There are many great things to do in Mykonos: this is a travelers’ favorite and often included in a Greece itinerary. There is plenty to see, do, and taste, whether you choose to explore the Island of the Winds by boat, car or even on foot.
Mykonos beaches are among some of the best in the Mediterranean. The scenery of the island is gorgeous and dramatic. There are many lovely and quaint coastal villages. Top this off with historic sites and it is easy to see why many want to spend their holidays in Mykonos.
But there’s more. This Cycladic gem has a legendary, wild party scene. VIPs from the international jet set cruise around the island to get a good taste of it; to see and be seen.
Curious to find out more? Continue reading this post to discover the best things to do in Mykonos.
The Best Things To Do In Mykonos
Enjoy Mykonos beaches
Picturesque coves with unspoiled natural beauty, pristine sandy beaches, and crystal clear waters distinguish Mykonos’s coastal landscape. Going to the beach is a must when spending the holidays in Mykonos. I know my beaches – I am from Sardinia! So I guess you can trust my opinion.
There are more than 30 beaches on the island, so it is easy to find one that will suite your needs, tastes and likes. There are party and cosmopolitan beaches; others perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and windsurfing; family style beaches and more remote ones. Some have luxury sun beds and golden sands; others have sea-side tavernas, restaurants and bars. And on an island with such clear waters and regular wind, water sports are a fun activity.
The following are the best beaches in Mykonos:
PLATI GIALOS – This beach is located just 5km southeast of Chora (or Mykonos Town). It’s easy to access: there are direct buses to and from other beaches, such as Super Paradise; and there are lot of eateries.
ORNOS BEACH – There are many family-friendly beaches in Mykonos, and Ornos is one of them. It’s located 3 km south of Mykonos town and there are plenty of family-run tavernas serving fresh seafood and tsipouro (a pomace brandy). You can even go on a fishing trip on a traditional boat from here.
PSAROUS BEACH – The trendiest beach on the island is located 5 km southeast of Chora; the sand is beautiful and there are plenty of restaurants for the foodies.
PARAGA BEACH – One of the busiest beaches in Mykonos thanks to the combination of alluring waters, fine sand and the plethora of places to enjoy a drink or cocktail, and delicious food. The beach is located on the southeast side of the island (6 km from Mykonos Town).
ELIA BEACH – The longest beach in Mykonos, with prepossessing waters inviting surfers and swimmers alike; lots of parking space and frequent buses running from and to Mykonos Town, alongside the scenic villages of Elia and Platis Gialos in close proximity.
PARADISE BEACH – At only 6 km south of Chora there’s Paradise Beach, a young and party beach that turns into a partygoers’ hotspot after sunset. Here, there are more than enough bars spilling out onto the sand. If partying is one of the things to do in Mykonos, this once gay beach is the go-to place if you want to have the ultimate fun from sunrise until well after midnight. Go in the late afternoon to join the parties with top DJs while dancing on the beach until the early morning hours!
SUPER PARADISE – Supposed to be the most gay-friendly beach in Mykonos with plenty of action and several bars keeping the beat up after the sun goes down or slightly before that! The beach is located 7 km southeast of Mykonos Town. You can get there by taking a kaiki (a small boat) from Paradise Beach and Platis Gialos.
If you’d like to learn more about Mykonos’s LGBTQ-friendly scene, try this guided beach tour.
AGIOS IOANNIS – Mykonos can get crazy busy at times, but you’ll manage to escape the crowds. Agios Ioannis is a superb option for a beautiful, quiet beach away from the noise and craziness of the most cosmopolitan Super Paradise and Paradise beaches. Situated 5 km south of the Chora, its narrow strip of sand and the peaceful tavernas provide a more laid-back side of Mykonos. The same applies to Agrari Beach (10 km southeast of the Chora) and Fokos Beach (13 km northeast of Mykonos Town).
MEGALI AMMOS – One of the best beaches for windsurfing, as it often gets quite windy there. It boasts really nice sand, and it is only a short walk from Mykonos Town (500 meters away). While there, don’t miss out on the opportunity to grab a bite at Ioanna’s Nikos Taverna on the beach.
This is one of the best things to do in Mykonos. The area around Paradise Beach is packed with marine life – thing barracuda, octopus, starfish and much more. Make sure to enquire with Mykonos Dive Center for prices and experiences suitable to your level of expertise.
Learn about Mykonos history and traditions
If you are a fan of history and culture, you’ll be in for a treat. From the whitewashed houses with the bougainvillea-filled windows and labyrinth-like cobbled streets of Mykonos Town to the impressive chapels with the distinct sea-blue doors perched along the hills of a breath-taking topography, there are so many things to impress visitors.
Make sure to go in search of the traditional Cycladic architectural style, which has remained untouched throughout the years mainly due to the building regulations that apply on the island. The streets are lined with art galleries, boutiques, little shops, stylish bars, and restaurants while 15th century castle ruins safeguard the island and, of course, dazzle with their subtle power.
Take a stroll around the Old Port
A walk around the Old Port is a must towards the end of the day. You’ll find plenty of cafés and restaurants overlooking the sea where you can have dinner or a late night drink, and you’ll be able to board the ferries to Delos island. The harbor is also home to Mykonos’ mascot, Peter the Pelican, who’s often seen around there. He’s very friendly and you can take photos.
Visit the Aegean Maritime Museum
This museum is a great place to visit to learn more about the important connection between Greece and the sea. There are interesting relics on display, and a few useful replicas.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The museum is open daily from April to October, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Admission is €4.
GOOD TO KNOW: Another interesting museum is Mykonos Folklore Museum. Located in the Kastro neighborhood, it’s a place to discover the history and the traditions of the island. If you want to visit, make sure to check ahead for the opening hours or you may risk finding it closed!
Enjoy sunset from Little Venice
Mykonos can be very romantic, especially in Little Venice. This is the most charming neighborhood, with houses built above the waves right up to the edge of the water, and ravishing Venetian wooden balconies overhanging the sea. Little Venice is an awe-inspiring spot perfect to admire the sun sliding behind the horizon.
Visit the famous Windmills of Chora
The windmills of Chora are probably the most photographed attraction on the island. Once used to mill wheat, they now stand as proud reminders of their history, with some of them being turned into museums and others housing their new residents. Only 7 windmills remain, and though their sight is gorgeous, the view from there isn’t half bad either.
And all the beautiful churches
Scattered around the island you will find beautiful churches and while you may not visit them all, make sure to explore at least the most famous ones, such as the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani (the prettiest monastery in Mykonos, located in the quaint and peaceful Ano Mera Village); and Panagia Paraportiani (Paraportiani Church) and Agios Nikolaos in Mykonos Town.
GOOD TO KNOW: Ano Mera is a perfect place for a walk once you are done visiting Panagia Tourliani!
Go to Armenistis Lighthouse
At 6.4 km from Chora, the lighthouse was built more than 100 years ago to help ships passing by the island after a ship sank. It’s one of the best sunset spots in northwest Mykonos, and the views span all the way to Tinos. You can get there by bus, or independently by car or scooter.
Visit the archeological site of Delos
If you have enjoyed visiting place such as the Roman Forum in Rome; Machu Picchu in Peru; the City of David in Jerusalem, you will love Delos – the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis (gods of light and the wilderness respectively) according to Greek Mythology.
Today, Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is only a 30-minute ferry boat ride from Mykonos. A visit typically includes entrance to the Doric Temple, Delos synagogue, the Temple of Delians, and Minoan Fountain. It’s incredible how such a small island was once the most significant spiritual centre of ancient Greece.
Go on a boat trip
Delos, where the above mentioned archeological site is located, and Rhenia, famous for its clear waters, are very close to Mykonos. You can visit them on boat trips that depart daily from Mykonos harbor, and during which you have a chance of seeing the archeological site from the boat, and swim in the pristine waters of Rhenia. Other nearby islands to visit are Paxos, Naxos and Ios.
If you are a shopaholic you are bound to have a great time on the island, which is packed with designer stores, jewelries, art galleries and souvenir shops. Of course, prices aren’t exactly cheap – but if budget is not an issue, give it a go!
Eat all the amazing food
One of the best ways to learn about a place and its culture is via its food (hence why I ate all the food in Cuba, for example!) and the good news is that food in Mykonos is delicious.
The island is literally covered in restaurants offering divine dishes, excellent service, and amazing sea views. These are the best ones:
FUNKY KITCHEN – Mediterranean dishes with a funky twist on an isolated outdoor terrace in Mykonos town, this fusion restaurant is famous for dishes such as octopus carpaccio with pink peppercorns; cumin fava beans with a rack of lamb; seared tuna with eggplant mousse; and chocolate nirvana (dessert). Just the name is enough to make my mouth water.
PEPPER – The best place for a quick snack or lunch in Little Venice. Try the gourmet burgers and gyros (pita bread with grilled lamb or chicken, onions, tomatoes, tzatziki).
HIPPIE FISH – A large, casual, beachfront restaurant located on Agios Ioannis Beach, with plenty of seafood dishes and traditional Greek flare. It’s a great place to have Mykonos sausages (louza), Aegean paella, and stuffed squid (kalamari).
Last but not least, among the best restaurants in Mykonos there are Nikolas Taverna (Agia Anna Beach), La Cucina di Daniele (Ano Mera), Buddha Bar (Ornos), Kiki’s Taverna (Agios Sostis Beach), Avli tou Thodori (Platis Gialos Beach), and Nammos (Psarou Beach), which has gorgeous views of the Aegean sea.
Try Greek wine
A proper Greek meal is going to taste much better if you accompany it with Greek wine. Wine tasting around the island is fairly inexpensive: have a glass at a good bar or restaurant, and visit a vineyard – it really is what to do in Mykonos for that extra flavor.
Learn a few words of Greek
Greek isn’t exactly an easy language to learn. I studied classical Greek for a whopping 5 years in high school, and had a long relationship with a Greek man, so I have learned a few things here and there. Make sure to know at least the basics:
Kalimera – Good morning
Kalispera – Good evening
Kalinichta – Good night
Efharisto – Thank you
Parakalo – Please
Nerò – Water (Ena potiri nero, parakalo: a glass of water, please)
Pos pas sto… – How do I get to…
Party till you drop
Mykonos is one of the best party islands in Greece and going to Mykonos and not going to at least one party is like ordering a pizza without mozzarella cheese! If you are looking for some fun, great cocktails, lots of champagne to shower with or drink, and dance floors open from the wee hours of the morning until well after dawn, you will have an incredible choice.
Among the best clubs there are Cavo Paradiso (Paradise Beach); Super Paradise Beach Club (Super Paradise Beach); Babylon (Mykonos Town); Kalua Beach Bar (Paraga Beach) and Paradise Beach Club (Paradise Beach).
Pet the cats
Like in the rest of Greece, many cats live in Mykonos. Don’t share your food with cats in Mykonos (it’s too salty and bad for them). Instead, buy some cat food in one of the shops. And if you really want to do your share for the cats and dogs of Mykonos, you can even make a donation to the Mykonos Animal Welfare.
Go on a bike tour
One of the nicest ways of exploring Mykonos is a bike tour. There are various ones that depart daily and that are suitable for various levels of fitness – what you pick is ultimately up to you and to the heat of the season: if it is summer, you will want to avoid the longest or toughest tours, but on the other hand you may also end up at the beach and cool off with a swim.
Experience luxury at its finest
Mykonos is packed with fantastic properties where you will feel like a celebrity. Luxury villas are probably the best option: there are many exclusive, spacious villas that overlook the Aegean, and that offer incredible views of the sea and the raw beauty of the island. They obviously have all amenities to make your stay comfortable – infinity pools; fully equipped kitchens; roomy bedrooms; and private pergolas. Everything is designed with grandeur, following the Cycladic architecture and keeping in mind that the ultimate aim is making you comfortable.
Other Useful Information
When to visit Mykonos
Any time is a good time to visit Mykonos. If you are a beach bum, the summer months are definitely the best, but keep in mind it may get crowded. To enjoy a bit of everything, May and September, and depending on the season even October, are perfect: it won’t be too hot so you can easily explore, and there will be less crowds – not to mention it will be significantly cheaper!
How to get to Mykonos
Mykonos is well connected to the rest of Greece, with direct flights from Athens and Thessaloniki. During the summer months, budget airlines usually have flights from many European cities.
Ferries depart regularly from Athens ports Piraeus and Rafina. The trip lasts around 3 hours on the high speed ferry, or 5 on the regular one. There are also ferries to and from other Cycladic islands.
To book your high speed ferry from Athens, click here.
How to get around Mykonos
Once in Mykonos, getting around is really easy. Here are the main options:
BUS – The public transportation system in Mykonos works well, with buses being more frequent during the peak summer months. The main bus terminal is right off the yacht docking area in Chora. You will also find plenty of taxis.
CAR – A great option to visit the island independently. Check out the prices of car rental here.
MOPED – Moped or scooters are easy to rent in Mykonos, and a fun way to go around. Just make sure to wear a helmet!
KAIKI – These small boats are typical of Mykonos and operate services to take you to some of the most isolated beaches. you find them at Mykonos Harbor.
Are you planning a trip to Greece? Make sure to read my other posts: