Why September is the best time to visit marvellous Mykonos

Mykonos is now in party mode but September is the really hot ticket… Discovering a serene side to the glamorous Greek island

  • Visit the Greek island late in the season, says the Daily Mail’s Jenny Coad 
  • She stayed at the Santa Marina Resort for its private beach and sublime views  
  • Don’t miss a trip to Delos, the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis

Jenny Coad for the Daily Mail


Two doughnut sellers are starring in their own opera. Are they disagreeing about frying times? Perhaps one has stepped onto the other’s sandy patch? Their doughnuts are the size of saucers — but sales are slow.

That could be because we’re here in September rather than July and August when Mykonos is heaving. Go late in the season and it’s still blissfully hot and humming with life. Mopeds roar around the narrow roads. Beach loungers are full of browning bodies.

Shops are selling summer stock at a 50 per cent discount and one weary shop owner is delighted the end is in sight, ‘I’m going back to Athens to watch TV and get fat. Then I will do it all again next year.’

White cubes: The harbour in sunny Mykonos town in Greece 

White cubes: The harbour in sunny Mykonos town in Greece 

There are cheaper places to stay, but Santa Marina Resort, on a hill above the village of Ornos, has its own private beach and its Buddha Bar restaurant serves some of the best prawns I have ever eaten. Breakfast is a Greek feast to be savoured on the terrace.

The views are sublime — and not just of the sea with Naxos and Paros on the horizon.

There’s a wedding while we’re here and the Greek Tatler set seem to have wandered off the page. The bride and groom would embarrass a catwalk and the already lovely setting is transformed with lanterns, hydrangeas and bubbles. Glamour aside (bring your best cossie), the refurbished Santa Marina Resort is good for families — inflatable unicorn in the pool, spa bath, play area.

I don’t know how the Mykonians keep their walls so white, but the houses look as if they are covered in royal icing. Travelling inland, they enliven the otherwise barren, wind-battered landscape. Not much can cling on in the Cyclades.

And if you don’t want the faff of renting a vehicle, take the bus. It’s easy and cheap (less than £2 a journey).

On the north is Panormos, the stretch of sand where we meet the doughnut sellers. Everyone else is here for Kikis, a nearby taverna that’s so popular there’s a box of rosé to keep your spirits up in the queue.

Ancient ruins: The Temple of Isis (above) on the island of Delos 

Ancient ruins: The Temple of Isis (above) on the island of Delos 

You can also take the hotel boat to Scorpios round the corner from Santa Marina. It’s a bar made for Instagram. There’s a tribal feel with a fire pit and amphitheatre seating. It’s a good place to people-watch. The American lady sitting next to us is dressed to chill, wearing a silky pink jumpsuit ‘that’s as comfortable as pyjamas’.

The island of Delos is a marvel you shouldn’t miss. It’s the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis and the site of an ancient settlement (in the 1st century it housed 300,000 people) that’s older than Pompeii. The wealthiest homes were filled with marble pillars and mosaics, and a pride of lions stood guard near the port.

A huge statue of Apollo was, archaeologists believe, knocked over by a great big bronze palm tree. You can see a fragment of his left foot in the British Museum. What a blow for the God of love. Happily his spirit is alive and well in Mykonos.


Rooms at Santa Marina from €500 (approx £440) per night BB, santa-marina.gr. Flights from £294 return in September, britishairways.com.

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