Mykonos, or “The island of the winds” as it’s nicknamed, is geographically located on the northern side of the Cyclades and is the absolute star among the Greek islands. Mykonos is the ultimate holiday place for all ages and preferences, particularly for youngsters looking for entertainment throughout the day. Don’t forget to check out the amazing Greek food while you are here.
Many private yachts, helicopters and cruise ships arrive every day during the summer months, giving a cosmopolitan atmosphere in the island. From the walks in famous Chora to the unique beach parties and from the boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants to the after hour parties with famous DJs, Mykonos is one of the most well-known islands in the world.
But these are not the only things that the island has to offer. Mykonos is really a one-of-a-kind, beautiful place, where the glamorous lifestyle is harmonically combined with the Greek tradition and tranquility. If “party till you drop” is not your style, in Mykonos you can also find great archaeological and historical sights, small picturesque hamlets and pristine beaches which are never overcrowded.
How to get to Mykonos
As Mykonos is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it is quite easy to travel there by boat or airplane from Athens, other Greek islands or directly from abroad.
The airport (code: JMK) is located 4 km from Mykonos town and it served by both domestic and international flights during summer. There are more than 15 flights per day from Athens International Airport during the summer period, while many more are direct and chartered flights from other cities in Europe (Rome, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin etc.). The flight duration from Athens is around 30 minutes.
Another way to reach the island is by boat / ferry. There are ferries to Mykonos from Piraeus and Rafina. These ferries also connect Mykonos with surrounding islands like Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Syros etc., making this option ideal for island hopping. The ferry duration from Piraeus (Athens’ port) takes from 3 to 6 hours, depending on the shipping company.
Ftelia – If you’re a surfer, then Ftelia is your place. The area is affected by the strong summer northern winds, making the homonym beach ideal for wind surfing. Generally, it is an isolated & relaxing place, usually not overcrowded.
Kalo Livadi – One of the hot spots of Mykonos, located in the South-Eastern part of the island. It is quite famous for the facilities and the beach parties there. The beach is fully organized, with shallow and clean water. There are various types of accommodation around the beach as well as taverns and restaurants.
Mykonos Town – Mykonos town, or Chora as you’ll hear many people calling it, is a preserved traditional settlement and the island’s capital. It has a unique architecture, shaped as a horseshoe, with stone paved alleys in blue and white. It is a major hub for tourists, but if you step away from the major attractions you’ll find some authentic Greek village life.
Ornos – It is a cosmopolitan tourist resort lying in a small fishing village, in a cove that forms a natural harbour giving visitors the opportunity to admire a miracle of nature. It is close to Chora and has a lovely organized beach in front of it. There you can also find a diving school.
Tourlos – one of the island’s ports and a small village close to Chora. A good option for tourists who want get away from all the energy of Mykonos Town and yet still want to stay nearby.
Top Attractions in Mykonos
Little Venice – Fishing houses on the front of the sea with balconies literally hanging over the waves: Welcome to Little Venice. These houses were constructed in the mid-18th century and belonged mainly to captains. The basement with direct access to the sea and the underground storage of these houses enforced the legend that these belonged to pirates. The area is considered one of the most romantic places of the island, providing a spectacular sunset not to be missed.
Panagia Paraportiani – Even if you are not much into churches, Panagia Paraportiani is a must visit when in Mykonos. It started building in 1425 but was completed only on the 17th century. As a result the aesthetics of this whitewashed church are amazing. This 2-storey high church complex has 5 churches, four at ground level and one on the top. The top church is actually the one called “Paraportiani”, meaning “the one who’s next door”, by the fact that it was next door to the medieval wall of the island.
Armenistis lighthouse – One of the most interesting lighthouses in Cyclades, dating back to 1891. It is located in Fanari area and when you visit, stay and watch the sunset there.
Windmills – One of the landmarks of Mykonos and the most distinct feature of the island’s landscape. You can spot several windmills around Mykonos, but the majority of them are in Chora. They were initially built in the 16th century by the Venetians and most of them were in use until the 20th. Remember to take a photo of “Kato Mili” in Chora, the postcard style landscape where the mills are on a row on top of the hill.
Petros (Peter) the Pelican – The island’s mascot for over 50 years. He first appeared in Mykonos in 1954 and after his death his successor was elected by the islanders. A photo while in Mikonos with Petros is better than any photo with a Hollywood star!
When to Visit
Mykonos is a truly cosmopolitan island. This means that from the time the weather gets better, the first tourists start arriving. Having said that, the “busiest” months each year are during Easter and throughout summer. If you’re going there for the beach parties (and perhaps to meet some celebrities) then from June until August is the best time. But if you prefer some tranquility and peace, it’s better to visit early spring or during Autumn – not too late though as you might encounter the autumn rains which is common in Cyclades.