Super Paradise Beach attracts the beautiful and the uninhibited.
Leave it up to those crazy Europeans to take a beautiful secluded beach and turn it into one of the most hedonistic party destinations anywhere. People from the old world have always been more relaxed about nudity than the rest of the world. But what happens at Super Paradise Beach in Mykonos, Greece takes that relaxed attitude to a whole new level. A few summers ago, while I was living in Greece, I spent three successive weekends at Super Paradise Beach. This is a small synopsis of my experience there.
The island of Mykonos is located in the Cyclades chain of islands, the easiest and closest major chain to Athens. It can be reached by plane but the vast majority of visitors arrive by ferry. The Greek ferry system is a national treasure boasting super fast modern ferry boats to large overnight mini-cruise ships.
There are no hotels right at Super Paradise Beach. Considering that the beach is fifteen minutes east of Chora, the main town, and there is likely to be copious amounts of alcohol consumed by you and others I suggest you camp. A small campground sits just behind the few bars and restaurants at the beach and at only a few Euros, it is a great value. The head of the campground likes to take your passport, don’t let him. I always carried a photocopy and convinced him that was fine. There is no Greek law requiring his request so push back. Once your tent is set and your valuables secured get ready for the ride of your life.
A disclaimer is in order here. What happens at Super Paradise can differ from day to day depending on who is there. What I have witnessed (of course I was never a participant) may not be true to your visit. Though I hope you are as lucky as I was.
If you want crazy go in August. That is when the vast majority of Europe shuts down and goes on summer vacation. Seriously, the entire continent just stops working and starts partying. With all of Europe on the move to vacation spots, Mykonos gathers it’s fair share of crazy people who like to party naked with no inhibitions.
Let’s walk through a typical day at Super Paradise. Suspend reality for a moment and pretend you are awake and on the sand by 9 a.m. Can you hear me laughing at how preposterous that is through your computer screen? The beach has clean fine slightly dark sand. There are a plethora of wooden and thatch umbrellas that provide ample shade to settle under. Lounge chairs are free and easily available. Typical with Greek waters, the Aegean Sea is translucent and cool. It really is Super Paradise.
There is only one major beach bar facing the beach. My suggestion is to plop down somewhere in front it. From this vantage you will get to be part of all the action, easily be able to access cocktails and take advantage of one of the only bathrooms. This area always served as my home base. Now it’s 9:30 a.m. Pull out a book or go back to sleep. You are probably the only person on the beach and it will be a long time until people arrive, as they probably only went to bed an hour ago.
Eventually, sometime after lunch, people will start filling the beach. As you are in the most strategic location you will tend to get more crowded than other parts of the amply long stretch of beach. It won’t be too much longer until you are surrounded by naked bodies. The upside here is that most of the naked bodies will be attractive. At most nude beaches you have to take the good with the bad. At Super Paradise, except for the northern European men, it’s largely all good.
Soon after the beach fills up the drinks start to flow. Amstel (the non-light good stuff we can’t get in the U.S.), Heineken and Alco-Pops (Bacardi coolers with various flavors) are the rage. Mixed cocktails don’t really make an appearance in the mid-day sun. When they do it is normally vodka and whiskey. Beach drinks made from rum and tequila like in the Caribbean and Mexico are not serious players in the Mediterranean, though Bacardi is trying hard to change that.
You can grab lunch from the bar behind you. Please eat. It’s hot out, approaching 100, and you will be drinking. You can bring the food back to your spot on the beach or enjoy some additional shade at the bar/restaurant behind you. Enjoy your last hour or so of relative peace. Sometime around 5 p.m. Give or take. The music at the bar comes on and the unmistakable heavy bass of Euro-pop starts to goad the tipsy beach crowd.
This is my favorite time of all at Super Paradise. By now people have few inhibitions and the mob mentality settles in. It is actually an interesting experiment in human psychology. People who would never get drunk, naked and do naughty things public often join in because everyone else is doing it. To me that just means fun! Now is the time to abandon your spot on the beach and move up to the bar so you don’t miss anything.
The party at Super Paradise has two phases. Late afternoon to around 8 p.m. and again around 2 a.m. to sunrise (and beyond). People head to Chora town for dinner and then bed for a few hours prior to pulling out all the stops and dancing, both vertical and horizontal, the rest of the night.
Grab a cab, since you’ve been drinking, and go into town for dinner. Greek food is always fresh and simply prepared. Often you will fill up on mezedes or appetizers well before you even make it to a grilled main dish. Take your time and savor the food and people around you.
Mykonos is a beautiful island which you shouldn’t miss, even if you really did come only for the experience of Super Paradise Beach. When you are done with dinner take a walk through the narrow white washed streets and get lost in Chora Town. Pick up a souvenir or two. If you like to dance there are a few really fun night clubs in town. You are not in a rush, Super Paradise doesn’t pick up again until much later.
Once you return to the beach, a nap should be a serious consideration. If you plan on keeping up with the locals until sunrise you will need it. The vibe of the night party shifts a little from the day party. Where the afternoon is mostly about girls dancing on the bar and seeing who will up the ante with alcohol induced nudity, the night is more about dancing to heavy Euro club music and meeting a mate for the night.
While there is some pretty mind boggling things happening in the shadows, most of the attention is focused on the outdoor dance floor. People will slowly move to the periphery of the party for a smoke, a drink or some water, some won’t return and have their own party nearby on the beach. This goes on until sunrise. If you get caught up in the music, the drinking and the scene you will be shocked when the eastern sky begins to lighten and morning arrives.
Thus is Super Paradise. When you return home and share the stories with your friends they won’t believe you. Unlike other nude beaches in the world, photography is not prohibited, you can pull out your pictures and prove that everything you said was true and then some. Be forewarned, you may be planning a return trip with a bigger group of friends next year.
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