A Guide to Mykonos: Luxury Beach Clubs & Dancing the Night Away
While I often hear Mykonos being knocked for providing the least authentic Greek experience among the islands, I find that Mykonos provides an experience that is incredible in its own right. There is authenticity in any experience if you know where to look! The stunning blue waters, architecture and opulence of Mykonos create the perfect place to escape from reality and indulge. I spent a week there with a group of friends from all over the world. Some from Greece, some from Dubai, some from France and obviously me coming from New York, and we all found adventure, a lot of laughs and all-out good times that all of us will remember forever. From its stunning hotels and villas to the perfectly curated beach clubs and restaurants, you can easily slip away into a different world and shut your mind off. Embrace the luxurious beauty of this island and get ready to soak up the sun, sing, dance and enjoy the company of the people you are with!
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Where to stay in Mykonos
Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa
A luxury retreat offering breathtaking Aegean views, impeccable service, and indulgent spa experiences in the heart of Greece's most famous island.
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Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort
Luxe beachfront property in a traditional whitewashed building with breezy rooms and suites.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
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Myconian Ambassador Relais & Chateaux
Elegant seasonal property overlooking Platis Gialos beach with breezy rooms and suites offering ocean views.
$100 food / beverage credit.
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Things to do in Mykonos
Explore the island on ATVs
This might be the highlight of our time in Mykonos. While it can be a bit risky with the small roads, if you are responsible (wear a helmet! I also wore sneakers to cover my feet) and designate a driver, this is one of the best ways to see the island. We happened to be traveling with a friend from Greece and he guided us to all of the lesser known beaches such as Paralia Lia and Paralia Agrari and gave us a robust tour of the island. While riding around, we saw a lot of the island's stunning villas with their Mykonian architecture, stunning ocean views and even came across a herd of sheep crossing the road. We were able to pull up at any beach or landmark and leave as we pleased without having to wait for a cab (there are only 31 cabs on the island of Mykonos.) I recommend keeping an ATV or scooter for your stay. Most of the luxury resorts will even valet park them for you! Riding around with the wind in your hair against the stunning backdrops of Mykonos is truly the best form of transportation.
Hit the beach clubs
Alemagou: Alemagou’s club and restaurant is located on the Northern part of the island in a bay which makes it a great place to swim. This beach club and restaurant is chic but zen. While a lot of other beach clubs on the island are a nonstop party, this one is a good alternative if you want trendy and upscale, but a little bit more relaxed. Think sipping craft cocktails while sitting on a big fluffy cushion with a DJ playing bohemian sets in the background. To add to an already elevated experience they even had a pop up shop selling luxury goods such as limited edition shoes and some of the cutest swim sets I have ever seen. Alamagou also has some of the most stellar food and drinks on the island. You can easily spend sun up to sun down here.
Liasti: Liasti is on Lia beach with more of a locals vibe. We actually ran into some friends from another island when arriving at this beach. It's about 25-minutes by car on the South Eastern point of the island leaving it less crowded then some of the beaches closer to town. The water at this beach club is pristine, but rocky. Throw some water shoes in your beach bag if you have them.
Principote: Principote is perhaps one of the most notorious beach clubs on the island. With its insanely priced beach chairs and raging sundown parties, there is a level of exclusivity that people desire. On the North West part of the island and across the bay from Alemagou, it is fairly easy to get to from town by car. I was hesitant at first as I usually desire a more relaxed environment, but I can honestly say this was a blast. By the end of the day as the sun sets everyone has a genuine smile on their face standing on their chair waving their napkins in the air to a DJ playing songs you can’t help but sing and dance to. Be prepared for a party here.
Paralia Platis Gialos: This beach was a hit in our group! Around the corner from Namos, the ultra lux village, located on the South Western part of the island, where all the celebrity yachts can be spotted in the summer, you get the same beautiful water without the fuss or the $500 per chair beach club fee. With many walk up beach clubs lining the beach, you can walk up, pay $25 for a chair and spend the whole day getting served on the beach. This beach was my absolute favorite for swimming. Crystal clear and calm waters, it was no wonder we came back a few times in our week long trip.
Enjoy the nightlife
As you may know, Mykonos is an island of little sleep. People travel from all over the world to see the beautiful beaches and impeccably blue water, but people also come to Mykonos to experience the beach parties and the nightlife. I can truly say there is something for everybody to enjoy an evening… or late night in Mykonos. Our group of friends opted to reserve tables at nightclubs a few of the nights we were there.
Our first night in town we had a table at Astra which is situated outside in a courtyard smack in the middle of town complete with fire dancers on the balconies and glow in the dark Mykonos branded alcohol bottles. We danced all night long.
Lio is another popular night club in town with stunning architecture and a garden. Lio also has cabaret performances earlier in the evening before the full party is in swing for the late night crowd.
Other nights we opted for more casual nightlife experience skipping the clubs and going to bars such as Skandinavian Bar or Negrita Bar. Negrita Bar is set along water overlooking the windmills of Mykonos. It is an amazing place (day or night) to have a drink and let the salty ocean air in your face as you listen to the waves crash in with some music in the background. Scandinavian Bar is an indoor outdoor experience which draws a crowd. Listen to music, people watch and let the hustle and bustle of Myknos’ winding streets embrace you.
Don’t forget your late night snack on the way back to the hotel. Grabbing a gyro at Jimmy’s Gyros was definitely an activity we indulged in on multiple nights to provide late night sustenance.
TIP: If you are not staying in town, remember to think about transportation ahead of time. Most hotels have a shuttle that will meet you at the edge of town until a certain time of night and some have private car service on a call. If you are planning to call a local taxi make sure you are clear about a meeting point as there are no cars allowed in Mykonos Town. Also, be prepared to wait a while.
Relax at a Spa
Being that Mykonos is a town of luxury, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge in the opulence of a spa. We stayed at Mykonos Riviera and their Oqua Spa was world class. They had a beautiful marble Hammam that upon arrival from Athens I was dying to have a treatment in. They were able to get me and my boyfriend an appointment within an hour of arrival while our room was being cleaned. After an early morning ferry to Mykonos, a two hour massage followed by a traditional Turkish hammam experience left me rejuvenated and ready for the week ahead. A spa morning or afternoon can also be an excellent way to recharge after a few days in the sun and indulging in the Mykonos nightlife. Another noteworthy spa on the island is Althea Spa at Mykonos Grand.
Shop while admiring the winding streets of old town Mykonos.
This may seem like the most mundane option of all, but the all hours mentality of Mykonos makes this an easy thing to do as you stroll through the streets of town. From luxury retailers like Hermes, to local Greek artisans, you are bound to find something that speaks to you. We often found ourselves getting lost in the blue and white stone streets and popping into shops that piqued our interest between dinner and our nightlife activities.
Places to eat & drink in Mykonos
Hotel — We stayed at the Mykonos Riviera and we were able to have a lovely breakfast every morning on the terrace overlooking the crystal blue water and take a swim in the pool before venturing out for the day. Most luxury hotels will have an option for breakfast and upon booking can potentially be included!
Alemagou: As I mentioned above, this is a delightful beach club with a very relaxing vibe, but the food and cocktails are five star. We sampled a few different cocktails and every one was impeccable. For dessert, don’t miss out on the coconut mousse. Hands down my favorite food and drinks on the island.
Yialo Yialo: This was the hidden gem we kept coming back to on Parlia Platis Gialos. Excellent food, no fuss. You can eat right on your beach lounger or have a seat in the restaurant right off the beach.
Kiki’s Tavern: The views from this restaurant are the star of the show. This was a great option while riding around the island to stop and enjoy a beverage and an order of calamari.
Noema: The “it” spot for the past few years this restaurant did not disappoint. Definitely make reservations and opt for a table in the center of the restaurant to get the full open air experience. The lighting and the music truly create the perfect ambiance combined with the restaurant's impeccable design. The lamb was so tender and the favorite amongst everyone at the table.
La Maison de Katrin: This is an adorable gem in Mykonos Town. Set into those charming Mykonos streets they have a gorgeous pergola wrapped with brightly colored flowers you can sit under while enjoying your dinner.
Zuma: While this may not be a unique option with their locations in New York, London and other major cities around the world, this is a consistent and delicious option to get your sushi fix. Unlike its locations in other major cities, this location has a stunning outdoor setting with views of an infinity pool and the blue waters surrounding the island. Opting for a sunset dinner time is something you won’t regret.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, 2 Days in Athens, Fine Dining Edition.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mykonos.