What to visit in Mykonos?
Updated: Jun 21, 2022
The famous Greek island is more than just a summer entertainment venue for foreigners and others. There are other must-see attractions on Mykonos that will leave every tourist speechless. Fabulous beaches, unique views, and picturesque villages – no one will ever get bored on this island.
Read on to discover what to do and see, at least once, in Mykonos and much more information that is useful!
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What not to miss?
Little Venice is one of the symbols of the so-called Chora, the Greek word referring to the urban center of the city. At first glance, one can say that the architecture is the typical, Mediterranean one that characterizes the entire island. An important difference from these, however, is that the first row of houses 'floats' on the water just like in Venice. This is the reason for the same of the Italian city, even though there is no correlation with the location of Italy in historic terms. Here you can find restaurants, shops, and pubs as on the whole island. Little tip: go here at sunset; there will be a spectacular view!
Church of Panagia Paraportiani
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Mykonos is the Orthodox Church of Panagia Paraportiani. A typical postcard image, this white church with a blue sea in the background is a complex of four small chapels plus a fifth on the upper floor, which can be reached by an external staircase. The different chapels were built between the 15th and 17th centuries. Unfortunately, it is almost always closed, but this does not affect its beauty.
Manto Mavrogenous square
Walking through the small streets of the Chora, the center of the capital of Mykonos, you will cross Manto Square. It is the central square of the old port and the original home of a legendary woman whose marble bust is located in the middle of the same square. Its history dates back to the time of the Greek Revolution, in 1821, when Mykonos played a key role. Maddalena Mavrogenous, known as 'Manto', was born in Trieste in 1796 into a wealthy aristocratic and liberal family. She received a high-level education and she fought on the front line for the liberation of Greece from the Ottomans. She is remembered as one of the most important heroes in the Greek War of Independence.
The beach of Agios Sostis is a relaxing, luminous and uncontaminated spot in the middle of nature. If you want to escape from the center of this tourist destination, this beach is for sure a good solution, since it is in the northern part of the island, far from the city’s heart. Here you can find a quieter and restful place appropriate also for nudism. Bear in mind that this area has facilities, which means that you have to arrive at this beach well equipped and with all, you could need during your day.
What else to visit?
Agios Stefanos is one of the first towns one encounters going north from the old town of Mykonos, and it is located along the north-western coast of the island. This place is well-known for its golden sandy beaches where you can admire the island's most beautiful sunsets. Specifically, this small, beach is particularly suited for families, with its clear sand, and shallow and crystal-clear waters, offering a picturesque view of Delos Island.
Another destination that we suggest is Platys Gialos: surrounded by hills, about 4 km from Mykonos Town, this location is among the most popular on the island because of its sheltered position from the winds, the sea is calm and transparent and the beach clear and fine. Far from the renowned nightlife, it is perfect for couples.
Island of Delos
Not to be missed is the Island of Delos, located just over three miles from Mykonos. In contrast to the island symbol of fun, this one is desolate. According to the myths, it is the birthplace of Apollo, the god of the sun. In 1990, it is elected a Unesco World Heritage Site, since the big archaeological site has been going on continuously since the end of the 19th century. This is why tourists are not admitted to overnight stays, a rule that does not affect archaeologists.
The reason why it is considered a “sacred island” is that between the years 426 and 425 B.C., the Athenians decided to “purify” the island for religious purposes, first moving away the rest of the dead buried there and then ordering the exile of the entire local population. With the building of the temple dedicated to Apollo, this place was even more felt like a holy place.
Nowadays, many companies who manage ferries and traditional boats connect Mykonos to the Island of Delos, which is easily visited.
Aegean Maritime Museum
Housed in an elegant 19th-century building, the charming Aegean Maritime Museum is a great tribute to the indissoluble bond between the sea and the island's inhabitants. If you decide to visit this famous Museum, you will find ancient maps, navigational instruments, and model ships from the pre-Minoan period to the present day.
If you take your first steps into the garden, you can take a close look at the authentic mechanism that was originally installed at the Armenistis Lighthouse, a machine that was awarded a prize at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. It is considered one of the highlights of the collection.
How to travel there?
As one of the most touristic islands in Greece, Mykonos has many connections both by air and by the ship that make it easily accessible, especially during the summer season.
The Mykonos International Airport “Kounoupas” is about 4 km from the capital, and is well connected both to Athens, with flights taking about 30 minutes, and to major European airports. To get to the city center from the airport, if you do not take advantage of the airport transfers offered free of charge or paid for by the hotels, you can either take a taxi which costs about 10€ and takes about 10 minutes, or the bus which takes 15 minutes and only costs 2€.
Ships and ferries to the port of Piraeus (Athens), as well as to other nearby and less nearby Greek islands very well connect the island. Most ferries connect Mykonos with Piraeus (Athens), Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini, and although less frequently with Heraklion (Crete). The island of Mykonos has two ports; one is used by cruise ships and the other by ferries. The ferry is a very convenient way to combine visits to Mykonos and other neighboring islands, such as Santorini.
If you want more flexibility in travel and schedules, we highly suggest opting for a car rental.
When to travel there?
As one of the most popular islands for beach holidays, not only in Greece but also in the entire Mediterranean, it is advisable to book your trip as early as possible, especially for those wishing to travel in the high season, i.e. in July and August. Nevertheless, these two months are not recommended: excesses are the rule; the island is frequented mainly by young people who spend their days between the beach and disco without rest. Consequently, the island is particularly crowded and even the most far away beaches are no more considered a relaxing places.
Another reason to avoid Mykonos in August is the cool wind that blows along the coasts of Greece and Turkey. It accompanies the entire summer season in this area, but in August, it becomes particularly annoying.
Considering all this, it is advisable to come in spring or early autumn to have the opportunity to take advantage of the beauty and resourcefulness of this Greek pearl.
Mykonos is one of the most expensive islands in Greece: first, because demand is always very high with limited availability since the dimension of the island is small. Besides that, in recent years the accommodation facilities have been geared mainly towards tourism, not exclusively luxury tourism, but at least tourism of people who do not mind spending money to have fun on holiday.
According to accommodation, the range of price variation becomes truly immense depending on the period, the advance booking, and above all the location and level. The cheapest accommodation ranges from €35-40 per room, which easily becomes €150-200 per room per night in the first half of August if booked at the last minute. Luxurious options present high prices.
What about transportation? These can reach high flights, depending on the medium and the period chosen.
For food, the cost depends a lot on what you get and the level of the place. You can certainly spend a few euros on a pita on the fly, but you cannot eat only sandwiches. In a Greek taverna, it starts at 20€ per person.
Where to eat?
The most famous island of the Cyclades offers travelers an exceptional setting for dream holidays; beaches with crystal-clear water, typical Greek houses, but also exceptional food options. We always suggest trying the local gastronomy, to immerse oneself in the culture and tradition of the country.
Bakalo offers only local food produced from the island or neighboring islands. Among the dishes to try, do not miss the pepper cheese, pickled octopus, tomato dumplings, or baked mushrooms. If you are vegetarian, vegan, or allergic to gluten, the restaurant also offers a wide selection of delicious dishes. Moreover, the atmosphere is relaxed and perfect for families visiting Mykonos with children.
If you want an option close to the sea, we recommend Scorpios, a beach club immersed in a bohemian atmosphere: drinks, small snacks, or dinner, you will be satisfied for sure.
Last but not least, Catari is a great location to dip into Greek food culture: this restaurant is located next to the port of Mykonos, close to the town's many bars. After your meal, you can party all night on the Cyclades' most famous island for nightlife.
You can discover with us greek specialties of food and beverage by looking at our article on Food in Greece. Follow our page @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on our new articles.
Like most the places in Greece, Mykonos follows its traditions and customs, which visitors have the chance to get to know through various events. Among these, there are:
Theofania (6th January)
During this day, priests walk around the streets blessing the houses, until they arrive at the port of Mykonos together with the rest of the people. There, they throw the cross at the seaside to sanctify water and at the same time bless the marines with good luck throughout the year. Remember that it is a big honor to dive in the cold water to get the cross, and the one to succeed is thought to be greatly blessed.
Easter (March- April)
Easter festivities include the procession of the Epitaph on the roads, the Resurrection of Christ with the following fireworks, and of course the famous Eastern dinner. The whole celebration finishes with Juda's burning in the central square of Mykonos.
Mykonos Summer Festival (June- August)
This event is held in the summer season and adds power to the already existing lively atmosphere and crazy parties in Mykonos. It includes events, different kinds of performances, concerts, exhibitions, and numerous artists from around the world representing their abilities. This is one thousand visitors from all around the world come to participate in this festival.
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