Mykonos is definitely one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece
Mykonos is one of the top destinations in Greece. This island is famous for the vivid nightlife and the gorgeous beaches. Geographically located on the northern side of the Cyclades, almost in the centre of the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is the ultimate holiday place for all ages and preferences, especially for youth looking for all day and night entertainment. Many private yachts and cruises also arrive almost daily in summer, creating a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Things not to miss on the island are the fantastic beaches on the south, the sunset from Little Venice, the view from the windmills and a night out in Mykonos Town. Mykonos holidays are often combined with holidays to Santorini and other Cycladic islands.
Mykonos in a few words
Mykonos island is part of the Cyclades group of islands and lies among Tinos, Syros, Naxos and Paros. Its landscape is no different than the rest of the Cyclades with hilly, almost treeless landscape where only few bushes and trees grow. Next to Mykonos is Delos, a landmark of ancient Greek history and one of the most important archaeological sites of the country.
Among the top destinations in Greece, Mykonos is a truly cosmopolitan place and a meeting point for many cultures. The island gained world reputation throughout the 1960s as a summer resort for the artists and the wealthy. Since then, Mykonos has also become a favourite spot for the gay society and today it is considered an oasis for gays and party animals.
Mykonos, the dream of every cosmopolitan vacationer, is still a typical Cycladic island with sugar-cube houses, traditional windmills, picturesque churches and paved alleys. Every summer, this island draws world wide attention for its party atmosphere and the crazy rhythms. In the daytime, people go to the beaches and combine swimming in exotic waters with dancing in the beach bars. In the evening, town gets lively with the cozy bars in Little Venice and the vivid clubs scattered in the paved quarters.
Apart from clubbing, do not miss a swim to the superb beaches of Super Paradise, Paradise, Platis Gialos and Elia. Activities in these beaches range from partying in the beach bars till playing beach golf. Also see the sunset from the windmills on the hilltop above the town or from Little Venice. These will be memories of a lifetime.
The natural beauty and beautifully preserved architecture has inspired various artists, from cinematographers and painters to the music band Fleet Foxes who wrote a beautiful song called Mykonos. Many movies have also been set in Mykonos, including the famous Shirley Valentine (1987).
Although a part of the island, particularly Mykonos Town and the southern beaches, gets crowded in high season, the rest of the island remains secluded. A drive around this secluded part of Mykonos will get you to private coves for swimming, interesting monasteries and fabulous spots with sea view.
Mykonos is the second top destination in Greece, after Santorini. It gets very busy in summer (high season in July-August) as it provides an interesting mix of beaches, expensive shopping and party nightlife plus a site of immense architectural importance in the nearby island of Delos. The main town, Mykonos Town, is situated on the western coast and the main port is 2 km from the town, in the region of Tourlos.
Because of its small size and the very good public transportation, the island is quite easy to navigate. The most popular beaches are located in the southern side of the island, while in the evenings Mykonos Town (also called Chora) becomes the centre of nightlife.
Mykonos beaches are famous all over the world for their golden sand and the crystal waters. As this is among the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, most beaches are organized with many tourist facilities, from seaside accommodation to beach bars, restaurants and water sports centers. The best organized beaches are found on the southern coast, which get extremely overcrowded during peak season.
Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach are famous as the best party beaches in Greece. Beaches on the northern coast of the island are less organized and ideal to enjoy some calm moments. Nudism is frequently practised there.
Mykonos has two villages, Chora and Ano Mera. Chora is the most popular spot on the island and the centre of all activities in summer. It stands out for its picturesque architecture and the tourist facilities. Ano Mera is, however, a small and quiet village that doesn't get that frequented as Chora. Many hotels and accommodation are located around these villages.
Mykonos may not be to everyone's taste because of the high level of tourists and the cost of holidaying, but its intriguing Town and fantastic beaches give a good sample of holidays in Cyclades. The beaches along the southern coast are great sun traps and remarkably picturesque. Paradise, Super Paradise and Paranga are good places for the young who want to drink and party all day, while the other beaches are less busy and noisy.
Do not underestimate the meltemi summer winds which can raise few waves in midday and the afternoon, but these waves also make a nice chance for windsurfing and kite surfing.
Practical advice and tips
There are two ports in Mykonos: the old port and the new port. The old port is located in Mykonos Town and is nowadays a mooring place for fishing boats and private yachts. No ferries arrive there. Only excursion boats depart from the old port and go to beaches around the island and to Delos.
The new port is located in Tourlos, 2 km north of Mykonos Town and only one bus stop away. In this port, ferries arrive from Athens and from other islands. Cruise ships also dock there. To go to the Town or other regions on the island, take the bus (very frequent itineraries) or taxi. There is a taxi rank outside the port.
Arriving at the airport
The airport is located 4 km south of Mykonos Town. It receives many domestic and charter flights. Outside the airport gate, there is a taxi rank and bus stop. Many car rental agencies are also available there.
Be prepared for an expensive visit. Mykonos is not a cheap island. Especially restaurants are bit expensive, so the cheapest food option are the kebab stores that you will find in many places around the island.
The roads are in good condition but be aware of scooters and other motorbikes. There are many accidents with tourists driving scooters.
How to go to the beaches
By bus or boat from Mykonos Town. There is a bus connecting Mykonos Town to the southern beaches and another connecting Mykonos Town to Agios Stefanos (northern island). Bus itineraries are very frequent, from 06:00 am till 02:00 am.