Discover the Magic of Mykonos: Our Recommendations for Things to See, Do and Eat
Explore the best of Mykonos Island with our comprehensive guide to the top things to see and do, from beaches, and nightlife to hidden gems
Surrounded by the deep-blue waters of the Aegean sits Greece’s answer to Ibiza, a sprawling, ever-expanding hub of hedonism.
A once sleepy enclave with a long and deep history, Mykonos is an island of contradictions.
Chora is the beating heart of the island, a photogenic labyrinth of laneways and churches and boutiques and top-end restaurants, where the jet-set go to be seen, to dance the night away, and generally leave all fucks behind. On a morning, the historic town is sleepy, its laneways empty of people, and the calmness pervades the wildly picturesque alleys.
The beaches, of which there are many, are gorgeous. In the southeast, the best stretches of sand are now mostly covered by super-clubs, where tunes pump all day long and deep into the night, and fun is had by all, whether on land or sea. To the north, these beaches are empty, free of development and humans - they might not be as picturesque, yet the calmness is their defining feature - a welcome escape from the debauchery elsewhere.
In the centre of the island, sleepy towns and picturesque farms remain, holding steadfast as new, high-end villas pop up almost daily. Narrow roads are lined with stonewalls, snaking their way across the parched interior, past small chapels, huge fig trees, and fields of goats.
Mykonos wasn’t always like this. Deeply intertwined with the culture and mythology of ancient Greece, Mykonos has been inhabited since 1,000 BC. The Island’s proximity to Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, a hugely important Island in ancient times, meant that Mykonos became a very important place for supplies and transit of goods.
Mykonos was ruled by a succession of empires, including the Romans, Venetians and Ottomans, but underwent a transformation in the 20th century, as a popular destination for tourists, lifting it from relative poverty to one of prosperity and rapid expansion.
The more we spent time on Mykonos, the more we began to see the perils of this rapid expansion. It felt a bit like Disneyland in parts, where history and culture were being trampled for a quick buck. As we travelled more through the Cyclades, we began to realise that, while Mykonos is wonderful, and a certain ‘must-visit’ for any first-timers to Greece, it lacked the charm of other islands.
That’s not to say don’t visit. Mykonos is wildly popular for a reason, and if you wish to live a hedonistic life for a few days, there’s no better place on earth. But if you want a deep, authentic Greek Island experience, it’s best to look elsewhere.
This Mykonos guide aims to provide you with a nuanced overview of the island. It includes everything to see and do, for both those seeking parties and those seeking calm. We’ve also included where to eat, as well as how to get there and the best way to get around the island, so you can enjoy the best experience this island has to offer.
THE BEST THINGS TO DO ON MYKONOS
EXPLORE MYKONOS OLD TOWN (CHORA)
Chora, Mykonos’ labyrinthine, port-side capital, is the beating drum of the Island, and the perfect starting point for any visit to Mykonos.
Set on a calm bay on the east of the Island, Chora is stereotypically Cycladic, with its white-washed walls, blue-domed churches, cobblestone streets and bougainvillaea-covered archways. It is incredibly beautiful, probably the most beautiful ‘old town’ in the Cycladic Islands, if somewhat maddening.
The historical centre is small and centralised, designed to confuse invaders, the endless laneways seemingly twist and turn in every direction, and an early morning walk getting lost in the slowly awakening town is an essential thing to do in Mykonos.
Despite its popularity, the town retains pockets of authenticity, and although it’s loud and chaotic by night, people still live here and go about their daily lives. There are colourful fruit stalls and fishmongers by the old port, selling the best of Mykonos’ produce, an old woman watching the world below from her window, drying clothes swaying in the ever-present breeze, the clatter of cutlery and the waft of delicious Greek food being prepared, and the ever-present radio relaying the latest news.
We suggest starting your explorations in Little Venice, and working your way north towards Mykonos’ oldest church, Panagia Paraportiani. Follow the laneways towards the old port, before re-entering the laneways and winding your way towards the popular Matogianni St and the Alefkándhra district, which is packed with art galleries, trendy bars, shops and clubs.
Within the old town, there is a myriad of beautiful and historic sights that you must visit:
Panagia Paraportiani | An icon of Mykonos’s old town, Paraportiani is unmissable, even if you just witness the quirky, asymmetrical exterior. Set in the far northeast of the town, this church was built between the 15th - 17th centuries, and comprises of four small chapels amalgamated into one. Don’t miss it
Aegean Maritime Museum | The extensive history that exists off the coast of Mykonos is explained in this small yet interesting museum
Kastro’s Restaurant | Home to that view, Kastro’s is an essential stop when exploring Mykonos old town
Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary | Located off Little Venice, this church is so quintessentially Cycladic, it hurts. Surrounded by flags, this blue-domed church is small but wonderfully picturesque
Agia Kyriaki Church | Located in the heart of the old town, it’s easy to miss Agia Kyriaki Church. Located on a bougainvillaea-filled town square, the church is a feast for the eyes and showcases the simple yet elegant beauty of Cycladic architecture
It’s worth noting, that much of the town slows down in the mid-summer heat - so come early to appreciate Chora’s charms. By night, it’s overwhelmingly busy, which in itself has its own charms.
If you’d prefer to not get lost, and be guided through this stunning town by a knowledgeable local (this is probably a good thing, take it from us!), we suggest joining this highly-rated Chora walking tour. You’ll visit all the major sights while learning the history of the island.
EXPLORE LITTLE VENICE | THINGS TO DO ON MYKONOS
In the heart of Mykonos lies its most popular, and dare we say it, most beautiful attraction, the stunning Venetian homes that makeup Little Venice. There’s nowhere more romantic or picturesque, especially at sunset, when the marmalade skies light up the sea and illuminate the buildings in a soft, pastel orange hue.
Watching a sunset here is a right of passage for anyone that visits the island, whether you are George Clooney, or George from Brazil - just find yourself a spot (a cocktail bar is always the best bet…), and watch nature put on a show.
Set right on the water’s edge, colourful, historic villas jut out from the sea, bearing a strong resemblance to those in the real Venice, Italy. And that would be because Mykonos fell under Venetian rule for many a year, and these very mansions were constructed by Venetian seafarers as a tribute, in a way, to remind them of home.
The wooden balconies allowed sea traders direct access to the sea, and although the restored mansions now house mostly restaurants, bars and Airbnbs, they are no less beautiful.
Little Venice is also home to the famous viewpoint - the long, table-filled alleyway with views out over the Aegean, which lures the would-be Insta-crowd - if you’re also after a photo here, it’s called Kastro’s Restaurant. We suggest sitting down, ordering a meal and a glass of wine, and enjoying the view.
Where | Little Venice, Mykonos
TAKE A DAY TRIP DELOS ISLAND
Delos is a big deal when it comes to Greek Mythology, and we’d suggest not visiting Delos during a trip to Mykonos would be akin to dismissing the Acropolis when in Athens. Thankfully, it’s a super easy day trip from Mykonos.
The ancient island was revered as a sacred location and a place of pilgrimage in ancient times since it is the birthplace of the celestial twins Apollo and Artemis. In fact, Delos was so revered that the name "Cyclades," which means "the ones that encircle," came from the neighbouring islands.
The island was populated as early as the third millennium BCE, according to archaeological evidence, and it was significant and well-known between the sixth and fifth century BCE, under the Delian League.
Delos was a significant hub for trade and business throughout the Hellenistic era. Wealthy merchants erected magnificent homes and monuments on the island, which are still visible today. The Roman era saw a fall in the island's significance. The island's importance began to decline in the Roman period, and it was eventually abandoned, before it was rediscovered in the 19th century, with excavations beginning in 1872.
Today, the island is an archaeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to ruins featuring temples and treasuries.
The best way to reach Delos island is by taking a ferry from the port of Mykonos. There are several ferry companies that operate regular services to the island, which you can book here. The journey takes around 30 minutes, and ferries run regularly throughout the day - we suggest booking your tickets in advance as the island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece (book here).
Once you arrive on Delos, you can either explore the island on your own or take a guided tour (book here), which we suggest given the island's historical importance.
A walk through this UNESCO World Heritage site will leave you in awe, questioning how such ingenuity and existed so long ago.
Home to a frankly ridiculous array of well-preserved ancient ruins, including the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Terrace of the Lions, and the House of Cleopatra, and history buffs (for which Mark is one), will gladly spend hours exploring each corner of the historic site.
The Sanctuary of Apollo is considered the most important religious site in Delos, and it's where the famous marble lion statues stand - a bewildering line of marble lion statues that once guarded the Sacred Lake of Delos. The House of Cleopatra, a luxurious Roman-era villa, is another must-see.
If you plan to visit, be warned - it gets hot here, especially in the peak of summer. We suggest bringing comfortable shoes and a hat, as well as enough water and snacks, as there are no shops on the island.
Where | Delos Island
Cost | €12 per person
ENJOY A SUNSET COCKTAIL AT NEGRITA BAR
Set amongst the Venetian mansions on the Little Venice waterfront, Negrita is famous worldwide for its outrageously epic sunset views overlooking the Aegean sea, world-class cocktails, and its colourfully styled interior.
As somewhat thrifty travellers, paying anything over €20 for a cocktail is unfathomable. And yet, the lure of an endless Mykonos sunset, accompanied by a fruity cocktail, was something we simply couldn’t avoid. There we sat, the salty sea lapping at our feet, enjoying the most delicious cocktail, overlooking a million-dollar view. €50 later, do we regret it? Not one bit.
The cocktail menu is expansive and expensive - we had the Zombie (passionfruit cocktail) and a Gin and hibiscus Martini, both delicious and well-executed.
If this is on your Mykonos bucket list, we suggest saving your pennies elsewhere to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime view. We recommend booking at least a few days in advance to secure a seaside seat. Alternatively, you can book at one of the many surrounding picturesque bars that line the waterfront, such as the equally famous Bao’s Bar.
Where | Negrita Cocktail Bar
Opening Hours | 11 am - late
Cost | Cocktails start from €17
FIND THE FAMOUS MYKONOS WINDMILLS
The iconic windmills, located just off Little Venice, are the emblem of Mykonos.
Built by the Venetians in the 16th century to harness the power of the summer winds to mill grain, the windmills were an important source of income for local people until they ceased production in the middle of the 20th century. Thankfully, they were preserved, unlike many similar windmills on Paros and Naxos, and live on in infamy. Seven remain to this day, visible from just about everywhere in Chora.
Despite their undoubted beauty, they’re a little bit underwhelming. Sure, they are pretty, but the surrounding area is rather messy, and there’s not much to them - just a souvenir store and an epic view of Little Venice.
That being said, a visit here to watch the sunset over the town is wonderful (if not a little busy), and even better in the morning for sunrise, when you have the whole place to yourself as pastel hues cast over them as the sun slowly rises.
Where | The Windmills of Mykonos
Cost | Free
EAT THE BEST MEAL EVER AT KIKI’S TAVERN
There’s very little about Mykonos that feels authentic - the days of freedom and simplicity are long gone, replaced by mass tourism and modernity. And yet, through sheer luck or will (you’d have to ask the owner, Vassilis), Kiki’s Tavern, located on the northern reaches of the Island, remains as it was when it opened, a bare-bones taverna serving simply brilliant local food.
Blink and you’ll miss it, the tiny Kiki’s is set off the picturesque Agios Sostis beach. There are no signs to mark its entrance, nor electricity, phone or wi-fi in these parts, just the view and the sweet smell of summer wafting across the breeze.
It’s here you can spend the languid summer afternoon of your dreams, eating simple, delicious Greek food under a single olive tree on the terrace. And that we did.
We ordered a range of vegetarian and seafood options - calamari cooked with lemon, oregano and olive oil, baked feta with vegetables, roasted eggplant with feta, a selection of salads, and wine, and it was unquestionably the best food we had in two months spent the Cycladic Island.
What elevated the experience even further were the staff (Greek hospitality is rarely matched), and our long chat with the owner, Vassilis, who gave us a wonderful insight into the history of the restaurant and his deep desire to stay true to his philosophy (small, local, authentic). It made us walk away from Mykonos understanding the island, and its complicated future, a little more, but providing a timely reminder of what over-tourism can do to a destination.
We suggest arriving early if you wish to get in for lunch, otherwise, put your name down, go for a swim, and return in the afternoon to enjoy a late lunch. And yes, you can pay by card.
Where | Kiki’s Tavern, Agios Sostis
Opening Hours | Daily, 12-6 pm
Cost | Entries start at €10, mains start at €20
Tips | Visit early, as the queue starts at 11:30 am
VISIT THE BEST BEACHES ON MYKONOS
Given its popularity amongst the jet set, it comes with little surprise that Mykonos is blessed with many stunning beaches, paradise coves, and endless shades of blue, and one of the best things to do on Mykonos is to spend a day (or more), by the water.
The best beaches are located to the southeast of Chora, where a slue of turquoise and electric blue beaches and coves dot the coastline. It’s also here that the beach clubs are at their most prevalent, so if you’re dreaming of a quiet spot to place your towel, think again.
For peace and quiet, the northern parts of the island are where to visit. Undeveloped and blessed with soft white sand and calm waters, these are the beaches we’d visit again and again. These beaches require effort to get to, but trust us, they’re 100% worth it.
Below are our favourite beaches on Mykonos:
AGIOS SOSTIS | By far our favourite beach in Mykonos; a wild sunkissed cove that offers a stark contrast to the sunbeds and glam of the beaches in the south. Situated in the north of the Island, it might be far from the crowds and chaos of Mykonos town, but that’s exactly why we love it. No real facilities, just Kiki’s tavern close by, and a dude selling Greek doughnuts (yes, we bought many!).
KALO LIVADI | One of the best beaches on Mykonos, Kalo Livadi is located far east of Chora in a picturesque valley punctuated by white houses and green fields, making it somewhat quieter than other more popular beaches on the Island. The sand is soft, with a gentle slope into the water, making it the perfect place to relax in the shallows. There’s also a large ‘free’ section of beach if you don’t wish to pay €50 or more for a sunbed
ELIA BEACH | Nestled along the southern coast of the island, Elia Beach is probably one of the more beautiful beaches on Mykonos. Umbrellas fashioned out of palm fronds sway in the breeze, nestled in the golden sand, where the crystal clear water laps, beckoning beachgoers with every crash of a wave. Sunbeds are quite a bit more than anticipated (priced at 35eur each, 70eur per pair - Aug/Sep). Easily reachable by bus for €2.30 each way from Old Port.
AGRARI BEACH | Agrari Beach wasn't actually open yet when we visited early in the season, but we have it good authority from a Dutch couple we met at dinner one night who have been visiting Mykonos twice a year for 32 years, that it's one of their favourite Mykonos beaches of all. Located to the south, close to Elia and Super Paradise beach, the waters here are calm, turquoise, and highly inviting.
FOKOS BEACH | One of the most secluded beaches on the Island, it’s here you come to relax, and while the days are away. The stretch of sand is wide, and while there is a beach bar with sun lounges, most of the beach is free for use. Close by is Fokos Taverna, which serves extremely good authentic food
SUPER PARADISE | A widely popular beach with insanely blue water, Super Paradise is a party paradise for the hedonistic visitors to the Island. Jackie o’s bar and super paradise beach club (the latter has private sun beds and a beach). The beach is sectioned into three, divided up by beach clubs and water sports, however, there is an area available for day visitors who don’t wish to pay for a sun lounge.
ORNOS BEACH | Located a short drive from Mykonos town, Ornos is a long, calm, stretch of sand filled with relaxed beach clubs. It’s perhaps not the nicest beach, but its proximity to town makes it a favourite with day-trippers.
With so many beaches, you’ll be able to find a slice of sand that’s just right for you.
PARTY ON MYKONOS
Mykonos has long been known as a hedonistic party paradise, home to some of the best clubs, parties and DJs in the world. Clubs such as Scorpios and Cava Paradiso lure the best talent globally to play the latest dancefloor tunes (mostly house, techno, tech-house and trance) to up-for-it crowds. In fact, if you’re reading this guide, you’re probably planning on hitting up the clubs somewhere on the Island.
Mykonos’ clubbing reputation didn’t happen overnight - hippies have been coming here since the 60’s embracing the picturesque island and relaxed local vibe, and it’s this progressive outlook that first drew the gay crowds in the 80s.
The gay community are always the leader when it comes to nightlife, and before long the rest of the world was waking up to the fact of Mykonos’s reputation as a party paradise. While the Island is still gay-friendly, the clubs and clientele are far more heterosexual these days.
It’s fair to say the parties here are debaucherous - anything goes, and it often does, still going until the early hours of the day - in fact, sunrise sets are something of a thing here (Mark secretly wishes he saw his favourite DJs’ epic sunrise set here back in the day!). Clubs are mostly located on the beaches, including Paraga, Paradise and Super Paradise, however, Mykonos Town is also an epicentre for some very fun nights.
If you’re looking to party, you can’t go past sunset at Scorpios, a chic, vibrant beachfront bar offering exceptional food, cocktails & some of the best sunset DJ sets you’re likely to see. If you’re after something a little more clubby, Cavo Paradiso is the place to be. The World’s best DJs play epic sets here throughout the summer, so check the DJ lineup before your visit.
Paradise and Super Paradise clubs are your quintessential beach clubs filled with beautiful people from around the globe and are the perfect place to let your hair down after a day at the beach.
STROLL THE PRETTY MATOGIANNI STREET
There are pretty streets, and then there’s Matogianni (also Matoyianni), located right in the heart of bustling Chora.
Named after the Matoyianni family, one of the most prominent families of Mykonos during the 19th century, this charming wide, cobblestoned street is home to colourful Venetian mansions, brightly coloured bougainvillaea, and the endless picturesque stairways, which give this street a somewhat ethereal feel.
There are a mesmerising array of shopping options, including high-end designer boutiques, art galleries, jewellery stores, and souvenir shops. There are also many cafes, bars and restaurants on the street, where visitors can enjoy a drink or a meal while watching the street life.
The tourist/souvenir stores that line the street, which somewhat detract from the overall beauty of the street, but there is no denying that this is the street in the town.
Make it to the end, and you’ll arrive at the pretty Agia Kyriaki church, before ending at the picturesque old port, with sprawling views over the Mykonos coastline.
We also suggest taking a walk around the many surrounding laneways, which are equally picturesque and home to a lot of the authentic beauty of Mykonos.
Where | Matogianni Street
EMBRACE MODERN ART AT RARITY GALLERY
We’re fans of art and often find ourselves strolling through galleries in every city we visit. But we absolutely didn’t expect to find a modern art gallery on a Greek Island, so our visit to Rarity Gallery was a wonderful surprise, not just because of the escape from the overwhelming heat.
Rarity Gallery is located in the heart of Mykonos Chora in a beautifully restored 19th-century traditional building. This small gallery showcases ever-changing exhibitions featuring contemporary art from emerging and established artists from around the world and features a diverse range of contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media.
The gallery is divided into six small exhibition halls, each with polished black concrete floors and white-washed walls (this totally does all things to our interior design senses!).
During our visit, there was a diverse range of pop art, otherworldly sculpture and modern digital art (no, not NFTs), and we were really blown away by the modern sculpture - if we were immensely wealthy, there’s no doubt we’d have bought a few for our sprawling Paris apartment. Alas, we admired each corner of the gallery before getting on our way.
If you’re looking for something alternative to do on Mykonos, we highly suggest a visit to Rarity.
Where | Rarity Gallery
Cost | Free
Opening Hours | 10 am - 1 am
HEAD TO THE EDGE OF MYKONOS AT ARMENISTIS LIGHTHOUSE
Needing to escape the rabbit-warren streets of Chora, we hired an ATV and set about exploring other corners of this glorious island.
The first point of call was the far-reaching Armenistis Lighthouse, perched atop a barren landscape high above the deep blue seas at the north-western tip of the island.
An iconic symbol of Mykonos, the lighthouse was built in 1891, made of white-washed stone and standing at a height of 19 meters, giving sailors in these perilous waters a clear path to safety between Tinos and Mykonos.
Offering panoramic views of the island and the surrounding sea, we spent the better part of an hour walking and scampering across the surrounding rocky area to admire the lighthouse from every angle. The views towards Tinos, and to the sea below, are utterly mesmerising, so bring your camera or drone.
And if you’re feeling like escaping the chaotic evenings around Chora, we suggest coming here for a sunset beer - the views are endless and excellent.
To get here, we suggest using Google Maps (we couldn’t adequately give you directions as the roads are too windy).
Where | Armenistis Lighthouse
WATCH A FAMOUS MYKONOS SUNSET
In Mykonos, much like the rest of Greece, sunsets are sacred.
Every night, people gather all across the island to watch the sunset. Whether viewed shoulder-to-shoulder at the Little Venice, from the infinity pool of your bougie hotel, from a glitzy bar, or from the deck of your romantic sunset cruise, Mykonos’ sunset is world-famous for a reason: it's pretty bloody spectacular.
The obvious choice for many is in Little Venice, where the world-famous (and TikTok famous) bars hold the prime position for the best sunset you’ll ever see. From here, witness the breathtaking shift from one pastel hue to another, until the skies turn dark and the party really starts.
However, while the island’s most famous sunset drawcard is truly beautiful, it, like many of the world's most famous tourist spots, is also by no means the only beautiful place to watch Santorini's most famous show from.
There are some world-class bars that play host to the best parties in Europe, and from here, music blaring, and sunset is a core memory makers.
There are plenty of amazing bars with epic sunset views on Mykonos
NEGRITA OR BAO’S BAR - LITTLE VENICE | These bars are known for their unique location, situated right on the water's edge, offering beautiful views of the sea. Both bars are laid-back, serving an amazing array of world-class cocktails. Come for the drinks, stay for the view, and don’t forget to film it all on your phone so you can go viral (jokes, keen the phone away and enjoy the sunset with your own eyes)
SUNSET BEERS AT BONI’S WINDMILL | Boni’s Windmill is a hidden gem for backpackers or those on a budget Simply grab a few drinks in town, walk out of Chora and up towards the windmills, and enjoy an epic sunset overlooking Mykonos without the price tag.
SCORPIOS MYKONOS | If you’re in Mykonos to party, there’s no better place to watch the sunset than Scorpios. With an open-air dance floor pumping excellent tunes, multiple bars, and a restaurant serving delicious food, you really can’t go wrong here. Just be warned, you need to book in advance, and be prepared to pay the big bucks.
180 BAR | Situated just above Mykonos, 180 Bar is chic and upscale, offering beautiful views of the town and the sea. The bar offers a variety of drinks, including cocktails, beer, and wine, but the sunset view is the selling point here
How you do sunset is up to you, but we highly recommend Boni’s Windmill for a more sedate, affordable affair.
VISIT VIOMA ORGANIC WINERY & FARM
If you’re like us, the best travel experiences often occur off the beaten track, away from the maddening crowds that devour Europe during the summer. On Mykonos, those types of experiences are very hard to come by(Kiki’s Tavern, listed above, was one of them!), however, a visit to Vioma Organic Farm is one of them.
Located in the village of Ano Mera, in the centre of the Mykonos, the farm is known for its production of wine, organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs, as well as for its commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices. And this is something we totally vibe with.
But it’s the food & wine tasting experience that you need to visit for. Sampling an array of exceptional local varieties of wines, including their intense rosé, and classic red wine, and produce directly from the land (the Mykonos Farmer platter is to die for), the afternoon spent is a core memory that sits deep in our minds.
Beyond the wine tasting, you can take a guided tour of the farm and learn about the farming methods and the production process. The farm also has a shop where you can buy organic products directly from the farm.
All in all, a visit here is one of the best things to do on Mykonos if you’re keen on a more authentic, slower experience.
If you’d prefer to just jump on a guided tour to explore one of Mykonos’ other wineries, this highly-rated guided tour is well worth booking.
Where | Vioma Organic Farm
Opening Hours | At 2 pm and 4 pm (May-mid October) or 2:30 pm (April & 2nd half of October) we offer guided wine tours in English to our wine & local products tasting guests
Book | This similar, highly rated tour takes in a Mykonos winery and olive grove
GO SHOPPING ON MYKONOS
We’re not going to lie, most shops we visited on the island of Mykonos were far outside our budget. As two post-pandemic travel bloggers, finances were lower than usual during our visit, and thus, we admired the array of high-end fashion boutiques, traditional souvenir shops, and artisanal crafts from afar, dreaming of a time we can return and snap up everything in sight.
The best shops can be found amongst the maze-like streets of Chora, where Louis Vuitton sits alongside local designers, and 16th-century mansions are converted into astoundingly beautiful boutiques. Alternatively, Nammos Village plays host to high-end boutiques and galleries.
Some of the best places to shop on Mykonos:
MATOGIANNI STREET | As mentioned above, Matoyianni Street is lined with high-end fashion boutiques, jewellery shops, and souvenir shops. It's a great place to find designer clothing, accessories, and traditional Greek souvenirs.
LITTLE VENICE | Little Venice is known for its charming whitewashed houses that are built on the edge of the sea, and it’s also a great place to find unique and locally made clothing, and crafts, such as pottery, textiles, and jewellery.
THE MYKONOS MARKET (KATO MIL) | The Mykonos Market is a traditional market located in the town of Ano Mera. It's a great place to find local products such as herbs, spices, olive oil, and traditional Greek sweets.
BAZAAR AT SCORPIOS | Home to exceptional clothing, accessories and minimal homewares, this is where we’d shop if we had all the money. Think neutral colours, natural textures, and all the delights of the Mediterranean
JARDIN | Selling exclusively Greek brands, expect to find well-made dresses, shirts, kaftans and more. Again, it’s all about the earthy tones and minimal aesthetics.
SAIL AROUND MYKONOS’ STUNNING COASTLINE
While the beaches of Mykonos are idyllic and seemingly endless, experiencing the Island from the water is deeply satisfying.
There’s literally nothing better than spending the day exploring amazing beaches, hidden coves, and ancient Islands, jumping off the back of a boat into the turquoise Aegean Sea, and then repeating this many times throughout the day, only stopping for food and beer. It’s something that we’ve done on just about every Greek Island we’ve visited, and it never gets old.
And off Mykonos, sailing couldn’t be better, with the area being blessed with an incredible coastline full of famous beaches, hidden coves and hard-to-get-to isles; exploring the coastline of Mykonos by catamaran is something you absolutely must do.
When lunchtime arrives, the crew whips up an amazing spread for lunch, with grilled meats and seafood, plus pasta dishes and salads for vegetarians like us — all accompanied by a much-welcomed open bar.
There are several companies that offer sailing trips around Mykonos, and trips typically last for around six to eight hours.
Some of the popular destinations for a sailing trip around Mykonos include:
RHENIA ISLAND | This uninhabited island is known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful beaches. It's a great place for swimming and snorkelling
DELOS ISLAND | The island is an important archaeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage site, it's also a great place for swimming and snorkelling.
DRAGONISI ISLAND | This small island located south of Mykonos is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters.
We recommend this Delos and Rhenia Islands day tour, which departs from Ioannis Diakoftis pier/harbour early in the morning to make the most of the day. The tour takes in secluded coves and beaches, as well as an optional tour of Delos (or you can stay on the boat and go for a swim or ten).
The boat is super spacious and comfortable, with shaded lounges and large deck areas for sunbathing and relaxation, while BBQ food is included. For that interested, book here.
If you’re after a more sophisticated experience this catamaran tour, takes a similar route, but with smaller group size. It also includes a 3-course meal, so it’s definitely worth the money.
Alternatively, take this sunset boat cruise, taking in the magnificent view of Little Venice and Mykonos as the sun sets over the Island. Drinks are included, so make the most of it before hitting the clubs in the evening.
We honestly think this is one of the best things to do on Mykonos (we suggest booking in advance as the boats fill up fast).
What | Sailing Mykonos
Tips | Check the weather for wind before booking your trip, bring appropriate clothing, sun protection and comfortable shoes
EAT DELICIOUS GREEK FOOD
On first impressions, the food scene in Mykonos left a lot to be desired, especially when compared to other Greek Islands we visited. We found it hard to find good, authentic Greek food on Mykonos - Chora is overrun with mostly average, expensive restaurants, catering to unaware tourists, while the rest of the island feels a little too ‘beach club’ for our liking. We wanted yia yia’s homecooked specialities, not mass-produced, overcooked pasta with tasteless seafood.
That said, we met a wonderful Dutch couple who have visited Mykonos yearly for over 30 years, and they provided a number of personal recommendations which were highly appreciated. It turns out, we were looking in all the wrong places, and following their recommendations, we enjoyed a number of quality meals on the island.
Our favourites are listed below:
HEALTHYLICIOUS | A cosy laneway cafe serving breakfast and lunch. The perfect place to start your day, we had the Goddess avo toast and yoghurt with honey and fruit, plus Freddo cappuccino. We’d happily visit again and again, mostly to avoid sweet pastries and heavy coffee for breakfast every day
IL FORNO DI GERASIMO | We discovered this hidden gem on a morning walk through the myriad of laneways in Chora, and visited every day we remained on the island. This is a proper bakery, serving a huge array of baked goods, pizza slices, sweet treats and coffee. The spanokopita is to die for.
SOUVLAKI STORY | Souvlaki Story can be found in a few places on the island and is good for a quick meal as their portions are huge, providing great value for money. They also have a full vegetarian menu.
HOMECOOKED BY LEONIDAS | Cheap and somewhat cheerful (the service that is, the food is actually really good!), these were some of the cheaper gyros we found around Mykonos Chora. Even better for our fellow veggies — they have good vegetarian gyros here too!
KIKI’S TAVERN | See above - the most authentic experience in Mykonos - a must for those who seek real Greek cuisine
CAESAR’S | Our favourite meal in Chora, Caesar’s serves traditional Mediterranean and Greek flavours in a modern way. We had the orzo pasta with shrimp, and the mushroom risotto, both excellent and balanced. The range of appetisers was amazing, and we highly suggest the calamari and zucchini balls. Affordable by Mykonos standards.
AVL TOU THOUDORI | Hugely popular restaurant by Platis Gialos beach, serving surprisingly excellent Greek food. The honey feta sticks were light and tasty, while the seafood (sea bass, red snapper) is perfectly executed. Complimentary loukoumades to finish, which were delightful
Our list is by no means extensive, so feel free to provide recommendations in the comments below.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING MYKONOS
WHERE IS MYKONOS
Mykonos is a Greek island located in the Aegean Sea, part of the Cyclades island complex. It is situated about 150 kilometres (93 miles) southeast of the Greek mainland, near the island of Delos.
For those island hopping, it is in close proximity to the islands of Tinos, Paros, Syros, Naxos. For a better look, check out our map of Mykonos below.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT MYKONOS?
We’re not going to mince words here - the best time to visit Mykonos is when the Island isn’t completely overrun with tourists, during the shoulder months.
We found late Spring (May-early June) to be the best time to visit Mykonos, as the weather was warm, the crowds manageable, and the water wonderfully refreshing. The island is less busy during this time, and it's a great opportunity to explore the island's charming villages and beautiful beaches.
However, the party season hasn’t really started at this point, so if you’re keen to revel in the Island’s nightlife, you might want to visit during the more conventional summer season.
Summer (late June to August) is the peak tourist season, and it's the best time to visit if you're looking for lively nightlife and seriously warm weather. It’s important to know that during the summer months, the island is bustling with visitors (read: overflowing), and the beaches are packed with people, which for people like us, can be a little uncomfortable. The temperature ranges from 25-35°C and it is sunny and dry almost every single day.
The late season, between mid-September to October, is also a good time to visit if you're looking for milder weather and fewer crowds. The island is less busy during this time, with the temperature ranging from 20-25°C, and the water wonderfully warm.
HOW TO GET TO MYKONOS
Given its enduring popularity, Mykonos is extremely well connected to Athens and the other Cycladic islands. You can easily reach it via local ferry or direct flight from either the mainland or from plenty of capital cities in Europe, especially in the peak of summer.
BY FLIGHT | You can fly to Mykonos from Athens and many European capital cities year-round. From the airport, you can take the 10-minute local bus for ~€2, or taxis will set you back about €15-20
BY FERRY | As one of the Cyclades’ most popular islands, Mykonos is super well connected by ferry to all other major islands and the mainland. There are multiple daily ferries from Piraeus (the mainland Athens port) as well as nearby Cycladic islands like Santorini, Naxos, Milos, and Paros. Ferries were our preference for getting around the islands, both for cutting down on unnecessary short flights, and also because they're generally the faster, more comfortable, and more affordable option anyway.
Expect to pay around €60 to Santorini, €30-40 to Paros/Naxos.
BOOK | We booked all our ferry tickets through FerryHopper
All ferries arriving at Mykonos will arrive at the Mykonos New Port (Tourlos). From here, you can take a local bus, sea bus, or taxi/transfer to Mykonos town easily.
A local bus will set you back €2 and takes 5-10 minutes (buy your tickets on board), the Sea Bus is €2 per person and takes ~20 minutes to Mykonos Town (we took this option!), while you can expect to pay around €30 for a private transfer to Mykonos town (taxis on this island ain't cheap, friends!)
HOW TO GET FROM MYKONOS AIPORT TO CHORA (OLD TOWN)
There are several ways to get from Mykonos Airport to the city of Mykonos, however, we found the private bus to be the easiest and best option for those on a budget.
The local bus service, KTEL, operates a regular service between the airport and Fabrika (on the edge of Mykonos Chora). The bus stop is located just outside the airport terminal and buses run regularly throughout the day. The bus costs €2 per person, and takes about 10 minutes.
Alternative options include:
Taxi: Taxis are available outside the airport terminal. Taxis are metered, and the fare will depend on the destination. The journey takes around 10-15 minutes and it's more expensive than the bus option.
Private Transfer: You can also book a private transfer, which can be arranged in advance through a travel agency or online. A driver will meet you at the airport and take you directly to your hotel or accommodation. This option is more expensive than the previous two options, but it's comfortable and convenient.
Rental Car or Scooter: This option is suitable for those who want to explore the island on their own. There are several car rental agencies and scooter rental agencies at the airport, which can provide you with a rental car or scooter to get around the island.
Whichever transportation option you choose, it's important to be aware of the traffic and parking situation in Mykonos, as the streets in the city can be narrow and crowded.
HOW TO GET FROM MYKONOS PORT TO CHORA (OLD TOWN)
We found the easiest, cheapest, and most efficient way to get from Mykonos Chora (old port), to the New Port is via the Sea Bus, which takes around 10 minutes and costs an affordable €2.
Avoiding the hectic Mykonos traffic, the Sea Bus departs from the old port (see Google Maps) and tickets are purchased at the onsite ticket office, or on board. Note, it does get very busy in the peak months, so arrive early to secure your spot on the boat.
We suggest arriving at least an hour prior to your ferry departure time to avoid issues.
There are several ways to get from Mykonos Port to Chora (Old Town):
Bus: The local bus service, KTEL, operates a regular service between the port and Chora (Old Town). The bus stop is located just outside the port, and buses run regularly throughout the day. The journey takes about 10-15 minutes, and the fare is relatively inexpensive.
Taxi: Taxis are available outside the port. Taxis are metered, and the fare will depend on the destination. The journey takes around 5-10 minutes and it's more expensive than the bus option.
Private Transfer: You can also book a private transfer, which can be arranged in advance through a travel agency or online. A driver will meet you at the port and take you directly to your hotel or accommodation. This option is more expensive than the previous two options, but it's comfortable and convenient.
Walking: The distance from the port to Chora (Old Town) is around 1.5km (0.9miles) and it's a flat walk, it's possible to walk, but it's not recommended during hot summer days or with heavy luggage.
HOW TO GET AROUND MYKONOS
There are a few ways to get around Mykonos, although which one you should opt for the kind of depends on whether you're planning to visit during peak season or not.
Note that to rent any cars, ATVs, or motorbikes/scooters in Greece, you'll need to show an international driver’s permit along with your driver's license.
LOCAL BUS | Buses are by far the cheapest mode of transport on Mykonos, and a really great option if you're travelling here on a budget given that most journeys will set you back €2 per person at most.
The network is frequent and reliable, the buses are decent — they're air-conditioned and comfortable — and you can also store luggage underneath.
The only downside is that in peak season they fill up seriously quickly and you may find yourself standing. During the peak of summer, we'd recommend getting to the bus stop early and being prepared to queue for a while (it can also get pretty pushy!). Check timetables and routes here https://mykonosbus.com/
SCOOTER OR ATV | The best option if you want more flexibility and freedom with your Mykonos itinerary while not spending an absolute fortune on car rental. In peak season, you'll want to be able to zip about more freely than you can in a car or by local bus.
Our ATV cost us €40 total for two days in early June. If you have two people or heavy camera bags like we did, be sure to rent one that has a little more power - ours was definitely struggling up some of the hills!!
Note that to rent a scooter in Greece you'll also need to show proof of a motorbike license in addition to your international permit.
CAR | Our least favourite option for getting around Mykonos, especially in peak season. It can get super expensive during the peak months, and the traffic can become super congested. If you're planning to rent a car during the summer we'd recommend booking well in advance of your trip - we use RentalCars.com
TRAVEL INSURANCE | STAY SAFE IF GREECE
If you can't afford travel insurance, you really can't afford to travel. As the current global situation has taught many people, things can go wrong anywhere in the world - and insurance is often the only way of mitigating any issues with minimal expense or stress for you.
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For digital nomads | SafetyWing - COVID-19 coverage, comprehensive travel & medical, and policies can be purchased while already abroad.
Car Insurance | Insurance4CarHire - a great annual car insurance policy
PLANNING A TRIP TO GREECE SOON?
Check out these essential guides, travel tips, and more to help you plan your trip:
SANTORINI ATTRACTIONS | The best of Santorini, A complete guide to Oia, Santorini, Exploring the stunning Ammoudi Bay, Our guide to hiking Skaros Rock, How and where to find the best Santorini sunsets, where to stay in Santorini
PHOTOGRAPHY | Love our photography? Wondering what gear we use to get all of our photos around the world? Click here to view our detailed photography gear guide, as well as our top travel photography tips!
ECO-FRIENDLY PACKING ESSENTIALS | Don’t leave home without our favourite eco-friendly travel essentials
PLAN YOUR GREEK SUMMER WITH OUR USEFUL GUIDES
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