Last updated on November 11th, 2018 at 04:06 pm
One of the top destinations in Greece is Mykonos, an island famous for its glamour and vibrant nightlife. It is frequented by tourists who love to socialize and get to know people from all over the world. After our trip to Malta, a historically rich and naturally beautiful archipelago, we head on out to this Greek island to indulge in the fabulous vibe of Mykonos that we’ve heard so much about! Read here things to do in Santorini if you are heading next.
We surely weren’t disappointed during our travel Mykonos because of all the wonderful experiences we had. For someone who has never been to Greece, we were glad to make our first stop here. All the places to visit in Mykonos were historically rich and provided us with much needed R&R.
To give you an idea of what to expect when you travel Mykonos, we have below a complete Mykonos travel guide that will let you in on all you need to know: what to eat, what to do, how to get to Mykonos from Athens, how much to spend, what things to do in Mykonos and all the lovely places to visit in Mykonos. Your Greek vacation awaits!
How to get to Mykonos from Athens
How to get Mykonos from Athens by boat
You can get on a ferry or a high speed boat from Piraeus in Athens and nearby Rafina in Attica. Departing from both ports is convenient and trips are reasonably priced. From Piraeus, you can catch a ferry to Mykonos for €32 while a high speed catamaran may cost up to €55. The trip lasts anywhere between 3 hours and 30 minutes to more than 5 hours.
While going from Piraeus is the most common option, traveling from Rafina is actually more ideal for those coming from the airport of Athens and heading straight to Mykonos. Trips are also much cheaper from Rafina at €24 on a regular ferry and €53 for a high speed boat service. Reaching Mykonos from Rafina usually takes 2 hours and 10 minutes to more than 5 hours, largely depending on what type of boat you take. Please note that these boats from Piraeus and Rafina to Mykonos only have services from April to October.
We chose this option ferry from Pireaus to Mykonos but it was cancelled because of the weather the service for two days.
Aside from departing from Greece’s mainland, you can also reach Mykonos through the other islands of the Cyclades. There are daily connections from Andros, Paros, Syros and Tinos, as well as from other Greek destinations like Crete, Ios, Naxos and Santorini.
Another thing to keep in mind when traveling by boat to Mykonos is that the island has 2 ports: the old and the new. While most ferries prefer to dock at the new port at Tourlos, some high speed catamarans still use the one in Mykonos Town (or Chora). From Tourlos, you can take a taxi or the public bus to reach Chora while the old port is only a short walk along the coast to Mykonos Town.
Tourlos is also where you’ll see several cruise ships docked in Mykonos. Cruising around the Aegean is an excellent way to travel Mykonos and the other Greek islands nearby. If you are on a cruise, you can easily ride your tour’s shuttle bus to Mykonos Town from Tourlos.
From the ferry port you can get bus, taxi or a shuttle from your hotel since most of them include the transfer as complimentary.
Though the airport in Athens is pretty near, Mykonos has an airport of its own that’s 4 km away from the island’s central town. You can fly from Athens to Mykonos in 35 mins as we finally did. While those flights are available daily, the high season introduces more flights to and from destinations like Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, Thessaloniki and Volos. Other European destinations like London, Zurich, Geneva, Vienna, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Naples, Rome and many more also have flights to Mykonos between May and October. Visit SkyScanner.com to find the best airfare deals!
From the airport, you can reach town with direct transfers to your hotel or through riding a taxi. There’s a public bus service but it isn’t so reliable, though it is much cheaper at less than €2 a ride. During the peak season, it’s always best to book a hotel transfer as taxis are quite impossible to find in Mykonos. Most of the hotels included a free transfer with their booking.
Read here full information how to get to Mykonos from Athens!
Transportation around Mykonos
You can find two different bus stations at either side of Mykonos Town where you can take buses to go around different parts of the island. The southern bus station Fabrica has trips to Agios Ioannis, Ornos, Paradise, Paraga and Platis Gialos while the northern bus station go to Ano Mera, Elia, Kalafatis and Panormos. Tickets can be bought beforehand from vending machines, kiosks, mini-markets and some tourist shops with most of them costing €1.80 while the farthest destinations, Elia and Kalafatis, go for €2.30.
Buses run every half an hour to the main destinations and 2-3 times per day to least touristic destiantions as Panormos.
If you’re planning to explore the Southern beaches of Mykonos, there are boat services that go from Platis Gialos to Agrari, Elia, Paranga, Paradise and Super Paradise from 10:15 AM-4:15 PM. If you’re coming from Ornos by boat, you can leave for Platis Gialos and the other destinations previously mentioned at 10 AM, 11 AM and 1 PM. Return tickets to Paranga and Paradise are cheapest at €5 while €6 takes you to Super Paradise. Finally, you can go to and from Agrari and Elia for €7.
As with any island destination, renting a motorbike is a great way to travel Mykonos. It allows you to see sights you won’t normally appreciate in public transportation and lets you travel in your own time. You can find motorbike and car rentals everywhere in Mykonos.
Cars and taxis aren’t very convenient to use in Mykonos as taxis are very limited here and cars are not allowed in the town of Mykonos. You can also rent a car to travel around Mykonos prices are starting €60-70 per day in peak season a little bit lower in low season. It will allow you to explore on your own the island.
Best time to visit Mykonos
Mykonos has a pretty predictable weather with its dry and hot summers and pretty mild winters. The rainy season can be expected from October to April but it is constantly windy no matter the season, like the rest of the islands in the Cyclades.
While the months of July and August are a great time to travel Mykonos, the place gets very crowded with all the tourists deciding to cool off the summer heat at the Aegean To enjoy a quieter, less crowded vacation, the best time to visit Mykonos is the middle of May to June and from September to mid-October. During this pre- and post-season, room rates are much cheaper while the weather is still quite pleasant – not too hot in the pre-season and no rains yet during the post-season.
ATMs & Currency in Mykonos
Greece uses the euro as its primary currency, one of the mediums of exchange with the largest value in the world. To give you an idea of how important the euro is, keep in mind that €1 = $1. 16 USD. Click here to see the exchange rate between the euro and your currency. While Mykonos’ major cities accept debit and credit cards, cash is preferable when you’re traveling off the beaten path. There are numerous ATMs available all around Mykonos, especially in the tourist areas, from Eurobank, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and the National Bank of Greece.
Daily Budget to visit Mykonos
There are many ways to travel Mykonos depending on how much you’re willing to spend on food, accommodation, transportation and other day-to-day expenses. The island is pretty easy to get to know and explore. For less than €15, you can eat street food and meals served in Mykonos’ markets. €20 gives you a decent meal at a local restaurant while some high class (even Michelin star) restaurants go for around €60. A bottle of beer costs around €6 while cocktails are double the price at €12. The cheapest food that you can find are gyros around €3-4 if you go on a budget or for a quick snack is perfect.
Those who want to go around Mykonos’ tourist spots should prepare €15 at most for each destination. Many sights go for much less, don’t worry. Taking the public bus goes for less than €2 anywhere in Mykonos while renting a motorbike can be as cheap as €5 per day.
Finally, accommodation prices in Mykonos are very reasonable. Mykonos is one of the most visited spots in Greece, with hostels, dorm beds, domatios (Greek B&B’s) and apartments that go for €30-60. There are numerous boutique hotels and spacious suites that can be afforded at less than €90 while €100-150 can give you a gorgeous studio or villa, or a room in a beautiful beachfront hotel. The top hotels and Mykonos start at €200 and reach up to the thousands depending on its location and exclusivity. Want to enjoy a luxurious stay for less? Check out AirBnB in Mykonos, with shared rooms going for as low as €20 and smaller private rooms for €25. Click here to get €25 off your first booking when you sign up with AirBnB!
Things to do in Mykonos
1. See the Mykonos windmills
Located in the island’s Chora (or Mykonos Town), the windmills are a truly iconic sight that can be seen from any point in Mykonos Town. They are the first thing you see upon entering the harbor of Alefkandra as the windmills are seated on top of a hill. The windmills in Chora make up 7 out of 16 windmills found in the island and is one of the best spots to watch the sunset in Mykonos. Tourists visit the site to take pictures of the windmills themselves and the fantastic scenery from the hill.
You have to be patient and wait to take a picture since sometimes is crowded! Best time to go to the windmills is in the morning and the busiest before sunset.
2. Catch the sunset at Little Venice
One of the most charming places in Mykonos is located right by the famous windmills. Little Venice is a waterfront area filled with restaurants, bars, house cafes and shops built right in the water, some of which with wonderful balconies where you can hang out, eat and drink. This is another excellent place to see the sunset and have a lovely dinner. Just make sure to call and reserve seats to the restaurant of your choice as Little Venice gets pretty crowded from afternoon till night.
It´s a beautiful place to see the sunset but it´s too crowded, we recommend you to get other point of view more quiet since Mykonos isn´t a big island. The sunset is our top of favorite things to do in Mykonos.
3. Walk around the old port
Another nice place to explore in the island is the old port at Mykonos Town. Aside from being the port for high speed catamarans, the area is also very scenic and is a great place to go people-watching. Its winding narrow streets lined with white houses, shops and restaurants make it a pleasant area to walk around.
It´s more quiet walking around the old port than inside Mykonos town with all the restaurants and shops. Sunset is the best time to walk around the port, sunsets are so colorful.
4. Visit Paraportiani Church
If you’re headed to the Kastro neighborhood, make sure to stop by Paraportiani Church. The building is open to the public and is a historically rich structure in Mykonos. The whitewashed church was completed in the 17th century is actually a combination of 5 different churches. There are many ways to photograph this landmark and the views of the sea from this location are also Instagram-worthy.
5. Armenistis Lighthouse
Looking for more photogenic sites in Mykonos? Head on out to Armenistis Lighthouse, a landmark constructed in 1891 that’s very accessible and offers excellent views of the Aegean Sea and the island of Tinos. You can rent an ATV or a car to explore the area or you can just take a quick hike to this scenic spot.
6. Go on a day trip to Delos
Another beautiful island in the Cyclades is Delos, a place filled with so much history where tourists can get away from the hustle and bustle of Mykonos. Delos is an enchanting destination that you can explore from Mykonos on a guided tour featuring ancient ruins. You can learn a lot about Greek history and mythology, as Delos is said to be the birthplace of Apollo. The boat ride costs €20 and there’s a €12 fee to explore the island, plus a small fee for the guide.
Travel tip: Don’t forget to put on sunscreen or wear a hat before you go around Delos as it can be very hot and you’ll find very little shade when exploring.
7. Sail to Rhenia Island
You can go on a sailing tour to Rhenia Island from Mykonos on a small but luxurious yacht. From the port in Tourlos, 10-12 visitors to Rhenia Island depart at 10:30 AM and travel for 1 hour to reach the beautiful destination and spend until 5:30 PM there. After the boat anchors on a small bay, you are free to lie on the sand, go snorkeling and walk around the private island. The tour also comes with a light lunch accompanied with water, coffee, wine or beer. Rhenia Island is right next to Delos and is separated only by a narrow strait.
8. Take a tour of the Folklore Museum of Mykonos
Just a few steps away from Paraportiani Church, the Folklore Museum can also be found in the Kastro neighborhood of Mykonos. The museum opened to the public in 1958 and since then has housed historical and traditional items like ceramics, utensils, ancient tools, photographs, textile and embroidery, musical instruments, maritime equipment and vintage furniture. You can get a guided tour of the Folklore Museum to understand how people in Mykonos used to live.
9. Visit the Monastery of Paleokastro
A nunnery dating back to the 18th century can be found on a hill close to Ano Mera, Mykonos’ second largest village. The Monastery of Paleokastro is a religious site that has a €1 entrance fee which allows you to explore the small but historically significant building. It is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Mykonos, has an amazing dome, and is close to the town square where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee on a quiet day.
10. Go around Ano Mera
One of the oldest villages in the island is Ano Mera, a serene place that isn’t as frequented by tourists as other places in the island. It is situated away from the beaches at the center of Mykonos island, about 30 minutes away from Mykonos Town, and is the perfect place to see some important sites in Mykonos. Aside from the Monastery of Paleokastro mentioned above, you can also visit Gyzi Castle and Panagia Tourliani. Even just walking around Ano Mera is a sure treat for those longing for some peace and quiet in Mykonos.
More things to do in Mykonos
11. Explore the Aegean Maritime Museum
Those interested in seeing intricately designed model ships, ancient nautical maps, navigation instruments and many other different items that has helped man explore the seas, visit the Aegean Maritime Museum in Mykonos Town. The site has an entrance fee of €4 and can only be visited from April to October at 10:30 AM-1 PM and at 6:30-9 PM. Make sure to remember those months and hours so you won’t get disappointed when you come by and its closed.
12. Learn scuba diving and go snorkeling in Mykonos
Two of the most exciting things to do in Mykonos would be to try diving and to go snorkeling in its crystal clear waters. With the help of the professionals of GoDive, you can start learning how to dive with their 2-hour mini-course that comes with all the equipment plus insurance and some underwater photos for €70. Certified divers can go for private diving where one dive is €70 while two dives on the same day goes for €115. There are 3-day and 5-day packages that go for €295 and €495, respectively. Those not interested in diving can also choose to go shore snorkeling (€25) and boat snorkeling (€40).
13. Go shopping at Matoyianni Street
Looking for a great place to shop in Mykonos? The seasoned visitor and all the locals will point you to one place: Matoyianni Street. This iconic shopping district in Mykonos is lined with everything you might need from designer brands to souvenirs to handmade jewellery. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants in this tiny maze in Chora (or Mykonos Town). Matoyianni Street is very Greek with its white buildings and local charm. Many establishments are open until very late in the summer months.
14. Enjoy Mykonos’ Nightlife
As an island destination known for its crazy parties and vibrant nightlife, you’re sure to enjoy Mykonos after hours. There are many places to drink and dance the night away in Mykonos Town, with festivities starting with an early sunset session at Little Venice then off to the clubs you go! Mykonos is also known for being one of the most gay-friendly party destinations in the world, so you’ll expect to find plenty of gay-patronised spots in the island. Some of the best bars are only open from May to mid-October at the latest. Mykonos has a diverse party scene, from modern and elegant bars to crazy beach parties at Psarou, Paradise and Super Paradise.
One of the most popular place to have a drink in sunset in Scorpios!
Beaches in Mykonos
15. Panormos Beach
Located in the North of Mykonos island. It´s not so crowded as beaches in South part of the island in Mykonos. To get here you have to get a bus from old port and it costs €2.30 one way. Check the schedule of the buses since there are only a few buses going to Panormos beach, last bus going back from Panormos to old port is 4 55 pm. If you are exploring the island by motorbike or car you will have more freedom. There are pool chairs for relaxing.
16. Agios Sostis Beach
It´s located in North part of the island close to Panormos just 20 minutes walking distance. It´s one of our favorite beaches since there are not many people. The water is clear and you have to go down to reach the beach. To go there read above about public transportation going to Panormos beach. If you are driving a car or a motorbike will be 3 minutes driving distance from Panormos beach. It´s a quiet beach and perfect to spend your day in Mykonos.
17. Paradise Beach
Arguably the most famous beach in Mykonos is Paradise Beach, a party destination with a wonderful coastline. There are parties day and night in this sandy, naturalist-friendly beach. Paradise is easily accessible via bus from Chora as it is located around 7 km southeast from Mykonos Town. Loungers and shades can be availed at €20. Open from 9 AM to 2 AM, this beach with great music and an excellent vibe is for the younger crowd.
18. Super Paradise Beach
Located next to Paradise is Super Paradise, a small beach with several beach bars and lots of exciting activities for its visitors. There are no buses that travel directly to Super Paradise but you can easily visit using small boats from Paradise or Platis Gialos. There’s a self-service restaurant in the area while lounge chairs and umbrellas can be rented at €30.
19. Psarou Beach
Mykonos’ south side is well-represented by Psarou Beach, a summer hotspot for both local and international celebrities. Perhaps it is more frequented by people who love its idyllic vibe combined with the all-day party resto called Nammos. Psarou is a magical place in Mykonos with crystal clear waters. It´s located only 5 kilometers South direction from Mykonos town and buses run every half hour during the day and the price is €1.80. From Psarou beach to Platis Gialos beach you can get walking distance 5 minutes.
20. Elia Beach
A little farther away from Mykonos Town is Elia, one of the longest beaches in the island. There are also several buses that directly go to Elia everyday especially during the peak season. Here, you won’t run out of sunbeds to lounge on and umbrellas to chill under. Beach bars are also everywhere to keep you cool and entertained. This is one of the friendliest beaches for gay and naturalist tourists. Sunbeds and umbrellas cost €30 at Elia Beach.
21. Platis Gialos Beach
A family friendly beach in Mykonos is Platis Gialos, another popular and accessible beach in the island. There are plenty of water sports to try here and you’re sure to enjoy the clear water in this beach. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available for only €10, which are relatively cheaper than other destinations. If you want to go to Psarou beach is only 5 minutes walking distances.
22. Agios Stefanos
It´s located close to the new port just one kilometer walking distance and you can get to Agios Stefanos beach with the public bus. The beach is small with a beautiful view and it´s usually crowded since there are a few hotels and restaurants in the area. The colors are blue and it´s perfect for swimming and spending the day.
Where to stay in Mykonos
Luxury Staying: Cavo Tagoo Mykonos
For our luxury staying in Mykonos we chose Cavo Tagoo Mykonos, have you ever heard about this place before? It´s the most popular accommodation in Mykonos island and there are cave pools inside the room. There are also infinity pools and an amazing view to the sunset. The design is so cool in the room and common areas. The vibe and food is amazing. The location is great close to the town and the new port and 5 kilometers far from the airport. They provide free shuttle to go around.
Check all these great shots that we got during our staying in Cavo Tagoo Mykonos:
Mid Budget staying: San Marco Hotel
We had a great experience at San Marco Hotel in Mykonos. The place is quiet, the room is spacious and the staff is super friendly. It´s located a few kilometers far from the town but they provide shuttle services during the day until night time going there and coming back to the hotel. The design keeps the island white colors in the facade and roofs.
Check out these view of San Marco hotel:
Food to try in Mykonos
There are all sorts of cheese to try in Mykonos, from the fresh cheese tyrovolia and the more peppery variant called kopanisti to the sour cheese xinotyri and the water-thinned fresh cheese galachtia. Mykonos’ cheese can be paired with different local dishes for breakfast.
Noumboulo is a smoked pork fillet dish loved by many in Mykonos. To creat this dish, pork tenderloin is cured with salt and some aromatic spices, marinated in wine and smoked in olive wood to create a distinctly delicious flavor. The dish originated in Corfu but is also a huge part of Mykonian cuisine.
Also known as the Greek version of biscotti, paximadia is a usually savory biscuit that came from an ancient recipe improved by a man called Paximus. The dough for this twice-baked bread or rusks can be made from barley, chickpea, corn, rye or wheat. Paximadia is easy to make that’s why it’s a popular food in Mykonos and other Greek islands.
A traditional fried pastry dish in Mykonos, Paros and the Aegean is rafiolia. It is a sweet snack that’s usually made during the Carnival season and is passed on from generation to generation as part of Greek culture and heritage. Rafiolia has a filling made with cheese, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Yum!
In creating mostra, a traditional food in Mykonos, two of the previously mentioned items on this list are used. One is the cheese called kopanisti and the other is paximadia. Rye rusks are best combined with kopanisti which is spread on top. Then, you add fresh tomatoes and some olive oil (just enough to moisten up the rusk) and you have yourself a mostra. You can jazz it up a bit by adding capers, olives and oregano.
We always love to try local beers everywhere that we visit. In Mykonos this one was our favorite beer. Prices are around €2-3 and you can find in bars and restaurants in Mykonos.
Festivals in Mykonos
Mykonos Summer Festival
An island that’s long been known as the ultimate party destination in Greece, Mykonos is the best place to be in the summer heat for those who love to dance and mingle. The Mykonos Summer Festival is one of the best events to do so as the island is filled with events like open-air concerts, theatrical performances, art exhibitions and so much more. The Mykonos Summer Festival is flocked by tourists from all over the world!
Mykonos Gay Festival
Mykonos also has an endearing image of being one of the most gay-friendly destinations on the planet. It is only natural that Mykonos has its own Gay Festival that celebrates and honors homosexuality and strengthens the promotion of gay rights. The Gay Festival is also held in the summer and is one of the most colorful events in Mykonos.
Mykonos Harvest Festival
If you’re coming to Mykonos in mid-September, then you’re just in time for the annual Harvest Festival. As its name implies, the event celebrates the abundance of livestock and crops in Mykonos. The event is held in the Agricultural Museum where activities like traditional animal games are held.
Read here things to buy in Greece.
That’s it for our full Mykonos travel guide! We really hope you enjoyed that as much as you enjoyed our other Europe travel itineraries. We’ve been through so many places on this journey and we feel so lucky! Did we miss anything you love about Mykonos? Let us know in the comments! You can also read about our recent trips to Gozo, Lisbon, Malta or Nice!