Mykonos Island is the most popular but also the most expensive Greek island (I bet you will spend more money than you expect to so bring extra money and credit cards ). This well known island attracts tourists all over the world. It has been visited by just about every celebrity, sports figure, political leader, archaeologist, professor, college student, fashion model, writer, musician, famous chef, architect and designer in the world.
I am sure you wonder what’s the so special about this cosmopolitan island that make so many people visit it every year? Well I am still not sure, maybe it’s because of the sandy beaches, the crazy nightlife, the gourmet restaurants, the celebrities or it’s just the reputation.
Mykonos is the island of fun and enjoyment. If you want to relax don’t come to Mykonos. People don’t come to Mykonos to escape but to party and people-watch. Here are some of the fun things to do in Mykonos.
1. Enjoy the crystal clear turquoise waters of the popular beaches
If there is just one thing any Greek Island is worth visiting for then it’s for it’s beautiful beaches. Mykonos has probably the most famous beaches in Greece. There are more than 30 beaches in Mykonos, beaches for all kinds of taste, cosmopolitan beaches, family beaches, nude beaches, party beaches, remote ones and even beaches in the town, all with gold sand, umbrellas, sun beds, water sports, bars and restaurants.
Head to popular beach party destinations.
The most popular beach parties are in Paradise Beach, Super Paradise Beach and Paraga Beach. In the afternoon there are parties with top DJ and all night dancing on the sands till the early morning.
Paradise beach is located at 6 km south east of Mykonos town and it’s paradise only if you are under 20. It can be reached by bus (the bus station is in fabrica) or boat.
Super Paradise is right next to Paradise beach, at 7 km south east of Mykonos town. I love it’s beach parties. It’s paradise not only for youngsters under 20 but for young people over 30 too. In order to get there you need to climb down a difficult descent of a dirt road. You will have to rent a bike or a car to get there or take a boat.
Paraga is located at 6 km south of Mykonos town.
The beach is really amazing here.
The parties are less crowded compared to Paradise and Super Paradise Beach Parties. It can be reached by bus or boat.
SantAnna (tel. 6956 762847) is an impressive beach club on the right-hand side of Paraga beach, with a huge pool complete with artificial islands (on which there are private cabanas), a cosmopolitan atmosphere, VIP amenities, guest star DJs from around the globe and the largest seawater swimming pool in the Med.
It is about 10 minutes by taxi from the airport or 20 minutes from the port. Valet parking is available as are helicopter transfers from other islands.
Scorpios is an atmosphere-steeped beach club that stretches out across the Paraga peninsula at Agia Anna to create a bohemian setting. You can enjoy the afternoon parties of DJ Valeron with a mix of deep house and live traditional music, and, of course, a magical sunset view.
For the best water sports experience visit the Platys Gialos Beach, Kalafatis Beach, Ftelia Beach and Elia Beach.
Platys Gialos is located 5 km south of Chora.
Elia Beach is located 11 km east of Mykonos town and is one of the longest beaches with many sunbeds. If you drive one more km to the east you will get to Kalafatis Beach. These are the most windy parts of Mykonos.
Ftelia Beach is located 10 km east of Mykonos town. It’s the most uncrowded beach.
The strong wind that blows there makes this beach ideal for windsurfing.
On our way back to Mykonos town we saw this interesting house.
The less windy beach is Psarou Beach. It’s located 5 km south of Mykonos town. Go there if you want to see celebrities but I want to warn you that you will not find a sunbed and you will pay 7 euros for a cappuchino.
My favorite beach is Panormos located 6km north east of Mykonos town.
What I really like is the huge pillows that they have instead of sunbeds, they are really cool, comfortable and free. (so unusual for Mykonos to find free of charge sunbeds). If you get hungry the Adva restaurant has really good sea food.
I liked this beach so much that I visited it twice during my five days stay in Mykonos. Relaxing! Refreshing! And very summery!!
Other worth visiting beaches are Agios Ioannis, Ornos and Kalo Livadi.
The beach of Agios Ioannis located 5 km south west of Mykonos town, gained international fame, when the Hollywood movie Shirley Valentine was shot there.
Ornos, located 3 km south of Mykonos town and Kalo Livadi, located 10 km east of Mykonos town are relaxing beaches with really good restaurants.
2. Spend an enchanting afternoon exploring the narrow labyrinth-like streets of Mykonos Town.
I had been working in Mykonos for 3 summer seasons, I have visited this island countless times but I am still getting lost in these labyrinth-like but beautiful Mykonian streets. Mykonias had built their town in a such complicated way to protect themselves from pirates.
Every little winding cobbled street has something to impress you, whitewashed charming houses and churches, blue doors and windows, flowered balconies. Thanks to the island’s strict building regulations the traditional Cycladic architectural style and character has remained firmly intact.
There are no cars in the town and the streets are lined with little shops, boutiques, art galleries, cafes, stylish bars and restaurants.
When you walk around the narrow Mykonian streets keep your camera close, some selebrity is around for sure…
3. Take time to wander around Little Venice, have a coctail and enjoy the sunset.
Little Venice or Alefkandra is the most picturesque and the most romantic neighborhood of Mykonos town.
The houses are built right up to the water’s edge, above the waves and their colorful and luxurious Venetian wooden balconies are hanging over the sea. I have heard that Madonna owns one, but maybe it’s just a rumour.
Isn’t the sunset amazing?
4. Take a photo of the ancient windmills that date back to the 16th century.
You will find the windmills southeast of Chora, near the coast. Their image has traveled countless times around the world through photographs and postcards.
5. Wander around the harbour of Mykonos town and if you are lucky you may see the pelican Petros but if not you can take some amazing shots of the picturesque church and the fishing boats.
image via: mykonos-diving
Attention, at the Agia Anna beach next to the harbour you will see many tourists swimming, just want to warn you not to swim there, it’s too close to the port so the water is polluted.
6. Enjoy food at some of the finest restaurants.
Mykonos has plenty of gourmet restaurants, most of them overpriced but serve fabulous food.
Some of the top restaurants of Mykonos are:
Kensho restaurant (Ornos, tel. 22890-78788) of the Kensho Boutique Hotel & Suites. It incorporates both Cycladic and Cretan cuisine, raising the island’s gastronomic bar, with dishes such as snails served on bulgur with wild herbs, or rabbit braised with olive oil, thyme, myzithra cheese and sauteed legumes.
Kiku (Hora, tel. 22890-20200) in the Cavo Tagoo hotel, with a voluptuous version of Japanese cuisine. Highlights include the Black Angus beef gyoza with chilli soy sauce, the salmon sashimi with okahijiki and tomato ponzu sauce, and the lamb chops marinated in a spicy miso sauce with shishito peppers.
Branco (tel. 22890 25500), a new arrival among Mykonos’ hotels located in Platys Gialos.
Lady Finger at the Adronikos hotel (Hora, tel 22890 24231) offers Greek cuisine.
Thea (Hora, 22890 25122) at the Belvedere has also gone Greek, with chef Ioannis Zervos presenting classics with a twist (like grouper with a spicy tomato sauce, fennel, spinach and crispy onion).
Buddha Bar Beach (Ornos, tel. 22890-23220), right above the Santa Marina hotel’s private beach. The decor here is chilled MediterrAsian and the menu, strictly Oriental, includes amazing sushi.
Bill & Coo (Megali Ammos, tel 22890 26292) in the hotel of the same name offers a unique combination of Greek, Japanese and Spanish cuisine.
La Veranda (Kalafatis Bay, tel. 22890 71349) in La Residence Hotel, presents a Greek-style cuisine with a conceptual approach and sophisticated techniques-try the octopus cooked in its own juice and served with a smoked beetroot puree.
Principote (Panormos, tel 22890 77184), Greek cuisine.
Wolves of Kitchen (Ornos, tel. 22890 23529), a meat house with an avant-garde bucolic decorative theme, 85-day-dry-aged meat from Greekstone Farms in the US and some really special appetizers (veal tiradito with chives, watermelon and feta cheese)
Farma (Ftelia, tel. 6946 538658). It is a farm with an open air restaurant serving an authentic version of Greek rustic cuisine from a menu based on meat and vegetables from Delos and Rineia.
Nice n Easy (Hora, tel. 22890 25421) serves meat from Arcadia and incredible buffalo cuts from Kerkini.
Mr. Pug (Hora, New ring road, tel. 22890 77771) offers a hybrid menu of southeast Asian dishes with Greek elements.
Nikkei (Hora, tel. 6937 900201), which is spread across Agia Kyriaki square like a beach bar in the centre of town. Offers Japanese-Peruvian cuisine.
Ling Ling (Hora, tel. 22890 22515), the Mykonian version of the famed Hakkasan, with creative Chinese cuisine.
The restaurants that I personally dined at (unfortunately I didn’t have lot of time and money to visit all of them) while visiting Mykonos for 5 days in July are:
Avli Tou Thodori: Platys Gialos Beach.
The best food I had in Mykonos. The beachside restaurant Avli tou Thodori has a stylish white minimalist decor, amazing view and serves super tasty traditional Greek food.
Ask Giannis what to order, anything he suggested us to have was delicious.
Nikolas Taverna: Agia Anna beach
This small sandy beach is next to Paraga beach. Family-run Nikolas Taverna faces the beach and actually has tables right on the sand, under a row of trees. Amazing!
Sea Satin: Mykonos Town
Few years ago I was working in a five star hotel in Elia beach and all the staff recommended to the quests as best Restaurants Aqua, Sea Satin and Katrina’s Restaurants but I never had the opportunity to taste their dishes before this summer. I finally visited Sea Satin but… was extremely disappointed. It was the worst food I had on this island, unfortunately.
Adva Bar Restaurant: Panormos Beach
Caprice, a must for sunset; you can sit right on the water’s edge and admire Little’s Venice beauty or stay inside the bar, have fabulous cocktails, listen to the good music and dance (if possible as it’s overcrowded).
The whole of Mykonos is a shopping adventure. Spend some time exploring the beautiful, narrow streets in Mykonos Town and you will find beautiful Greek trinkets, boutique shops and fabulous art galleries. Passing through Matoyianni, the most commercial street of the city, you will find shops with branded clothes, jewelry and art objects. Everything is more expensive than in other parts of Greece but don’t forget, the island is a glamorous place for the rich and famous 🙂
Lalaounis and Zolotas, Greece’s famous jewelers, have stores on the island attracting the interest of visiting celebrities, while acclaimed designers like Yannis Galatis have dressed such famous women as Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Onassis.
If you see something you like, get it as you may not find the shop again 🙂
Shops are open past midnight.
9. Take a day trip to Delos, the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Delos is a small island but once it was one of the most important spiritual centres of ancient Greece. According to Greek Mythology Delos was the birthplace of Apollo (the god of music and light) and Artemis (the goddess of the wilderness, animals and the hunt). You can see the Sanctuary of Apollo there. Some of the most popular landmarks there include the Delos Synagogue, the Doric Temple of Isis, the Minoan Fountain and the Temple of Delians.
Delos is easily reached by ferry boat from Mykonos Harbor and the trip takes about 30 minutes or even less.
Still, if you don’ t have time for a day trip you can find many of the artifacts recovered from Delos at the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos.
10. Take a short boat tour and see parts of the island that are inaccessible by scooter or experience the horse riding to discover and live through unque and breath-taking moments on the island of Mykonos.
Warning: Mykonos island has only 30 cabs, so if you don’t want to wait 2 hours at the taxi station early in the morning, feeling tired and sleepy after the clubbing, I suggest you to rent a car or a bike or even better rent a room in Mykonos town.
For more detailed info about Mykonos visit inmykonos.com