An Insider’s Mykonos

Orsalia Parthenis, the fashion designer whose shop has been a Mykonos flagship for more than 40 years, shares her favourite spots for authentic experiences every summer.

Waking up next to the most photographed landmark of Mykonos, the windmills, right across from Sea Satin restaurant and its all night parties, it’s refreshing to know you can still stroll around the market stalls and buy fresh vegetables and flowers from the local growers. The traditional daily farmer’s market and fish market along Yalos, the old harbor next to the beautiful Town Hall, is still going strong on this 24-hour party island. And it takes place a short picturesque stroll from the Parthenis shop, that celebrates more than 40 years of minimal relaxed fashion design.

Orsalia, a summer citizen of Mykonos form the age of eight, loves the market its people. But she also knows where to find the best Kopanisti, the local cheese, the best Louza, a local prosciutto, and the tastiest Mykonian sausage when she needs a palette cleanser from sushi and fusion cuisine.

Marissa at Fokos, one of the few classic tavernas on Mykonos, is one of the best kept secrets. Fokos, a beach untouched by luxury sunbeds, offers a truly relaxed, authentic experience that is not to be missed. Marissa’s cuisine of Cyclades classics is best combined with local wines, now making an entrance on Mykonian dinner tables. The nadmade desserts and ice creams are to die for. And if you’re looking for more laid back beach places, try Agrari or Agios Sostis beaches. Kiki’s, the tavern at the top of Agios Sostis, is well worth the wait to get a table.

Another island favourite of Orsalia’s, who celebrated the island’s freedom of expression since the 70s, is Jackie O. True to the Mykonian party tradition, the nightclub near Paraportiani church, a favourite hang out of the gay party crowd, is still reigning over the night life scene, while its beach outpost on Super Paradise lives up to the wildest expectations of fun 24/7, but has been enriched with shopping, excuisite eating by the hands of inspired Greek chef Christoforos Peskias and even brilliant haircuts by Vangelis Hatzis. You might be able to get your hands on one of the Parthenis iconic beach towels, which have been a must of mykonian beach life since 1978.

For a more relaxed night out and a good drink, Orsalia prefers Astra, a bar in the center of town. The décor, designed by Minas, the talented designer of minimal, fluid jewellery and objects, has been creating an intimate cocoon of star-studded island nights for over thirty years. It’s there where the people who have made Mykonos what it is today meet to share their stories of nights before. After all, it is those stories and these people that keep the Mykonos magic going.

Photo credit © Yorgos Kaplanidis