Mykonos, the famous cosmopolitan Greek island is a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Aegean Sea. Mykonos is the island where all the fun is going on. With luxurious hotels, amazing beaches, crazy parties, Michelin-restaurants, and cosmopolitan vibes the extraordinary experiences are lining up! There is a totally different level of excitement in this famous, gay-friendly island.
Mykonos is everybody’s darling with its traditional whitewashed houses and blue or red-domed churches representing the minimal Cycladic architecture. The trademark of Mykonos is its waterfront Little Venice with the beautiful traditional windmills on the hilltop. Enjoy a magical sunset at one of the seafront restaurants or from Chora, Mykonos Town. Chora is the heart of Mykonos island. Here you will find restaurants, bars, night clubs, and designer boutiques.
Why visit Mykonos?
When you go traveling amongst the Cyclades Islands, arriving in Mykonos you will discover a fascinating world where glamour meets simplicity. On this tiny island celebrities, students and families mingle together to enjoy the Greek summer. Whether you are an entertainment junkie out for a real good time, or a visitor who wishes to explore history and tradition, Mykonos will most certainly meet your expectations.
What is Mykonos famous for?
Mykonos is famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, its vivid nightlife, and its gay-friendly attitude. The island welcomes every year thousands of LGBTQ tourists who prefer Mykonos as their holiday destination. Mykonos is known as the “Ibiza of Greece”, and a holiday here is a lifetime experience. You can choose from a wide range of things to do during your time on the little island: visit the ancient Delos island, practice water sports, go dancing all night long at one of the famous beaches, do island hopping to Santorini and do Mykonos tours, maybe by boat, the choices are yours!
Where is Mykonos?
Mykonos is situated right in the centre of the Cyclades island group, between Tinos, Syros, Paros, and Naxos. It has almost 10,000 permanent residents, most of whom live in the largest town, Mykonos (also called Chora), on the west coast of the island.
Mykonos on a map
Mykonos – How to get there?
Flights to Mykonos
Mykonos International Airport is connected with Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” and Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia as well as several airports around the European countries. Mykonos airport is located 4 km from Mykonos Town (Chora). See all airport connections here
Ferries to Mykonos
You can reach Mykonos by ferry from many of the other islands in the Aegean Sea. First, you can reach Mykonos from both Piraeus and Rafina port. If you arrive to Greece from Athens International Airport, then the port of Rafina is the nearest. Either way, the trip from Athens to Mykonos by ferry lasts from 3 to 5 hours (normal or high speed). Mykonos is connected to most of the Cyclades islands, like Paros, Naxos, Syros, Santorini, Andros, Tinos a.m. as well as some of the other islands and ports, like Samos, Chios, Patmos, and Kavala.
Island hopping to Mykonos from Santorini
If you wish to experience the special atmosphere in lively and luxurious Mykonos for a few days but not to stay there for the whole holiday, you should consider island hopping to some of the other famous Cyclades, like Santorini, Paros, and Naxos. Being so close to the other Cyclades with the frequent ferry connection and local airport it is an obvious choice. Read more about Santorini here
Mykonos – Where to stay?
Mykonos is known worldwide for its luxurious attitude and top-quality accommodations. The best way to experience Mykonos is from a boutique hotel or a villa on the island. Is it expensive? Yes, it is expensive!
Mykonos – How long to stay?
You only need 3 days to get to know the most important sights, swim at the best beaches, and party at the most popular clubs in Mykonos, but 5 days will of course be more relaxing. There is also the possibility to spend a few days before or after at one or two of the other Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
Can you do Mykonos on a budget?
Yes, you can do Mykonos on a budget. You can find a cheap hotel. You can enjoy the beaches, go snorkelling, explore the Old Town, hike to the Lighthouse, and visit the museums. But what Mykonos really stands out for is its lavish attitude to living, so if you ‘cut out’ the very thing it is famous for you might as well visit some of the other extraordinarily beautiful Cyclades islands.
Places like Mykonos, but cheaper
There is no place quite like Mykonos! But if you love parties and stunning beaches you can also travel to Ios island, another beauty among the Cyclades islands or maybe to Skiathos or Skopelos in the Sporades archipelago. Skopelos is the island where the Hollywood movie “Mamma Mia” was filmed. Read more about the Sporades islands here
Mykonos – What to do?
There are several things you just must do while you are on holiday at the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Find a list of activities below.
- Enjoy Little Venice at sunset – Little Venice is a unique place in the island of Mykonos. The white Cycladic houses with their colourful shutters and balconies hanging above the Aegean Sea and their walls are washed by waves derives a romantic aura. If you are lucky you might book one of those seascape rooms and dream away into the most poetic sunsets while having a refreshment while preparing for the evening dinner and festivities. You can also gaze at Little Venice from one of the cocktail bars or the nearby bay of Alevkandra.
- Strolling Mykonos Town – also called Chora, is a great town to stroll through with its traditional Cycladic style, paved alleys, and sophisticated boutiques. The best times for strolling are early morning, when the streets are quieter, and at sunset enjoying a refreshing drink in one of the many chic cocktail bars. Try a guided walking tour to discover the many little secrets.
- Scuba diving – Mykonos has 4 diving centres. With the whole area full of traces from the ancient Greek world at the bottom of the sea and a visibility which reaches 30-40 meters it is like diving into a different era. Everywhere the antiquity is present, both Greek and Roman, canyons and an intact flora and fauna where you can find squid, grouper, and many shoals of barracudas and mackerels. You can go wreck diving as well: Ships from newer times have sunk here. You will find diving centres at the beaches of Kalafati, Paradise and Ornos. Kalafati Dive Center
- Windsurfing – Mykonos is characterized by strong northern winds, in Greek called “meltemia”. The beaches of Ftelia and Kalafati are perfect for experienced windsurfers, offering ideal conditions for windsurfing. For beginners, most of the organized Mykonos beaches provide windsurfing courses, at beaches protected from the violent winds. Windsurfing Mykonos Kalafati Beach
- Kitesurfing – Within 2,5 km from Mykonos Town, you will find Korfos Bay, one of the most popular spots for kitesurfing in Mykonos. Kite Loop is the first kitesurfing school in Mykonos operated by three Brazilian instructors. The training method includes theory lessons and practice with trainer before going in the water. It also provides the latest equipment and safety gear to ensure the protection of the body, in all cases. There are kite lessons for everyone despite the level or fitness ability.
- Beach hopping boat tour – the Mykonos beaches are known for their amazingly golden sand and crystal-clear waters. If you are in the mood to explore as many of them as possible, you can book a beach hopping boat tour with BBQ lunch. You will enjoy Mykonos from another angle and explore beaches like Psarou, Platis Gialos, Ornos, Paradise, Super Paradise, Elia, and Paraga and find your personal favourite.
- Snorkeling excursion – go on a boat trip on the vessel of “Ouranos II” and enjoy an alternative way of seeing Mykonos, gazing at the stunning seashores. You will have the opportunity to dive into the crystal-clear sea spending hours snorkeling and swimming. You will embark from Kalafatis bay.
- Ano Mera village – just 8,3 km from Chora you will find picturesque Ano Mera, authentic and peaceful, not nearly as touristy as other Mykonian villages. It is the second largest settlement in Mykonos with its beautiful central square, the Gyzi castle uphill, the Paleokastro monastery and the well-preserved church of Panagia Tourliani. Go hiking up there and enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the traditional coffee shops.
- Water sports at the beach – at the many organized beaches in Mykonos you can have fun with water sports at some of the water sport centres, like in Kalafatis and Platis Gialos bays. High-speed jet ski or windsurfing with or without instruction, it’s up to you!
- Open-air Cinema – there is nothing like an evening under the stars in an open-air cinema with a soft drink and fresh popcorn. Cine Manto in Mykonos Town screen classic and blockbuster movies daily. It includes a bar-restaurant catering for the guests.
- Cooking workshops – while enjoying some of the delicious Mediterranean recipes you might want to learn how to cook some of these dishes yourself. Try a well-structured culinary seminar and learn to master some essential dishes of the traditional Greek cuisine and enjoy an authentic evening dining afterwards.
- Armenistis Lighthouse – enjoy the sunset in peace and quietness far from the festivities of the vivid island.
- Wine tasting – the dry soil on Mykonos, the windy weather and mild winters contribute to the production of excellent earthen and flavourful wines. Why not include a winery visit in your itinerary? Enjoy a guided tour and tasting session and learn about the Mykonian wines.
- Secluded, unspoiled beaches – If you need to relax for a day a good choice is to visit some of the secluded beaches of Mykonos. You can rent a vehicle for the day or hike if you are in the right physical shape. The bay of Agios Sostis, Fokos bay and the beach of Agrari are perfect choices.
Mykonos – Where to party?
- Swim partying at Super Paradise beach – you will find this beach next to the longer beach of Paradise. During the summer months it attracts visitors from all around the world. At this gay-friendly island you can swim and dance in the sand 24/7.
- Cavo Paradiso party club – is internationally acknowledged as party hub. It is situated on a hilltop above Paradise beach with its famous Mykonos-shaped swimming pool around which the ultimate party takes place every summer. World-famous DJs are frequenting the club, so the unforgettable night is guaranteed. The club has a tremendous capacity of 3000 people, but it is so popular that you should arrive for some early drinks a bit before the main party to ensure your entrance. The party lasts till after sunrise so prepare yourself for dancing for hours and hours.
- Paradise beach parties – in between Super Paradise and Paranga lays the bay of Paradise, it is synonymous with the party spirit of Mykonos. Paradise beach has been a hotspot since the 80’s with its numerous beach bars and clubs. Daily events are taking place with world-class DJs performing live. You will be going for a day-long experience with swimming during the day and dancing in the evening but be prepared for crowds during the high season.
- SantAnna, the largest seaside pool in Europe – is in Paranga bay. It is a rather new restaurant established in 2017 and it expands from its own private bay to the large seaside pool. Here you can enjoy your day at two bars, the excellent fusion cuisine restaurant, and a great variety of beauty treatments. During the summer months a great many music events are taking place in SantAnna along with private parties.
- Nammos restaurant at Psarou bay – is one of the most popular restaurants in Mykonos and your visit would be incomplete without dining there once. Enjoy the whole day with seafood snacks and swimming in the crystalline waters and the evening with an unforgettable culinary experience. The chefs will prepare Mediterranean delicacies while the bar scene will be lit by the paparazzi cameras as world celebrities often show up to enjoy the Nammos culinary experience.
- Cocktails at Kastro’s – is hiding in an alleyway by the seafront of Little Venice. It is cozy with whitewashed walls, pillowed benches, and tables where you can stop for a refreshing drink and a delicious snack while you enjoy the view of the deep blue Aegean Sea.
- Mythical Caprice Bar – is also situated in the atmospheric quarter of Little Venice. It has the best view of the island, right in the middle of things going on, with delicious cocktails, great music, and the most romantic setting. The style is bohemian, and Mythical Caprice Bar attracts thousands of young people every summer.
- 180° Sunset Bar – atop the hill of Mykonos Castle Panigirakis you will find a stellar rooftop open bar. From here you can enjoy an undisturbed view of the Aegean Sea, Mykonos Town, and the perfect sunset. Enjoy exotic cocktails and take in the sense of summer together with friends.
Mykonos – What to see?
- The Windmills, key landmark of Mykonos – are no longer in operation but used to grind wheat and cereals. They are still in good condition and quite photogenic, so prepare your camera and enjoy a cold refreshment while taking in the picturesque windmills. The windmills can be seen from every point of Mykonos Town. They are the first thing you see when coming into the harbor, as they stand on a hill overlooking the area. There are currently 16 windmills. Most of them were built by the Venetians in the 16th century, but their construction continued into the early 20th century. They were primarily used to mill wheat flour. They were an important source of income for the inhabitants. They all have a round shape, white colour and a pointed roof. Such windmills are found in almost all Cyclades islands. One of these windmills has been transformed into a museum. The whole village of Chora and the harbour are visible from the mills.
- Church of Panagia Paraportiani – is situated in the quarter of Kastro, in Mykonos Town. Its name means “Our Lady of the Side Gate” in Greek, as its entrance was found in the side gate of the entrance to the Kastro area. The building of this asymmetrical church started in 1425 and was not completed until the 17th century. This impressive, whitewashed church consists of five other churches attached all together: the four churches (Saint Estathios, Saint Sozon, Saints Anargyroi and Saint Anastasia) are all on the ground and constitute the base of the fifth church that has been built on top of them. This architectural spottiness has made Panagia Paraportiani the most photographed church on Mykonos.
- Panagia Tourliani – located in Ano Mera and originally founded as the monastery of Panagia Tourliani in 1542, dedicated to Virgin Mary. The ecclesiastical museum of the monastery houses a rare selection of Byzantine icons and holy vestments.
- Delos Archaeological Museum – is hosting findings from excavations on Delos island, like the famous lion statues, golden jewellery, and marble busts.
- Peter the Pelican – was a great white pelican, which was the official mascot of Mykonos. In 1958 a wounded pelican was found off the coast of Mykonos by a local fisherman. The pelican was nursed to health and remained on the island supported by locals. It soon adopted the name “Petros”, as a joke between the locals. To great disappointment by locals and tourists alike, Petros was hit by a car in 1985 and failed to recover. Subsequently, three new pelicans reside around the main town of Mykonos. One, honorifically, was given the name Petros.
- Archaeological Museum of Mykonos – hosts findings from excavations on the island and the surrounding islets, like ceramics, small statues, and jewellery.
- Cyzi Castle – is located on top of a hill in Ano Mera of Mykonos. Today, only ruins are left, but its location will give you a lovely view of the island.
- Chora Castle – used to serve as a fortress protecting the locals from foreign invaders like pirates. It is located op a hill above Mykonos Town offering a marvellous view of Chora and the sea.
- Paleokastro Monastery – is located on a hilltop above Ano Mera. It was constructed in the 18th century and still today functioning as a nunnery.
- Agia Eleni Church – located in Mykonos Town is a well-preserved basilica with a lovely belltower, important icons and a chapel overlooking the Aegean Sea. It used to be the Metropolis of Mykonos. It was built in the Post-Byzantine years in honour of Agia Eleni and Agios Konstantinos.
- Mykonos Maritime Museum – is housed in a mansion in Chora exhibiting old nautical tools, maps, and instruments. Mykonos has a rich nautical history and during the Greek revolution it helped many ships.
- Agricultural Museum – housed in an old windmill, overlooking Mykonos Town from its hill. It exhibits a large collection of traditional agricultural tools.
- Folklore Museum – located in the quarter of Kastro in Mykonos Town the museum was founded in 1958. It is housed in an 18th century house of a captain and displays a large collection of folklore items.
- Ancient Ftelia – is a Neolithic settlement located on the northern side of Mykonos. It dates approx. to the 5th millennium B.C. During the excavations, many valuable findings were unearthed.
- Artificial Lake of Ano Mera Dam – is located on the north-eastern side of Mykonos island, not far from Fokos beach. The dam was constructed to solve the water supply problem of Mykonos. Today also the migratory birds are enjoying the beautiful refuge at the artificial lake.
Mykonos – nearby islands
Daytrip to Tinos island – not far from Mykonos you find Tinos island, famous for its religious- spiritual orientation. The boat trip lasts just 20 to 30 minutes, so it is perfect for a day trip. The ferry routes between Mykonos and Tinos are daily with exceptionally low fares. The sights in Tinos include the famous church of Panagia Evangelistria and the Venetian-built dovecotes in the valley. Read about Tinos here
Visit Rhenia islet, unspoiled and uninhabited – on a boat excursion. Enjoy swimming in the turquoise waters. Rhenia has an interesting ancient past – it once served as necropolis for Delos. Besides its ruins of ancient temples and Byzantine churches, Rhenia is worth a visit because of its gorgeous untouched bays and crystal-clear waters. And maybe you just need a day away from the festivities of Mykonos.
Day trip to the sacred island of Delos – the uninhabited island of Delos is a must-visit during your stay in Mykonos. It is the most important ancient site in the Aegean Sea, offering a great insight into the ancient past, as it was serving as a major religious pilgrimage location in ancient years as well as being of enormous political importance. Today you can marvel the Temple of Apollo, the Delian Lions, and many core utilities of Delos are shown and preserved on site at their original locations but also in the Delian Archaeological Museum. The boat trip to Delos from Mykonos Town lasts only 40 minutes. Read about Delos here
TICKETS & THINGS TO DO:
Mykonos Beach Guide
The beaches in Mykonos are simply amazing! They are worldwide famous for their golden sand and crystal-clear emerald waters. Some of them are considered among the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Super Paradise, Platis Gialos, Paradise, and Lia are some of the best beaches. Most Mykonos beaches are organized with all tourist facilities, like beach bars, restaurants, water sport centres and seaside accommodation. The southern coast of Mykonos has the best-organized beaches, but it gets extremely crowded during high season. Find a list of beaches below.
- Psarou beach – Sandy, party, water sports, located 5 km south of Chora. Psarou is one of the most cosmopolitan beach-villages in Mykonos, mainly among Greeks. Every year thousands of tourists and celebrities visit this sandy beach, which is organized offering luxurious sunbeds and umbrellas. Due to its popularity, especially during August, the high season, there is a waiting list for the sunbeds and umbrellas. Many luxury hotels are built around Psarou, which is located close to Platys Gialos.
- Super Paradise beach – Sandy, party, water sports, the most popular beach in Mykonos, located 7,5 km east of Chora.
- Paradise beach – Sandy, diving club, water sports, nudism friendly, attracting mainly young people for its day and night parties, located 6 km southeast of Chora.
- Agios Stefanos beach – Sandy, family friendly, water sports, located 5 km north of Chora.
- Paraga beach – Sandy, party, water sports, located 6 km south of Chora.
- Elia beach – Sandy, family friendly, water sports, located 12 km southeast of Chora.
- Kalo Livadi beach – Sandy, family friendly, water sports, located 11 km east of Chora.
- Platis Gialos beach – Sandy, family friendly, water sports, located 5 km south of Chora.
- Agios Ioannis beach – Sandy, windsurfing, water sports, located 5 km southwest of Chora.
- Glyfadi beach – Sandy, small beach, located 6 km south of Chora.
- Ornos beach – Sandy, family friendly, windsurfing, located 3,5 km south of Chora.
- Megali Ammos beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 1,3 km south of Chora.
Partly organized beaches
- Lia beach – Sandy, family friendly, diving club, located 13 km southeast of Chora.
- Kalafatis beach – Sandy, family friendly, diving club, windsurfing, water sports, located 13 km east of Chora.
- Agia Anna beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 12,5 km southeast of Chora.
- Panormos beach – Sandy, nudism friendly, located 7 km northeast of Chora.
- Agrari beach – Sandy, family friendly, located 8 km southeast of Chora.
- Korfos beach – Sandy, windsurfing, located in a small bay 3,5 km south of Chora.
- Ftelia beach – Pebbled, secluded, windsurfing, located 7 km east of Chora.
- Agios Sostis beach – Sandy, nudism friendly, located 8 km northeast of Chora.
- Divounia beach – Pebbled, secluded, 13 km east of Chora.
- Fokos beach – Pebbled, secluded, nudism friendly, located 13 km northeast of Chora.
- Houlakia beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 6 km north of Chora.
- Kapari beach – Sandy, secluded, nudism friendly, located 6 km west of Chora.
- Merchia beach – Sandy, secluded, located 14 km northeast of Chora.
- Mersini beach – Sandy, secluded, nudism friendly, located 13 km northeast of Chora.
- Tigani beach – Sandy, secluded, located 14 km northeast of Chora.
Mykonos weather and climate
The climate and weather of Mykonos is like in the rest of the Cyclades typically Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The weather is warm and sunny from primo April to ultimo August. Due to the limited rainfall Mykonos is supplying the population and the tourists with water from tankers. During the summer months the northern winds (called Meltemia) are blowing strong, creating great conditions for wind- and kitesurfing. During the winter months rainfall is sparse as well, leaving Mykonos with a low vegetation. Snow is a rare sight.
Greek mythology tells us that Mykonos was being formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by the ancient mythical Hercules. And did you know that Mykonos took its name from the grandson of Apollo?
Mykonos has been inhabited through all history first by the Carians, then by the Ancient Egyptians, the Phoenicians, followed by the Cretans and finally by the Ionians.
Due to the major significance of nearby Delos (about 2 km away) in ancient times, Mykonos became particularly important as a supply island and possibly as a getaway for Delian citizens.
In Greek mythology Mykonos was the location of the battle between Zeus and the Titans, and the island was named in honour of Mykonos, son of Anios (son of Apollo and the nymph Rio).
Since the 1960s, Mykonos has been a popular holiday. The island is quite cosmopolitan and simultaneously offering great ways of chilling out in picturesque cafés and restaurants offering delicious specialties. Mykonos by night offers a great variety of night clubs, dancing clubs and bars. The island, known for its famous bars, has become a big party destination for tourists around the world.