Mykonos Island is one of the top destinations in Greece with its picturesque whitewashed houses and vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere.
This tiny island of 400 churches belongs to Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea.
How to get there
You can get to Mykonos by air or by sea. Ryanair, Aegean and Olympic Airlines fly here from Athens. Destination airport is located about 4 km from Mykonos Town. Multiple ferry companies offer routes to Mykonos from Piraeus
and Rafina ports, both close to Athens.
We travelled here with Blue Star Ferry from Rafina - a small port away from Athens Airport but ironically journey is faster than to Piraeus port. KTEL bus stop is located opposite Sofitel Hotel - about 200 m from arrivals exit. Ticket should be purchased from the bus driver (at a cost of € 4 pp) and the whole journey takes about 30 minutes.
Depending on ferry choice, the journey takes between 3.5 to 5.5 hours. Ferry docks in the New Port in Tourlos located about 1.5 km from the Old Port in Mykonos Town. To get to the town you can take sea bus (€2 pp), taxi (about €10) or public bus (€1.60 pp). Only 30 taxis are available on the island and sometimes could be very hard to get one. We took a public bus to the Old Port, from there we walked 5 minutes to our hotel. Mykonos Town is closed to cars’ traffic but if you come to the island with your own car or you rent one, there is a public parking next to the Old Port and another, smaller, next to the windmills. Both parkings are very busy in the high season.
Many visitors arrive to the island for day tour or as part of a cruise holidays but I would recommend you to stay here 3-4 nights.
Apart from partying, shopping and sunbathing Mykonos is also a very romantic place.
We flew back to Athens with Ryanair. Early morning flight, in the middle of the week cost us mere €35 per couple. We spent another €20 for the Taxi - booked for us by hotel staff - that took us straight to the airport.
Where to stay
Mykonos is filled with hotels to suit every taste and pocket but in general it is an expensive destination.
We booked a small hotel in the heart of Mykonos Town, adjacent to the famous Matogianni Street. The Matogianni Hotel is a simple, very clean and modern place. I can recommend this hotel to everyone who likes to be in the centre - with attractions located within few minutes walking distance. Central location gave us a chance to wonder around cute streets and main turist spots of the town. The town is very vibrant at night, famous for its crazy nightlife.
You can have a breakfast at the hotel for €12 pp but I would recommend you to shop around - you will find nicer places with tasty breakfast just around the corner.
Mykonos offers many places to eat - you could easily spend two weeks exploring restaurants. Places close to marina and in the town centre are on expensive side but you can also find cheaper options serving sandwiches, crepes
and famous souvlaki.
For breakfast or ice cream go to one of the Trio Bambini snack bars. One is located next to the marina and another one along the busiest street of the town so it’s hard to miss it. On offer tasty gelato, smoothies, sweet or sour crepes and absolutely delicious frozen Greek yogurt. Another quick snack option or treats like chocolate waffle or crepe is the Salt & Sugar snack bar.
Mamalouka is a bit posh restaurant, looks absolutely lovely inside and it is expensive. Our bill covering main course dinner accompanied by glass of wine and dessert plus espresso came to €120 for couple. Staff was friendly and helpful, food was good but not as spectacular as I expected.
If I was to pick an outstanding dinning place I would go with Eva's Garden Restaurant. Beautiful family run place with lovely staff and tasty, reasonable priced food.
Try and enjoy cocktails in one of the few bars located in the Little Venice. The Veranda Bar has great view of Kato Windmills and - in the evening time - it is a great spot for watching sunset.
Around the Mykonos Island
Mykonos Island should be enjoyed over few days. The town itself - known also as Chora - is so cute and picturesque, I couldn't stop taking photos of every little street. You can easily spend two days strolling around the town and visiting attractions like The Windmills, Little Venice, Panagia Paraportiani - an impressive church consisting of five separate, then joined together churches. Mykonos has few museums to offer but we visited none. Archaeological Museum of Mykonos suppose to be an interesting spot – maybe worth considering during rainy days?
While walking through the maze of narrow streets, you might be lucky and meet Petros the Pelican - Mykonos town’s mascot. Petros must have been out of the town during our visit but neverthless I was in heaven cuddling all the cats along the way. If you are a cat lover better add the town to your bucket list - the friendliest cats ever. You can also opt for an open air cinema ‘Cine Manto’ with garden restaurant Cine Manto Cafe Restaurant.
When you have had enough of dining and shopping in the bustling town, rent a car or take a bus from Old Port or Fabrika to one of the many beaches. Two of them - Paradise and Super Paradise are very famous for its party atmosphere.
We decided to rent a car and explore the island with our own pace. According to the hotel’s staff the best place to rent a car is around Fabrika but you should not expect known rental brands. We rented car from ‘Auto Centre’ – a small company with handful of aged cars that could benefit of paint repair and a bit of cleaning would do no harm. Car cost us €40 per day plus petrol €10. The island is so small that petrol should be included in the rental cost.
Our first destination was Ano Mera, a small village located in the island’s centre - about 7 km from Mykonos Town. Roads were good with beautiful views of Panormos and Ftelia beaches along the way. Ano Mera itself is a tiny place - a home to 16'th century monastery - Panagia Tourliani. Entry is €1 only. Life of the village is concentrated around the square in front of the monastery with taverns and souvenirs shops. We had a lunch in one of the taverns and then drove straight to the beach. Many sandy beaches could be found on the island and most of them have beach bars and sun loungers. Two of them, the Paradise and the Super Paradise are famous for beach parties and both are reachable from Mykonos Town by bus.
Mykonos is a dry, hilly and rocky island with very little greens and trees. Main roads connect Mykonos Town with Ornos, Agios Stefanos and Ano Mera. Other roads might be very narrow, especially when you want to get to the
beaches with some paved but don't be surprised if you encounter an unpaved, rocky roads also.
We visited Kalafatis - a quiet beach next to Kalafatis village - famous among windsurfers. You can leave your car on a small parking next to the road, rent sunbed with umbrella and enjoy the beach’s peaceful atmosphere.
Elia beach was the next one that we visited during the trip. Even though the distance between the beaches is just few kilometres, our TomTom Go navigation app pushed us through unpaved rocky road filled with wandering around cows. Elia is a lovely beach with photogenic rocks on both its sides and sunbeds to rent.
The last beach we visited on the day was the famous Super Paradise. We wanted to visit Agrari beach as well but TomTom could not find a decent road and navigated us through a tiny, one way road and eventually we ended up in someone's front yard. My advice here is to stick with the main roads which are easier to navigate and predictable. After deciding to skip Agrari beach, we returned to the main road and drove to Super Paradise Beach. The last part of the road is very steep. This beach is sheltered in a deep bay, with plenty sunbeds and umbrellas to rent (€20 per 2 sunbeds with umbrella), shower, changing room, self service restaurant and a bar with loud disco music. The music becomes even louder after five o’clock creating lively party atmosphere.
We returned to Mykonos town in the evening hours on the same day. Mykonos is so small that many tourists decide to rent ATV's instead of cars.
We only scratched the surface during three nights visit. This charming island has much more to offer though so please share your experience with me in comments below.