Step into the enchanting shores of Mykonos, Greece – a veritable paradise nestled in the Aegean Sea! This guide is your ultimate companion for exploring the very best that Mykonos has to offer. Beyond the renowned beaches and vibrant parties, there’s a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. Wander through the charming streets of Mykonos Town, unearth hidden culinary gems, and immerse yourself in the island’s rich history and culture.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned explorer, our insider tips are designed to enhance your Mykonos experience like never before. Join us on this thrilling adventure as we uncover the reasons why Mykonos consistently ranks among the top Greek Islands for every traveler’s itinerary!
Top Things To Do In Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos is an idyllic retreat, a haven for romance, perfect for honeymoons and intimate rendezvous. Simultaneously, it beckons party enthusiasts and weekend revelers seeking an outlet for excitement. Expect bustling crowds in Mykonos, especially during the high season. However, this need not deter you, as this destination offers a multitude of perspectives. Amidst the lively scenes, you can uncover serene beaches and charming towns that, despite Mykonos’ compact size, retain their allure away from the tourist hubbub.
Keeping this in mind, let’s delve into the finest experiences Mykonos has to offer, allowing you to plan your upcoming journey to this captivating Greek Island.
Upon your arrival at one of the premier Greek islands, head straight for Mykonos Town. Embarking on a journey through its slender lanes flanked by pristine white houses stands out as one of the initial must-do experiences in Mykonos, Greece. This exploration not only provides a delightful glimpse into Mykonos Island life but also helps you orient yourself to the surroundings.
Nestled along the western coast of the island, Mykonos Town, also referred to as Chora, stands as the pulsating core of Mykonos. Wandering through its labyrinthine cobblestone streets, we found ourselves captivated by the dynamic yet laid-back ambiance that characterizes this iconic town. Mykonos Town unfolds like a picturesque postcard, showcasing its white-washed structures and blue-domed churches (reminiscent of those in Santorini), creating a breathtaking contrast against the azure sky. The experience left us truly mesmerized.
Navigating the maze-like streets became an enjoyable challenge, and we reveled in getting lost, exploring the charming boutiques along Matogianni Street – undeniably one of the most beautiful streets on the island. Pausing to savor Greek coffee at a cafe added to the feeling that we were living in our very own cinematic scene.
Having concluded your exploration, it’s time to immerse yourself in the beach life of Mykonos Island. Despite its relatively compact size, Mykonos boasts an abundance of stunning beaches, making the task of choosing the best one quite challenging. However, Paradise Beach stands out as the ideal starting point.
Paradise and Super Paradise Beach come together to form a breathtaking locale that is also home to the island’s most vibrant beach party scene. During the peak of summer, the beach is teeming with sunbathers, both men and women, reveling in the Aegean sun. As night falls, the party atmosphere escalates, with music and tropical cocktails flowing at beach clubs like Jackie O’ and The Super Paradise Beach Club.
In the off-peak season, you’ll encounter pristine white sand without the bustling crowds. Combine this with beachfront restaurants, and you have a perfect setting to enjoy a tranquil day out.
Monastery Of Panagia Tourliani
Just a short drive from the heart of Mykonos Town, a visit to the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani ranks among the top experiences in Mykonos, Greece. In a place where competition for the most beautiful monasteries and churches is fierce, Panagia Tourliani unquestionably stands out.
With a history spanning almost five centuries, the monastery is a visual delight. The pristine stone facade, adorned with a trio of bells and an adjacent bell tower, is a striking spectacle. The presence of an elaborate marble fountain with intricate decorations further adds to its charm.
The interior is equally enchanting, meticulously restored to its original splendor. We were particularly captivated by the hand-painted altar screen and iconography dating back to the late 18th century. The Monastery of Panagia Tourliani is truly a must-see, offering a glimpse into the rich history and artistry of Mykonos.
The Kato Mili Windmills
Witnessing the Kato Mili Windmills against the backdrop of a pink-hued sky during golden hour is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking scenes in Mykonos. Located just a short journey from Little Venice, a row of white and brown windmills adorns the coastline, offering a glimpse into the island’s historic wheat industry.
Once numbering 20, these renowned windmills have now been reduced to seven, yet they stand as one of Mykonos’ most beloved attractions. Each windmill presents a flawless cylindrical structure with brown thatched roofs, embodying simple yet exceptionally elegant 18th-century Greek architecture.
Entrance to these windmills is free, providing an opportunity for remarkable photographs. For an extraordinary experience, make sure to return during dusk when this location transforms into one of the most captivating sunset spots on Mykonos.
In Mykonos Town, the enchanting neighborhood of Little Venice is sure to capture your heart. This waterfront quarter seamlessly blends the iconic white houses with the Aegean Sea, creating a scene straight out of your most enchanting dreams. Much like the windmills, Little Venice serves as the juncture where Mykonos’ natural beauty harmonizes with man-made opulence.
Originally developed in the 18th century by merchants, the buildings in Little Venice have transformed into vacation homes, restaurants, and a collection of trendy bars, offering the perfect setting for sunset cocktails. It’s advisable to secure a reservation in advance. Additionally, you can take a leisurely stroll down to the sea, letting the water gently caress your toes as you witness the sun bidding farewell to the day, with the windmills standing gracefully in the foreground.
Agrari Beach stands in stark contrast to Paradise Beach, offering a tranquil escape from the lively crowds and beach parties that characterize the summer scene in popular Mykonos. This serene destination allows you to revel in the pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters of Mykonos without jostling for space with strangers.
Situated on the quieter stretch of the island’s southern coast, Agrari Beach unfolds with its golden sand stretching along the shore, seamlessly connecting to Elia Beach, creating an impressive 5-mile coastline of powdery white sand and turquoise sea. To reach this secluded paradise, navigate down a steep, narrow path, and as you descend, the soft sand awaits, accompanied by a modest concession stand and a handful of sun loungers, providing the perfect setting for soaking in the warm ambiance.
Embarking on a boat excursion to Delos Island comes highly recommended, especially for enthusiasts of Greek history. Departing from the Old Harbor in Mykonos Town, the approximately 30-minute journey transports you to this small Cycladic island.
With a rich history spanning over 5,000 years, Delos Island is a treasure trove of prominent archaeological sites, many intertwined with Greek myths and legends. So profound is its historical significance that the entire island has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
According to local mythology, Delos is the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo. Yet, the island’s allure extends beyond this origin tale. As you explore, you’ll encounter ancient columns lining paths traversed by pilgrims throughout the centuries. The pinnacle of Delos’ history is perhaps represented by its 5,000-year-old stone huts.
For an optimal Delos experience, consider joining one of the guided boat tours. Given its popularity, securing early bookings is advisable, as these tours rank among the most sought-after experiences in all of Mykonos.
Located a short distance outside Mykonos Town, Psarou Beach emerges as another sought-after destination for a day of seaside relaxation. Flanked by upscale beach bars, a string of lavish resorts, and some of the finest cuisine on the island, Psarou epitomizes the lap of luxury.
The beachscape is predominantly adorned with sun loungers and neatly aligned rows of beach umbrellas, eliminating the need for laying down towels. Instead, immerse yourself in the ambiance, taking in the sights and sounds, and perhaps catching a glimpse of a celebrity if luck is on your side. Given the summer crowds, it’s advisable to secure a sun lounge reservation in advance.
Yet, the real excitement unfolds on the water. Once comfortably settled, delve into water sports activities, whether embarking on a scuba diving expedition or revving up a jet ski. Conclude your day by dining at the renowned beach bar restaurant, Nammos, adding a touch of culinary excellence to your Psarou Beach experience.
While Little Venice may offer the best sunset views on Mykonos, it may not always be the most budget-friendly option, especially if you intend to enjoy drinks at the premium coastal bars. For a completely cost-free sunset experience, consider heading to the Armenistis Lighthouse.
Situated on the northwest coast of the island, the lighthouse provides unobstructed views of the vibrant horizon, including the smaller island of Tinos. Access is convenient, with a mere four-mile journey by bus or taxi from Mykonos Town.
Allow ample time to explore the century-old lighthouse, as Mykonos boasts a rich maritime history. The lighthouse serves as a dedication to this history, commemorating the lives lost in a shipwreck in the years leading up to its construction. This alternative sunset spot offers a unique perspective and a meaningful connection to the island’s seafaring past.
The Old Port
The establishment of a modern port on Mykonos has shifted attention away from its historic Old Port, often overlooked by many travelers. However, if you share our penchant for exploration, the Old Port deserves a prominent place in your Mykonos itinerary.
Much like the main town, the Old Port is ensconced within a labyrinth of narrow streets, adorned with the warmth of smiling locals and an authentic array of local shops. In the absence of towering cruise ships, the water is reclaimed by small fishing boats, evoking a sense of Mykonos before it became a tourist hotspot.
While navigating the Old Port, be on the lookout for the renowned Peter the Pelican. This avian celebrity holds legendary status among locals, and spotting him becomes a significant achievement on your Mykonos bingo card, adding a touch of charm to your exploration of this historically rich area.
Immersing yourself in the shimmering waters of the Aegean Sea for a few days is sure to ignite your curiosity to explore the underwater realm. The sparkling baby blue expanse rivals the splendor of the Mediterranean Sea, offering a wealth of marine treasures for your discovery.
Mykonos boasts numerous exceptional scuba diving spots, and Psarou Beach is among them. However, for those just starting their underwater journey, Lia Beach provides an ideal entry point. The protected bay offers tranquil swimming conditions with remarkable clarity, providing a conducive environment for learning essential diving skills under the guidance of your instructors.
Upon completing your initial dive at Lia Beach, you’ll be primed to explore additional sites around Mykonos. Paradise Reef stands out as a remarkable destination, showcasing a vibrant spectrum of coral, starfish, barracuda, and octopus. For those intrigued by underwater exploration around shipwrecks, Dragonissi offers a captivating opportunity to do just that. Mykonos beckons with a diverse and enchanting underwater world, ready for you to discover its hidden wonders.
Discover the art of scuba diving in the pristine and tranquil waters of Mykonos, where crystal clarity sets the perfect stage for beginners to embark on their scuba diving journey. This tour offers an ideal opportunity for those new to scuba diving to explore the underwater wonders of Mykonos in a welcoming and serene environment.
Ano Mera Village
Similar to the Old Port, Ano Mera Village stands as another hidden gem in Mykonos, often overlooked by a disproportionately small number of visitors. While many revel in the allure of Mykonos beaches, you have the chance to immerse yourself in the tranquility of one of the island’s oldest towns.
Centered around a town square and adorned with Greece’s iconic whitewashed homes, Ano Mera offers a distinctive and authentic experience within a charming Cycladic village. The narrow streets exude a similar charm but without the bustling crowds, providing a serene townscape adorned with notable landmarks, including Panagia Tourlani, the Paleokastro Monastery, and the Gyzi Castle.
Feel free to explore Ano Mera Village spontaneously, and embrace the opportunity to get lost amidst its charm. It’s precisely during these wanderings that you may stumble upon a delightful café patio, where you can leisurely sip wine and enjoy the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea.
Church Of Panagia Paraportiani
Immersing yourself in the beauty of the Church of Panagia Paraportiani ranks among the top experiences in Mykonos, Greece. Nestled on the shores of the Aegean Sea, this church is a photographer’s paradise, blending classic white Greek architecture, cobblestone surroundings, and the vivid blue hues of the sea.
The Church of Panagia Paraportiani is more than a singular structure; it encompasses a larger complex housing five distinct chapels. Each chapel boasts its own unique design and domed roof. The oldest among them, Agios Anargyros, dates back to the 15th century and features a magnificent bell tower.
Reaching the complex is convenient; you can easily hop on a bus and alight at Fabrika Central. Alternatively, a leisurely walk from Little Venice also provides a scenic route to this architectural marvel by the Aegean.
Located on the southern coast, Elia Beach shares its sandy expanse with Agrari Beach. Elia Beach offers a harmonious blend of amenities and tranquility, providing a space where you can bask in sun lounges and engage in water sports without the hustle and bustle of dense crowds. The ample extra sand ensures there’s enough space to lay down your towel and unwind.
Throughout the summer months, occasional beach parties add a vibrant touch, featuring DJs, libations, and plenty of dancing. However, beyond the festivities, Elia Beach maintains a relaxed ambiance cherished by the LGBTQ community and the occasional nudist.
Venturing into the crystal-clear waters reveals a captivating mix of brilliant blue shades. In addition to swimming, Elia Beach offers opportunities to embark on thrilling adventures, from jet skiing and para-sailing to trying your hand at windsurfing when the breeze picks up. Whether you seek relaxation or excitement, Elia Beach caters to a diverse range of beachgoers.
No visit to Mykonos is truly complete without immersing yourself in the island’s vineyards and indulging in the local wines. Mykonos stands as one of the oldest wine-growing regions on the planet, making this experience a must.
A fantastic destination for such an exploration is the Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm. Positioned at an elevated vantage point on the island, you can luxuriate in breathtaking views of the vineyards and coastline from the inviting patio. Consider joining a vineyard tour to gain insights into the workings of this beautiful farm.
Mykonos Vioma is not solely dedicated to exceptional wine tasting; as the name implies, it is a full-fledged organic farm. Take your time to meander through and uncover traditional Mykonian delicacies such as rusks, hams, authentic Greek salad, and artisanal cheese. The farm offers a holistic experience that captures the essence of Mykonos’ culinary and viticultural heritage.
Embarking on a guided wine tour that leads you to a local’s home is an excellent choice for those seeking to savor the wines of the region while enjoying an authentic Mykonos experience.
Mykonos Maritime Museum
The Greeks boast a rich history entwined with the sea, having explored new islands and extended far beyond the mainland in centuries past. Today, out of the 2,000 islands in the nation, approximately 170 are inhabited, highlighting the enduring connection between Greece and its maritime surroundings.
In the modern era, the nation continues to rely on the sea for transportation, with water taxis and ferries serving as popular modes not only for locals and tourists but also for cargo transport. To delve into the maritime history of Greece and Mykonos, spanning both ancient and contemporary periods, a visit to the Aegean Maritime Museum is a must. Embark on a journey that traces back to the Neolithic era, exploring historical documents, ancient maps, treasures, and replica ships from the Minoan period. Enhance your understanding by delving into pivotal moments that shaped local history and uncovering the tales of ships that have found their resting place at the bottom of the sea.
After exploring charming villages, witnessing breathtaking sunsets from the coast, and diving beneath the sea, it’s time for a fresh perspective – grab your paddle and embark on a kayaking adventure around Mykonos.
As you gently glide across the crystal-clear sea, you’ll gain a spectacular vantage point to appreciate the island in a whole new light. While much of Mykonos is easily accessible, the coastal waters harbor numerous nooks and crannies that are best explored from the water. Enlisting the services of a guided kayak tour allows you to uncover these hidden gems.
Mykonos offers a variety of operators, depending on your location. We opted for a guided kayak tour that led us to wild rock formations, navigated us through enchanting grottos, and explored the northern coastline – all the while keeping a keen eye out for marine life. Paddling around the island provides a unique and immersive experience, revealing Mykonos from a perspective that is truly one-of-a-kind.
Include Rhenia Island in your itinerary as it stands as another captivating destination in close proximity to Mykonos. Nestled in the shadows of Mykonos, Rhenia Island remains a well-kept secret. Despite boasting a human history that spans thousands of years, the island is currently uninhabited, preserving its status as an untouched paradise.
Access to Rhenia Island is exclusive, with no ferry infrastructure available. The only means to reach this hidden gem is through a guided tour or private boat. However, once you arrive, a plethora of incredible adventures awaits. The pristine beaches offer a clean expanse without a trace of footsteps, and the sea beckons with its dreamy waters ideal for swimming.
Rhenia Island’s rich human history is evident as ancient temples, deserted centuries ago, stand resilient. Interspersed with quaint 20th-century churches, the island showcases a captivating blend of antiquity and charm. With its unspoiled beauty and historical allure, Rhenia Island undoubtedly ranks among the best day trips from Mykonos.
Explore the finest beaches along Mykonos’ stunning southern coast by embarking on an unforgettable island-hopping adventure with a full-day south coast cruise. Commencing at Ornos Beach, this eight-hour journey allows you to leisurely traverse the breathtaking coastline, indulging in Greek wine and sampling ouzo along the way.
As you visit a selection of pristine beaches, the cruise will extend offshore to unveil the allure of Dragonissi Island. Upon arrival, marvel at the sea caves that sparkle against the azure waters. Subsequently, take a refreshing dip in the serene waters of Frangias Bay and relish a seaside lunch at a restaurant on Kalafatis Beach. The grand finale awaits at the vibrant Super Paradise Beach before concluding the cruise with a convenient drop-off back at your hotel. This island-hopping experience promises a day of relaxation, exploration, and unforgettable coastal vistas.
Mykonos Archaeological Museum
The Cyclades, akin to an expansive open-air museum, boast a wealth of historic sites. However, without venturing to distant locales like Delos or Rhenia, you can delve into the rich history by visiting the Mykonos Archaeological Museum.
A haven for history enthusiasts and architecture aficionados, the museum offers a captivating exploration through its remarkable collection. Ancient vases, vessels, works of art, and columns come to life as you examine them up close.
Though compact, the museum stands as a masterfully curated space. Noteworthy highlights include a mesmerizing mortuary urn that unfolds the narrative of the Trojan War. For those who missed the chance to explore Rhenia, the museum’s Purification Pit is a must-see. Discovered in 1898, it houses hundreds of urns and vessels that once held offerings to the gods, providing a fascinating glimpse into ancient rituals.
Beyond the enchanting islands of Delos and Rhenia, the world surrounding Mykonos unfolds with a myriad of possibilities. The Cyclades archipelago is a vast domain, comprising over 200 islands, including renowned destinations such as Santorini, Tinos, and Naxos, all easily accessible from the local port.
With frequent ferry crossings, you have ample options to independently explore the diverse charm of the neighboring islands. Alternatively, indulge in the luxury of local yacht tours that showcase the Cyclades’ beauty from a unique perspective.
Santorini, another iconic Cycladic destination, lies just a few hours away from Mykonos. Making a day trip is effortless, with five ferries crossing daily. Alternatively, Tinos is a short 30-minute boat ride, unveiling its beauty through picturesque traditional villages, offering yet another delightful escape from Mykonos. The Cyclades beckon with a tapestry of islands, each with its own allure waiting to be discovered.
Embarking on a two-wheeled exploration of the beautiful landscapes of Mykonos ensures an adventure that rivals any other on the island. Despite growing familiarity with the sun-soaked, mountainous terrain of Mykonos, there is always more to uncover, and a bicycle allows you to do so efficiently.
Participating in a bike tour led by a local expert enables you to veer off the well-trodden paths and escape the allure of the island’s most iconic destinations. Navigate through quaint villages along the back streets, capturing panoramic coastal and town views that might elude you otherwise. Delving into the countryside, you’ll forge a deeper connection with Mykonos.
Recognizing the hilly terrain of the island, many bike operators offer a range of tours tailored to different fitness levels. This inclusivity ensures that there is no entry barrier for travelers, allowing everyone to enjoy Mykonos from the unique perspective offered by a bicycle.
What is Mykonos best for?
Mykonos has gained widespread acclaim primarily for its exceptional nightlife, drawing visitors from across the globe to revel in its myriad bars and clubs. Renowned for more than just its vibrant evenings, the island is also celebrated for its picturesque landscapes adorned with iconic windmills, white-washed structures, and stunning beaches.
Why is Mykonos so famous?
The decision between Santorini and Mykonos hinges on your vacation preferences. Santorini caters to those in search of dramatic volcanic landscapes and romantic settings, offering a serene and picturesque atmosphere. On the other hand, Mykonos stands out as the ultimate destination in the Greek Islands for those seeking a vibrant and lively party scene.
Is 3 nights in Mykonos enough?
Devoting three nights to Mykonos provides a brief introduction to its primary attractions, encompassing the beaches and Mykonos Town. However, in our view, a 5-day stay in Mykonos is the ideal duration to fully immerse yourself in the complete range of experiences the island has to offer.
How To Get To Mykonos
There are two transportation options to reach Mykonos, with the most scenic being by boat. Several companies, including Hellenic Seaways, Blue Star, and Sea Jet, operate regular routes between Mykonos and various Greek destinations.
The boat journey between Athens and Mykonos typically takes between three and five hours. Blue Star and Hellenic have a longer travel time of around five hours but offer a more stable ride. Sea Jet, utilizing smaller catamarans, provides the quickest route, though it may be a bit bumpy, especially for those prone to seasickness. It is advisable to book in advance for all three, particularly for Sea Jet.
For a faster but less budget-friendly option, you can opt to fly to Mykonos during the summer months. Daily flights from Athens have a duration of only 25 minutes, offering a swift means of reaching the island.
Best Time To Visit Mykonos
Mykonos enjoys an extended stretch of splendid weather, making it an attractive destination for an extended period. The warm weather typically begins in May and extends through October.
The high season on Mykonos spans from June to September, characterized by peak weather conditions, invitingly warm waters, and a vibrant atmosphere. While this timeframe offers the quintessential Mykonos experience, it also brings larger crowds and elevated hotel rates.
Travelers looking to balance pleasant weather with potential savings may consider visiting in May or October. During these months, room rates may be more budget-friendly, but it’s worth noting that some restaurants and tours may not be fully operational. Beyond this six-month window, Mykonos tends to be quieter, and without the warmer weather, it may not align with the expectations of a typical Mykonos getaway.