Friday, 22 June 2018

Mykonos | Travel



Ever since we visited Santorini last Summer I had been thinking about going to visit the island of Mykonos as so many people recommended it as an equally amazing, if not better, holiday destination.   Last week we were lucky enough to spend a week on this beautiful island and I wanted to put together all of the highlights in one place and offer up some good recommendations for places to see, things to do and where you can find decent vegan food.


We booked ourselves in at the luxury boutique hotel Kensho which is situated in the bay of Ornos. The hotel itself was perfect and in a really great spot meaning it was easy to walk to the beach which had lots of bars and restaurants nearby too. 


I'm so glad we stayed in Ornos as it really was the perfect spot for us to relax but to also be a short five minute drive away from the main town of Mykonos. And before I say anything else I would definitely recommend getting a car if you're planning a trip there. Taxi's are extremely limited and unreliable which means most tourists rely on buses to get to different places and, from what I heard, they weren't very regular either. There is of course the option to rent mopeds and quad bikes too, but I personally prefer the comfort and ease of having your own car for the week. It also meant we got to explore much more of the island which I'm sure we wouldn't have seen if we had been solely relying on public transport.  


Mykonos has around twenty five beaches to explore, which seems a lot for such a small island! I know when we visited Santorini last year we felt very limited for places to relax and enjoy some time in the sun so this was vastly different and we felt spoilt for choice. 


The beach in Ornos which was closest to our hotel was actually one of my favourites from the whole week. It's super chilled, the water is crystal clear and it was also more sandy than pebbly. The beach isn't huge but it has everything you need as it's lined with different beach bars who all offer sunbed's at a fairly reasonable price of around €30 for two. There is also a lot of choice of places to eat at in Ornos and as it turned out a couple of our favourite places from our entire stay were there. 


Our favourite place to chill out in Ornos was Pasaji who have really comfortable sunbeds and great cocktails! 



As soon as we arrived I couldn't wait to head into Mykonos town and explore the beautiful streets I had seen so many photos of before arriving. As soon as we parked the car up we saw the beautiful and famous windmills which overlook the bay and the town. This is definitely a popular place for tourists to get their Instagrams! 


Little Venice was probably my favourite place in the whole of Mykonos as it is just so beautifully picturesque and so much fun to explore. The whole area is filled with so many cobbled walkways all lined with boutiques and restaurants. You can really lose yourself here for a few hours and literally everywhere you look is a photo opportunity!



We loved this area so much we went back three times in one week and we still didn't feel like we had explored every street. I could have happily spent every night in this area but as you can imagine the town is very busy and popular with tourists and it can feel a little hectic at times. It was nice to have a balance of alternating the evenings between where we were staying and coming into the town, and because where we were staying was so nice it felt like we had the best of both worlds. 



One thing that really upset me in Santorini was the amount of stray cats and dogs we saw, along with the terrible neglect and exploitation of the donkeys. I felt a lot happier in Mykonos because for starters we didn't see one stray dog during our entire stay which was vastly different to Santorini. We did see a number of stray cats but thankfully they looked like they were being taken care of which was so nice to see. Many of the shops had bowls of food and water outside and there just seemed to be more control over the issue there. We also didn't see any donkeys which again was a relief. 







We also came across Petros the Pelican who is, as I now know, quite a famous figure in the town of Mykonos. When we first saw him I almost couldn't believe my eyes. My initial thought was that he was being held there against his will as some kind of tourist attraction but after doing a little research and reading his story online I breathed a sigh of relief. It's also meant to be very lucky if you do see him as from what I hear it's not a regular occurrence so the fact that we saw him on our first night was quite amazing! I kept an eye out for him all the other times we visited the town but this was the only time we saw him. 


I'm not going to lie, being vegan in Mykonos really felt quite challenging at times. I had a few recommendations with me on my phone which I was grateful for because they turned out to be excellent. However, other times it was really hit and miss! One thing to bear in mind when visiting Greece or the Greek Islands is that there are a few traditional Greek mezze dishes, or appetisers, which are already vegan friendly so if you can find yourself a decent Greek Taverna then you should be ok. They generally serve up things like hummus with warm breads, olives, egg plant salads, fried zucchini and other things like salads and pasta. However, and as we learnt, some places also don't tend to list on the menu what dishes come with e.g one day we ordered eggplant and it came up covered in feta which wasn't disclosed on the menu! 


One place which we LOVED and went back to three times during our stay was Bowl which was conveniently located a couple of minutes from our hotel. After a couple of unfulfilling meals we felt so happy to have found this place as there were plenty of vegan options and the food was gorgeous. 






And they even had vegan ice cream! 



One place which had been recommended as being good for vegans was Nice 'n' Easy and so this was at the top of my list of places to eat. I was really impressed that they had a separate vegan section of the menu, although the choices weren't all that exciting. I went for a quinoa salad which was ok but nothing to rave about. We also ordered some 'French Fries' which ended up coming up like a bowl of potato wedges. On tasting them there was something odd about them and they were sitting in a weird broth like liquid which when we enquired turned out to be cheese, which again was not disclosed on the menu. I mean who cooks chips in a cheese broth anyway!? That was a real unpleasant surprise. 




A common trend at most restaurants / beach clubs in Mykonos is that they all seem to offer up sushi which is great because it generally means you can find a couple of vegan options amongst all the fish. One day we spent the afternoon at SantAnna Beach Club where we enjoyed some decent sushi with a side of veggies. 


A real favourite spot for us was Markos Falafel in Ornos. Again, this was really close to our hotel so we ended up going there twice and the food was really yummy! One night we enjoyed a falafel plate with a side of chips and the next time we went we had falafel wraps. The guy who runs this place is super friendly and happy to discuss the veggie and vegan options with you. 






Hummus, breads, aubergine and fried zucchini became a staple for us on this week away as most places seemed to offer it and it was perfect for a sharing lunch. This meal was enjoyed at Tropicana Beach Club which is a great place to pitch up for a day of sun bathing and swimming in the sea. We tried to order a chip gyros here which came up with chicken in it so we had to send it back. Some of the gyros restaurants / shops often offer a vegetarian chip version but this place seemed to really struggle with the idea that we didn't want meat in ours! 




One evening whilst exploring Little Venice we just wanted a little snack meal as we didn't feel overly hungry and so we stopped at the very quaintly located Pasta Fresca Barkia. Here we enjoyed an amazing garlic focaccia and olive bruschetta which were both delicious. If we had been hungrier we would have definitely opted for some pasta too as they had quite a wide selection on offer and although there wasn't any overly visible vegan options they seemed very happy to help with any requests. 


I really hadnt been expecting to come across vegan ice cream in Mykonos but after a little search online I found the HappyO Frozen Yoghurt shop who had around four different dairy free options with various toppings available. I went for their chocolate option which was divine and so rich, topped off with some coconut. 






I think one of my favourite meals of our entire week was definitely our visit to the Buddha Bar Bearch in Ornos. It's expensive but the location and view make it well worth a visit alone. There were a few decent vegan friendly options on the menu in the shape of edamame, sushi, spring rolls and noodles which was exactly what I fancied on this night. My husband asked them to make the chicken green curry veggie friendly which they were more than happy to do. All in all it was a fantastic meal and we just loved sitting there relaxing and watching all the activity of the yachts parked up opposite in the bay. 




Another highlight of the week was our visit to the 180 degree Sunset Bar. We only stopped here for cocktails, and I didn't even see any food available so I think this is just a drinks place, but the view over Mykonos town and of the sunset both made this a must visit spot. 



My husband suggested that we visit the Armenistis Lighthouse one evening for the sunset which I hadn't even heard of whilst doing my Mykonos research but it again turned out to be a real highlight. It was a little drive out of town, which I think would be really challenging to get to without your own transportation, but that also meant that it wasn't too busy with other people. It was quite a eerie place, especially when walking around the Lighthouse itself. But it really was an amazing spot to catch the sunset and take some photos. The scenery here was incredible!



I'm so glad we got to visit Mykonos because it really was a perfect Summer holiday destination. The weather in early June was great and it wasn't ridiculously hot which meant we could cope with laying outside for most of the day. I didn't know before visiting but Mykonos is evidently known for its wind so most days there was a nice cool breeze which again made it a little more comfortable. I'd also heard that Mykonos becomes unbearably busy throughout late July & August so I was really happy that we chose to go at this time of year because it meant we had no issue in finding sunbed's or getting seated in restaurants. 



If you haven't already seen it you can watch my Mykonos vlog here

Have you been to Mykonos before?
Or Is it on your travel bucket list!? 






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4 comments

  1. I've really enjoyed reading this! Mykonos is such a lovely island and one that's on my bucket list to visit. It sounds as though you have had a lovely holiday :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

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  2. These pictures are making me want to book a trip ASAP! The food, the atmosphere, the hotel, it's all ticking my boxes right now! I've never explored the Greek islands before but Mykonos is right up there now! Looks like the perfect escape! Also loving your 'out of office bag!'

    Sarah :)
    Saloca in Wonderland

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  3. Looks like you had a fab time in Mykonos! I visited in early May, and absolutely loved it, it was great to be there when there weren't too many people as you would get in July and August.
    Your pics are lovely and really show off the island well.

    Aimsy xoxo

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  4. We are going in October. Exciting to look at your vegqn tips and tricks. Very helpful, thanks x

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