Vaara Travels: Mykonos

Words Vaara Photography Various (courtesy of destinations listed)

Combining a good dose of both, ancient history and summertime glamour, not to mention abundant sunshine (apparently whole 300 days a year of it), it's no wonder Mykonos has become the Greek Island to see and be seen at. And if Alexander Wang threw a Balenciaga party there last year, then you know it’s going to be worth a visit.

Like its tranquil neighbour Santorini, Mykonos is ideal for pure relaxation. It has stunning beaches such as Panormos that’s set in a cove and boasts oversized bean-bag-meets-sun-lounger beds on the white sand, with beautiful waiters that bring your cocktails to you while you dip your toes in the Mediterranean. Also noteworthy is the tranquil Lia beach, super-stylist Yasmil Sewell’s favourite for good reason.

But if you prefer going out for a night of drinks and late night dancing, Mykonos is the place to be. Dubbed as the new Ibiza, the island doesn’t wait for the sun to set. Just head to Psarou beach and plot yourself in front of Nammos Restaurant; you’ll be ordering Piña Coladas whatever the hour.

New to the Island is Scorpios, an idyllic beach location to while away the hours. It’s whitewashed stone evokes the 1960’s Greek glamour while fusing contemporary modernism into the mix. Make sure to book a cabana in the day, catch some rays and watch the sunset, and then dance the night away while the world-class DJs spin the hottest tracks. There is a restaurant too, making it the perfect dusk-till-dawn spot. Scorpios is owned by the same company behind our favourite hotel on the island: San Giorgio. After spending just a minute in the white-walled bohemian property, you’ll understand why it is a member of the Design Hotels group. Home to 32 rooms and 2 suites that feature the characteristic Mykonos Architecture, it is perfect for those looking to get a taste of the Greek heritage while keeping it fashionable, fresh and of course, Instagram-worthy. But with no televisions in the rooms, it really makes for the perfect place to switch off.

If spa treatments are your favourite way to relax then the best on the Island is at Mykonos Grand hotel. The Thalasso Detox will not only have you feeling utterly at ease, but your body will see the benefits too. It utilises the Mediterranean Sea for detoxifying benefits; you’ll get a full-body sea salt scub, then a soak in the tub with marine extracts and finally a wrap with triple action algae. Whether you follow it with a day at the beach or indulgent dinner is up to you.

We also recommend heading into Mykonos Town at least few times. There are traditional tavernas where you can sample some freshly caught calamari and octopus (our favourite being Familia Restaurant), or for Greek specialities such as spanakopita (spinach pie) head to the intimate and romantic Eva’s Garden, however if you fancy something a little different, Hakkasan's Ling Ling has some of the most delicious Asian fusion food on the menu. After a long dinner, take a walk through the pebbled streets and shop emerging Greek designers alongside an eclectic mix of Rick Owens, Alice by Temperley and Zoe Karssen to name a few. It makes walking off your food much more enjoyable. And if modern art is your thing then listen to British designer Erdem who's listed Rarity Gallery as the best place to shop contemporary art. We agree.

Sometimes party islands can get a bad rap, but don’t let the Ibiza reference fool you. Mykonos is an undeniably chic escape; just pack an effortless wardrobe of maxi dresses, oversized sunglasses and leather sandals. You’ll probably be booking your return on the flight back.

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