Looking for the true heart of the most glittering destinations around the world is a trend attracting more and more demanding travelers. When in Mykonos, for instance, after having experienced the most fancy, exclusive dining, luxury yachting, private shopping, endless swimming and dancing until dawn at famous night clubs, they sort of want to “lift the curtain” and take a look at the inside of this amazingly beautiful island; see the core of a precious Aegean gem that had become a legendary V.I.P. destination long before the Internet was even discovered!
So, if you’d like to know what Mykonos is really made of and explore its inner personality, all you have to do is spend a day as a local. First thing, set your alarm clock early in the morning, around 8am, and take a walk down to the silent old port, while the island is still sleeping. Enter in one of the local cafes for an “ellinikos” (Greek) coffee, preferably sweet, served in a small thick cup that will keep it warm until you drink it. At this time of the day the clientele is usually consisted of older men; retired captains discussing about the weather forecast, shop owners exchanging views before opening their businesses or fishermen stopping by for a morning cap before going to bed after a whole night out in the sea. Women are usually absent this early, since it is time for them to make their groceries and start cooking for the family. Don’t be surprised if the patrons try to find out everything about you; your name, your origin, your personal status and so on! Much more than curiosity it is their way to demonstrate the famous Greek hospitality and make you feel like one of their kind!
If you want to eat as a local, ask for where locals eat during the winter. Moreover, you can get information fot the cooking lessons that often take place in private houses by talented and experienced Mykonian ladies who reveal the secrets of mouthwatering handmade pies, roasted lamb and dozens of other irresistible delicacies of the island. Get in a local grocery store to taste some of the exquisite cheese and cold cuts varieties that are most popular among the islanders, buy some fresh bread to make yourself a tasteful sandwich and walk down to a beach –preferably not an organized one- for a refreshing swim interrupted only by the characteristic sound of seagulls.
Then, on your way back to the port, look for merry groups of locals gathered in humble small taverns for a glass —or more— of ouzo (a rich in alcohol Greek drink) along with fabulous small “meze” bites of tiny fried fish, grilled cheese & peppers, olives and tomato salad (check out also our article on the top specialties to taste in Mykonos). Have a few drinks and then, without realizing it, you may as well start singing and even dancing together with your new friends, like as if you too were born in Mykonos!