Serene, unspoiled and free from crowds or hospitality services – if seclusion is what you seek, then these beaches in the north of the island are just for you. First on the map is Foko beach, a mix of otherworldly silence with the sea and the sand. After a swim, grab a table at the taverna for fresh fish and amazing hummus with pita bread. Up next is Myrsini beach (or Mersini as it is known by locals), an impressive landscape of coarse sand and emerald green sea. It’s unlikely that you’ll encounter many folks, though there is the occasional nudist. Cut off from the crowds of Mykonos is Merchia beach, one with tamarisk trees instead of sun umbrellas, or visit Agios Sostis with its two churches. One of these churches hosts most of the island’s quaint weddings. Should hunger strike, try Kiki’s of Vassilis. It has a beautiful view and offers grilled meat along with some of the most delicious salads you have ever tasted. However, they don’t take reservations!
In the afternoon, take a walk in Ano Mera. You will see children playing freely in the town square. Enjoy a coffee with dessert in one of several traditional cafés. Make sure to try authentic, local specialties such as ‘louza’ (thin slices of spiced, cooked pork) and ‘kopanisti’ (spicy, peppery fermented cheese), accompanied by ‘tsipouro’ (a popular grape-distilled spirit); you’ll thank us later! Definitely visit the monastery of Panagia Tourliani. If you are looking for a more traditional experience, visit Rizes, a farm in the area of Maou that resembles a small village. Go horseback riding, learn about hagiography, build your appetite, then try the traditional oven-baked bread with farm-fresh hen’s eggs, grilled lamb and delicious, local cheese – especially the ‘saganaki’!
Crossing over to the northwest side of the island, an area overlooking Tinos, you’ll find the wildly-beautiful beach, Fanari, and its weathered Lighthouse, Armenistis. While you can’t swim there, a quiet walk next to the endless blue sea is possible. Heading back, make a stop at Houlakia to see the amazing stone sculptures by the sea. Though you can’t take them with you, you can certainly take pictures of them. We’ve left the best for last; the inlet of Avlemonas. With emerald green waters that are only accessible by boat, pray for favourable south winds to carry you there.