Searching for your next great adventure? This Sweet July series taps top travel enthusiasts to share first-hand insight into their ventures across the country and world, so you know exactly what to expect and how to prepare once you book your ticket. Wishing you safe—and sweet—travels!
Today: Brittney Oliver shares her top tips for vacationing in Mykonos.
Like most travelers, Mykonos was on my top 10 destinations list. For the last three years, I’ve watched some of my favorite corporate baddies and travel influencers take on the popular Greek island for food, fun and flying dress photoshoots.
I’m a believer in turning life’s lemons into lemonade. I needed a memorable getaway to compensate for the months of lemons piled at my feet. I needed a place where I could celebrate another year of life and grieve a loved one at the same time. Mykonos was that spot for me.
There is one thing that made me skeptical about Mykonos: the crowds. Therefore, I opted for an end-of-season trip around my birthday in October. It was a great time to go as the crowds were thin, the weather was perfect and the celebrations were unforgettable.
FOR A BUDGET:
Since many dining options can be pricey, opt for dining at your hotel if you are staying at one. Our hotel had a complimentary breakfast buffet daily and affordable lunch items to snack on poolside.
Cecconi’s at Soho Roc House is open to hotel guests and Soho House members and offers Italian food. During a pool day at the Roc House, my friends and I had lunch near a cliff overlooking the sea. We watched the planes prepare to land while feasting on truffle fries, lemon spaghetti and penne arrabbiata.
Several beach clubs in Mykonos serve food while you enjoy beach activities and sunbathing. Some of those restaurants are less pricey than others and can be a great option if you’re on a budget. Super Paradise Beach Club had a menu filled with popular bar food like pizza, tacos, wings and handhelds like burgers.
FOR A SPLURGE:
Mykonos isn’t cheap, even as the season ends. It is one of the more expensive Greek islands for lodging, food and entertainment.
A popular restaurant in Mykonos’ famous waterfront promenade is Remezzo, which sits on the second floor above the bustling pathway of tourists. During prime season, Remezzo is known for fine dining and parties. I, along with my best friend and her sister, experienced Remezzo for dinner on the last day of its season, with a night view of the waterfront.
The menu was a mix of traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes with a spin. Each dish and drink was Instagram-worthy and served with a unique and memorable flair, from the roasted lamb in a bag to the Pink Urchin cocktail served in an urchin-shaped glass in a box of ice with a unique champagne pour. I couldn’t forget dessert: a bitter chocolate crème.
Another restaurant with a view is Zuma Mykonos, known for its Japanese cuisine. When the host walks you to your seat, you are met with an open view of the Aegean Sea, perfect for a sunset dinner. We sat near the kitchen, which had an unobstructed view. The staff sang as they celebrated the last day of the season. Try the Wagyu tartare sushi with black truffle and one of the many maki roll options. The cocktail menu was filled with fruit-forward drinks that reminded me of a Caribbean vacation. I loved the lychee and rose petal martini. What surprised me was how popular rum is on Mykonos cocktail menus. The Zuma deluxe platter allows you to sample their signature desserts, like the baked cheesecake.
FOR A BUDGET:
Europe is known to have smaller room accommodations, and in Mykonos, it took a lot of work to find space for more than two people. If you plan to go with a group to help offset costs, then look for a vacation rental or Airbnb for your mid-to-large travel group and book as early as you can.
FOR A SPLURGE:
For your visit to Mykonos, consider a stay at one of the hotels built within the iconic seaside cliffs. We stayed at one of the most Instagrammed hotels on the island, Cavotagoo Mykonos. The hotel has two-bedroom suites and three-bedroom villas, which are spacious for large groups and include walk-in closets. Our two-bedroom suite included a deck with a hot tub that was a great spot to watch the closing party fireworks happening at the hotel and other properties along the waterfront. Other rooms have private pools, including a cave pool. The woman-owned hotel includes an infinity pool, complimentary breakfast, and shuttle service to the promenade and Zuma restaurant. A woman’s touch can be seen throughout the hotel’s design and amenities, including travel-size loofah sponges and Diptyque skin products.
FOR A BUDGET:
Use the pool and amenities at your hotel or AirBnB. Many hotel guests can have complimentary access to hotel parties and events, so look at the events calendar to see what is happening at your hotel. There is also a free beach at the Mykonos promenade for you to dip into the sea after browsing some of the shops and restaurants in the area. During my visit, I went to one of the many beautiful chapels to light a candle in remembrance of a loved one and took a minute to sit in my grief. You can also light candles in the chapel for the wish of good fortune.
FOR A splurge:
There are several beach clubs to visit for good music, food and water activities. You can splurge on a cabana for your group or pay for a daybed. Since it was the end of the season, there was no wait to gain access to the beach club. Super Paradise Beach offers water activities like tubing, banana boats, fly boards, jet skis and private cruises. You can use your hotel concierge to book a yacht or other activities.
One thing that was a must-do during my visit was the popular flying dress photoshoot. I used Goddess Santorini, which is available in Mykonos. The photo and video package included the dress rental, a photographer and an assistant. What was great about the photo shoot was that the photographers took you around the town area and spoke about it from their local lens. These shoots are so popular that we ran into Niecy Nash as she was wrapping up her pictures before the crowds of tourists started coming.
What To Pack
Mykonos is breezy during the season’s end, so pack a light jacket, pants sets, and long dresses for the evening, or at least bring a wrap. Wear comfortable shoes like sandals or sneakers when exploring the towns. A nice heel would work if you are not doing much bar hopping in the evening.
The sun is still out, so bring sunscreen like Supergoop, shades, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. My go-to sunscreen for my face was Clinique’s Superdefense City Block, which I wore under a layer of Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop for light makeup coverage. It can get windy. A hat is great to keep your hair out of your face. If you plan to wear flowy dresses, wear shorts underneath or appropriate undergarments so you don’t find yourself exposed during a big gust of wind.