The Hedonist: Mykonos

What to see and where to be seen

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The Independent Travel

Fashion designer Thierry Mugler slips off an unshaded sun-lounger and into the cool waters of the Aegean to cool off. He's looking good, but then so does everyone here. The midday sun sears the skin of the thousand or more Adonises who sprawl on the sand of Psarou Beach, one of the most narcissistic stretches of look-at-me-lounging spaces on Mykonos. The white-washed buildings that make up Mykonos Town are a blank canvas for the image-conscious crew that gather here every summer in barely-there swimwear and superstar-style shades.

The party capital of the Cyclades, Mykonos is a hedonistic hotspot whatever your persuasion. Beachside eatery Nammos (00 30 22 8902 2440; is the place to eat on these sultry shores, with white-clothed tables and a set of sexy, salad-nibbling diners. I indulge in a lunch of crisp, golden-fried calamari and bread wiped in homemade hummus, then collapse beneath a parasol, ashamed of my swollen stomach amid the sea of toned tightness.

Rousing myself from a post-lunch snooze, I manage to call a taxi and head back to my luxurious lodgings at the Semeli Hotel (00 30 22 8902 7466; While The Belvedere up the street is the stay of choice for celebs, opting for this smaller, more boutique bolthole proves a wise move. The chic, minimalist rooms wrap around a shimmering central pool.

I head up to Elysium (00 30 22 8902 3952; for the last rays of daylight. Gay and straight clientele make for this hotel every night to catch the sunset. There's chill-out music, followed by a drag show, followed by a thumping house session before things wrap up at around 10pm. Then everyone descends the steep hill for dinner.

Mykonos Town – otherwise known as Chora – is a maze of meandering cobblestone streets, quaint churches, boutique stores and art galleries built into stark cubist buildings. Interni (00 30 22 8902 6333; in the Matoyiannia area is the place to go for a truly special first-night supper. Here, affluent Athenians are gathered around the bar, while elegant diners are spread around al fresco tables.

I peruse a menu full of Italian-fusion fare, then indulge in a truffle-laden pasta with a crisp, refreshing glass of white. I've booked a table at Nobu (00 30 22 8902 7362; tomorrow night, and that'll be a more drawn-out foodie feast. For now, though, it's about hitting the dance floor.

I stop by Scandinavian Bar (00 30 22 8902 2669; and pull up a pew on the outside terrace. The cheap drinks are a welcome respite from the otherwise steep tabs I'd been presented with previously; I down a couple of quick ouzo shots to get in the mood.

At this point, I've got two choices: head to Paradise Beach (00 30 22890 22852; and party poolside in the island's largest nightclub; or aim for Jackie O' (00 30 22 8901 7968; on the waterfront, a boutique-sized gay bar with a dressed-to-kill crowd. I choose the latter, and soon the drinks are flowing, the breeze is soothing my slightly seared skin, and a celeb-spot of George Michael swaying to house music is a memorable high.

I make the steep climb back to my hotel come sunrise. But instead of rolling into bed, I flop down beside the pool to sleep it off – before the cycle begins again.

A Hedonist's Guide to... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see