“Greece in off-season?” we hear you say. Well yes, Greece in off season… especially on the little island of Mykonos.
“But, its going to be cold!” we hear you say…
“What do you do without the sun?” “What if we come home paler than we were before we left?” “Whats the point in going to Greece if you come home paler?”
Well, if we’re honest, these are all very valid questions and probably ones we would have asked before travelling as well. However, let’s all be honest, the charm of Greece is that it’s never really that cold!
We decided to travel to Mykonos in mid-April and it never went below 15-degrees. We luckily had highs of over 20-degrees. Plus, Natalie came back with a tan so there…
Now, we’re not going to lie to you, it wasn’t blissful sunshine the entire time. We did get a rain shower / thunderstorm – which cut the whole islands power. But, we believe that these little hiccups compared to Mykonos in high season were completely worth the gamble.
We’re not sure if you’ve seen Mykonos Old Town before? But, if you’re reading this then we’re going to assume you’re interested in travel, and by chance you may have seen pictures. Because, quite frankly, it’s an Instagram dream!
Mykonos Old Town is a maze of teeny-tiny cobbled alleyways, darting in all different directions, leading you up and down steps and sometimes to a dead end at the sea front. Full of white washed houses with splashes of blue on the doorways and panelling. It’s all so well maintained, you would think no one has ever been there before. It’s pure magic! When no one is there that is…
Imagine being lost, hungry, hot under the Greek summer sun and then not being able to move due to thousands of people being crammed into these little alleyways. Now, imagine that multiplied by 2 when all the cruise ships rock up.
In the summer months, the modest 15,000 strong population of Mykonos swells to 50,000! and that number doesn’t even include the huge cruise ships which disembark only a mile away from old town. No prizes for guessing where they’re all heading!
So, back to our original point. Imagine walking that same alleyway, in the mild Greek sun, with hardly anyone around you, having (most of the time) the whole alleyway to yourselves. Imagine being able to walk around a corner without bumping into someone and actually being able to take in the beautiful town around you. Off-season isn’t looking to shabby now hey!? But wait, there’s much much more…
Mykonos is a fab little island, it really is, but we’ll be honest, there isn’t that much in terms of sights. You have the windmills (our highlight – especially at sunset!), Little Venice on the water front, viewpoints and Profitis Ilias – a mountain with a Monastery on the easterly side.
So, similar to our point earlier, in the low season these are extremely pleasant places to be. But, yet again, in summer not so pleasant with those other 50,000 people. Is it still going to be as relaxing and inviting?
When we went to the windmills for sunset, yes there were other people there, but it was still a tranquil vibe with a few people having a beer…
Luckily, this leads us onto our next point… Mykonos, the ‘party island’.
Now, just to confirm we are not being ‘judgy’. When we were younger, and at university, we both did numerous trips to the likes of Magaluf and Zante. However, if we’re being honest, that’s not what we look for in a holiday anymore.
We’re now much more about 5am wake up calls for sunrise, than the drunken stumbling into bed at 5am. If that is your vibe, then kudos you – have a lot more energy than us!
Therefore, as you can imagine, we were happy to find out we had arrived about three weeks before all the big club and beach bars opened. We had heard the myths of the epic Scorpios Beach Bar, which we won’t lie, we were slightly tempted by it. But, being on the island without the big party atmosphere gave the whole place a calmer and more mellow vibe than during the busy summer months.
We’re not trying to say we were grannies and tucked up in bed every night by 8pm. We did have some dreamy late nights in taverners, ending up being the last ones there and having a few drinks with the owners. But, it was a very different vibe from ‘shots, shots, shots!’
We even found a little beach bar at Ornos Beach which had a great atmosphere. Plus, as it was low season, we didn’t have to pre-book or pay for a lounger for the whole day. Winning!!!
We also didn’t have to ever book at table for lunch or dinner anywhere! Wherever we walked in they would have a free spot perfectly waiting for us. Miles from the mayhem of summer we heard from a lot of restaurant staff.
While we were there we ate some of the most delicious food at:
- Nice ‘n’ Easy
- Katerina’s Restaurant & Cocktail Bar
- Niko’s Taverna
- Sale & Pepe
- Casa di Giorgio
Finally, reason four. The biggie. The deal breaker.
As you know we live in London, it’s expensive and we accept that as part of our everyday lives. But, F*** was Mykonos expensive!
Before vising we’d heard that it was on the expensive side, but we assumed it would be expensive ‘for Greece’. Nope – it was expensive for London! Dinner, bottles of wine, cocktails… you name it, it was all ‘London’ price.
It’s a fact of life. The restaurants aren’t going to change their prices, it is what it is. However, what does change is the price of your airfare and hotel. We were lucky enough to find flights with easyJet, costing us £64 return and a five nights at Ilio Maris hotel for £550 – for three people! Compare that to £290 flights in July and £425 per night at Ilio Maris – which doesn’t actually have availability anymore – it’s a no brainer!
Overall, Mykonos is a must visit see. It’s quaint, beautiful and charming. We’re sure anytime of year you go you’d have a wonderful time. However, save yourself the stress, the cash, the drunken wails at 4am and the Old Town stampedes – go in off-season!
You won’t regret it.
*Disclaimer: One day it did absolutely bucket it down. The whole town lost power, some restaurants were flooded and it was super windy. However, we bought a bottle or two or three at Nice ‘n’ Easy and rode it out. We live in England, we know how to deal with these situations.