9 Top Things to do in Mykonos, Greece now
Mykonos is undoubtedly one of the most popular and much-visited Greek Isles in the Cyclades group of islands. It is also a popular gay friendly island and gay bastian to visiting Greece and caters to this audience base.
Nicknamed as “The Island of the Winds”, this beautiful Aegean gem conjures up imagery of paradisiacal beaches, traditional whitewashed architecture, windmills as well as yachts sailing in the Aegean Sea. Mykonos is a fun-loving island offering both partygoers and those in search of some rest and relaxation the perfect escape from where to unwind.
Thanks to its location, Mykonos is also fairly easy to reach by either ferry or by air from Greece’s capital Athens, wonderful for those wanting to embark on a Greek Island hopping adventure.
If you too are planning to visit and wondering what to do in Mykonos, then this guide will hopefully provide inspiration. Listed below are 9 top things to do in Mykonos that you should definitely consider adding to your Greek Isles travel itinerary.
1. Explore the Mykonos Town
Start your exploration of the island by wandering around in the Mykonos Old Town (also known as the Chora) and explore the hidden walkways and narrow streets that are lined with restaurants, bars, and boutique stores. Definitely one of the most charming areas of Mykonos, where you’ll uncover whitewashed houses with colorful wooden doors and balconies and pops of colorful pink bougainvillea. There are beautiful churches and lovely chapels along the way. Later, you can head towards the Old Port of the city to explore the waterfront. The town has preserved its traditional character remarkably well.
The Old town or Chora is a refuge to an international set of visitors coming to explore the island and party at the many venues, bars, clubs and restaurants centered around Chora. Long established as a gay destination for LGBT travelers, the trendy Mykonos allure and trend so much that the local tourism industry focuses on this demographic to cater to a large gay audience.
Mykonos looks blindingly bright by day and alluring by night. Whilst the island is known as a party paradise, it is still worth visiting even if you’re not into the party scene. You will love the Rarity Gallery that is acclaimed worldwide for its contemporary artworks, and the Dio Horia gallery, with some interesting exhibitions and pop-up installations. Stop at Katerina’s Restaurant to enjoy a magnificent cocktail and Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Shop for some souvenirs from Greece, such as Mykonos sandals, the famous evil eyes, Mykonian shawls, and more.
2. See the windmills of Kato Mili
The windmills are indeed one of the most well-known landmarks of the island, and probably one of the most photographed sights too, and you simply cannot leave the island without seeing them. The windmills are located right next door to the Old Town and are set in the perfect location from which to admire the sunsets of Mykonos. These 5 wood-and-straw capped windmills facing the ocean, were constructed close to the harbor so that it was easier to carry the mill grain brought in by the ships.
3. Locate Panagia Paraportiani Church
Panagia Paraportiani Church, which translated means “Our Lady of the Side Gate”, is a gorgeous historic church on the island and an important religious site on Mykonos. The fascinating church is located in the Castro neighborhood on the outskirts of the Mykonos Old Town. The complex is actually made up of five different church buildings that were built during the 14th century and built on top of each other. The highest church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The whitewashed walls of the church shimmer against the coastline, and the azure sky and its asymmetrical shape and style are quite rare to see.
4. Monastery of Panagia Tourliani
The Monastery of Panagia Tourliani is a short distance away from the Chora and dates back to the 16th century. This monastery complex features The Virgin Mary church, a marble belfry, as well as the monastery cloisters. Check out the beautifully decorated water spout in the courtyard. The monastery is easy to locate with its colored dome and whitewashed exterior. Inside, there are icons of apostles and saints and scenes from the New Testament on the iconostasis, which is decorated with green, red, and golden flowers.
It is considered the prettiest monastery to visit on the island, and one can learn about the history and see the impact of eastern influence on the construction and decoration of the monastery. Look at the rather impressive architecture of the monastery and admire the impressive wooden iconostasis made by the Florentine artists in the 18th century.
5. The Little Venice of Mykonos
Mykonos has its very own Little Venice around the western tip of the Old Harbor, where you will find a gorgeous web of car-free alleys laid with the dark marble paving stones. The location gets the nickname because of the waterside lined up with restaurants. The slightly shambling buildings are painted in white and boast colorful window boxes and balconies. Little Venice was made by sea merchants during the 16th and 17th centuries, and today it boasts of the best nightlife on the island.
Little Venice is simply irresistible during the sunset, and one can book a table here for the evening and enjoy a great meal or popular Greek drinks while looking at the windmills catching the last rays. Do make sure to check the tides as the rising water levels and splashing waves may result in some of the outdoor terraces being closed.
6. Relax on Platys Gialos Beach
Platys Gialos Beach is indeed one of the top places to visit in Mykonos, along with the incredible array of beaches found throughout the island. Located at a short distance from the Mykonos Old Town, the family-friendly beach is surrounded by numerous hotels and restaurants. The beach is located only a short 15-minute bus ride from the Mykonos Chora, making it one of the most accessible beaches to reach.
Platys Gialos Beach is also the main travel hub from where water taxis depart to the other famous beaches of the island, including Paradise, Super Paradise, and Paraga to name a few.
7. Sail to the Island of Delos
Consider booking a day trip to the amazing little island of Delos, which is much smaller than Mykonos but well worth a visit. It is located a few kilometers from the southwest coast of Mykonos, and according to mythology, Apollo and Artemis were born on the island. The old harbor is considered to be one of the most treasured archaeological sites of Greece.
There’s a lot to discover on the island Delos, which is also demarcated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the Sacred Harbor and do not miss the chance to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the island. Other highlights include the House of Dionysius, Terrace of the Lions, and Cleopatra’s House.
8. Visit Archaeological Museum of Mykonos
Another must-see spot in Mykonos is the Archaeological Museum that has artifacts from prehistory to the end of the Hellenistic Period of Mykonos and adjacent islands. It is a real must-see for history buffs and boasts columns, vases, vessels, and sculptures dating back hundreds of years. Information boards in Greek and English make it easier for the locals and tourists to follow the instructions.
Although the museum is small, it has an impressive collection. Look at a large collection of ceramics that date back to the 1st century BC and the 7th century BC with reliefs portraying the capture of Troy. There’s a remarkably old Cycladic patterned pottery that dates as far back as 2800 BC. Another outstanding piece is the statue of Heracles wielding a club, which is fashioned from the premium Parian marble in the 2nd Century BC.
9. Kalafatis Beach
Kalafatis Beach is very popular with families with children and is located on the eastern side of the island. It is a less developed beach and away from the more touristy beaches of the island. This lovely beach has plenty of trees for shade, and there is a popular waterfront restaurant on the northern edge of the bay. Apart from taking in the amazing views or swimming in the turquoise waters, Kalafatis also has a watersports center for motorized activities like wakeboarding, jet-skiing, and waterskiing.
It is hard to resist the golden sand and shallow, clear waters and soft breezes. Consider renting a sun-lounger and cabana for the day and spend a couple of hours here simply relaxing and wading in the beautiful Aegean Sea.
Born and raised in South Africa, Marco Santos from Travel-Boo, currently resides in sunny Lisbon, Portugal. With an absolute love for Europe, he is on a mission to rediscover his own Portuguese & European heritage along the way. Marco has set out to blog and share his passion for travelling through and exploring Spain, Portugal and other parts of Europe, sharing what he’s learned through his travel blog Travel-Boo.
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