Mykonos: A Tastemaker's Guide

Under The Sheltering Sky: above, Scorpios bar and restaurant subscribes to a holistic philosophy in which food aims to nourish through organic ingredients. Truth be known, it is just impossibly cool – from the decor right through to the views. Simple yet refined dishes are influenced by traditional Greek recipes and served on big plates to encourage sharing.

Sophie baker is a chic traveller who checks in to a hotel well before it's on everybody's radar. i follow her social media with enormous envy. before my family headed to greece, i emailed for HER tips – here, the wanderlust union founder shares her getaway guide

If anybody put Mykonos on the map, it was Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, who visited with her sister Lee Radziwill in 1961 and vowed, upon leaving, that she would one day own a house here. After Jackie Kennedy became Jackie Onassis, Mykonos gained its reputation as a celebrity bolthole – Grace Kelly, Mick Jagger, Burton and Taylor, Mia Farrow, Rudolf Nureyev all chose the island as their get-away destination, so it’s always had a jet-set allure for me. Mykonos has a great energy to it, people are here to unwind and chill out on the beach; they're also equally prepared to stay out late. Party islands can get a bad rap, but Mykonos is undeniably chic.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: As the cognoscenti know, June and September are sublime but August is mayhem. How could it not be? Mykonos has been hailed the new Ibiza for the last few years now, and this tiny island named in honour of Apollo’s  son, has become everyone’s top summer getaway.

THE TOWN CENTRE, CHORA: A picture-postcard setting, with white-washed walls, blue highlights, windmills, cascading pink bougainvillea at every turn and a sparkling harbour where all the large cruise boats dock – Chora has it all in bucket-loads and it’s impossible to take a bad photo. But be warned, the main town is five-deep with day trippers so visit early or at dusk for the sunset.

THE BEST LOCAL RESTAURANTS: Whichever restaurant you choose, the vibe is largely the same – the music gets louder and louder, and before you know it, someone in a crocheted tank top and bikini is on the table dancing, nimbly navigating the magnums of Cristal. It's a great opportunity to befriend those at the table next to you.

"Mykonos has a great energy to it, people are here to unwind, they're also prepared to stay out late. Party islands can get a bad rap, but Mykonos is undeniably chic."

– SOPHIE BAKER, pictured bove at jackie o'

  1. SCORPIOSThis year, the famous Nammos bar has a rival in the newly opened Scorpios (pictured below), a hip restaurant-beach club in Paraga named after Onassis's island with Bedouin-style decor, an organic menu and swaying palm fronds. This sprawling retreat on the island’s southern end has two daybed-dotted beaches (which cost around $35 per day) with a relaxed, family-friendly foil to the late-night scene, along with a terrace for live performances, and a 200-seat restaurant overseen by Athinagoras Kostakos, widely considered one of Greece’s best chefs. 

  2. Scorpios, Paraga, Kikladhes, Mykonos. Tel: +30 22890 29251

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  4. JACKIE O': Luxurious beachclub on Super Paradise beach. Jackie O’ has beds on the beach, but you can also chill around their pool area or have lunch in the beautiful restaurant. The décor is gorgeous and then there is view: it will definitely take your breath away. Sit back and chill out as they play relaxing club music in the background. And if you think you need more relaxation you can go to their spa for a massage. If you stay until sunset the vibe goes to the next level with live shows and a true party atmosphere, which has to be seen to be believed.

  5. Jackie O', Kastro-Paralia Mykonos. Tel: +30 22890 77168

    KATRIN: even if you asked for directions in advance, the labyrinth-like streets of Mykonos town will inevitably have you asking again. Luckily, every local knows this famous dining institution. With it’s French-Greek cusine, the family-run taverna is the perfect place for dinner after sunset. 

  6. Katrin, 1 Nikiou Street, Chora, Mykonos. Tel: +30 2289 022169
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  8. HIPPIE FISH: Right on St. John’s beach, Hippie fish restaurant traditional Mykonian and Greek cuisine, served in a relaxing environment. Stay until late afternoon and enjoy the breath-taking sunset with the view of Delos in the background. Pure bliss!
  9. Hippie Fish, Agios Ioannis, Mykonos. Tel: +30 2289 023547
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  11. KIKI'S TAVERNA: This teeny-weeny local institution is simplicity itself. There's no sign, just follow the bronzed bohemians trailing onto the tree-shaded terrace overlooking Agios Sostis beach, lured by the aroma of chargrilled pork chops. Barbecue meat and seafood are accompanied by rustic salads such as artichokes with Parmesan in lemon-mustard vinaigrette. Hidden behind olive trees in a shady corner courtyard Kiki’s has no electricity, no reservations, no exceptions, not even if you are Kimye (who have been known to drop in). The restaurant also relies on the memory of its owner, who sees that everybody is served in the order they arrive. Expect to queue but the trick is to arrive the moment Kiki's opens at midday to put your name down. Nevertheless, there will always be someone ahead of you, such is the popularity of this ramshackle but delicious taverna.
  12. Kiki's Taverna is located down the winding gravel road towards Agios Sostis beach, next to the local church. It is not sign-posted, does not take bookings and generally opens between 12 and 6pm during high season. Ask your concierge to confirm.
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  14. NAMMOS: Nammos (pictured above) is the Grecian answer to St Tropez's Le Club 55 – a meal here can cost more than the villa you rented. It is the ultimate hangout for an unhurried lunch. The seafood is amazing and a lounge chair on the sand at Psarou Beach is the perfect spot for a post-lunch cocktail. 

  15. Nammos, Psarou Beach, Mykonos. Tel: +30) 2289022440.

THE BEACHES I LOVE: Agios Sostis beach is just past Panormos bay, and this stretch of golden sand surrounded by pine-covered cliffs is quiet and has the bluest water. Beautiful! I also love Lia beach as it is so tranquil. At the other end of the spectrum Psarou beach is great fun and the outlook is a maze of super yachts moored in the sheltered bay. Elia beach is also fantastic with comfy beach chairs, palm fringed umbrellas, smiling beach boys and aqua blue water that laps at your feet. In general, the beaches on the south shore of the island have the best sand, views, and wind protection, but are very popular; others, such as Platis Gialos and Ornos are quieter and more popular with families.

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CHIC ACCOMODATION: Belvedere Hotel, in Mykonos Town is one of my favourites – it has a Nobu which is just as popular and starry as the London restaurant. And who doesn’t love eating sushi alfresco by the pool with the moon above? San Giorgio, pictured above, is a sparkling boho hangout perched between Paradise and Paraga beach.  In peak summer its becomes the boutique hotel of choice for guest DJ’s at Paradise beach, so poolside can become like a your own mini day club. That aside, the interiors are lovely and the vibe is very relaxed.

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PRIVATE VILLAS: Aqva Living is one of the best luxury villa rental companies in Mykonos complete with concierge service. They have an incredible selection of the finest villas in the most desirable locations. We hired our villa from here (pictured above) and it was nothing short of spectacular. A private villa is my preference for travelling with family or friends.

  1. Look up Mykonosvillas.com or Tel: +44 207 0606 244.

SPECIAL NOTE: Beware the Meltemi, a strong north dry wind of the Aegean – it can play havoc with your hair and will mean you’ll need to find a more secluded beach on the other side of the island. Take note of the light, a beautiful rose-gold Grecian light, which makes everyone glow.