and women in thong bikinis.
We had some drinks on our own. Drink prices are overall rather cheap considering Super Paradise being such a hot trendy place. About 5 euros each. We laid out for a bit, the beach charging 6 euros a person for a sunbed.
A Chinese man walked over (as there were about half a dozen of Chinese workers on the beach) with a chart and asked if I wanted a massage for 30 euros an hour or 15 euros half-hour foot massage. I took the foot massage, partly because I needed it, but more so because of my curiosity about how he immigrated to Greece, particularly Mykonos. I spoke to him in Mandarin, hoping to gain some insight. He didn’t seem interested in sharing, but I gained enough curiosity to perform research after.
He said he had been in Greece for 9 years. Prior, in Italy for 2 years and 1 year in Yugoslavia before that in which he fled from Shanghai. I asked him why they fled, he said because of war. Though I cannot recall a war that happened in 1998.
More Partying at Tropicana Bar
Around 6 pm, after a small nap, we heard the music blast louder and we knew the beach party was starting at Tropicana Bar. As soon as we approached, we were befriended by the cheery gay men and were offered drinks left and right. We ended up spending no more than 10 euros the whole day. Most of these friendly men were all from Athens. Partying it up locally here in Mykonos. We didn’t end up finding out what they did for a living but they all seemed unaffected by their declining economy as we probably showed the same of ours in the US.
These days in Mykonos were some of the most Hedonistic days of my life, with the best music. I even took a short trip to the cafeteria for a Spaghetti Bolognese and I’ve never had better. (We would return many times for that plate of spaghetti) By 9 pm we were ready to head back and get ready to go back out. We waited by the boat stop for what seemed like forever and came to conclusions with the other fellow-passengers that it wasn’t coming. So we went to the taxi stop for a bit. Within 3 minutes, Marissa hops in this random car & waves me and this Argentinian solo traveler we met earlier in the day to get in.
Hitchhiking in Mykonos
The driver was a beautiful middle-aged Greek woman who was loud and had a friendly charisma. Since hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers is not common in the US, we were initially wary of why she took us in her car. She simply said she’d take us back since she was passing through and said we seemed like we needed a ride. We had great conversations with her in which we don’t really remember. When she dropped us off, she wouldn’t take our money and said: “hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow”. Thank you, angel.
We got back to our room by 10 pm and had the intention of taking a nap. Instead, we woke up at 9 am this morning with our clothes and light still on.
Day 3: Panormos Beach
We awoke at 9 am this morning, and put on our iPod to hear the songs stuck in our head. Jason Derulo “In my head” and Ludacris “Break your heart”. After the music woke us up, we got ready slowly and wandered down to Nicolas Restaurant again for brunch. I ordered the Octopus salad and Marissa had the boiled Beet salad. If I haven’t mentioned already, there are cats EVERYWHERE in Turkey & Greece! I asked why that was, and they said because they love cats. I love cats too. There are lizards everywhere as well, but I don’t love them at all.
We asked the hotel owner where the best beach in Mykonos was for a quieter time. She gave us a map of Mykonos and suggested Panormos Beach. Located on the Northern part of Mykonos, it’s on the exact opposite side of Paraga Beach (and Paradise) where we stayed. We hopped on our bright orange ATV and headed over. It only took about 30 minutes through the beautiful scenic route to arrive. And my, what a beautiful secluded beach it is!
Best Beach in Mykonos
Heaven. She was right on par with what we needed that afternoon! An exclusive quaint beach, with young good looking loving couples or honeymooners, and a few small groups of beautiful Athenians friends. I noticed that most vacationers (at least the time we went in June) were from Athens. They were either working in Mykonos during high season to bring home the dough or models here vacationing. I’m so glad we ventured away from the crowded popular beach into this smaller one. Out of all the places I’ve been in my life, nothing has impressed me as much as Panormos beach where I’d say I could have my Honeymoon here one day. I ordered an Iced Americano and read some of my book “Harvard Psychedelic Club” which I’m really enjoying.
Around 4 pm, we hopped over to the next restaurant over on the beach (there are only 2 on this beach) as they had more variety of food. I ordered a lamb chop & pasta dish. Marissa ordered a huge grilled squid. Both were absolutely delicious but way too much for the 2 of us. Greek meal portions can often be large. I enjoyed people watching with the occasional cool breeze hitting us and the always friendly and flirty staff. By 6 pm, we finally had to say goodbye to the beach and rode back on our ATV back into town.
We are going to buy our ferry ticket to Santorini for tomorrow’s departure. After 4 lovely surreal nights in Hedonistic Mykonos, it’s time to say goodbye. Someone once advised me that certain moments in life may be remembered and cherished more if left right at the peak, before waring it out. I wouldn’t apply this to friendship or love, but with places and food, I could see their point. A more unrequited type of idealism.
Partying in Mykonos truly is the best.