Mykonos is the great love of Stelios and Seigi Sterkoudis from Aargau. Their passion laid the cornerstone for their “Mykonos Party” which, today, is one of Zurich’s most successful party series. To prevent free riders from jumping on the bandwagon, they have even protected the name as a trademark. “Mister Mykonos” aka Stelios Sterkoudis still spends every summer on his favourite island. He tells us about his favourite places and what makes Mykonos so magical.
Referring to himself as an “original Mykonian”, Stelios Sterkoudis has been travelling to Mykonos every year since 1981. “The vibes and the ambience are what made me fall instantly in love with this island,” Stelios, who grew up in Aargau as the son of Greek immigrants, explains. As a child, he regularly spent his summer holidays with relatives in northern Greece. Stelios first came to know Mykonos through friends. “Pure life; nothing compares to Mykonos. This is where everyone will find what they are looking for,” is how he describes the small island.
Mick Jagger on a balcony and a groom on a donkey
Stelios Sterkoudis has experienced unbelievable things on Mykonos. “Keith Richards and Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones singing on a balcony. Designers Jean-Paul Gaultier and Gianni Versace celebrating grand parties. Juan Carlos, the former King of Spain, enjoying a relaxing holiday: these are just some of many examples.” Mykonos has its very own lifestyle; you can never be overdressed here, says fashion expert Stelios who sells various fashion labels in Switzerland. “You will find everything on Mykonos, with the exception of stress – unless you create it yourself.” The island is small and the village of Mykonos car-free, but the narrow alleyways can become crowded during the peak season. “What’s best then is to sit on the steps of a taverna with a drink, and spend the evening people-watching,” says Sterkoudis. And he goes on to add: “I have been to many places in the world, but never have I come across anything that compares to Mykonos. Every taverna has its own charm, the beaches are clean, the water is crystal clear and the staff are always very friendly. The only hitch is planning – which often falls by the wayside. But, that said, meticulous planning really isn’t necessary when you are on holiday.”
Of course Stelios Sterkoudis knows the island’s prime party locations and describes the “Scorpios” beach club as the best hotspot in the entire Mediterranean. Situated on a high plateau on a rock by the sea, it has been kept absolutely natural. “No neon lights, no spots, no laser. Everything is built of stone, which creates a cosy yet stylish ambience.” That is exactly how the famous “Mykonos Party”, organised by Stelios and his brother Seigi in Zurich‘s “Kaufleuten” club, should be. The tickets for these annual Mykonos-themed events sell like hot cakes. The dress code –all in white– is cult. Interestingly, the idea for the parties was down to coincidence: in 2002, Stelios and his wife, Natascha, tied the knot on Mykonos and had their daughter Stella christened there. 150 guests from Switzerland attended the ceremony, to which Natascha arrived on a fishing boat. Her future husband, in turn, welcomed her from the back of a donkey. On their return to Switzerland, the newlyweds wanted to thank their friends and turned their wedding video presentation into a party at the “Kaufleuten” club. The white “Mykonos Party” dress code was Seigi Sterkoudis’ idea. “He thought a dress code would be fun and a way to distinguish our guests after our private party, when the club is open to the general public again. We chose white because it symbolises contentment for us,” Stelios explains.
See and be seen – or peace and quiet? Mykonos has both.
When at his favourite holiday destination, Stelios Sterkoudis always stays in the same hotel: Stelios, his family and friends have been guests at the “Bill&Coo” boutique hotel almost from the start. “While not cheap, it is so lovely and comfortable,” says Stelios. For smaller budgets, he recommends the “Mykonos View Hotel”: “The price-performance ratio is excellent and the location great.” One of the favourite restaurants of the “original Mykonian” is the “Sea Satin”. Situated on a peninsula right by the sea and near the famous Mykonos windmills, this is where the final scenes of the first “Bourne Identity” movie were shot. “The ambience is fabulous - and it is quite common for guests to dance on the tables after finishing their meal,” Stelios adds. Tasty dishes are also available in the “Koursaros” restaurant, and “Katrine’s” has been serving good food since 1987. “Magiriko” is yet another insider tip. This tiny restaurant situated in a small alleyway, with just seven indoor and three outdoor tables, is not advertised online. Guests do not mind waiting patiently on the steps for a table. After all, the food is homemade and the vegetables come straight from the restaurant garden. As for the best views of the bay, they are to be had from the “Remezzo” bar and restaurant.
Needless to say, most days on Mykonos are spent at the beach. Those who want to “see and be seen” will opt for Psarou beach, also known as “celebrities’ beach”. “Indeed, it is fun to have Hollywood stars like Russell Crowe or Gerard Butler lying on a sunbed next to you; but Mykonos has so much more to offer,” says Stelios Sterkoudis. One of his favourite beaches is Kalo Livadi where the shallow water extends many metres out from the shore. Following a relaxing day at the beach, “Solymar Restaurant” is a great place to enjoy a delicious slice of meat prepared on a hot stone. Those who prefer something a little calmer will appreciate the beach and the crystal-clear water of Agia Anna that also has a restaurant set in a natural cave.
According to Stelios Sterkoudis, whereas Mykonos is not necessarily a widely recommended family destination, the island can be a very enjoyable place to spend a holiday with children. He should know, considering that his daughter practically grew up on Mykonos. “You live for the moment here and don’t make plans. What better way to enjoy being with your family?” And if ever the urge for action should arise, there’s kite- and windsurfing on offer. That is more than enough. After all, Mykonos is synonymous with “no stress”. And it should stay that way.
Three tips from Stelios Sterkoudis
Club Scorpios: According to Stelios, the best club in the Mediterranean at an incomparable location. (Paraga, Mykonos 846 00, Greece, http://www.scorpiosmykonos.com)
Hotel Bill&Coo: Where Stelios Sterkoudis always stays. Beautiful and very comfortable. (Megali Ammos, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece, www.bill-coo-hotel.com)
Restaurant Sea Satin: A charming taverna where guests often end up dancing on the tables. It is located by the famous Mykonos windmills. (Little Venice, Mykonos, Greece)