Mykonos in a nutshell with photos to make you go ‘WOW’
Apprx. Reading Time: 5 minutes
A whitewashed paradise dotted with domes in the turquoise Aegean Sea, that’s what Mykonos is!
It’s one of those few places your mind wanders to when you’re longing for some sea+sun combo, with a dash of nightlife if needed.
The ‘Ibiza’ and ‘Capri’ of Greece, this tiny island has pristine beaches and party nights.
My time here was short and sweet and so are my recommendations.
WHAT TO EXPECT
A party place full of crowds high on energy. Almost deserted at dawn and dusk, iconic sunsets, great food, beaches and unique architecture.
Olives, Olives in a Greek salad (which does not contain lettuce) with lots of feta cheese.
The salad might just give you a taste of things to come, which should be one of these!
Gyros – Grilled meat kebabs served wrapped in a flatbread like pita with salad and Tzatziki (Yoghurt sauce). Picnic food.
Dolmades – Vine leaves stuffed and steamed traditionally with mince and rice or with nuts and spices like thyme, dill, oregano etc.
Moussaka – Layers of sautéed aubergine, minced meat fried, pureed tomato, onion, potato slices seasoned with garlic and spices and topped with fluffy cheese and béchamel sauce make this Greek dish iconic. Ensure you have a helping!
Gemista – Gemista (‘filled with’) is a traditional recipe for Greek stuffed tomatoes and/or other vegetables that are baked in a herby tomato sauce, until soft and nicely browned.
Spanakopita – Chopped spinach, feta cheese, scallions, egg, and seasoning are wrapped in traditional Greek pastry and baked to perfection to make fluffy pies.
Since it is an island, expect fresh seafood. Do not miss out on the Octopus, either grilled or fried. (This reminds me of the time I had some in Spain. Yum!)
For ones craving sugar
Galaktoboureko – Made with layers of golden brown crispy phyllo pastry, topped with melted butter and filled with creamy custard. This dessert is to die for!
Visit the windmills at Chora
When you search for ‘Mykonos’, the first image that will pop up, is of the windmills. There are many scattered across the island , but the windmills at Chora are the most famous. Visit early morning or late evening for a crowd-free beautiful experience. Sunsets are spectacular here!
Time required: About an hour
Gaze at the sea/ have dinner at Little Venice
This impressive waterfront is always busy and rightfully so, as little cafes and restaurants dotted along the coast make it a very romantic location to have a meal. Pick a good spot at Little Venice as splashing waves might soak you! A lovely spot to watch the cruise liners sail by.
Best to get some breakfast here before the crowds turn up.
Time required: About an hour, meals not included
The town of Chora is where the quaint and quirky, blue and white architecture is concentrated. Expect white rocks, cobbled alleys and Churches with Blue domes. ‘Paraportiani Church’ is one of the more famous ones, located near the windmills.
The labyrinth has picture-perfect scenes at every turn and you’re likely to get lost, in a good way!
Some of the houses are boutiques that sell authentic Greek jewellry, artifacts, clothes and souvenirs. It is here that you’ll also notice Prada and Gucci, reminding you that it is as commercial as you’d like it!
Time required: A couple of hours
Hop the beaches
There are many beaches hiding in alcoves where the party begins once night falls. Many beaches are cater to specific segments – family, gay or party.
Time required: Apprx. a day
Party till sunrise
Many beaches that give an impresson of being ‘quiet’ turn have a buzzing night life post 11 pm. Skandinavian Bars is very popular, but there are enough bars for everybody. Bounce around!
Scuba diving is another option as the water here is very clear. Abundant sea life and underwater scenery. Ask for options once you’re there.
Time required: The whole night!
Head off to Delos
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the island of Delos is an important one when it comes to Greek Mythology, as it was here that Apollo was born. The island consists of ruins of the iconic Terrace of the Lions statues, in addition to many other relics like the House of Dionysus and Cleopatra.
A great day trip which you can head off on by yourself via the old port or through a tour provider from the city centre in Chora.
Time required: 1 day
FOR FAMILIES AND ART LOVERS
Highly appreciated for its quirky, offbeat and realistic pieces of art, as also for it’s prices! Rarity Gallery is a quiet place to get away from the hustle and bustle in the town for contemporary art lovers.
Cost: Inquire at the Gallery
Time required: About an ahour
Vioma Organic Farm & Vineyard
A quaint, tucked away place, great for lunch and to opt for some tastings from the local farm. The food is good, there are animals to pet and wine to take away. Also recommended for couples. Do note, only cash is accepted.
Cost: Free, except for the meal
Time required: About half a day
Preferably in the city centre if you do not mind the crowds in the day. There are many options near the beaches but if you need to get to the city center, it’s about 20 minutes by transport, so its best to arrange for a car/bike if you want to stay away.
The area around the Platis Gialos beach is a popular option for families to lodge.
GETTING THERE AND AROUND
- There are numerous connecting flights via Athens and its only 20 minutes away! Quick and easy. A ferry will get you here too, 5 hours by by normal speed or 2.5 on a faster one. In peak season, ensure you book tickets in advance
- If you are visiting via a cruise, cruises now dock at the new port and liners usually provide a free pick up and drop service every 30 minutes. Inquire with your cruise provider
- If not, both the ports old and new are within walking distance of the town of Chora so you may not need any transportation, but definitely a good hat and sunscreen in summer
- Renting a car or a bike is a great option, if you plan on staying longer as its quicker to get to the beaches. However the narrow lanes and traffic do pose a problem sometimes for drivers. Parking can also be an issue
- Public transport (buses) are available, however they are scarce. There are two main bus stops, the North and South stations which have services in different regions and connect the beaches and the city centre. Frequency is increased in summer. More information here
- Taxis are expensive but quicker and water taxis are available too, that you can catch at any of the beaches. Many visitors also opt for ATV to get around
TIPS FOR FIRST-TIMERS
- Best time to visit is shoulder season(May & October). Avoid sumer if possible as it’s super hot and crowded. Temperatures are pleasant in May and October too
- It is expensive as it always has visitors, but all the things to do listed above are free! Only the trip to Delos will cost you. So, if you don’t have partying on your mind, it will work out way cheaper
- It is also very crowded but only during the peak hours of day. The locals love their siestas so the morning schedule starts anywhere around 9 am. Stores are shut at noon. This thins the crowds too and the party lovers move away from the city by evening
- Inquire if there are any cruises stopping for the day at Mykonos. This makes the crowd increase triplefold and locals sometimes bump up the prices. My suggestion would be to use this day to hop the beaches as the visitors usually tend to stay concentrated at the city centre
- If you are visiting only for a day and want to get away from town, pick one of the trails that lead to the hilltops. Gorgeous views and silence guaranteed
This fishing village from the 1950’s has transformed into a luxurious one, full of extravagance, a favorite with celebrities. That does not imply that it is expensive or there are no things to do for the simple at heart.
In fact, the beauty of this island is that, just by wandering you’re sure to be mesmerized. Awake early or take a walk late at night – that’s ‘being at peace’ defined for you!
PIN FOR LATER!
Mykonos travel guide
- Almost all of the things listed above are free
- Once you’re at Mykonos, inquire at a couple of places, for packages to get to Delos, if you are not looking to head off by yourself
- If you are willing to, it’s pretty convenient, ferry tickets are available throughout the day at the old port
- There are exhibitions held regularly at Rarity Gallery, more details here
- The Vioma Organic farm is a little difficult to get to, so do ask around for directions if you’re lost!
Need some Euro inspiration? There’s lots of info and pictures in the destination archives or if you’d prefer to head off to an offbeat destination with all the work done for you, try a Montenegro tour package!
Any other items I should add to the list, that you enjoyed? Let me know!
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