New York Times 36h in Mykonos


Boats moored just off Psarou Beach. CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

NOT so long ago Mykonos, one of the Aegean’s most popular islands, onto which jumbo cruise ships deposit as many as 15,000 day-trippers a day, was awash in just about everything but glamour. The Greek island was easily dismissed as too crowded, too expensive, too much of a cliché. But over the past few summers, it has bounced back hard as one of Europe’s jet-set playgrounds, rivaling the days when its cachet was almost universally evoked with just two words: Jackie Onassis.

These days, its hoteliers and restaurateurs are creating the magic by mixing a healthy dose of the island’s hedonistic past with a new reality of luxury accommodations, fusion gastronomy and notions of proper service. Mykonos has quickly welcomed a lost generation of globe-trotters, many of whom once scoffed at the idea of joining the mobs massing on its shores.


7 p.m.

Head for sunset drinks at Ai Yianni (30-22890-23547), on the beach at Agios Ioannis, the island’s westernmost beach. At just 26 years old, the restaurant’s second-generation owner, Nikolas Xydakis, exemplifies the new face of improved Mykonian hospitality, having been sent by his parents to study at the elite Les Roches hostelry academy in Lausanne. It may be too early for dinner, but not for some delectably crispy saganaki (6 euros, or $9.18 at $1.53 to the euro) and a glass of Peloponnesian chardonnay (3 euros) beneath the grapevine-shaded pergola.

10 p.m.

Fighting the current trend toward white-on-white minimalism, the family-owned taverna Te Maerio (Kalogera Street, Mykonos Town; 30-22890-28825) serves straightforward fare amid charmingly simple décor. Model ships and braided loaves of bread adorn the walls, and the standout nibbles include crispy zucchini fritters (7 euros), rich tzatziki crunchy with cucumber (4 euros) and the savory keftedes (9.50 euros).

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