The ever-popular Greek islands form one of the most spectacular archipelagos on earth. Alongside Santorini, the Mykonos Islands are the star of the show. It’s a must-see destination that mixes sunshine, electric blue water, amazing food, and fascinating history.
Mykonos is a romantic destination, a place for honeymoons and rendezvous. Likewise, it attracts party-goers and weekenders looking to blow off some steam. You won’t be shocked to find the crowds at Mykonos, especially in the high season. But it’s something that shouldn’t scare you off, for it’s a destination you can approach from many angles. As you can still find the quieter beaches and the charming towns that, despite Mykonos’ small size, still remain off the tourist trail.
Top Things to do in Mykonos
1. Mykonos Town
After arriving on one of the best Greek islands, make a beeline for Mykonos Town. Exploring its narrow streets lined by whitewashed houses is one of the first things to do in Mykonos, Greece. Not only will it give you a great taste of what Mykonos island life has to offer, but you’ll begin to get your bearings.
Locally known as Chora (Greek for the town), Mykonos Town is everything you’d hope it to be. As you wander down the cobblestone streets, you’ll see the gorgeous white facades and doors as blue as the Aegean Sea. It’s a small town and one that won’t take long to explore. That is if you don’t get lost in the town’s maze-like layout or distracted by the many boutique stores.
You’ll find many of these stores along Matogianni Street, which also happens to be one of the prettiest streets on the island.
We recommend these tours!
2. Paradise Beach
With your steps complete, it’s time to indulge in the incredible splendor of Mykonos Island. For a relatively small island, Mykonos has no shortage of beautiful beaches, and picking the best one is an unenviable task. With that said, Paradise Beach is the perfect place to start.
Paradise and Super Paradise Beach combine to create a stunning location that also happens to be one of the island’s most beloved party spots. In the height of summer, the beach floods with scantily clad men and women bathing in the Aegean sun. Come nightfall, the party scene goes up a notch with music and tropical cocktails at beach bars like Jackie O’ and Paradise Beach.
Outside of the high season, you’ll find sparkling white sand devoid of large crowds. Add on some beachfront restaurants and it’s a pristine spot to enjoy a day out. Make sure to book your sunbed in advance so you have the best seat in the house.
3. Monastery of Panagia Tourliani
A brief drive from the heart of Mykonos Town, a visit to the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani is one of the top things to do in Mykonos, Greece. Like the beaches, there is stiff competition for the most gorgeous monasteries and churches on the tiny island. But Panagia Tourliani is not one to miss.
Almost five centuries old, the monastery is a sight for sore eyes. The clean stone facade complete with a trio of bells and an adjacent bell tower is an impressive sight. Not to mention the arresting marble fountain that features embellished decorations.
Equally transcendent is the interior that has been painstakingly restored to its former glory. Visitors will be able to see the hand-painted altar screen and iconography from the late 18th century.
4. The Kato Mili Windmills
One of the most spectacular sights in Mykonos is the Kato Mili Windmills backed by the pink sky at golden hour. A brief trip from Little Venice, a row of white and brown windmills dots the coastline and are a glimpse into the island’s old wheat industry.
Back in the day, there were 20 of these famous windmills. While only seven remain, they’re now one of the most popular attractions on Mykonos. Each windmill is a perfect cylinder that rises out of the ground with brown thatched roofs. They’re simple yet beyond elegant, a memorable example of 18th century Greek architecture.
They’re free to visit and make for amazing photographs. But be sure to return at dusk for one of the best sunset spots on Mykonos.
5. Agrari Beach
Agrari Beach contrasts greatly with Paradise Beach. The popularity of Mykonos brings in hearty crowds and beach parties, something that can be hard to escape in the summer. But Agrari Beach is the place to go to experience the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters of Mykonos without rubbing shoulders with strangers.
You’ll find this beach on the quieter section of the island’s southern coast. The golden sand runs along the shore until it connects to Elia Beach, creating a spectacular 5-mile coastline of nothing but powdery white sand and turquoise sea.
After walking down a steep, narrow path, you’ll step onto the soft sand, where you’ll discover a small concession stand and a few sun loungers that you can use to bask in the warmth.
6. Little Venice
In Mykonos Town, Little Venice is a neighborhood that will quickly steal your heart. It’s the waterfront section of town where the white houses meet the Aegean Sea, creating a vision straight out of your wildest dreams. Like the windmills, Little Venice is where Mykonos’ natural beauty and man-made opulence meet.
Much of what you see in Little Venice was developed in the 18th century by merchants. Now they’re vacation homes, restaurants, and a number of trendy bars that are perfect for sunset cocktails. Just be sure to make a reservation ahead of time. You can also wander down to the sea and let the water lap between your toes as you watch the sun touch the horizon with the windmills in the foreground.
7. Delos Island
Taking a boat trip to Delos Island is one of the best things to do in Mykonos, Greece. Departing from the Old Harbor in Mykonos Town, it will take travelers around 30 minutes to reach the small Cycladic island.
The history of Delos Island goes back over 5,000 years. It’s teeming with prominent archaeological sites, many of which form the crux of Greek myths and legends. Such is the array of history, that the entirety of Delos Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Local mythology tells of the birth of Artemis and Apollo, which took place right here. But that’s not all. As you explore, you’ll find columns that have stood in place for centuries on the side of paths shared by pilgrims year after year. The island’s history, however, reaches its zeniths with Delos’ 5,000-year-old stone huts.
The best way to experience Delos is to take this guided boat trip. This is one of the most popular tours in all of Mykonos.
8. Psarou Beach
A couple of miles outside of Mykonos Town, Psarou Beach is another popular spot for a day on the sand. Lined by upscale beach bars, a series of opulent resorts, and some of the best food on the island, Psarou is a place to experience the lap of luxury.
The beach is almost entirely made up of sun loungers and rows of beach umbrellas. You can forget about laying down the towel here. Instead, spend your day taking in the sights and sounds plus the odd celebrity if you’re lucky. Keeping the summer crowds in mind, you may want to book a sun lounge ahead of time.
On the water is where the real fun is, however. Once you’re settled, it’s time for water sports. Go on a scuba diving trip or jump on board a jet ski. Afterward, dine at the iconic Nammos Seaside Restaurant.
9. Armenistis Lighthouse
Little Venice may be the best sunset spot on Mykonos, but it’s not always budget-friendly. This is especially true if you want to drink at the best bars along the coast. For a totally free sunset, make your way to the Armenistis Lighthouse.
The lighthouse is placed on the island’s northwest coast where you’ll have uninhibited views of the colorful horizon along with the even smaller island, Tinos. It’s easy to get here also, being just a four-mile bus or taxi from Mykonos Town.
It’s best to give yourself plenty of time to explore the century-old lighthouse. Mykonos has a rich maritime history. The lighthouse is dedicated to telling that story and remembering the lives lost in a shipwreck in the years prior to its creation.
10. The Old Port
The development of a modern port on Mykonos has taken the focus of its historic Old Port. Many travelers don’t even take the time to explore. But if you’re like me, then that’s all the more reason to add the Old Port to your Mykonos itinerary.
Like the main town, Old Port is surrounded by a maze of narrow streets. Among them are perennially smiling locals and an authentic collection of local shops. Without the cruise ships, the water is left for small fishing boats that come in and out as if they’ve traveled back to before Mykonos was a tourist mecca.
As you explore the Old Port, keep your eye out for the famous Peter the Pelican. This pelican has taken on legendary status among locals and seeing him wherever he is is a big tick on your Mykonos bingo card.
11. Scuba Diving
A few days on the shore of the Aegean Sea will have you excited to explore life beneath the surface. The glistening baby blue water is every bit as spectacular as the Mediterranean Sea, with as many marine treasures awaiting your arrival.
There are many great scuba diving spots around Mykonos, including from Psarou Beach. But for beginners, Lia Beach is the perfect place to begin. Within the protected bay you’ll find calm swimming conditions with excellent clarity as you learn the essential skills alongside your instructors.
Once you’ve completed your first dive, you’ll be ready to attack some more sites around Mykonos. Paradise Reef is one for the books. Here, you’ll find a prismatic array of coral, starfish, barracuda, and octopus. If you want to swim around a shipwreck, you can also do that at Dragonissi.
Mykonos is the perfect place to learn to Scuba Dive as the water is crystal clear and really calm. This tour is perfect for beginners!
12. Ano Mera Village
Like the Old Port, Ano Mera Village is another amazing part of Mykonos that sees a disproportionately meager amount of visitors. But while most are enjoying the Mykonos beaches, you can take the time to explore one of the oldest towns on the island, in peace.
The old-time village is centered on a town square and boasts Greek’s patented whitewashed homes. Ano Mera provides travelers with a unique and authentic experience within a charming Cycladic village. The streets are just as thin, yet without the bustle. This leaves you with a tranquil townscape that boasts several major landmarks, including Panagia Tourlani, the Paleokastro Monastery, and the Gyzi Castle.
Explore on a whim and don’t be afraid to get lost when you visit Ano Mera Village. That’s exactly how you’ll end up on a beautiful cafe patio, sipping wine and overlooking the Aegean Sea.
13. Church of Panagia Paraportiani
Admiring the stunning Church of Panagia Paraportiani is one of the best things to do in Mykonos, Greece. On the shore of the Aegean Sea, the church is a photographer’s dream. It’s an incredible mix of classic white Greek architecture, cobblestones, and the bright blue sea.
The church is, in fact, a much larger complex that features five distinct chapels. Each has its own peculiar design and domed roof. The oldest, Agios Anargyros, was built in the 15th century complete with a gorgeous bell tower.
Arriving at the complex is easy. Travelers can simply jump on a bus and get off at Fabrika Central. It’s also possible to walk from Little Venice.
14. Elia Beach
On the southern coast, Elia Beach is the other half of a sandy shore shared with Agrari Beach. Elia Beach is a mix of amenities and tranquility. Here, you can enjoy the sun lounges and water sports without dense crowds, with ample extra sand to lay down the towel.
During the summer months, there are occasionally beach parties featuring DJs, booze, and plenty of dancing. But that aside, it’s a relaxed spot that is loved among the LGBTQ community and even the odd nudist.
When you depart the sand and go for a swim, you’ll discover crystal clear waters and a brilliant mix of blue shades. Aside from swimming, you can venture out on a jet ski, get a view as you para-sail and you can also try your hand at windsurfing when the breeze picks up.
15. Wine Tasting
No time in Mykonos would be complete without exploring the island’s vineyards and sampling the local tipple. After all, Mykonos is one of the oldest wine-growing regions on earth.
A wonderful place to do just that is at Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm. From your elevated position on Mykonos, you’ll bask in the wondrous views of the vineyards and the coast from the patio. You can also sign up for a vineyard tour that will take you behind the scenes of this beautiful farm.
But Vioma is not just about exceptional wine tasting. As the name suggests, there’s much more to this organic farm. Take your time exploring to discover traditional Mykonian delicacies such as rusks, hams, authentic Greek salad, and artisan cheese.
If you want to take a guided wine tour, this one that goes to a locals home is a great way to sample the wines of the region and have an authentic Mykonos experience.
16. Mykonos Maritime Museum
The Greeks have a storied relationship with the sea. In centuries past, they discovered new islands and expanded well beyond the mainland. Now, out of the 2,000 islands in the nation, around 170 are inhabited.
Today, the nation still depends on the sea to get from A to B. As you travel around Greece, water taxis and ferries are popular, not just to transfer locals and tourists, but cargo too.
To learn about Greece and Mykonos’ oceangoing history, both ancient and contemporary pay a visit to the Aegean Maritime Museum. Journey back as far as the Neolithic era as you discover historic documents, ancient maps, treasures, and replica ships from the Minoan period. Complete the experience by learning about moments that changed the course of local history and the tales of ships that have sunk to the bottom of the sea.
You’ve explored the charming villages, seen the sunset from the coast, and swum beneath the sea. But for a fresh perspective, it’s time to grab your paddle and kayak around Mykonos.
As you float along the crystal clear sea, you’ll be able to achieve a spectacular vantage point from which to admire the island. Much of Mykonos is accessible, but there are many nooks and crannies along the coast that you’ll only be able to see and reach from the water. With the help of a guided kayak tour, you’ll be able to.
Mykonos Kayak has a variety of trips on offer, depending on the time and experience you have. Their classic tour takes you to wild rock formations where you’ll paddle into grottos strewn across the northern coastline while keeping your eye out for marine life.
18. Rhenia Island
Rhenia Island is another of the nearby islands you should add to your itinerary. In the shadows of Mykonos, Rhenia Island is a well-kept secret. Although it has a rich human history that dates back thousands of years, today, no one lives here. It’s now an untouched paradise.
With zero ferry infrastructure, the only way to make it here is on a guided tour or private boat. But once you’ve arrived, you’ll have no shortage of amazing adventures. Here, the beaches are clean, without any footsteps and the sea is a dream to swim in.
The island’s human history is on full display. Centuries ago, the island was deserted and its ancient temples were left to survive by themselves. Add on some quaint 20th-century churches and you can see why Rhenia Island is one of the best day trips from Mykonos.
19. Boat Tour
Many of the best beaches on Mykonos can be found on the breathtaking southern coast. You could spend a day at each, but for a memorable experience, join this full-day south coast cruise.
Beginning at Ornos Beach, for eight hours, you can kick back and slowly make your way along the spectacular coast while sipping one Greek wine and sampling ouzo. After visiting a couple of beaches, you’ll venture further offshore to discover Dragonissi Island. Upon arrival, you’ll spot the sea caves that glisten against the water.
Afterward, dive into the calm waters of Frangias Bay and have lunch at a seaside restaurant on Kalafatis Beach. Last up is the vibrant Super Paradise Beach before getting dropped off right back at your hotel.
20. Mykonos Archaeological Museum
The Cyclades are akin to an open-air museum, such are the number of historic sites. But without having to travel to Delos or Rhenia, you can visit the Mykonos Archaeological Museum.
History lovers and architectural buffs will have a blast as they explore the incredible collection. Visitors will be able to get up close to ancient vases, vessels, works of art, and columns.
The museum may be small but it’s been masterfully curated. Further highlights include a stunning mortuary urn that explores the story of the Trojan War. For those who missed out on exploring Rhenia, check out the museum’s Purification Pit. This was discovered in 1898 and included hundreds of urns and vessels that harbored offerings to the gods.
21. Island Hop
There’s far more to the world around Mykonos than just Delos and Rhenia islands. The Cyclades are home to over 200 islands and you can access all the major ones such as Santorini, Tinos, and Naxos from the local port.
Frequent ferry crossings will give you plenty of options when it comes to exploring the surrounding islands on your own. Likewise, there is an abundance of local tours that will showcase the beauty of the Cyclades on a yacht.
Santorini is another famous destination in the Cyclades and is a few hours away from Mykonos. You can easily take a make a day trip of it with five ferry crossing each day. Another option is Tinos, which is just 30 minutes by boat and boasts some beautiful traditional villages.
Interested in Santorini? Check out our guide on the amazing island.
22. Bike Tour
Exploring beautiful Mykonos on two wheels promises to be as memorable an adventure as any on the island. Even as you grow more and more familiar with the mountainous, sun-soaked Mykonos, there’s always more to see. On a bike, you can do just that without wasting any time.
Joining a local expert on a bike tour will help you get off the beaten path and away from the island’s most iconic destinations. Take the back streets through charming villages and capture coastal and town views that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen. As you explore the countryside, you’ll get to know Mykonos on a deeper level.
The hilly nature of the island has forced some bike operators to provide a variety of tours for different fitness levels. So there’s no entry barrier for travelers.
How to get to Mykonos
There are two ways to get to Mykonos. The most scenic is by boat. Multiple companies, such as Hellenic Seaways, Blue Star, and Sea Jet, operate regularly between Mykonos and various Greek destinations.
It can take between three and five hours to go between Athens and Mykonos. Blue Star and Hellenic take around five hours but tend to provide a more sturdy ride.
Sea Jet on their smaller catamarans can get you there the quickest. However, if you get seasick, be aware this ride can get bumpy. We recommend booking in advance for all three, especially Sea Jet.
You can fly to Mykonos during the summer months. This isn’t the budget-friendly option but will help you get to the island a lot faster. The daily flights from Athens last only 25 minutes.
Best time to visit Mykonos
Mykonos has a long span of glorious weather. This lengthens the period of time travelers should be looking to visit the island. The weather is warm by May and lasts all the way to October.
Mykonos’ high season begins in June and ends in September. During this period, the weather is at its peak, the water is balmy, and the atmosphere is electric. Of course, this period comes with crowds and higher hotel rates. But it’s the quintessential Mykonos experience.
You can save on room rates while enjoying nice weather in May and October, but some restaurants and tours may not be operating.
Outside of this sixth-month span, Mykonos is quiet and without the warmer weather, it will unlikely be the trip you’re expecting.
Where to stay
With the best attractions covered and some key questions answered, let’s check out some places to stay in Mykonos that suit all budgets.
Budget – Elena Hotel Mykonos
In the heart of Mykonos Town and just 6 minutes from the beach, Elena Hotel Mykonos offers convenience and comfort. Each room has a TV and Wi-Fi, while guests will enjoy the daily buffet breakfast and airport transfers.
Mid-range – Harmony Boutique Hotel
Next to the Old Port in Mykonos Town, Harmony Boutique Hotel balances luxury and price. Just two minutes from the beach, guests will enjoy stylish accommodation with sea and sunset views. There are also spa and fitness centers and an onsite restaurant.
Luxury – Cavo Tagoo
Also in Mykonos Town, Cavo Tagoo has a stunning infinity pool with views out to the sea. Each room features the height of luxury, with distinct decor and some come with either a spa bath or private pool. To pamper yourself, sign up for their range of spa treatments before dining at their onsite restaurant.