Ornos Bay sits in a deeply curving shoreline on the southeastern corner of Mykonos. It may certainly not be the most scenic bay in all of the Aegean — we’ve all seen more spectacular bays in photographs — but, putting it in the context of Mykonos’s otherwise flat, scrublike, rocky and uninspiring landscape, it’s a very pretty corner of this particular island. Aside from the virtues of its crystalline blue bay, it’s also several notches down from the frantic pace and crowds of Mykonos town, and close to some other beach areas if you want to explore further during your visit.
Ornos Bay is about 2.8km from the main town of Mykonos and 3km from the airport. Getting here is relatively fast in the non-peak months; otherwise, you may crawl along for several minutes before you get out of town if you’re arriving by boat.
The two principal small deluxe hotels at Ornos Bay do have pickups to or from the port or airport when you arrive or leave. The hotel I stayed at was the small, deluxe, 45-room property, the Kivotos Clubhotel, which is located on the bay’s western side. The other luxury class property further along the peninsula is the Santa Marina Hotel, a 20-acre complex. In the Class A category are such hotels as the Deliades Hotel, the Costas Ilios Club Hotel, and the Best Western Dionysos Hotel. There are also a lot of first-class studios and apartments for those who want a price break on a stay beyond a week that are worth checking out. These are all online if you want to check website property management companies.
In the center of the bay is Ornos Beach, where most of the studio apartments, restaurants, and nightlife are close to. The best of these is the Marco Polo facility, which contains the Alto Mare restaurant, a taverna with traditional Greek cuisine, an internet café, and a nightclub that seems to cater mainly to resident islanders and vacationing Greeks.
Ornos Bay and its beachfront are undoubtedly more crowded during the high summer period than when I saw them in the early fall. During my brief visit, most hotels were in their final days of operation before closing for the winter in October. A few boats and luxury yachts bobbed peacefully around on the bay; only a scattering of figures could be seen from my vantage point still lingering on the beach. Nonetheless, the weather was holding beautifully (a big factor in people staying away in September and early October, when it can get rainy, cold, and windy).
A small group of cats made the most of it on the poolside level at Kivotos Clubhotel, pandering to the soft side of the handful of remaining British and American travelers.
I took advantage of the hotel’s kayak to paddle out across the bay close to the middle of the bay. There are other freestanding operators of water sports facilities like windsurfing, diving, and kayaking located at or near the beach.
While not as well-known as some of the busier and even more commercial beach names around the island like Aghios Stefanos and Paradise Beach, Ornos Bay is a pleasant enough place to base yourself while on Mykonos for a somewhat more low-key stay. If you’re also staying at one of the better properties, then the world’s your oyster.