Mykonos, the famous island of the winds in the heart of the Cyclades islands complex located in the Aegean Sea. It is said that here have been buried the mythical giants killed by Hercules and that’s why the island is sown on big rocks.
The island has a ‘double personality’. It may be intense, shiny and cosmopolitan on the one hand, but on the other hand, it is particularly picturesque, with paved alleys, whitewashed houses, chapels, and windmills exuding serenity and
The island can be reached by plane from most airports in the country, by ferry from Piraeus and by speedboat from Rafina port. Mykonos is also well connected with the rest Aegean islands mostly by ferry. If you choose to travel by plane at dawn, like me, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sunrise above the Aegean sea. Within the island, transportation is quite good, there are buses, taxis, and cars or motorbikes for rent, as well as boats that regularly operate till the farthest beaches.
The picturesque Chora
The island’s Chora (Chora = the ‘downtown’ and capital of the island), perhaps the most beautiful of the Cyclades, captivates the visitor from the first moment. Whitewashed cobblestone streets, houses with colored doors and windows dating back more than 160 years, host the island’s locals as well as the seasonal staff. The various shops are still preserving the simplicity and beauty of the old town and offer to every visitor a chance to shop some of the unique products on the island or to just have a peaceful stroll to remember.
The pedestrian streets of Mykonos, with the most commercial of Matoyianni, are bustling with countless shops of branded clothes and elaborate jewelry as well as bustling cafes, bars, and restaurants for all styles and time of the day! In the less noisy alleys, one can find cheaper restaurants and souvenir shops.
If you are starting your day early then
One of the most picturesque and famous corners of the island is the Little Venice, an 18th-century district where the wealthy merchants and captains built their houses right above the sea. The magnificent architecture with its colorful loggias and wooden balconies, literally dampened by the waves, give the district an intense aroma of the famous Italian city. When you are here you must not miss tasting “Katerinaki”, a special cocktail served only at Galleraki bar. The view of the imposing windmills, the island’s trademark, overlooking the Aegean Sea is really remarkable from here.
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Places of interest outside Chora
The second traditional settlement of Mykonos after Chora is Ano Mera. Located just 8km from Chora it develops in a large area around the historical monastery of Panagia Tourliani, one of the most important sights of the whole island and the protector of the island, since 1542. Ano Mera is conc
North of Ano Mera, in Ftelia, there is an important Neolithic settlement and a Mycenaean tomb of 13th century B.C. The tomb is one of the few known in the Cyclades and believed that a trojan hero was buried here.
The historic Lighthouse of Armenisti built-in 1891, offers one of the most magnificent views of the island and for sure it’s the best place for some epic shots. You can also see the nearby island of Tinos that seems to be so close and gives you the illusion that you can touch it with your own hands.
The beautiful beaches
Summer vacations mean sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and fun. On this island, you can find it all! Cool beach bars with dance floors and sexy people, chilled out restaurant offering cocktails, refreshments, and shade or just some quiet spot on the sand to place your sun umbrella and your towel.
On the west coast of Mykonos, there are the holiday settlements of Tourlos and Agios Stefanos, which extend around the homonymous coasts. South of Chora there are two of the most frequented beaches of the island, Ornos and Agios Ioannis, as well as the settlement of Platis Gialos and Psarou, one of the most popular on the island. Other beautiful beaches are Paradise and Super Paradise (the ‘bad boy’ of the island), Paraga, Agrari, Agios Sostis, Houlakia with its large pebbles and impressive granite formations, Elia, Kalo Livadi, Panormos, Agia Anna, Kalafatis, Ftelia and Kapari. All the above beaches have amazingly beautiful blue and refreshing waters.
Every beach is organized with sun-beds and umbrellas but due to its high costs, in some of them, that can even reach 100 euro for a set of two persons, we recommend to have a suncream and a towel in your bag for every occasion. Remember that there is always a free space to sit with your own ‘equipment’. Also be aware that Mykonos is a really windy island, especially in August, and that the air is usually dry and the sand will be blowing to your face, so during the very windy days prefer the beaches with pebbles.
At Paraga beach it is worth visiting the infamous Scorpios Beach Bar. Its fresh Mediterranean style that mostly reminds a scene of a fantastical desert emerging from a country in the middle east or morocco, with its unique decor and amazing sounds from the resident DJ’s it is a place that one should definitely visit even if it’s just to enjoy dinner or watch the spectacular sunset.
Activities and Tours
Except for party lovers, Mykonos also attracts windsurfers, sailing and water-sport lovers who take advantage of the island’s strong winds. You can choose from dozens of beaches for surfing, but the best ones are the most deserted.
Relax by playing tennis in Agios Stefanos, beach volley in Agia Anna or parasailing and jet skiing in Elia and Kalafatis. For diving lovers, Mykonos is also a favourite destination. September is considered to be the best month because of the appropriate water temperature and best visibility in the water.
The best thing you can do though is to explore Mykonos by boat and discover hidden beaches and nearby rocky islands that cannot be reached by car. This will be an interesting activity also for fishing lovers.
If you have a spare day while you are here don’t miss a day trip to Delos.
The lovers of history and sun will surely love this unique experience. UNESCO has recognized Delos as a World Heritage Site and the island is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Aegean. For the ancient Greeks, Delos was the focus of pilgrimage and worship.
Find more tours below.
The Mykonian cuisine
Summer, sea, and vacations always make us hungry more and when you are in Mykonos there are various tastes to explore.
Be sure to sample the fine Cycladic cuisine starting from the famous Kopanisti, a plate of soft cheese with a strong pepper flavor is the trademark of the island. Louza, a traditional cold cut made of pork meat and herbs. A wonderful ouzo appetizer is Mostra, it is a rusk (twice baked slice of bread) served with Kopanisti and fresh tomato on top. Mykonian sausage or the local Ravioli should also be on your list.
There are so many delicious products to try but where can someone have a nice lunch or dinner?
Well, of course when it comes to food it always depends. Generally speaking, the food on the island is delicious almost everywhere but the prices differ.
If you are on a budget go to Ano Mera, there are some taverns that offer really good and affordable food. I prefer To Steki Tou Proedrou. At Ornos you can visit Balothies restaurant that serves delicious Cretan dishes. I Avli Tou Thodori is situated at Platis Gialos and it definitely worth visiting. If you are into sushi then the best place on the island is Tokyo Joe. In Chora, a great choice for pizza and more is the bussy restaurant called D’Angelo and not far away is Vegera, with cosy environment and friendly staff. LaLaLa is where you can have your morning coffee or breakfast. Finally, if you want to invite some friends for a bbq night you can find the best meat from Dracoulis butchery.
The nightlife scene
Mykonos is an island with a very active nightlife. In
Super Paradise is one of the most popular beach bars for many years and when we were students we used to come here. It’s all about dancing, drinking
As i mentioned before, Skorpios beach bar is a major player in the day and night scene of Mykonos. Tropicana beach bar is also a great choice. Other clubs that we distinguish amongst others are Astra nightclub and
One thing is sure, no one left from Mykonos complaining about its never-ending parties and lively nightlife. Just remember to drink responsibly and avoid driving drunk.
Book in advance
There are a plethora of luxury hotels and villas on the island designed for wealthy visitors but cheaper options are also available even during the high season in July and August. Of course, there is a big difference in the offered amenities but as the locals say ‘this is Mykonos baby’.
We suggest using Booking.com to find your accommodation on the island.
Charming during the day and mysterious at night, Mykonos has established itself as a popular cosmopolitan destination worldwide, with many foreigners identifying it as an ultimate summer vacation destination. But also for Greeks, it is the only island that offers everything, from stunning sandy beaches, rich gastronomy, luxurious accommodation, great shopping and of course the best nightlife ever. Mykonos is not a low budget destination but definitely, it is a place that you have to visit once in your life.
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