Mykonos is one of the most famous Greek islands. Located in the Cycladic region of the beautiful Aegean Sea, Mykonos offers amazing beaches, beautiful nature, picturesque villages, delicious Greek food and a chic lifestyle.
However Mykonos is very famous for its great nightlife. Some people call Mykonos the Ibiza of Greece, since partying till morning in famous clubs with world known DJs next to movie stars and famous personalities happens every summer. Mykonos is the perfect island to see people and to be seen, to relax and party hard, to step on virgin beaches or crowded ones and enjoy the indisputably tasty Greek cuisine.
1. Explore the alleys of Mykonos Town
Mykonos Town (called Chora) is the heart of Mykonos. With its beautiful, traditional, cycladic blue and white houses and its tiny streets full of shops, churches, and windmills, Mykonos Town is a pleasure to the eye. Each little corner and every beautiful house is a photo opportunity. Mykonos Town offers a bunch of things to do; from bars to taverns and cafeterias, to fashionable clothes and accessories boutiques, you’ll never run out of things to do! Here you will have the chance to pick up some typical Greek souvenirs, like olive oil products or leather sandals and postcards for memories that won’t fade.
2. Admire the scenic view from Armenistis Lighthouse
Located on the northwestern tip of the island, you will easily notice Armenistis Lighthouse because of its height – it is 19 meters (62 ft) tall. It is a scenic attraction offering great views to the Aegean Sea, and in the background one can notice the neighbouring island of Tinos. See the boats passing by between the two islands. The lighthouse is approximately 7 km (4.35 mi) away from Mykonos Town and one can get there by car taking the north coastal road simply following the signs to Fanari.
3. Mykonos Little Venice
Maybe the most famous image of Mykonos is of the windmills of Little Venice. It is named ‘Little Venice’ because it resembles Italy’s Venice due to its architecture and exceptional beauty. Locate in the Mykonos Town (Chora), one can get there and relax at the various bars and cafes right on the shore with a view of Little Venice. You can also visit the windmills and take a cruise from Ormos Port to watch the sunset from the sea.
4. Platis Gialos Beach
Platis Gialos Beach is located in the southern part of the island, about 4 km (2.48 mi) from Mykonos Town, and is the most popular and crowded beach of Mykonos. Its deep white sand and gorgeous turquoise waters attract visitors from all parts of the island. Platis Gialos Beach is accessible by bus and by boat. It is a fully organised beach with beach bars, taverns and sunbeds, definitely the place to relax, sunbathe and enjoy the crystal clear waters. One can also catch a boat from there to other southern beaches (Paraga, Agrari, Elia, Paradise and Super Paradise).
5. Party at Tropicana Mykonos Club
Located in Paradise Beach in the southern part of the island, Tropicana Mykonos Club makes sure that the fun starts as early as 4:30 in the afternoon and finishes late the next morning. Its epic parties have made history. Music vibes create a party atmosphere, boys and girls are dancing all the time and amazing cocktails are served. Tropicana Beach Bar is ideal for relaxing on the beach, sipping a cold beverage in a comfortable wooden chair under your umbrella. Visit Tropicana Restaurant for Italian and Greek specialities. Keep in mind that Tropicana Restaurant is self-service only. In 2012, the Travel Channel named Tropicana as the Best Beach Bar, and in 2011 and 2009 as the second Sexiest Beach Bar in the world. It is definitely the place to have fun, flirt and dance.
The windmills are considered to be one of the most famous monuments of the Cyclades islands. In Mykonos, they are a landscape landmark as they rise above the sea, on the small hill southeast of Chora.They have a characteristic spherical shape, snow-white color and wooden pointed roof, ideal for the quite extreme winds of Mykonos. Their original use was for grain grinding that contributed to the island’s economic development.
Nowadays, the windmills are no longer operational but they continue to be a symbol of Mykonos and a jewel to the island. Today, there are 7 windmills in Mykonos that are kept in quite good conditions due to extensive renovation. The most famous of all is the “Bonis Windmil” (Agromuseum of Mykonos), which has been transformed into a museum where various activities take place. Its opening dates and times are from 1st July till 30th of September each year, from Monday to Sunday, 16.00-20.00. If you want to discover the past or are simply curiosity to see how windmills look like on the inside, then a visit will give you a unique experience!
7. Visit the Panagia Paraportiani
Paraportiani took its name from the fact that it is located next to the small gate (“paraporti” in Greek) of the medieval wall of Mykonos. In fact, it is a two-storey complex of five churches, where four of them are on the ground floor and one is elevated. It is precisely this church that bears the name of Panagia Paraportiani.
Created in the first phase between the 16th and 17th centuries and due to its unique architectural heritage, it has been an important monument not only for Mykonos but also for the whole Aegean islands. It is, with certainty, one of the most photographed sights of Greece and noone visiting Mykonos should miss it.
8. Dive at Paradise House Reef
Mykonos’ beauty isn’t limited to its land, visitors can marvel at the marine life underwater. Discover the magic of Cycladic seabed by diving at Paradise Reef and exploring the wide diversity of marine life. You will see different species interacting, such as sponges, nudibranchs, colorful wrasse, sea bream, barracuda, starfish and octopus.
Head to Mykonos Diving Center which is located on Paradise Beach., on the south side of the island, between Super Paradise and Paranga. It is just 4.5 km (2.79 mi) away from Mykonos town and there are regular buses that take you there. The experienced staff at Mykonos Diving Center will show you the beauty of the water and guide you through an amazing experience. You can rent all equipment and do all levels of lessons from beginner to professional. Prices vary according to the times and lessons, find out more from their website below.
9. Tour the Ancient City of Delos
At a very short distance from cosmopolitan Mykonos, you can find Delos – the holy island of ancient Greece. It is an imposing place, with no vegetation but exceptionally brilliant and full with the remnants of ancient Greece. According to Greek mythology, it is the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.What makes Delos one of the most important archaeological sites in the country, is that it is the only place in Greece where ancient private homes have been found in a wonderful state: temples, theaters, stadiums, gyms and other monumental structures and buildings have been discovered in many places. They are preserved wonderfully and give us a vivid picture of the architecture, the interior layout, the materials used, the wall decoration, the water supply, the drainage system etc.
Since 1990, the entire island has been declared a World Heritage Site and is protected by UNESCO. In recent years, a huge project of preservation and restoration of the monuments funded by the European Economic Community and the Greek State has been undertaken.
In Delos you can go by boat with one of the tourist offices of Mykonos. The price of the ticket is 18 EUR (20 USD) round trip and 9 EUR for children 6-12 years, but it does not include the entrance to the Archaeological Museum nor the guided tour. Entrance to the archaeological site and museum costs 5 EUR (5.56 USD) (reduced ticket 3 EUR/ 3.33 USD). At the ticket office you will also find certified tour guides working on the island who will offer you guided tours of the archaeological site for a fee.
10. Go on a shopping spree along Matogianni
Matogianni is the busiest alley in Mykonos and is the island’s most well-known market. Fashion and nightlife are combined here. Walk along the narrow traditional alley and you will find luxury stores, international clothing brands, accessories, jewelery, works of art and many souvenirs. It is usually full of people walking by and window-shopping or trying on clothes and accessories. All the shops, no matter how luxury or well-known brands are, all retain traditional Cycladic architecture, keeping the traditional style of the island.
The area does not have only shops but also cafes, bars, and taverns where you can relax and have a cup of coffee, an aperitif or eat some local food. This is the island’s hotspot.
11. Visit the Mykonos Folklore Museum
Between the bustling alleys of Mykonos Chora, there is a different side of the island linked to its traditional past contrasting today’s image of the island. These contrasts are what make Mykonos special and it is worth seeing that side of it by visiting Mykonos Folklore Museum.
Located in the Castle just a few meters away from the famous Panayia Paraportiani, Mykonos Folklore Museum is housed in an old two-storey captain’s house. It includes six main halls that host collections of old furniture, Byzantine icons, folk ceramics, old commemorative dishes and decorative / historical items. Also, there is a great collection of embroidery and weavers, keys, measures and stations, fine collection of ship models etc. There is also an important record of manuscripts and forms, photographs, maps and a library. The Museum is open from April to October, from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm except Sundays.
12. … and the Aegean Maritime Museum 5 minutes walk away
The Aegean Maritime Museum is worth visiting as it holds an interesting maritime collection. It is housed in a traditional Cycladic building of the 19th century, in the center of Mykonos, at Tria Pigadia. The building belonged to the legendary Μaster Nicholas Surmeli, who with his merchant ship “ENOSIS” helped the Cretans considerably in their struggle against the Turks.
The Museum exhibits include ship dunks from the pre-Minoan period to the early 20th century, historical shipping documents, rare engravings and maps, ancient objects, naval instruments, accessories and tools, as well as nautical motifs from the 5th century BC . Until the 5th century AD, the library of the Museum consists of about 5,000 rare books, old and newer publications and includes a collection of manuscripts and photographs and is continuously being enriched.
In the garden of the Museum there are marble copies of successive columns with relief depictions from Delos and Mykonos, referring to shipwrecks and sailors lost in the sea.
13. Catch a show at the Cine Manto
“Ciné Manto” is an open-air Municipal Cinema created in 1995 by the Municipality of Mykonos and is located inside the Municipal Garden of Meletopoulos in Matoyianni. It is a unique green area full of palm trees and cactuses, in Mykonos Chora where you can enjoy a movie under the beautiful Aegean sky.
Inside the cinema, that is located at the back of the garden, there is an old church and a cafe-restaurant that is open all day long, offering a variety of food: greek breakfast, brunch, dinner as well as drinks and refreshments. You can enjoy a movie while you dine.
The cinema runs from June 1st until September 30th every year and offers a wide variety of films, first worldwide released films and box-office productions for adults and children. The films are all in original version with Greek subtitles. If you ever find yourself visiting Mykonos Cine Manto is definitely one of your destinations.