The north coast of Mykonos is exposed to the Meltemi winds, which makes it the best place on the island for watersports like sailing and surfing. Ftelia Beach is one of the best beaches in the area for windsurfing and kitesurfing. This 600-metre beachfront is a mixture of fine sand and those famous Mykonos rocks, and there’s a definite laidback, almost 70s-style vibe going on here.
If you’re staying in Mykonos Town, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are two great beaches in the local area. Agia Anna is the town’s main beachfront, located between the harbour and the old town. This 100-metre beach is quite small but sandy, and is ideal for a family swim. Alternatively, just south of the town is Megali Ammos Beach, where you can snorkel and see the colourful fish in the reef.
Down on the south coast of Mykonos is Plati Yialos Beach, which is one of the most lively beaches on the island. During the day, the 300-metre beachfront is lined with vendors selling all sorts of handcrafted goods and pocket money trinkets. During the evenings, the local beach bars begin to open up, with music filling the air. If you enjoy beachside strolls, there are a number of coastal paths in the area.
You might be surprised by just how diverse the food is in Mykonos, and how different it is to some of the other Greek Islands. Of course, many restaurants serve up classic Greek dishes such as moussaka and pastitsio, but as the island was a major trading centre up until the 18th century, its cuisine is a real blend of flavours. You’ll find a good mix of Mediterranean, Aegean, and Cyclades tastes across Mykonos.
Fishing remains very important to the Mykonos economy, and fresh seafood is always on the menu. While there’s lots of choice, a local favourite is sparisoma cretense, or parrot fish. The parrot fish is named for its bright colours and lives in rocky areas, so it’s found in abundance off the rocky Mykonos coast. You’ll find that it’s usually grilled and served whole, alongside a colourful assortment of veggies.
If you’re looking to sample some local specialities, be sure to try some kopanisti cheese which is produced on the island. A little like feta, it’s salty and peppery with a spicy kick. Another great Mykonos dish is louza, which is dried, thinly sliced pork. It’s prepared differently across the Aegean Islands. On Tinos, it’s seasoned with pepper, while in Mykonos they use a warming allspice blend.
Mykonos produces both Cyclades and Aegean wines, usually from local grape varieties such as Assyrtico, but also from international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It’s also fast becoming a haven for craft beer lovers, with locally-brewed options like Mikonou offering a Greek Islands alternative to American pale ales. Of course, spirits are also well-loved here, especially an after-dinner Ouzo.
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