And then I was in Mykonos and the vacation could truly begin!
There’s a whole range of hotels in Mykonos. There are many beachside resorts on the island, which can go for upwards of a thousand dollars a night. There are also hostels and small inns in Mykonos Town. The resorts are not convenient if you want to spend the evenings taking advantage of Mykonos’s night life. When I went to Mykonos in 2011, I had decided to stay at Geranium, one of two gay hotels about a 15 minute walk up a hill from the town. The other one is Elysium, which is more expensive and more of a party hotel, which hosts a nightly drag show and sunset happy hour. Geranium is a short walk up the hill from Elysium, so it makes for a good alternative.
Geranium is not a luxury hotel, but the staff is super friendly and, most importantly, the pool is phenomenal. There is a range of rooms, including more apartment-style rooms, and I went with a mid-level room for150 Euros a night, which included all taxes, a welcome drink, and transfers to and from the airport.
It was a super short ride from the airport to the hotel, and I checked into my room on the second floor. The room was basic, but clean, with a double bed, chair, and a small private balcony facing away from the ocean. There was also a shared balcony in front of the room, which had spectacular views of the water – particularly at sunset! And of all the hotels I’ve stayed in, this was one where I spent the least amount of time in the room. If I wasn’t sleeping, I was out and about, or at the pool.
Poolside there were a range of loungers, some under a roof, and some with umbrellas. There was also a small bar, which also served food – which I didn’t take advantage of this time. It was a perfectly relaxing way to spend my first afternoon in Mykonos, and I met another guest at the hotel, an Australian also traveling solo as part of a European adventure, and we ended up becoming travel buddies for the rest of my time in Mykonos.
Mykonos is a late city, so we typically drank 10 Euro beers at Elysium’s sunset happy hour/drag show, or home-mixed cocktails on the balcony, prior to heading out on the town, ending up sufficiently partied out at 3 am (starting with Lola (a cocktail bar) or Montparnesse (piano bar), heading to Porta Bar or 54, and ending Jackie O’s) – early for Mykonos. We only got lost heading back to the hotel on foot once, when a taxi thankfully passed by.
I wish I had had more than 2 full days in Mykonos, especially since the first full day was me sleeping late between the exhaustion of travel of day one and staying out late. There aren’t a lot of sights other than the beaches in Mykonos. The winding streets and the port are cute, though filled with tourists day and night. There’s the island of Delos a short ferry ride away, which has some interesting ruins, but I had done that in 2011.
What I didn’t actually do the last time I was in Mykonos, oddly, was go to the beach. There are a lot of different beaches on Mykonos, some of which are more party beaches than others. To get to the beach, you can either take a bus from the town, a water taxi, or rent a car/scooter. On day 3, my Australian friend woke me up with the news that he had rented a scooter and offered to drive me down to Elia.
I’ve never been on a scooter before, and I kept thinking about a scooter accident my aunt and uncle had in Aruba about 20 years ago. The ride itself was quite winding and some of the scooter drivers in Mykonos were speeding along every curve past us. Add in the normal insane Greek car drivers, and the fact I had no helmet, and I basically thought I was going to die on a scooter on Greek island with an Australian I’d just met, single and alone.
The ride down to Elia was actually not that long, and about 20 minutes after leaving the hotel, and only one near accident, and we were parking the scooter in a lot with about 20 others, and I could unclench by hands and breathe.
Once down at the beach, there are a number of different establishments that have chairs and palm shades set up. We walked to the gay section, and asked what the different pricing options were. The price varies depending how close you want to be to the ocean, so we went with middle seats for 12 euros each. After a while, I also ordered some food, which was forgettable but not as overpriced as I’d expected.
After a few hours, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel, and that’s where the fun began. When my friend went to start the scooter, it made no sound, and the fuel gauge showed as empty. Rut roh. I looked on my phone, and the nearest gas station was a mile away. Now, I hadn’t explained the terrain around Elia. The last part of the trip to Elia was down a steep, winding hill. So, yeah.
Alas, neither the hotel nor the scooter rental company answered the phone, so up the hill we went. We were the only ones walking at all on the hot, sunny road, and multiple cars and scooters just passed us by. We then saw a man waiting with one of the 4-wheeled scooter things, who we guessed had also run out of gas. About 2/3 of the way there, two guys in a jeep stopped and offered us a ride to town, and they dropped us off at the gas station.
The man at the gas station didn’t bat an eye, as I’m sure this happens all the time, and filled two empty 1-liter water bottles with gas. We also got water, and then headed back for the downhill walk to the beach, which was peaceful and beautiful.
We filled up the tank with gas and…. the scooter still didn’t start. At this point, we figured maybe the battery was dead. But the bus back to town was due to arrive in about 5 minutes, so we figured we’d just leave the scooter. Of course the bus dropped us on the far end of town, leaving us with a 25 minute walk through the town and up the hill, leaving me completely and utterly exhausted and in need of a shower and nap. Oddly, it was still an awesome day.
I arranged for my transfer the next morning, and my friend got in touch with the scooter company. After the nap/shower, it was time for a beautiful sunset on the balcony, followed by a last dinner and night out- though not too late, as I had an early flight out.