Trip to Europe: Picturesque hideaways on the Greek islands of Mykonos and Antiparos
Stunning view from the Bill and Coo Gastronomy Project sunset lounge. Photo / supplied
TRAVEL GUIDE TO MYKONOS AND ANTIPAROS
If you’re planning a dream trip to Greece, keep these Mykonos and Antiparos hotspots on your radar, writes Amira Hashish
Mykonos offers a glamorous gateway to neighboring Antiparos, the destination that is fast becoming the most coveted of the Greek islands for connoisseurs, including dedicated vacation owners Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson or recent visitors Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling. Here are some of the places to check when jumping between the two star escapes.
WHERE TO STAY
The Antiparos Rooster
This unbeatably chic hotel sets the standard for the new kind of travel experience and puts Antiparos on the map. Impeccably designed to respect its nature-filled surroundings, this is the place you dream of when thinking of the authentic Greek island getaway. Slow living is embraced through sustainability, organic food, wellness and fun.
Owner and founder Athanasia Comninos is originally from Athens but was drawn to the magic of Antiparos with its sense of tranquility, warmth, beautiful scenery and sea views. She bought a house on Livadia beach , next to what now houses The Rooster, then painstakingly built his dream hotel with a series of private suites in the grounds. Many with their own private plunge pools and rainforest-style outdoor showers, they’re a far cry from ordinary hotel rooms. Instead, there’s the feeling of being at your own tasteful beach house.
At the heart of The Rooster is The House of Healing; a thoughtful twist on a spa with a rotating series of wellness gurus at your fingertips. Stroll along the path to savor a day at the Aegean Sea. You will receive a picnic to take to the beach as well as a parasol and rattan chairs to settle in at the place of your choice. Evenings are made for the open-air restaurant, which sparkles as the sun sets. Needless to say, all the ingredients are local. Even the bread is baked a stone’s throw away. Head straight to Coq Antiparos to discover this special destination, theroosterantiparos.com
Village of Panormos
Mykonos may have a reputation for being a party island, but there are also charming and rustic neighborhoods to explore. Panormos Village is ideally located in the north for a slower pace and access to some of the best beaches on the island, including the crystal clear waters of Panormos Bay. The family-run hotel offers breathtaking panoramic views from its dazzling pool, restaurant and suites. The rooms have been cleverly redesigned to pay homage to Cycladic design using natural materials. Mykonian stone architecture combined with a palette of neutrals sets a soothing tone and strikes the perfect balance between contemporary and local. One of the most coveted beach clubs, Principote Mykonos, which attracts a host of celebrities, is right next door, but the real gem to explore is Kiki’s. The beach restaurant, which sits on the edge of a cliff, is about a 20-minute walk or a short drive from Panormos Village, panormosvillage.com.
Bill & Coo
For those who want to be in the heart of the action in Mykonos Town, Bill & Coo Suites is the perfect place. The hotel is centered around the pool deck, which is a fabulous place to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the island.
It houses the gastronomic project with a series of Michelin-starred chefs including residences of renowned chefs Arnaud Bignon, Alexandros Tsiotinis and Luca Piscazzi. A short transfer will take you to its sister beachfront hotel, Bill & Coo Coast. With only a handful of suites on-site, some with their own private plunge pools and a plunge pool near the all-day cafe and bar, this property was designed with privacy in mind. It is also the location of the Beefbar restaurant, which has been so successful that it now has outposts all over the world. It recently underwent a redesign taking inspiration from the Aegean Sea and Delos, the uninhabited island and World Heritage Site it overlooks, known for being the birthplace of the ancient Greek god Apollo and the goddess Artemis, bill-coo-hotel.com.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
This is the most memorable lunch you will have in Mykonos. Reservations aren’t a thing but get moving, introduce yourself to the owner (you’ll recognize him when you see him), soak up the sparkling views of the heart-shaped bay and relax with a complimentary cup of rosé while you wait. Order just about anything on the menu and you won’t be disappointed. All food is cooked without electricity in this beautifully authentic beach hut which has the perfect view. Take a dip in the sea, which flows below the terrace, watching the sun go down.
Hidden in the historic alleys of Mykonos Town, Nōema is an ode to the culinary heritage of this legendary Greek island with some very contemporary twists. As in a typical Cycladic house, social life is centered around the Avli, a hidden courtyard with loosely defined areas for eating, drinking and dancing. In the open kitchen, culinary director Athinagoras Kostakos is pioneering a new Cycladic cuisine.
The menu celebrates land and sea. Lamb, goat cheese, caper leaves, lobster, octopus and cockles come from hand-picked suppliers throughout the Aegean archipelago. The ingredients are dried, fermented, sun-dried and flame-roasted according to centuries-old traditions, but composed in unexpected ways. The perfect place to put on your fanciest outfit and soak up a performative feast.
A beach club to be seen in, Scorpios leads the way in clean Mykonian design in a lively setting. Perched on a scenic southern tip of the island, the stretch of coastline is a fun place to soak up the Cycladic sunshine.
The diet is centered around the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Stay until the evening when the club atmosphere takes over. Scorpios is so devoted to music that he even has his own record label. If you really don’t want to leave after a day of partying, there’s the neighboring Soho Roc House hotel.
Greek gastronomy in the heart of the city. An evening of watching passersby rave about the local shops is made all the more enjoyable with truly delicious home-cooked meals. The owner and chef is passionate about Cycladic recipes and you can taste them with every bite. His sea bass dish, complete with perfectly cooked potatoes and vegetables, is hard to beat. A discreet gem.
Small plates to share on the port with a cuisine that goes beyond the Greek tradition. A good place to watch the boats dance with a buzz.
A traditional Greek taverna in the middle of town with a beautiful large patio. Stone-slab floors and wooden tables sit under the shade of bright pink bougainvillea. The perfect setting for a long lunch or a lazy dinner.
A little set back from Soros Beach, this quiet, rustic taverna serves delicious local dishes. Or if you prefer a more contemporary option, head to the restaurant at the Soros Beach club.
In Apantima Cove, on the island’s most sheltered beach, this all-day dining restaurant serves up food at the height of the view.
Looking for the best laid-back bar to watch the sunset? That’s it. Order your favorite cocktail and marvel at the colorful hues of the sky as day turns to night.
WHERE TO EXPLORE
The island of Paros, the big sister of Antiparos, is 50 minutes by ferry from Mykonos and only seven minutes by ferry from Antiparos. It’s a great day trip. Naoussa is the main port and where you will find the most stylish restaurants including Barbarossa, Siparos or Yemeni. With its sandy coves and small bays, the famous beach of Kolymbithres is the ideal place to spend a dream day by the sea; Taverna Anemos or Taverna Kolibithres are your lunch spots.
For more Greece travel ideas, see visitgreece.gr