Sunny, luxurious, crazy nightlife, wonderful beaches, unique Cyclades Islands architecture the first things that come in your mind when you think of Mykonos Island.
Our experience in Mykonos Island took part in our ’16 Easter holidays.
The first things that we noticed as we stepped out of the ferryboat were the Cycladian houses of Mykonos town and as we entered the thin streets (sokakia) we got amazed by the fully white & blue houses color combined with the wonderful colors of the spring flowers hanging from the balconies and walls. Small stores one next to the other, in the small streets give you the possibility to get lost in them for hours and hours, just admiring clothes, luxurious jewelry, good fashion stores and taverns and coffee stores. These elements tied in together to show the visitor the harmony of living in Mykonos Island.
The first thing that you should do is to have a
coffee in the balcony – small Venice which gives access to the most popular seascape of Mykonos with the windmills called
The market of Mykonos is full of bars, fast-foods and restaurants to have your snack – lunch – dinner in. Beware not to cross the same street 3-4 times, because it’s likely for it to happen since they are very similar and they are all inter-connected.
Although it’s a small Island capital town, you are going to need at least a good 4 hour walk around the small streets to see them all, maybe enter some stores and you might not even finish.
Around the island there are many types of beaches to choose from: crazy, luxorius and silent ones: Ornos, Platis Gialos, Psarou,
Paradise & Super-Paradise are the closest and most popular beaches – with 24/7 life.
From Mykonos you can make daily trips to theclosest Cyclades Islands: Andros, Tinos, Siros.
What to taste: Mykonian sausages known all over Greece, local phylo pastry pies with onion or vegetables, kopanisti cheese and of course
the delicious sea food dishes. Known local deserts are the ‘amigdalota’ that are like the known martzipan types of sweets with and water from pomegranate.
The port of Katakolo in the Ilia Greek district, is a famous stop for cruise ships, offering an opportunity for passangers to visit Ancient Olympia – the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Situated 11 km away from Pyrgos, the small Katakolo town is also home of the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology.
The first thing you see when you step out of the ship if you travel like that, is the company that rents motocycles in there. I posted a picture of it, they are good trustwothy people and they will guide you what is there to see in the proximity of the port in case you can stay a good number of hours.
I personally recommend that you close you Katakolo trip with a coffee or a dessert in the Orizontes View Hotel, that is up on the hill behind the port and has an amazing view – like in my evening picture posted here.
Port cafes face the waterfront with an amazing seaside view, shops sell t-shirts, hats and jewellery.
A small corner beach draws swimmers and sand castle builders.
But what did we love the most about Katakolon? The food! We ate in a traditional travern by the sea a lovely tomato starter. We will delight you with some of these recipes in case you want a taste of Greece in your house.
But what about if you can stay longer than a day?
Well I personally believe you shoould definetly visit Kourouta Beach – the one in my landscape with the 3 trees seascape.
It is amazing, it’s one of the most special in this line of the Ionian Sea and it faces the 2 Ionian Islands Zakynthos and Kefalonia, which you can see just across the sea.
Now there you will find food by the sea: taverns, beach bars, plenty of sunbeded coffee stores with snacks and coffee and even day time or night time parties. It’s a small place but cozy and full of life, especially in july and august!
If you won’t travel anywhere else, the beach Katakolo has to offer all around the ‘nose’ as locals say, meaning the hill are beautiful: Kactro Bar, Liris and Vriniotis, Banana Beach and Korakohori.
All of these place filled with amazing sunset views and beautiful water for a swim.
Metsovo is situated in the left side of Pindos Mountains and it’s one of my best recommendations for accommodation on your way to the Ionian Islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia,
Corfu and Lefkada if you come from the north of the country by car.
You need about 20 minutes from Egnatia highway which covers the northern part of Greece ( Ipirus district) trip between mountains till you end up having in front of you the beautiful amphitheatrical view for the village.
Beautiful white stone houses, the red roofs and the amazing green (in the warm season) might take your breath away and for sure will make you want to lose some time around exploring.
For us the Greek Metsovo experience took place around the Christmas days. We packed the suitcases with the warmest clothes we had and the ski ones.
We caught 6C till -12C, truthly been said, we froze out there, good thing we were prepaired. But that did not stop us from seeing it all, and tr
ying the best of their local food.
Metsovo is situated at a 1200m altitude and 4 km away their cozy ski center.
Our first impression was given by the crowded streets full of tourists many taverns and souvenir stores, the smell from the fireplaces that reminded us the village childhood life and the wonderful smell of grilled meat and cooked traditional food and pies.
If you want to try cooked Greek dishes, the village taverns are the ones you want to go for. You can order from their traditional pan fried smoked yellow cheese Metsovone – produced by the local Metsovo association, salads, tzatziki, leek pie, cheese pies with green local herbs for starter.
Then as a main dish you will be able to choose the traditional sheep and lamb grilled ribs. These are the best here, you don’t want to eat them in Greece other else but in the mountain areas. The best lamb you can ever eat!
We wondered around the center a lot, and we went in one of their chic coffee stores, after all there’s always time for another coffee and storytelling quality time with friends; if you are in the mood for a chic maybe romantic mood out of the village tourist rush (lovely music and drinks by the way).
Cooked dishes of pork and chicken, pork steaks or veal are also dishes to be found everywhere. The center is full of taverns and restaurants so let your smell and senses guide you and choose the right one.
And of course if there’s room for sweets, they will always follow. Don’t be surprised if you ever get dessert without having asked for it. The only good thing is that the traditional Greek eating places bring a plate and people share it, so nothing will remain, some of you will sure discover, love and eat them all.
You will be able to choose from Greek yogurt with spoon sweet (traditional marmalade with the whole fruit), kataifi or baklava from filo pastry with lots of syrup and stuffed with nuts.
Never worry that you feel cold at night, their hotels and houses are so warm that not even by the sea we don’t get to feel so warm in the extra summer season.
Optional step: Heat a stair pan or a frying pan. Brush the lamb neck pieces (or other lamb parts - it works the same no matter the cut) with fresh pepper, salt and lots of oregano. If you are new to oregano, don't worry it does not have a strong taste, but without it the meat is boring.
Grill the meat 2 minutes on each side (previously add a little bit of olive oil). This will keep the juices inside and make the meat soft.
Heat the olive oil in a pot and brown the small cut onions. Add the grilled meat and mix well on a low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Add salt, fresh pepper.
Heat some water till it boils in a small pot and add the tomatoes (about 3) for some seconds. As the skin starts to break, take them out with a fork and clean them immediately from the fork with the knife (be carefull, they are hot). Blend them with a blender or finelly chopp them for better sensce of tomato and warm the fresh sauce in a pot adding salt, fresh pepper, basil and the sugar (it balances acidity and don't worry it does not change the taste).
Add the hot tomato sauce to the meat and cook for about 1, 1/2 hours. You can optionally add some wine. Add hot water as much as needed so that the meat gets covered as it cooks.
Boil hilopites (the ones in my image) or the pasta of your choice.
Serve together with the meat. Add sauce on top and lots of grated cheese.
What a beautiful treat, and when I think that I used to not eat lamb for years just because I thought it smells. What a waste. 🙂