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Discover the Real Mykonos

Written by  Maxine Albert

LUXE
Sun kissed beaches, blue Aegean waters and legendary night life have long attracted holiday makers to Mykonos. However, there’s another side to this popular destination in Greece’s Cycladic chain. The enchanting island also boasts ancient ruins, fascinating history and a charming town that still maintains its authenticity - The Real Mykonos.
It all started with Delos.

Mykonos was an unknown island with few visitors until the sixties when yachts filled with celebrities and jetsetters dropped anchor en route to the wondrous ruins of Delos. The picturesque island fast became a favorite haunt of Jackie O, Liz Taylor, Brando and Christian Dior, to name a few, and the locals built villas, hotels and restaurants to accommodate them. Many say if it weren’t for Delos, there would be no Mykonos.
A 30 minute ferry ride from Mykonos takes you to Delos, Greece’s renowned archaeological site and the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. This mystical, now uninhabited island was a magnificent sacred city and flourishing commercial center during the 1st millennium B.C. Strolling amid the ruins of ancient Doric temples, market places, the amphitheater, houses adorned with murals, mosaic floors, The Temple of Apollo and the dazzling Terrace of the Lions statues with my excellent guide, Amaryllis, felt like traveling back in time. Delos Guide: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


It was on this very island of Delos that beautiful Eleftheria was born, and like all the other residents, she moved to Mykonos where she met and married handsome George Daktylides - a man with a vision. The couple entered the hospitality industry in 1979, creating a family owned group of nine luxury hotels run today by their four sons. During the busy season ever charming Panos, Marcos, Vangelis and Marios are on site at the resorts, impeccably dressed and making sure everything runs perfectly. Often their children are around learning the business. Wintertime the brothers ride tractors and do the repairs just like their father did. The Daktylides’ truly exemplify the Mykonos ethic with their family focused, hardworking, warm and generous spirit.
The various hotels in their Myconian Collection portfolio offer visitors a range of choices and locations around the island. Each has its own unique style. All are luxe 5 star properties with superb cuisine, excellent spas, top amenities and great personal attention.


The most exclusive is the Myconian Villa Collection, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, set on a hillside overlooking Elia Beach 6 miles outside of town. Innovative stage director Antonis Kalogridis created a masterpiece of glamour, style and luxury in this elegant collection of terraced suites and villas with private pools and verandas. In addition to uninterrupted views of the Aegean, epicurean restaurant and a full service spa, the resort has its own private section on the beach. Next door, the Myconian Avaton Resort, a member of Design Hotels, is a veritable Grecian showpiece with breathtaking panoramas. Cutting edge designs blend seamlessly with iconic classics and bespoke furnishings. Both resorts offer complimentary shuttle service into town so guests can enjoy the exciting nightlife.


The Myconian Ambassador, a member of Relais & Chateaux, situated just above Platis Gialos beach on the south coast of the island is just minutes from town and close to famed Psarou, Paranga and Paradise beaches. This chic oasis, all splashed out in gorgeous whites and blues, boasts fashionable rooms and suites with terraces offering views of the yacht filled bay and azure sea, pampering Thalasso Spa and to die for seafood at acclaimed Efisia. The resort also features a fabulous pool deck, ‘cool’ George’s bar and a private launch available to take guests beach hopping. The Kyma Design Hotel, Myconian Naia Luxury Suites and Myconian Korali, a Relais & Chateaux, all located in Mykonos Town, are ideal for those looking to be right in the center of the action and the party scene. www.myconiancollection.gr

Mykonos Town - Chora
 Mykonos town ‘Chora’ with its iconic windmills is a quaint Cycladic village with a maze of narrow whitewashed passageways, houses and churches sprinkled with purple bougainvillea, all gathered around the harbor. Bustling tavernas, trendy cafes, stylish bars, art galleries and boutiques with designer goods and locally made sandals, kaftans and jewelry, all spill out into the streets.
Don’t miss Gioras Wood Bakery, opened since medieval times, for its age old atmosphere and scrumptious breads and sweets. Drop by waterfront Yialos Café where the locals hang out, to views of fishing boats and pelicans. At sunset, grab an outdoor table at seafront Baos in Little Venice as the wind swept waves bid adieu to the last golden rays against the backdrop of brightly colored two story houses.

Beautiful Island
Mykonos is an alluring cocktail of pristine sand beaches and crystal blue waters with many spots to kick back in style. Popular Nammos on Psarou Beach offers private cabanas on an exclusive roped off area of the beach with Perrier Jouet, Wagyu beef, sushi, butlers and more - all for $5,000 for the day. The new SantAnna Beach Club on Paranga Beach, from the same group that owns outstanding restaurant Nice n Easy in Mykonos Town, features a sprawling 22,600-square-foot saltwater pool with loungers on private islands in the pool, superb food and beach access.
Dining al fresco on fine Greek cuisine at historic Remezzo, a favorite of the international jet set since 1967, the lights of Mykonos town across the way illuminating the sea below - is pure magic.
Athens-based Travelive (www.travelive.com) are experts in arranging customized luxury travel in Greece. Last spring Emirates Airline launched nonstop service from Newark to Athens making it the only carrier to fly this route year round, not just in season. Experience Emirates’ superior service onboard.
www.emirates.com

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