(Kind of) early birds do cocktails on the beach
The hour of the cocktail (which could be anything from a vitamin-packed juice to a finely blended alcoholic beverage) can or, rather, must start early on Mykonos’ beaches – usually sometime after a late breakfast. Daytime drinks slowly give way to a warm sunset party mood, with a barefoot, deeply tanned crowd getting happy and wild. So, skip the lazy lounging by your hotel pool and plan ahead: a sun-lounger reservation is absolutely necessary.
There are many reasons why Condé Nast Traveler ranked this venue at the top of its 2017 Gold List of beach clubs. From the huge designer loungers (which are, admittedly, packed too closely together) and the luxury shopping, to the excellent service and the great sushi that is served in response to a mere nod of the head, Nammos is an experience in luxury.
Come late afternoon, the music gets louder and turns to ethnic dance beats, enticing the international loud crowd to get its tabletop groove on (an almost daily custom), popping the bubbly as though it were soda. A bucket-list experience, it’s fun to do it once if you can afford it…
This is a more boho-chic option, where brine-kissed kitesurfers do battle with the waves and wind. While the beach may not be the best on the island, the loungers and cushions are far enough from each other to give the sophisticated celebrity crowd a relaxed sense of privacy, and the cocktails (and food) are amazing. The music is eclectic dance, and the young men and women you’ll find here are probably the most beautiful and fit you’ll ever see. Ask about the beach parties, which are organized quite frequently and start just before sunset.
Built on a low-lying hill that rolls down to a private beach, Scorpios is an enormous establishment with luxurious bohemian décor that opened two years ago. A breath of fresh air, it takes a modern approach to all-day entertainment, with handpicked up-and-coming DJs (or artists, according to the venue’s website) who alternate at the decks day and night to give guests some of the most exciting music in the world right now. Come early (getting in becomes harder as the day wears on), enjoy a swim and get a couple of special drinks in while watching the red sun go down from your lounger. Hang around to join the other swimsuit-clad revelers at the almost-nightly parties, where even the most reserved patrons let their hair down and dance.
Jackie O’ Beach
The party starts early at the island’s most gay-friendly beach club. This, however, is not just another loud dance venue playing pop hits (though it does this too), as Jackie O’ Beach is a well-designed combo of gourmet restaurant, designer boutique and huge pool with loungers at the aptly named Super Paradise Beach. There is, of course, a big cocktail bar too, to help you find your own groove. This is Mykonos, after all.
Hoteling by the pool
You may not be staying in these hotels, but that’s no reason to miss out on their sophisticated vibe.
Cavo Tagoo Hotel
With the sun beds located literally inside the pool (on wooden platforms) and the most gorgeous view of the sun setting over the Aegean, the pool bar at this deluxe hotel (within walking distance from Chora) is as relaxing as relaxing can be – though you may be in for a surprise if the VIP guests decide to start dancing, as they often do. Make sure to book your spot well in advance as seating is limited.
What is possibly the most happening pool in Mykonos – where those publicity-shy guests who didn’t opt for the privacy of their villas can be seen sunning the day away – opens its doors to nonguests in the early evening, so dress up for a one-of-a-kind early drinks experience before going on to a fabulous dinner at the Matsuhisa by Nobu sushi restaurant right next door.
The Belvedere Bar serves seven signature cocktails by famed bartender Dale DeGroff, while award-winning Greek mixologist Christos Chouseas prepares Belvedere’s version of the Mai Tai and the Negroni at the tiny (six seats only) Sunken Watermelon Bar, located poolside.
Little Venice sunset exclusive
When you leave the beach before sunset, the customary thing to do is head to the pretty district of Little Venice. Stay away from the tourist traps and choose your own place to chill.
This is the only place Mykonos’ Greek connoisseurs favor if they happen to be in Chora at dusk. Its spectacular fruit cocktails, like the Bahama Mama, are great through to the early hours when Scarpa transforms into the smallest wild dance club you’ve ever been to.
Cocktails to dine for
Whether you’re out for an great evening meal or an after-dinner drink at the bar, a night at any of these places will most likely be one to remember.
The long and narrow bar at this Asian-fusion cocktail- restaurant (a sibling of Hakkasan, the famed London establishment) is possibly the best spot on the entire island for beautiful people-watching and sexy socializing. To top it all off, the Hakkatini signature cocktail is nothing short of perfection!
One of the island’s oldest hot spots, with an eminently elegant, all-white internal courtyard, Interni would not enjoy such an enduring reputation were it not for the ultra-chic bar right in the middle of its expensive restaurant.
This fine dining restaurant boasts the best view of the old harbor of Chora and its sparkling waters, mirroring the night sky. Right across the way from the entrance, Remezzaki, a small open-air cocktail bar, is just the thing for the first round of drinks.
Early drinks served late
After a full day at the beach, the recommended thing to do is take a nap before heading out for drinks and dinner – so don’t expect the bars to start getting warming up until well past midnight.
A timeless bar with standout décor and a logo created by internationally acclaimed Greek jewelry designer Minas, Astra is a constant for Mykonos regulars, though the patrons of its two most exclusive tables – to the left and right of the entrance – tend to change depending on global stock and oil prices. Dance music goes on till the wee hours.
Scarpa • Little Venice, Chora • Tel. (+30) 2289.023.294
Ling Ling • Chora • www.hakkasan.com/lingling • Tel. (+30) 2289.022.515
Interni • Chora • www.interni-restaurant.gr • Tel. (+30) 2289.026.333
Remezzo • Old Harbor • www.remezzo-mykonos.com • Tel. (+30) 2289.025.700
Astra • Tria Pigadia, Chora • www.astra-mykonos.com • Tel. (+30) 2289.024.767
The after-hours clubs
Packed with atmosphere and attitude, Moni is named after the Greek word for monastery and features servers dressed in designer monks’ habits and an incredibly snooty atmosphere. It’s unlikely you’ll be let in without a reservation.
Last year’s hottest new arrival made heads turn with its impressive décor and over-ambitious intentions, but the very high prices for tables and simple drinks have resulted in a jam-packed VIP section and little if any action in the vast main area. If this is fixed this summer, then we may be looking at one of the greatest exclusive dance clubs in Europe.
Located in Gialos – Chora’s old harbor – this place can be lots of fun, especially if you started with the drinks early. Expect to be crushed between hot-blooded 20-somethings grinding to R&B and pop hits – something that can be good, but also very, very bad.
Don’t even bother setting out for this king-sized dance club before 4 am, as that’s more or less when the international guest DJ stars start hitting the decks. Mykonos’ answer to Ibiza clubbing has one huge advantage: the beautiful dawn at Paradise Beach. Take your sunglasses; you’ll need them.