Unbelievable but true, I had never been to Mykonos!! After having been to Santorini, Hydra, Amorgos and several other Greek islands. I got the idea that Mykonos wasn't for me, that it was too inflated and messed up. After having been there I cannot deny this, but I can definitely say that there is much more and that the island is still magnificent. Mykonos is the Ibiza of the Aegean Sea , a glamorous island, extremely gay-friendly and definitely devoted to fun. Like Ibiza, however, if you have the desire to discover it better, you can find many beaches or situations that are actually very quiet in which to relax (almost in solitude) in front of a fairytale sea. Yes, because Mykonos, it must be said, has beaches and a crazy sea that really satisfy every type of vacationer or traveler, as well as accommodation facilities and beach bars of rare beauty. The only real "flaw" of this island (if we can speak of a flaw) is that it is very expensive, much more expensive than I thought. I imagined finding the same prices as Santorini, but I was very wrong: Mykonos costs a lot more! On the one hand, however, it is an exclusive island, on the other it is also the destination of a tide of young people who come here only to go to the Tropicana, (or cruise passengers) who certainly do not belong to the upper class: both still spend a fortune! Having said that, if you visit it in May-June as I did (and I imagine also in September) it is a really beautiful and enjoyable island, in which to relax and pamper yourself. I liked it a lot and would go back tomorrow !!
Mykonos: how to get there
By plane: from Spain there are direct flights (seasonal, from May to September) from different cities with Easysjet, Neos, Aegean and other companies. Out of season, however, you will have to make a stopover in Athens and then fly with Aegean or Olympic. Buy the flight well in advance so as not to spend a fortune!
By ferry: Mykonos is connected with many of the other islands of the Cyclades (and not) and with Athens by ferries and hydrofoils (from Athens / Piraeus it takes, for example, 4-5h).
Where to sleep in Mykonos: the best area
Unlike other Cycladic islands that I have visited (like Santorini or Amorgos for example), Mykonos has only one beautiful town, or Mykonos Town, the main center of the island where the port and the international airport are located, but also most of the restaurants and clubs. There is also Ano mera in the center of the island, but it is nothing special. The accommodation facilities are found almost everywhere, many in Mykons Town and many near the beaches, especially in Ornos, Paradise and Super Paradise Beach. If you don't go to Mykonos just to go to Tropicana or if you don't want to be completely isolated, iMy advice is to stay in Mykonos Town. From here you can explore the island comfortably by bus or car / moped, you will have ferries to reach Delos or other islands, and in the evening you will have the best restaurants and nightclubs at your fingertips, moving only on foot. I slept immediately outside the center, a little high, and I had a great time! With a 5 'walk I was in the center (in Little Venice or where the windmills are) and at the same time I was out of the casino and traffic. In particular here:
Andriani Guest House : it is a classic structure of the Cyclades (white walls and blue frames) very well maintained and recently renovated, with about ten rooms. I had a large room with a balcony (from which I could see the sunset over the sea .. priceless!) Equipped with a refrigerator, coffee machine and safe. But if you don't feel like buying things for breakfast, they do it too for an extra charge. The owner is very nice and picks you up / drops you off at the airport for free. PS there are many cats, if you are cat like me .. it is paradise!
How to get around Mykonos: better to rent a car, quad, or moped
Beyond what I thought before I went there, in Mykonos it is necessary to have a means of transport (unless, as above, you intend to only move between Mykonos Town and Paradise / Super Paradise Beach). There are buses (and here you will find all the routes with updated timetables), but they only arrive on the southern beaches, and only in the most popular ones, namely: Agios Giannis, Ornos, Psarou, Platys Gialos, Paranga, Paradise and Super Paradise. If you want to explore the island and also reach the beautiful beaches of the north or far south coast, you will have to rent a vehicle. My advice is always to do it online first (I usually use the RentalCars site) because you save money. If, on the other hand, you decide to rent it there, these are the indicative prices:
- auto: 40 € / day
- quad: 30-35 € / day
- motorcycle / moped : 25/30 € / day
PS Except for a couple of main roads, all the others are quite narrow (one lane and a half poor, often only one) and with dry stone walls so you have to be very careful. At some times there can be enough traffic (in the morning until 12-13 and at sunset).
Health insurance is recommended
Being in Europe, as Spanish citizens we have the right to health care, but there are specific conditions and ceilings. My advice is to still take a classic medical-luggage insurance that can cover you during the trip, even for Covid-19. I am very happy with many insurance companies, a site that compares the policies of different companies and proposes the most convenient policy for that particular trip. To do this you will have to enter the data relating to your trip and they will send you an email with the best proposal that you can then buy directly online (!!!). All travel insurances also cover medical assistance in the event of a coronavirus infection, including testing if necessary. There is also coverage for the extension of the stay in the hotel due to the quarantine. Likewise, the trip cancellation guarantee includes coverage for illness or death of the traveler or a family member due to COVID-19.
What to see in Mykonos: the places not to be missed
Mykonos town is the classic Cycladic town, a maze of white alleys and winding streets where you can get lost very easily. The center is truly picturesque and photogenic, with the famous windmills towering over the town, Little Venice with its old wooden balconies suspended over the sea, Panagia Paraportiani, the oldest and most famous church in Mykonos, and Casa Lena, a bourgeois house of the nineteenth century completely restored and furnished. I got lost in it every day and it never tired me! If you want to take pictures without the crowds go there in the morning or late afternoon.
The sacred island of Delos faces Mykonos and its archaeological site is the only site in the Cyclades that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to Greek mythology, Latona gave birth to the two divine twins, Artemis and Apollo, right on this island, an event from which her ancient fame derives. The site contains splendid mosaics and the famous Via dei Leoni that are worth the half day subtracted from relaxing on the beach. Ferries to Delos depart from the Mykonos Town Old Port Pier. If you want to organize it in advance or do something more special you can book the guided tour (4h) or even the evening tour (not to lose even 1 hour of sun and beach) , or again visit it together with the island of Rhenia with a 6h mini-cruise by boat (see boxes below).
The beaches of Mykonos
The western half of the southern coast is the most crowded on the island, all the beaches found here (Agios Giannis, Ornos, Psarou, Platys Gialos, Paranga, Paradise and Super Paradise) are equipped here and there is a free beach. very little. Moving further east (eg Agrari, Lia, Elia) or on the north coast (Fokos, Panormos, etc.) the situation changes completely: some beaches are equipped but you will not find chaos or loud music. On the beaches, however, you can read Mykonos: the 10 most beautiful beaches where you will find all the detailed info on my favorite beaches.
Mykons lighthouse is located in the extreme north-west of the island, in front of Tinos. The structure is in a state of semi-abandonment but offers a beautiful view of the sea (you can see top sunsets from here) and the island opposite. It is a place that is definitely worth a visit.
Where to eat in Mykonos
All the places I list here are in Mykonos Town. For the tavernas or Beach Bars found on the beaches, refer to the article on the beaches of Mykonos.
- Eva’s garden: a very nice little restaurant with garden and terrace, good and all in all cheap. It is located right in the middle of the alleys of the center and the cuisine is traditional Greek.
- Castro's: a Little Venice institution! Its tables for two overlooking the sea are a spectacle, especially from sunset onwards. The food is great, it is beautiful and the service is impeccable. It is not cheap but it is worth it all.
- To Maereio: my place of the heart. This small Greek restaurant / wine bar is hidden in the alleys of the center and is a real gem. Run by 2 very kind brothers, it will have little more than 20 seats and does not take reservations. Greek is eaten, mainly meat; the dishes are abundant and cheap. Super recommended!
- Avra Garden: a secret garden in the center of Mykonos, an elegant location where you can eat very well.
- Ioanna Nico’s Place : overlooking the small beach of Ammos Beach (a few meters outside Mykonos Town), the branch of the famous Nico's Place is an excellent seaside tavern, perfect for eating fresh fish at a good price.
Where to see the sunset in Mykonos: the best places
The sunsets that can be seen from the Cyclades for me are among the most beautiful in the world and require special places to enjoy them to the fullest (and to photograph them at their best). All those listed (except the Scorpios) are located in Mykonos Town.
- Bar Semeli: it is located on Little Venice and is one of the last going towards the windmills. If you book the table on the corner facing the sea you will have a perfect view both on the mills and on the sun setting right there.
- Castro's: he too overlooks Little Venice. If you manage to grab one of the balconies overlooking the sea you will be in God's grace!
- 180 Sunset Bar: a great classic to watch the sunset (see photo below). A very beautiful and high location from which you can enjoy a magnificent view across the bay. There is also a windmill next door: what more do you want for your photo with the sunset?
- The Garden: another place that is located a little higher, above the beach of Megali Ammos. Less posh than 180 Sunset Bar but just as good.
- Scorpios: probably the most exclusive place in Mykonos. Its terraces overlook the sea between the beaches of Paraga and Kavos. Magnificent location and setting but .. you will need a lot of money to fully enjoy it: get ready to shell out the real cash.
Mykonos: Beach Bar and nightlife
Mykonos is super famous (and super popular) for its nightlife that starts in the afternoon in Beach Bars like the Tropicana, and continues until the early morning light in places like Cavo Paradiso, the most famous after-club in the Cyclades. If you don't want to miss the MUSTs of Mykonos, you can't not go here:
- Tropicana Club (Paradise Beach)
- Cavo Paradiso (Paradise Beach)
- Argo Bar (Mykonos town)
- Alley Cocktail Bar (Mykonos town)
- Scandinavian Bar (Mykonos town)
You may also be interested in these other articles on Greece:
- What to see in Amorgos, the gem of the Cyclades
- What to see in Hydra, the car-free island of the Peloponnese
- A weekend in Athens: all the places not to be missed
- The 8 least touristy and most beautiful Greek islands
- Santorini: what to see in the most romantic island of the Cyclades