Many of you have seen my posts on Instagram on my recent trip to Greece. Johnny and I decided to go off season to miss the crowds of people that are normally there in the summer months. For reference, we went the first week of October into mid October which is considered to still be shoulder season in the Cyclades. We visited 3 beautiful islands: Mykonos, Milos and Santorini. All of which will have there own post coming up soon! But before leaving, I found it difficult to find information regarding travels in the shoulder seasons such as ferry departures, opened restaurants, tours and rental facilities that were still operating. Mykonos is an island in the Aegean Sea that is part of a group of islands known as the Cyclades. It’s known for its summer parties, fun atmosphere and 16th century windmills that sit on hill overlooking the iconic Little Venice. I love Mykonos town for it white washed walls, blue stairwells and pretty black and white cobblestones. It was still blooming with bougainvilleas when we went and made the whole town more magical.
When to go to Mykonos
The busiest months in Mykonos is July and August due to all the clubs, parties and nightlife. There are some clubs that open early in May and June but the peak is in August and is also when you’ll usually find the best DJs playing. The parties are over by October and the clubs have all closed but there will still be a few bars open with limited people frequenting. Shoulder months include May, June, September and October. It’s best to swim in September and October if you decide to visit off season as May and June may still be chilly. We did swim while we were there in October and the water was still warm. Though the winds can be strong on some days and the mornings and evenings chilly. It wasn’t hard for us to get to Mykonos by ferry but note that they do run less frequently during the off seasons so finding a schedule suitable for us made it a bit inconvenient. Greeka is a great website to look for ferries but once you find what you’d like to book, you should book it directly through the ferry company’s website. On the flip side, it is also completely possible to book your tickets at the port (once you’ve looked up the dates & times) because during off season, it’s hardly ever full. The best thing about visiting Mykonos in the shoulder months is that you won’t have to worry about high hotel and car rental prices, crowds of people in tiny Mykonos town and beaches filled with people. All the restaurants were still operating when we went, even outside of Mykonos town and there was absolutely no wait!
Car/ATV Rentals in Mykonos
There were a couple of rental places around town that are still operating in October that don’t have online information. But if you’re like me and like to know exactly where, when and how you will rent your ATV before you start your trip, go with Moto Trust. They offer drop off and pick up service and were a pleasure to work with! We rented an ATV and it was one of the highlights of our trip! It was so much fun and easy to navigate around Mykonos with. I’d highly recommend an ATV if you’re going to rent anything. They do go a bit slower than cars but who’s rushing? It’s a small island and you’re on vacation! It does have a small turn radius which makes turning a bit harder so you’ll have to be careful to slow down on turns. Otherwise for 25 euros a day, it wasn’t a bad deal! And I recommend renting because the bus schedule can be infrequent and unreliable. Hiring a shuttle service from your hotel is probably the best idea if you are not staying within walking distance from the ferry or airport. Our shuttle was 7 euros/person but it definitely took away the stress of figuring out where to drag out luggage.
Where to eat in Mykonos
Most people tend to stay in Mykonos town and wander little Venice for food but I food that we had the best meals outside of town. My two favorite spots are Apaggio by Ornos beach and Kiki’s Tavern. We came to Mykonos looking for sea urchins as I had saw someone posted it before on Instagram and I just died, I knew I had to get my hands on some fresh, local sea urchins! This took me on a journey on Google to find a restaurant that sold sea urchins in Mykonos. I found a couple (Spilia & Niko’s) but they weren’t what I was looking for. I wanted a restaurant that sold fresh, local sea urchins in the shell at reasonable prices and superb service! So I found Apaggio. It was perfect! We sat under a canopy by the ocean where the boats would dock, octopi were hanging to dry and had a plate of 20 or so sea urchins for 18 euros! The entrees we ordered were also spot on. Johnny had the black ink risotto and I the black fettuccini with clams and crabs. Kiki’s Tavern is also a hidden gem by a small bay which you can swim if you wish. Usually there is always a wait but we didn’t have to! They close at 6pm so lunch is the best time to come. The have amazing salads and grilled seafood. Restaurants do start to close starting late October and November and some will to re-open in April.
Karavaki (upon reseveration, request the sunset table)
Santorini and Milos posts to come!