They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Well, you could say the same about yourself when you're traveling. Part of what makes going to another country quite the experience is tasting the food they normally eat there. It's probably far from what you're used to back at home. And here in Mykonos, a great place to start is at Steki Proedrou. This highly popular foodie spot at the heart of the island's Ano Mera village, one of Mykonos’ notable neighborhoods, serves up authentic meat from the area. Some of them were probably just bought that same morning and served fresh for your tastebuds to enjoy!
If you're more into seafood, it wouldn't get any better than at Tasos. Similarly to Sketri Proedru, this place also serves up some authentic Greek seafood dishes made out of fresh produce. What you're eating here is probably what most other locals in the area eat too. Their fishes, in particular, are cooked just right that they taste so smoothly in your mouth. Furthermore, this small tavern placed their tables right on the beach itself. So while you dine on your delicious fishes and prawns, you're also feeling the soft sand in your feet. It doesn't get any more Mediterranean than that!
Contrary to what you might think, the people here don't just swim at the beach, work at the markets, and any other stereotype you might have seen in films and on TV. Mykonos is just like any other town. They shop, they play, and they watch movies. Now, the latter has a special place within the island and the hotspot is becoming more popular each year. It's the Cine Manto, an outdoor cinema that shows some of your favorite films. The ones you love watching back home? You can watch here in an open garden complete with that Mediterranean breeze and even a nice cocktail!
Source: Cine Manto Mykonos Facebook Page.jpg
You’ll really get to know a destination when you experience a festival there. Such events are what separates one culture from another. And in Mykonos, the most beautiful is probably the Panighiri festival. This summer festival is dedicated to the many patron saints of the island. But if you're expecting a period prayer, think again! During this summer festival, they venerate their patron saints by dancing, singing, and having a good time. It's as if they're partying in their honor. And though it's a religious celebration, the people here often get down during the festival. You might even find yourself dancing as well, even though you might not know the saint you're venerating.
Don't let their Panighiri festival fool you. The Greeks here at Mykonos still pay reverence to their faith in serious ways too. One that many tourists have adapted is going to the famous Panagia Tourliani Monastery. Both opulent and simple in its own unique ways, the shrine has become the place of prayer for many locals living in Ano Mera. It's a historic site because it's one of many places on the island where Christianity first spread through Greece. And to this day, it still stands as a reminder of the faith, both for locals and tourists alike.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes, as much as you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, you have no choice but to just watch. While you're there on vacation, the locals here are still living their normal lives, and part of that is work. Being a seaside destination, one of the strongest trades here is fishing, and at the Agios Sotis area, you will witness how Greek fishermen really catch their fish. Some of them continue the simpler traditions passed down from many generations ago. While others rely on more modern processes of fishing instead. in any case, the area is a private beach that's fascinating to watch and even photograph!
Still, Mykonos locals like to swim too. They don't care that many tourists go there just to swim in their beaches. They're going to swim in the same areas because it's their land. However, there is a certain beach that's not as crowded as the more popular ones on the island. Kapari is a beautiful patch of seaside land that's so secluded, not even many tourists go here. It's a great secret escape for those who want to swim the Mediterranean sea and soak up that famous sunshine. Just hope that this secret hasn't been spread too much!
Another area where you can watch how locals live out their daily lives is spending time at the old port. It's here where ships dock and the workers bring out their new stock of whatever the people need. The energy here is busy, yes, but that's the charm of it. It's local life right before your eyes. And while you can't partake in it seeing as you're just a tourist, it's a great thing to watch. Especially if you're in a nice cafe by the port sipping up some excellent Greek coffee.
Hungry again? it's time to dine at Oti Apomeine, This family-owned tavern has served locals and tourists alike. You haven't really tasted the real Mykonos if you miss out on dining here. they serve some of the most tender meat dishes on all of the island. Their steak and burgers are so well-done, sometimes, you might not even need a knife to slice them. Just use your fork, cut up a piece, and taste the savory goodness of Greece! It's this sort of excellence that has made the place a huge favorite among locals. And what keeps tourists coming back for more!
Source: Oti Apomeine Facebook Page
The next time you're in Mykonos, why not live like a local? See what amazing things the people who live here do and see all day. You just might find other reasons to keep coming back here, apart from the white sandy beaches and luxurious resorts!