By Discover Greece · May 2021
We all know Mykonos for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, vivid nightlife, and lifestyle for the rich and famous. But if you dig a little deeper and go beyond the curtain of whitewashed luxury, you’ll uncover a scene of authenticity where the cultural and culinary roots of the island as well as the people, the dairies and farms, and the local produce steal the show. Be prepared to have your perception of this iconic island in the Cyclades forever changed. And, with Greece having recently reopened its borders, this tried-and-true destination can finally reveal its other facets.
Imagine a home in a traditional Greek village. A wood-fired oven is coming up to temperature and the phyllo pastry is rolled out wafer-thin in the kitchen. An assortment of vegetables (straight from the garden) and cheeses (made in a local dairy) stand ready for whenever they are needed, as do the eggs (freshly collected from the hen coop in the yard). And as for the pie that’s being baked… that’s out of a hand-written recipe book passed down through generations.
Now, what if you learned that this house is in Mykonos? It’s an image that’s far from the scenes of luxury and glamour usually associated with the Cycladic isle. But the truth is that behind all that whitewashed beauty is a beating heart of authenticity that’s felt in every village on the island.
You can discover it by learning how to knead bread the local way or how all the different cheeses (like xynotiro, tyrovolia or kopanisti) are made. Or, you can pick produce straight from an organic vegetable patch and cook lunch with it.
You’ll learn all about the locals’ relationship with their domesticated animals (sheep, hens, horses, donkeys, and rabbits). And, you’ll be introduced to the island’s wines by sampling grape varieties you’ve perhaps never heard of before (Assytriko, Athiri, Monemvasia, Malagouzia, Agiannitis and Mandilaria).
Most of all, you’ll hear the stories of the personalities behind the farms and dairies showcasing the best of Mykonos’ traditional produce and cuisine, as you sample new tastes or buy souvenirs to relive the experience at home.
You can cherry-pick the farms and dairies that interest you on Mykonos, but if you want a fully authentic agrotourism experience, here are a few places you can’t miss.