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Mykonos's Sandtastic Beaches
Swimming in quiet Aegean bays with clean blue water enclosed by rugged hills cannot be overpraised—so it is little wonder some of Greece's finest strands of sand are found on Mykonos. Mostly protected from the prevailing north winds, they can be conveniently grouped. In general the beaches charge €5 for an umbrella and chaise longue. Mykonos town's little beach attracts local children or townies who just want a quick dip. All the others require transportation. The following beaches progress in a line along Mykonos's southern coast; from Mykonos town, Ornos beach is about 10 minutes, Kalafati less than an hour.
Ayios Stefanos, about a 45-minute walk north from Mykonos town, has water sports, restaurants, and umbrellas and lounge chairs for rent; kids love it, and you can watch the yachts and enormous cruise ships. The south coast's many beaches include three for families. Ornos has always been most popular with Mykonians, who like its relaxed atmosphere for a family swim and for beachside dining. There are several good restaurants, two fine hotels above the bay, and several cheaper ones lower down, and chairs and umbrellas for rent. In calm weather, boats start here for the other southern beaches, so that they are all connected (45 minutes to Elia), and you can beach-hop easily. Psarou is trendy these days, and Nammos restaurant, which dominates the beach, is among Mykonos's most fashionable. Even in August you'll see empty sun chairs: wealthy Athenians with villas here, who rate this beach most highly, rent them for the season, so you can't. Nearby Platys Yialos (Broad Beach), a long stretch of fine sand popular with families, is so chockablock with restaurants and umbrellas that it feels crowded even when it is not.
The young and sexy crowd heads to the next three beaches—all three were once mostly nude, and now are mostly dressed (if you consider a one-inch bit of stretched fabric dressed). All three keep a little undeveloped bit to the right as you enter, and nudists go here. All are lined with all-night bars and all-day cafés, and the public bus shows up into the wee hours. Paranga used be a secret, but it is all the rage now, and has a popular taverna and a dance-to-dawn club, Salty.
Paradise, twice as long as Paranga, is probably Mykonos's most famous beach for sexy straights, and it still attracts the young and lovely, who boogie here until dawn. The Tropicana Club takes up much of the beach; the Sunrise Club is appropriately named; Paradise Club is just as throbbing; and Cavo Paradise, not right on the beach, is Greece's most famous outdoor nightspot for the young. At the end of a precipitous road, Super Paradise, whose night scene is also throbbing, was once Mykonos's notorious gay beach but gaysters no longer dominate. Super Paradise beach bar closes blearily at 9 am. The rocky path between Paradise and Super Paradise, an hour's rough walk, was once a sexual no-man's land, but it is no longer.
Little Agrari and Long Elia are less developed, more nude, and quieter, though they too have not escaped the voyeur's wandering eye. At the easternmost end of the south shores is beautiful Kalafatis, known for package tours, and between Elia and Kalafatis there's remote Kalo Livadhi.
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