Mykonos embodies that classic Greek island ambiance - hillside clusters of blue-roofed white buildings, dry and baron landscapes, and golden beaches that spill into the sapphire sea.
Mykonos is also renowned worldwide as a party-central celebrity hot spot. Pumping nightclubs, fluro singlets and waves of sunburnt tourists crowd the island in the peak season, where sunbeds at luxurious beach clubs can go for a whopping €300 (but you may get to be in the proximity of Leonardo D’Caprio soo…)
However, this only lasts for around 3 months of the year over summer. Most locals work 7 days a week for 3 months straight. During the shoulder months, they spend time repairing, painting and preparing, then the entire island shuts down and everyone leaves to go on their own holidays.
How to get to Mykonos
Multiple ferries arrive in Mykonos daily from Athens and surrounding islands. You can plan your trip and book tickets on Direct Ferries.
Ferries will drop you to the New Port where you can jump on a bus to take you to the rest of the island.
Alternatively, you can also catch a Seabus from the New Port to the Old Port, which is in the centre of Chora, the main town of Mykonos. Seabuses leave every 30 minutes and take 8 minutes to get from port to port. You can buy a ticket (€2) from the small Seabus office at both ports.
Aside from private jets, Mykonos airport also services your ol’ regular airlines, with connections to other Greek islands, Athens, and wider Europe.
Take a look for the best deal on Google Flights.
How to get around
Local buses connect all major sites on the island; from the main town (bus stop here is named Fabrika), to Paradise Beach, the airport & ports. Schedules and bus stop locations can be found here.
Note – even in peak hour buses only start for the day at 9am. If you’re wanting to get around earlier, hire a taxi or quad.
As with most Greek islands, there are plenty of places to hire a scooter and quad, and you don’t need an international licence. Quads cost around €20 a day.
The roads are pretty hairy and traffic is thick during peak summer season so wear your helmet!
Where to eat
Cosmo café is right in the heart of main town, and has the best breakfast deals. Yogurt, muesli, fruit, crepes, omelettes, toast, bacon, eggs… whatever you’re needing to help that hangover.
Kostas is a cute, but often busy, green-checkered-table-clothed Taverna with hearty staples. Their set 3-course dinner option is a great bargain – Greek salad + moussaka + baklava + wine for €22.
Pepper Souvlaki is not only a gorgeous restaurant, but also serves some of the nicest souvlaki in Mykonos. Sit outside under the vines for the best ambiance!
Paraga Beach Hostel dishes up some pretty nice pizzas for a backpacker budget. You can eat here even if you’re not staying!
Where to stay
Mykonos is abundant with amazing hotels, hostels and air BnBs – with thousands of tourists flocking to the island each year, there’s plenty of options to choose. The only trick is to get in early – the good ones get snapped up quickly.
Paraga Beach has one of the best communal areas I’ve ever seen at a hostel – pools, bars, DJs round the clock, pizza café, restaurant, convenience store… This hostel has everything.Except comfortable rooms. Concrete floors and walls, only one power point, one fan, thin mattresses, no wifi in the rooms…If this doesn’t bother you, it’s a pretty good party place to stay for a few nights.
If you’re wanting something a little more… comfortable… AirBnB has a huge range of rooms available. The second time I was in Mykonos I stayed at Loukas Pension – despite having no kitchen facilities, the view from the balcony room was pretty lovely.
An idea of costs for one day in Mykonos
€58 per day
– Hostel: €15
– Breakfast at Cosmos: €8
– Bus ticket: €3
– Pizza at Paraga Hostel: €10
– Dinner at Kostos: €22
How long to spend in Mykonos
4 days is a pretty solid amount to explore the island and laze on the beach.
What to see and do in Mykonos
Get lost in the endless maze of lanes and streets
The main town of Mykonos is called Chora, and is made up of a labyrinth of pedestrian-only lanes, all painted white. The tangled nature of the streets was said to be built to confuse pirates if they landed and raided the town.
If you’re wanting some great shots sans a thousand tourists, make sure you get there early. Shops open at 9am and most of the tourists start flooding in around 10am, clogging the main thoroughfares.
This row of houses sits right on the edge of the sea, with water sometimes splashing inside in rough weather. It was said to have been built and inhabited by locals who doubled as pirates, and these houses were perfect for boats to easily offload illegal cargo.
Mykonos has plenty of sandy beaches, and most have a club or bar claiming a section with exclusive sunbeds. Paradise Beach, Paraga Beach and Paralia Beach are some of the best.
Windmills of Kato Mili
These iconic seaside windmills were constructed in the 16th century by wealthy families as mills.
Take a walk to the windmills from Chora and enjoy the view back to Little Venice.