Mykonos – The white washed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades where glamour meets simplicity. Named after the grandson of Apollo and formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules as per Greek mythology. Welcome to Mykonos the Island of Winds.
The name “Cyclades” refers to the islands forming a circle around the sacred island of Delos. Millions of Greeks and tourists from around the world, visit the island every year to enjoy the dazzling sunlight and the crystal blue waters, Mykonos is one of the most popular island destinations in the world. Numerous cafes, chic boutiques and souvenir shops help visitors enjoy their days in the beautiful capital of Mykonos whilst the beach bars and clubs keep you busy all night long.
When to go
The best time to visit Mykonos is between June and September when it’s sunny, hot, and the water is perfect for swimming. But be mindful as this also makes it the most busiest and expensive time to visit the Greek Islands. Since most people go to Mykonos for the beaches and nightlife during the peak season from June to September it is pretty quiet here in May and October though the weather is still very nice. We decided to visit in the first week of June, just before the summer rush comes and also a more affordable vacation time and it was perfect. Water temperature heats throughout the summer months and is warmest in August and early September. Most of the Islands are expensive and I found Mykonos to be the most so please be mindful, plan and budget accordingly.
The nearest major international airport would be Athens airport, Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH) but Mykonos has a smaller airport and is connected internationally as well. Flights from Athens to some of the most popular Greek Islands only take about 30-60 minutes while ferries take anywhere from 3 to 10+ hours. If you book early flights are quite cheap and the faster way to travel between the island. Would suggest you always start by searching for flights to the Greek Islands before looking into ferries. If you prefer the ferry then use the high speed ones and book directly with the companies like Seajets.
By Air: A short flight from Athens just under an hour. We went with the local airline Agean and must say was a very comfortable flight. The airport is located just 15 minutes from downtown Mykonos. There is not much public transportation at the airport but a taxi should not cost you more than €10-€15.
By Ferry: The journey between Athens and Mykonos takes between 3.5 hours (€54.50/high speed ferry) and 5 hours (€32/economy ferry).
During the peak season it can be difficult to get taxi purely down to the sheer number of taxi’s available on the island. Saying this you can connect to the main city quite easily by local bus or private taxis. Most of the hotels offer pick ups and drops and we had one waiting for us. Cars are not permitted in the main town of Mykonos as most of it is pedestrian but you can leave your car in a parking place on the outskirts. Buses, taxis and small passenger boats provide transport around the island.
Where to stay
It is difficult to find budget accommodation in Mykonos especially during the high season so your best option is to book as early as possible and try to avoid these months. Our choice was the Vencia Boutique Hotel just a short walk away from the main city centre and offering some of the best views of the island.
Vencia Boutique Hotel is decorated in true Mykonos style and includes a total of 31 rooms, as well as a lobby with a 24 hour reception and free parking for guests wishing to travel around by car. The hotel has stunning views of the Aagean sea with an infinity pool overlooking the town. The hotel features a breakfast area for guests which are served daily in the Karavaki Bar Restaurant.
The restaurant is open all day so guests can also enjoy Mediterranean dishes and drinks with a spectacular view in the evening. The hotel is just a 10 minute walk from Mykonos Town centre where you will find an array of restaurants, bars and nightlife. I could not find any flaws in this hotel so would highly recommend. Spacious rooms with breadthtaking views of Mykonos ( try and get sea view rooms). The staff are very friendly and happy to help at anytime with anything.
Depending on your budget and what ticks your box would suggest booking early and the best place to check out will be at any of the comparison websites but if you want to go with my choice just contact them direct on Vencia Boutique and they will be more then happy to assist.
Things To Do
There is something to do for everyone on this island, from relaxing beaches to the wildest parties. You can also do day trips to the nearby island of Dilos which is full of archaeological sites. Stroll the whitewashes streets of the town watch the windmills and have a drink in Little Venice. If you are a party animal then you can dance all day in the beach bars and all night at the numerous clubs the island has to offer.
The main town of Mykonos, called Chora by the locals, is a typical Cycladic village with whitewashed cubic houses with coloured doors, windows and balconies, narrow streets forming a labyrinth, beautiful churches, lovely chapels and purple bougainvilleas contrasting with the bright white of the buildings walls. The most striking thing about the main town is the whitewashed look which gives a very soothing yet sheek look and what you anticipate from Mykonos.
Wander around the pedestrian streets filled with shops which are colourful and busy. The most glamorous street of all is Matoyánni Street, lined with some the most popular and high end brands and a treasure trove for shoppers with cash to splash. From traditional loomed goods sold by the local artisans from all over Greece to designer hand bags by Louis Vuitton the island has it all.
But the best part of this town is to get lost in the white washed lanes which are labyrinth and enjoy the visuals of this fascinating town. Pay a visit to the church of Panayia Paraportiani, the Town hall and the castle situated above the harbour.
While strolling, don’t be surprised if you come across Petros the Pelican and the official mascot of Mykonos. Pétros was found by a fisherman after a storm in 1954, and eventually became the locals companion. When he died, the grief of his loss was so deep that a replacement was soon found and the tradition continues.
One of the most scenic corners of the island is Alefkántra or Little Venice. Dating back to the 18th century lined by the white houses with colourful balconies and stylish windows perched over the sea this is a view which will leave you with a memory of a lifetime. The heart of the city is closed to traffic which make you walk among the labyrinth streets and the best time to enjoy this is early morning when the city is much calmer as the tourists are either at the beach or sleeping off their long night of partying. The main town can be traveled all on foot and is the best way to enjoy it.
These houses were built by the early ship captains who decided to settle down and built uniquely magnificent homes overlooking the sea. Today, many of these homes have been transformed into a variety of cozy restaurants, bars, shops and nightclubs, making this a bustling place at all hours of the day. Some of them have been converted into boutique hotels offering unparalleled views of the Agean sea from your bedroom window.
You can relax in one of the waterfront cafes and admire the views of another iconic site of Mykonos the windmills.
These iconic windmills overlooking Little Venice date back to the 16th century when the people of this island used it to grind their grain. These iconic windmills are no longer operational and stand as a monument to early innovation. The windmills are the first thing seen when coming into the harbour of Alefkandra, as they stand on a hill overlooking the area. They all have a round shape, white in colour and have a pointed roof with very small windows. Such windmills are found in almost all Cyclades islands.
The windmills have some of the best views of Little Venice and a great place to sea the sunset in Mykonos.
The beaches of Mykonos are famous for their golden sand and crystal clear waters. There is a beach for every taste. If you want to party, then Paradise and Super Paradise beach is for you. If you want a more family friendly beach, you can head to Ornos and Lia. But if you are after a trendy beach, where all the celebrities go you should go to Psarou.
The beaches of Mykonos are among the most popular tourist destinations in Greece so most of the beaches are well organised with many tourist facilities, from seaside accommodation to beach bars, restaurants and water sports centres. The island is a paradise for water sport enthusiasts. It is only natural that the “Island of the Winds” should attract surfers and sailors from all over the world.
After some clarification from our hotel staff we visited the famous Paradise Beach which I had heard so much about. Was advised that if you visited the beach in the morning it was family friendly with lots of children and to my surprise it was.
There are loads of families enjoying this beach and is a complete opposite to what you see as a mad party destination. However make sure you are early and leave by late afternoon as this is when the party begins. We returned that evening without the kids and this was another place completely. Home to the renowned Tropicana Club it is a party paradise.
Mykonos is a known as a party island and has some of the best nightlife in Greece. The best way to enjoy this is by starting around the many bars and restaurants in Little Venice watching the sunset and sipping a cocktail and as the night progresses you can visit some of the more late night spots the island has to offer.
My favourite Caprice and Galleraki Cocktail Bar. Mykonos has a traditional exterior which camouflages its partying nature quite well. Besides the island’s extreme nightlife, Mykonos boasts with day-time party spots and beach parties. If you want to start early then head for one of the famous beach bars like Tropicana, Nammos, Scorpios and Jackie O on the beach. The options are endless.
If you want to try the finest and a more stylish and relaxed establishment try the Bonbonniere. The party never stops on this Island.
What to Eat
The opportunity to treat yourself to some local Aegean specialties! Pepper flavoured kopanistí, a soft cheese seasoned with pepper, is the island’s gastronomic trademark. Meat eaters can sample “loúzes” (cooked pork filet with spices) and tasty local sausages sprinkled with pepper, To finish off your meal you can sample local pastries, “amigdalotá” (small round cakes with ground almond, rosewater and caster sugar) and honey pie.
Where to Eat
When it come to food there is plenty to choose from.With an exciting and ever evolving restaurant scene, Mykonos is a destination for foodies. The island is home to some of the best restaurants in Greece serving anything from some of the finest to quick fast food.
Kiki’s Tavern – One of the most popular and locally run, cozy tavern is perfectly located above the beach at Agios Sostis. Food is grilled outdoors on a charcoal barbecue because there is no electricity. A very different experience and one you will never forget. With no electricity they don’t have a specific website nor a phone you can call to book a table so you need to go there yourself.
Katerina’s Bar – Katerina’s Bar and Restaurant is ideally located in Little Venice with which stunning views over the water and the historic windmills and some great food.
Eva’s Garden – Tucked away in the heart of Mykonos Town is this wonderful restaurant serving quality local Greek specialties such as the spanikopita (spinach pie) to tzatziki and grilled fresh bream. The restaurant is intimate and romantic, with guests seated on a small outdoor patio shaded by hanging vines.
My favourite Caprice, right on the water’s edge in Chora, with the sounds of the waves crashing against the walls overlooking the windmills is just out of this world. With some of the best cocktails and views on the island the perfect place to relax and enjoy Mykonos.
Jackie O’ – Besides being one of the most famous beach club ,Christoforos Peskias’ menu served in this sensually curved space offers some of the brightest, lightest, most enjoyable food on the island.
- Explore the alleys of Chora (Mykonos Town)
- Party at Tropicana on Paradise Island.
- Enjoy the sunset whilst sipping a cocktail @ Caprice
- Get photographed with the windmills the most famous monuments of the Cyclades Islands.
- Go on a shopping spree along Matogianni.
- Admire the views of Little Venice.
- Visit the Panagia Paraportiani church, the most important architectural and religious monument of the Cyclades Islands.
- Sample traditional Greek food at Kiki’s tavern.
- Cruise the Delos Island.
- Sunbathe on one of the many beaches of Mykonos.
- Snorkel and dive at the Paradise House Reef.
- Above all come fall in Love with Mykonos the Island of Winds.
Next Stop Santorini….