Things to do on Mykonos
The glamorous Greek Island of Mykonos is best known for its extravagant parties and luxurious beach clubs, although that’s not all there is to it. While the nightlife is bustling, there are also excellent restaurants, interesting cultural attractions and beautiful landscapes to enjoy.
Simply wandering around admiring Mykonos’ famous white-washed buildings under the warm sun is a wonderful way to pass the time. However, if you’re looking for things to do in Mykonos, here are some great ideas!
The beach is an integral part of life in Mykonos – think lazy days relaxing on the sand, and delicious meals in view of the Aegean. Here are our favourite Mykonos beaches.
Arguably the best beach on the island is found just five kilometres from Mykonos town, making its location very convenient and easily accessible for those staying near the city.
With a large swathe of white sand that’s popular with everyone from young families to the well-heeled party crowd, it’s one of the all-around best beaches on the island. Due to its popularity, there are plenty of amenities nearby including restaurants, shops and bars.
Another beach which is easy to access via bus from Mykonos Town is Elias, about 11 kilometres south-east. This takes the crown for the longest sandy beach in Mykonos, so although it does get quite busy, there is ample space for everyone and it is not quite as hectic as some other options.
If you prefer your beach days a little more active than just relaxing in the sun, you’ll love the variety of activities on offer at Elias Beach, including windsurfing, kayaking and snorkelling.
If there’s one drawback to Mykonos’ beaches, it’s that they tend to get very, very windy especially from June to September,
While some flock to the more secluded beaches to escape the winds, the other option is to make the most of it and hit Kelafatis Beach for a spot of windsurfing. Located in south-east Mykonos, Kelafatis is somewhat of a mecca for windsurfers, catering for everyone from total beginners to experienced surfers.
With the name of “Super Paradise Beach”, this private beach sure has a lot to live up to. The sister of Paradise Beach, this strip of famous Mykonos sand is well-known for its non-stop calendar of events and parties.
It’s a place to let your hair down (albeit perhaps not in quite as debaucherous a fashion as at nearby Paradise Beach) – so may not be ideal if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing place to stay. If you’re looking for a great time, though, you’ll love it. It’s also well-known as Mykonos’ most LGBTQ+ friendly beach.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the most well-known beaches and enjoy some R&R, then Fokos Beach is a great choice.
Located about 13 kilometres northeast of Mykonos Town, with no direct public transport, it is much quieter than many other beaches. There is soft sand and clear swimming water, so if you have your own transport or don’t mind splurging on a taxi ride, then it’s a great choice for a peaceful day.
While some of Mykonos’ beaches (such as Paradise and Super Paradise) may not be ideal for small children and families, Ornos Beach is perfect for younger visitors to Mykonos.
It is one of the most family-friendly beaches on the island, boasting calm waters that are safe for timid swimmers, as well as soft sand that’s great for making into sandcastles! You can actually walk from Mykonos Town to Ornos Beach, but if you have little (or tired) legs in tow, you might prefer to catch the bus.
Historical sights and buildings
They’re undoubtedly one of the most recognisable and iconic symbols of Mykonos – the elegant, white windmills that stand grandly atop a hill near Mykonos Town.
In total, there are 16 windmills, and they are one of the first things that catch your eye if you enter Mykonos by boat. In fact, no matter where you are on the island, you are unlikely to be far away from one.
They are all beautiful, but if you want to learn more about them, then you can pay a visit to the Agricultural Museum at the Bonis Windmill (free, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm during summer only).
Thanks to Mykonos’ seemingly non-stop party, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that for thousands of years, the island has simply been home to locals. To get away from the revelry and experience authentic life on the island, Ano Mera a great option.
With its laidback and modest feel, you may be surprised to learn its the island’s second largest town. Less than 10 kilometres from Mykonos Town (with plenty of buses and taxis), the beautiful town shows the island’s quieter and more peaceful side, and also offers a beautiful sixteenth-century Monastery.
Like its namesake, Mykonos’ Little Venice is a beautiful place to stop for a drink or meal, or simply just to wander through, taking in the gorgeous views and atmosphere.
The oceanfront area is one of the most picturesque places in Mykonos, with a myriad of maze-like laneways and alleys dotted with great shops and eateries. To see it without the crowds, it’s best to arrive early, although it’s well worth joining the masses to watch the sunset over the water when it’s at its Venice-esque best.
Despite its modest size, there is an abundance of churches of all sizes and styles on Mykonos; enough to visit a new one every day for a year. Amongst them, however, Paraportiani is perhaps the most recognisable. Even if you’re not familiar with it by name, chances are you’ve seen photos depicting the elegant lines of the white-washed stone church. There are four different chapels, each in a distinct architectural style, which only adds to the church’s unique charm.
There are enough things to do in Mykonos to keep you busy for weeks, but there are even more treasures a little further afield. Here are our favourite places to visit just beyond Mykonos.
Greece offers many exceptional historic attractions, but even amongst them, the ruins on Delos Island are a particular standout.
The island is extremely significant not only in Greek history but also its literature and myths. This is because the island is said to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, two key Gods in Greek mythology.
It’s believed the island was first inhabited around 5,000 years ago, and there are many incredible remnants of the groups that have lived there, including temples and artefacts.
There are frequent boat trips to Delos which cost around €20 return (€10 for children <12), while entry to the archaeological site is another €12 / €6.
Despite its close proximity to Mykonos, picturesque Tinos is almost entirely overlooked – which is what makes it such a wonderful place to visit. Here, you can experience the Greek Islands away from the crowds, sharing the spectacular sights with only a handful of locals and even fewer visitors.
You’ll find pretty churches, totally pristine beaches and a selection of humble yet wonderful restaurants to enjoy. As Tinos is along the well-trodden Athens to Mykonos route, there are numerous daily boat trips between Mykonos and Tinos, or you can organise a tour.
So, while eating, drinking and lazing by the beach may top the list of the most unmissable things to do in Mykonos, there are many other options for visitors of all ages!
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