Natural Choice

A Katikies veteran shares her tips for Mykonos

Christina Ntousia

Hotel Manager, Katikies Mykonos

Christina Ntousia has the Katikies pedigree. The native of Patras, Greece spent most of her early life in Athens, starting her career in tourism management. She moved onto Santorini, working the front desk at Katikies for several years starting in 2009. In 2017, when it was time to prepare for opening of Katikies Mykonos, the growing brand lured her back. “Katikies became very, very famous in Santorini. It started with three rooms decades ago, and now it’s the hotel where everyone wants to stay,” she says. “With so many guests coming to Mykonos and then Santorini, or vice-versa, it was natural to expand in Mykonos.

Christina Ntousia, hotel manager at Katikies Mykonos

Local Recommendations

EXPLORE MYKONOS THROUGH THE EYES OF CHRISTINA NTOUSIA, HOTEL MANAGER AT KATIKIES MYKONOS

Ntousia says Katikies Mykonos can arrange extraordinary experiences on the island and off—but she shares a few personal picks.

SAND & SEA

"BEACH BAR" IS TOO SMALL A TERM FOR THE BIG MYKONOS EXPERIENCE

Mykonos offers so much more than a typical day at the beach. Sure, the beauty of the island’s coves and strands is world-renowned, but Mykonos has a seaside scene like no other summer destination. “It’s a very Myconian experience to relax by the sea with a drink, listen to music and have lunch without having to drive somewhere else,” Ntousia says. “The beaches are a place to party and some even have swimming pools to enjoy.”

Ntousia recommends popular Nammos (Psarou Beach; +30-228-902-2440). “It’s an exclusive experience that’s totally worth the expense,” she says. The most rarified day at Nammos means renting one of their four private cabanas; each includes a private outdoor Jacuzzi, St. Barth’s skin products, Champagne, wine and drinks in the mini-bar and snacks—plus a private butler and VIP driver. Other famous names include the arty, bohemian Scorpios (Paraga Beach; +30-228-902-9250) and the gay mecca JackieO’ (Super Paradise Beach; +30 228-907-7298,). For discerning beachcombers, Elia Beach, the island’s longest strand, should not be missed. Grab a swing chair or lounge under a thatched palapa at Thassos (Elia Beach; +30-694-550-6053), the low-key beach bar.

Elia Beach is regarded as one of island’s longest and beautiful strands. Courtesy of Drew Limsky

GIFTS FOR YOURSELF (AND OTHERS)

IRRESISTIBLE CYCLADIC PRODUCTS ARE UBIQUITOUS

Leave space in your bag when you travel to Mykonos, because it’s inevitable that you’ll want to stock up on linen shirts and dresses, olive oils soaps and handicrafts. With 4,000 items, the 15-year-old Archetype (Agion Anargiron St.; +30-228-902-3442) is a Little Venice institution for crafts, souvenirs and small paintings. For jewelry fashioned from Santorini’s volcano, Ntousia recommends Poniros (Serakonta; +30-228-907-8545).

For linen menswear, Ntousia favors Parthenis (Alefkandra Square; +30-228-902-2448): “It’s one of the oldest and most famous boutiques, carrying bohemian, loose clothes for the summer.” Of and course, Mo’s Boutique at Katikies Mykonos—named for the hotel owner’s wife—couldn’t be more convenient for for women’s apparel, sandals, shoes, hats, bags and swimsuits.

Archetype in Mykonos Town is a landmark souvenir shop. Courtesy of Drew Limsky

ISLAND LIFE

THREE WAYS TO TOUR MYKONOS

Katikies Mykonos can arrange a customized, private tour of the island in a luxurious Mercedes van to see the most famous parts of the island. The service is available for 100 euros per hour. All the shimmering olive trees on Mykonos aren’t just lovely and evocative—they also produce some of the most flavorful olive oil in the world. The hotel can arrange an olive oil tasting session to learn everything you’d want to know about the Greek varieties and how to discern quality product from ordinary olive oils. You will also learn how to pair the most suitable variety of oil for different different types of cuisine. The site is a nearby restaurant (70 euros). Reservations for the two-hour experiences are required. Adventurous guests can enjoy a two-hour horseback ride. A short lesson is following through local farming areas surrounded by rock-strewn hills where wild goats, sheep and donkeys graze. The ride culminates at secluded Fokkos Beach for some amazing photo opportunities. to take some photos. Two-hour morning or evening sessions are available (90 euros).

A typical stop on a Mykonos island tour would include Little Venice, the colorful seafront area of Mykonos Town. Courtesy of Drew Limsky

OUTWARD BOUND

ISLAND HOPPING AROUND MYKONOS

As if Mykonos didn’t have enough attractions, the sunbaked island also offers to premier archeological sites. The hotel can arrange a half day or full day private boat tour to Delos and Rhenia islands. Delos is rich in artifacts, such as the Sanctuary of Apollo, which Ntousia says is remarkably intact; the Temple of Isis; and the Terrace of the Lions, while the water around Rhenia is incomparably clear and beautiful. During the trip you have the option to stop at both of the islands to swim and enjoy lunch. Snorkeling equipment can also be provided upon request. The boat can depart from Agios Ioannis Bay, which is just a five-minute walk distance from Katikies Mykonos (depending on weather conditions) or from Ornos Bay, which is a five-minute drive from the hotel.

The terrace of the lions, Delos. Courtesy of depositphotos.

TRADITIONAL TASTES

AGE-OLD RECIPES AND MIDCENTURY JETSET PROVE AN INTOXICATING MIX

Galleraki, (Little Venice; +30-228-902-7188) in Mykonos Town on the waterfront, is the essential Mykonos experience. Beautiful people lounge on pale yellow cushions with glasses of rosé and Ktima Alfa, a local white wine of the Malagouzia variety. The sunset, beach and windmill views are incomparable. For a quieter scene, Ntousia suggests Kalita (31 N. Kalogera St.; +30-228-902-7102) “It’s filled with trees and flowers, and is a hidden spot to avoid summer crowd in center of town,” she says, and praises the friendly staff and the mini moussaka.

To get a sense of the island’s jetset vibe (and stuffed wine leaves with king crab), Ntousia likes Remezzo (Polikandrioti St.; +30-228-902-5700) which she says “is one of the oldest restaurants on Mykonos. It is known for its heyday when it drew the Onassis crowd on their yachts, who would dock at the nearby Old Port.” And for hearty home cooking, Paraportiani Taverna (Epar.Od; +30-228-902-3531) in Mykonos town has an ample menu with local dishes like lamb with okra in tomato sauce (the meat falls right off the bone) and fresh-baked pastitsio.

Galleraki in Little Venice is a top spot for cocktails and sunset views. Courtesy of Drew Limsky
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