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Bright, white-washed buildings, crystal clear water and people sunbathing on golden-sand beaches are the images that often come to mind when anyone mentions Mykonos.
Mykonos is a Greek island, part of the Cycladic islands group in the Aegean Sea. It’s a destination where you can enjoy stylish nightlife and exciting activities from dawn till dusk or from dusk till dawn. However, there’s more to Mykonos than parties and crowds of tourists eager to have fun.
The main tourist spot on the island is the city of Chora, otherwise called Mykonos Town. It’s a maze of charming narrow streets filled with restaurants, stores, cafes and hotels. One of the most popular areas of Chora is the Old Port.
The most famous Mykonos landmarks are windmills, white-washed houses and archaeological ruins in Delos. Exploring the Mykonos picturesque capital Chora (or Hora) or the country roads, tasting wines and relaxing on the more secluded beaches can make any holiday unforgettable.
In addition to vivid nightlife, there are 300 sunny days a year on Mykonos island, so you can relax on the many sandy beaches with sunbeds and beach bars. There you can shake the stress of everyday life, swim in crystal clear waters and admire magical sunsets.
If you want to learn more about the history and traditions of Mykonos, visit the Aegean Maritime Museum. Also, the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani and the Monastery of Paleokastro near Ano Mera village.
You can also explore several wineries, where you can taste the local wines and Mykonian dishes. And don’t forget about olives and cheese – they can be served a lot during your stay on Mykonos. Mykonos also features many luxurious hotels and seaside resorts.
How to Get to Mykonos and When to Go
Although only 15,000 people live on Mykonos, during the summer season, more than 300,000 travelers visit this amazing island.
The high season is from June to August, so if you want to avoid the crowds, you can visit Mykonos in May or September.
You can reach Mykonos by plane from Athens, but the island itself is also well connected with many European cities. You can also reach Mykonos Island by ferry from the Greek mainland and other islands.
Things to do in Mykonos
There are two ports in Mykonos. The New port of Mykonos is used for the arrival of ferries and cruise ships. The Old port is where you’ll be transported back in time with narrow winding streets and whitewashed buildings.
It is in the Old Port that you will find many Greek restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. There is also a traditional fish market, where local fishermen sell fresh seafood every day.
The Old Port of Mykonos also has a small sandy beach, where you can swim and picturesque alleys for strolling.
The sunsets from the Old Port will dazzle you. If you want to see the ancient treasures of Mykonos, visit the nearby Archaeological Museum.
2. Explore the Mykonos Windmills
On Mykonos, like on nearby Tinos and the other Cycladic Islands, strong winds are frequent. Thanks to that, Venetians constructed the first windmills here in the 16th century to mill wheat.
As the locals began to deal with tourism, some mills were closed. Just 16 from the original 28 windmills operate today in Mykonos.
The most popular is Pano Mili. Situated on the hilltop, it offers a beautiful panoramic view of the island. You can also visit the Kato Mili, the Geronymos Mill from the 18th century and Boni’s Mill, part of Mykonos’ Agricultural Museum.
Furthermore, you can see that many mills have been transformed into accommodations and café bars.
The Church of Panagia Paraportiani is a lovely medieval, white-washed church. It is located in the Kastro area, the most charming quarter in the town of Chora.
Paraportiani church is one of the most famous Mykonos landmarks and one of the most photographed churches in the world.
It is situated on the coastline and consists of five smaller churches. Construction of the church started in the 14th century and finished in the 17th century. Here you can see different architectural styles, such as Byzantine, vernacular, western and traditional.
Little Venice is the most romantic place on the island of Mykonos. It is located in the western part of the town of Chora, in a lovely area with many old Cycladic houses perched on the edge of the Aegean Sea.
Do you know why the area is known as Little Venice?
In the 18th century, merchants built houses on the edge of the waterfront, like in the Italian city of Venice. They also used Venetian architectural style to give the place a Venetian feel.
After the day spent at the beautiful Alefkandra Beach, you can take a seat at some of the many seaside cafes, bars and taverns. It is the perfect place to drink a cocktail or glass of local wine and enjoy the incredible sunset view.
According to Greek mythology, Delos is the birthplace of Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. It is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece, where you can see well-preserved ruins from the ancient Greek civilization. Delos was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its important historical significance.
It is an uninhabited Greek island surrounded by the Aegean Sea but with good boat connections from Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and other Cycladic Islands. There are no hotels and apartments, so you can visit Delos only as a day trip adventure.
Armenistis Lighthouse is situated close to Agios Stefanos village, in the north-western part of the island. The 19-meters-high octagonal tower was built in 1891 on the edge of a rock and it is still in operation.
The old lighthouse of Armenistis is operated by the Hellenic Navy’s Hydrographic Office. It is a significant part of the rich maritime history of Mykonos.
Because it is far from the main town, we recommend visiting the Armenistis lighthouse with a half-day guided tour from the Chora. You can also rent a car and tour the nearby beaches, such as Panormos, Ftelia and Agios Sostis beach.
Matoyianni Street in Chora is the most popular place in Mykonos during the summer months. There are many white-washed houses, with souvenir and handmade jewelry shops and designer stores. Most of them are open until midnight.
One of the most famous stores here is Pantopoleion, a 300-year-old Mykonian shop with organic food and natural cosmetics. You will enjoy the stroll through narrow alleys filled with beautiful flower arrangements.
Thanks to many restaurants, bars and nightclubs, Matoyianni street is also the best nightlife spot on the Mykonos.
Greece is known worldwide as a great wine-producing region. Because of the Mediterranean climate, the Crete, Peloponnese, Rhodes, Santorini and Mykonos feature ideal conditions for vineyards growth.
The most famous wines from Mykonos are Paraportiano white wine, Veggera rose and the sweet red wine, Heliophilos.
You can book a wine tasting tour and visit the best wineries at Mykonos, such as Mykonos Vioma and the Mykonian Farm. You can learn how wine is made, taste the local wines and enjoy delicious Mykonian food while listening to traditional Greek music.
Sailing tours are one of the best things to do in Mykonos. You can go on a day trip to the nearby islands of Naxos, Paros, Syros and Sifnos and visit other smaller islands. If you have a whole week for exploring, you can book a boat tour with a professional crew and go on a one-week cruise of the Cyclades.
Sailing companies on Mykonos offer yachts and catamarans in different sizes, hotel pick-up and drop-off, snacks, drinks and snorkeling gear.
You will uncover many gorgeous coves and bays, as well as excellent spots for kitesurfing and windsurfing on Mykonos sailing tours. A sailing adventure is sure to be an experience you will never forget.
Not surprisingly going to the beach is one of the top things to do in Mykonos. Beaches on the southern side of the island are generally preferred to those on the north side because the wind is not as strong.
However, the northern beaches offer a quieter experience, whereas the southern beaches are the choice of those looking for a party.
Thanks to the beach clubs and bars with DJs, party lovers will adore Psarou Beach, Paraga, Paradise and Super Paradise beach.
Platis Gialos Beach with its mini-market and Ornos Beach with turquoise water are the most popular beaches for families. You can also visit Elia Beach, the longest beach on Mykonos, or Fokos beach, known for its clear blue waters.
If you are interested in water sports, the best beaches are Kalafati and Lia beach. There are plenty of activities you can do, such as jet-skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming.
Also recommended are the long and wide Kalo Livadi Beach and Agios Ioannis Beach, which is probably the most beautiful beach on Mykonos.
Book This Trip
Ready to plan your vivacious vacation to Mykonos? Start preparing with insider knowledge on the best shopping, hotel and VRBO accommodations, local restaurant reviews and more through TripAdvisor and Travelocity.
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Author Bio: Based in Serbia in Europe, Marija Stojanovic Petkovski worked as a journalist but realized writing about the most beautiful places in the world is something that inspires her. She is sure that a pint of good craft beer perfectly accompanies a tasty homemade lasagne. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children and spending time outdoors with her family.