While droves of tourists (especially the younger crowds) head to places like Paradise Beach to party until the wee hours of dawn, you’ll find a bit of classic Greek living within Mykonos Town itself. These winding narrow streets and typical Cycladic buildings never fail to charm even the most jaded traveller. While Mykonos doesn’t have much in the way of ancient ruins or cultural attractions, you can hop a quick ferry to Delos to get your Classics fix, or splurge on some foodie indulgence at one of the many tavernas.
Places to Visit in Mykonos
- Paradise Beach
- Super Paradise Beach
- Little Venice
- Mykonos Town
- The Windmills
- Armenistis Lighthouse
Unique Things to See and Do in Mykonos
- Party at one the beaches until dawn
- Watch the sunset over Mykonos Town
- Explore “Little Venice”
- Relax at Paraga Beach
- Rent a scooter and explore the island
- Shop until you drop
Mykonos is more than just a party destination. According to Greek mythology, Heracles created Mykonos when he hurled boulders at some evil giants who were trying to topple the gods. Who are we to argue with mythology?
Mykonos is easily the most liberal-minded of all the islands. It’s incredibly popular with gay travellers, and many hotels and restaurants make it well known that they have gay pride. But don’t forget that many Greeks still call this place their home, and if you look beyond the party scene, you’ll see plenty of real Greek lifestyle…especially in the mornings when the locals are most active. Hang around Mykonos Town and spend some time people watching. You’ll see elderly women in traditional widow garb tending to their flower gardens, and you’ll notice people coming and going into many of the Byzantine chapels scattered around town. Religion is at the heart of every Greek island. Just drive to Ano Mera, and you’ll see the Panagia Tourliani Monastery.
To dive into the culture, try some local food. Seafood is the way to go. Tried deep-fried prawns and snapper, as well as fried octopus. In some fish restaurants, you can take your pick from the catch of the day, and have it grilled right there in front of you. You can opt for some mezedes – small plates of foods – accompanied by ouzo. Be careful, though: friendly taverna owners aren’t shy about sharing their alcohol with you. It’s Greek hospitality!
Another must do: take the ferry to Delos, a quick day trip to the most sacred island in Greece. It’s the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and the ruins here date back to the 7th century BC. The main attractions are the five crouching lions carved beautifully in stone.
Getting around Mykonos
Taxis are the most convenient way to get around Mykonos. There are also public buses that take a tourist route to all the major hotspots around the island. They operate late into the day during the summer months. Many hotels will also have shuttles to and from the airport. Car rentals can be expensive.
The main town, Mykonos Town, is quite a distance from Paradise Beach and the hotels there. Again, taxis are your best bet, or hotel shuttles. You can also rent a bicycle, or a moped. If you stay in Mykonos Town, everything there is accessible by foot.
Did you know…?
Heracles created the island when he defeated some evil giants. The rocks around the island are said to be the giants’ corpses!
Did you ALSO know…?
Mykonos has its own Little Venice, with colourful buildings sitting right on the waterfront. Boats can pull right up to the front door!
Best time of year to travel to Mykonos
To be blunt, the island dies in the winter months (November to March). The locals remain, but the big party clubs and many of the major hotels all shut down for business. If it’s quiet you’re after, this is a good time to visit. Otherwise, you’ll be quite bored. Things pick up in the shoulder season (spring), but the party REALLY starts in June. This is when everyone flocks to Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach to hit the clubs. It’s loud, noisy, and downright debauch.
Temperatures are also warmest during the summer months, from June to August. Things taper off starting in September, but fall is still a nice time to visit.
Ready to plan your visit to Mykonos? Check out these popular guides and trips.