On our previous trip to Mykonos in 2009 we had made the trip to the island of Delos (the historical centre of the Cyclades archipelago and birthplace of the mythological Greek gods Apollo & Artemis) so we weren't thinking to repeat that experience even as good as it had been - and so instead for this time we decided on a trip to the village of Ano Mera near the middle of the island.
On the way to Ano Mera we did make stops at two of the famous and beautiful beaches on Mykonos - Agios Ioannis Beach & Kalafadis Beach. The landscape and scenery around Agios Ioannis is truly impressive and from there we got a clear view of the island of Delos. We were actually more near the beach than on it - close to two small churches at one end of the beach away from the sandy area. Agios Ioannis Beach is the location for the filming of the 1989 movie Shirley Valentine. The Kalafadis Beach is certainly pretty, and if this were a day on which we were planning to do nothing beyond enjoying sun, sand & ocean then this is a place we could have spend quite a bit longer than our morning visit. The area had a much different feel to it than at the main Mykonos Town - very relaxed and peaceful here. From Kalafadis Beach we travelled the short distance to Ano Mera and made a visit to the Panagia Tourliani Monastery. The monastery was originally founded in the 16th century with much restoration taking place in the 18th century. It has some intricate artwork inside and is well known for an elaborate alter screen made by Florentine artists in the 18th century. For us, the hanging silver incense holders adorned with dragons were of particular interest inside the monastery.
Before leaving Ano Mera we spent a bit of time in the village square just outside the monastery. The square was surrounded by tavernas and souvenir shops. Some of the former looked quite interesting but all of the latter seemed rather tacky. The souvenir shops didn’t really seem to fit the general look and feel of Ano Mera. We did stop at one of the tavernas to try some of the traditional Greek mezes served with ouzo prior to making our way back to Mykonos Town.
We had spent some time in Mykonos Town back in 2009 as well but we were looking forward to wandering around the town once again. We started in the old harbour area first and meandered our way through the town. We of course hit all the top spots such as Little Venice and the Windmills, but it was nice just to walk through the little streets and check out some of the interesting shops along the way.
By the time we began feeling a bit hungry we started taking stock of the restaurant options as we walked and eventually decided on a place that specialized in sharing plates - something that we quite enjoy. It was here that we got our first taste of tomato fritters. They were delicious and we'd probably rate this lunch experience as the most memorable part of our day. The servers in the restaurant were friendly and attentive. Every element of the lunch in Mykonos was good.
By late afternoon we decided to head back to Azamara Journey. To get there, we needed to walk to the shuttle bus stop near the old port and it was only a short wait until the next available shuttle. Our plan was to have dinner on the ship a bit earlier than our norm and then head back into town for the evening. We made it back into town at about 8:30pm and enjoyed the evening stroll around Mykonos Town. We'd say that the nightlife really only got going at about the time we decided to make our way back to the ship. It would have been wonderful had we been able to sty a bit later, but we still had a good time on Mykonos.
Rather than head straight back to our room, we made our way up to the Living Room on Deck 10. On previous cruises this would have been called the Looking Glass, but whatever it is called it is a nice bar area with a dance floor that often had some form of entertainment. We arrived just as a guitarist that we liked was finishing up his set and after that the evening theme switched to dancing with a DJ. It was a busy spot and we were fortunate to arrive when we did because shortly after our arrival there weren't any comfortable seats available. We found the music selection good enough, but we had a tough time understanding the DJ between songs. The champagne for the evening, though, was perfect. It was a nice way to end of our day and thoughts of missing out on a late evening in Mykonos disappeared.
WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.