Yeah, that’s quite a lot! Luckily (or unluckily) for us, only 227 are habitable so it surely cuts down our bucket list (phew)!
Of these 227 Greek islands, the most popular are those in the Cyclades (sick-la-dees), located just south east of mainland Greece. Chances are you’ve already heard of a few.
Do the names Mykonos, Paros, Santorini ring a bell?
Yep, they’re all a part of the Cyclades!
Somehow, I didn’t know this before traveling to Greece, but hey, learning is a part of any first timer’s experience in a new country, isn’t it?
Being an islander myself, I simply had to visit the Greek islands. A vacation to Greece would feel incomplete without it! So Jerry and I ventured out to experience our first Greek island: Mykonos! ??
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Welcome to Mykonos
After spending two days Lounging with the Greek Gods in Athens, Jerry and I were eager to leave the fast-paced city life behind. We booked a one-way ticket via a ferry to the Windy island of Mykonos!
When you visit Greece you’ll realize that two popular ways to travel the Greek islands are either by air or by ocean. Personally I quite enjoyed travel by ferry. It was far more scenic, and I mean, what better way to truly experience Greece? The warm summer air caressed our skins as we watched other Greek islands pass by. The atmosphere on the ferry too was communal as persons chatted and enjoyed the sun on the outside decks ?
When we finally arrived in Mykonos, an all too familiar feeling washed over me: Island Life! Mykonos, in comparison to Athens, had a laid-back vibe which made me feel quite at home. The easy access to beaches and the friendly nature of the Mykonian people really reminded me of being in Jamaica!
Stay: The Art Castle
Our accommodation in Mykonos was a cute bed and breakfast (AirBnB) affectionately named “The Art Castle”. The room was absolutely perfect for Jerry and I. It featured boho-esque decor and had pops of turquoise to accent the stark white walls.
In the Greek islands accommodation can range from luxurious to humble. However, whether you choose to stay in a fancy villa or in a budget-friendly hostel, try to book in advance, and I mean way in advance! Many of the best locations are booked out from as far as a year ahead! Not only is booking in advance great for selecting the best spots on the island, it’ll also save you money and almost surely guarantee the cheapest rate.
Fortunately for us we got accommodation at a steal of a price given our very last-minute planning!
The host of our BnB was quite friendly which increased the enjoyability of our stay. He was friendly enough to pick us up from the ferry’s port and school us on a few local dishes to try! Have you ever had octopus with a shot of Ouzo?
Eat: Seafood with Greek Flare
In Athens Jerry and I had a great introduction to Greek cuisine (souvlaki, Greek salad + much more) but Mykonos certainly added the island touch. Like Jamaica the island featured a lot of seafood but of course with its own Greek flare.
Who can deny the deliciousness of Greek cuisine? It’s one of the highlights of any visit! The only thing I’d have to say is that you shouldn’t always expect restaurants to be open promptly at lunch or dinner time. Let’s just say the Mykonians run on “island time”!
Go: Motorbikes + Quads
All along the roads motorbikes and quads whizz by with sun kissed shorts-wearing tourists. And for good reason! The streets in towns are narrow and are much easier to manoeuvre with these small vehicles.
I had already taken my first motorbike ride with Jerry so I was comfortable riding with him in Mykonos. However, if you’re more reserved, a small car would be an excellent choice. They are perfect for the narrow, crowded streets of the towns and can easily squeeze into parking spaces.
Word of advice, ensure that your vehicle is fully functional, especially your headlights. In the busy season, rental businesses try to meet the high demand of customers and sometimes neglect the safety of their vehicles. This is especially important because at night-time the streets can get quite dark. If you’re going to be partying, you definitely don’t want to be driving home without headlights.
Unfortunately, Jerry and I learnt this the hard way as we realized our bike had no headlights while making our way to nightlife. Fortunately, we had some Jamaican friends who could escort us to and from the party safely.
Explore: Mykonos Town
I’m pretty sure we all know that Mykonos is the Ibiza of the Greek islands. Party, party, party! So of course, no trip to the party island was complete without at least one! I kid you not when I say Jerry, my Jamaican friends (who were also visiting the island) and I danced until we watched the sunrise above the ocean ?
Partying aside, the island offers many beautiful sights and things to do. A drive around the island reveals much beautiful scenery. The roads lead you through the rugged desert like terrain then suddenly impresses you with dramatic coastal sea views.
Mykonos Town, in contrast to the more rural areas, features densely packed white buildings (as we know Greece is famous for). Sunset from above the town is stunning and a must watch while there.
Another defining architectural feature you’ll find in the town are windmills. Mykonos wasn’t called the “Windy Island” without a reason!
Off to Our Next Greek Island: Paros
Any trip to Mykonos is guaranteed to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. From its delicious food to its incredibly beautiful beaches this Greek island is one to remember! At least that was the case for Jerry and I ? Luckily for us we had two more Greek islands to add to our list of memorable experiences: Paros & Santorini!
Would you visit Mykonos? Let me know in the comments below!