Mykonos, the summer destination for billionaires

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The island is known as a glamorous destination for the world’s wealthiest and most famous. Come the booming summer months of July and August, and the island swells with the A-listers, B-listers, C-listers, and D-listers, along with hundreds of thousands of vacationers, hard-partying dance-music junkies, and cruise-shippers.

Measuring just 33 square miles in size, the sunny and cool island is stuffed with hip boutique hotels, thumping beach clubs, haute couture shops, white sandy beaches, whitewashed alleyways, and swanky restaurants.

If this all sounds a little like the Spanish party island of Ibiza, I’ll stop you right there: The cool rich kids have moved on. They’re in Mykonos now. If there were any doubts, a look off any bay on Mykonos’ coast reveals waters swamped with freshly scrubbed yachts, superyachts, and mega yachts.

Over the past several years, the number of international arrivals to Mykonos has nearly doubled.

But where does that leave the rest of the teeming masses jostling for a spot at Mykonos’ glittering carnival?

For us, visiting Mykonos is a far different experience. The doors that simply open for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Branson, Bella Hadid, and the billionaire Stavros Niarchos III stay closed for mere mortals. A day at a beach club can empty out a savings account, and that’s if you can even score a cabana at all. In the hottest of hot spots, the staff have the time to cater only to millionaires and billionaires.

At least, those were my assumptions before I stepped off the airplane to see what Mykonos was like for regular folks. Many proved to be right by the time I left the island a few days later. Other expectations, I found, were pleasantly incorrect.

Here’s what it was like to visit the world’s hottest party island in the peak of the season.

Gorgeous, glamorous, and luxurious, Mykonos is Greece’s answer to Ibiza.

In the 1950s, the island was barely a blip on the map. But in 1961, the first lady Jackie Kennedy visited, setting off the first wave of tourism from the world’s monied and famous.

Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and Rita Hayworth were just a few of the celebrities to vacation on the island in those days.

In the 1950s, the island was barely a blip on the map. But in 1961, the first lady Jackie Kennedy visited, setting off the first wave of tourism from the world’s monied and famous.

Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and Rita Hayworth were just a few of the celebrities to vacation on the island in those days.

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