Mykonos, much like Santorini, is one of Greece‘s most famous islands. Situated in the Cycladic region of the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is best known for its party scene, windmills and beautiful white-wash buildings.
I (Joel) hate to say it, but Mykonos is a bit of a one-trick pony. That’s not to say it’s not beautiful. You should visit Mykonos but consider how much time you will spend on the island. It’s not that big, so if you’re like us (adventurers!) and fancy exploring other places, a couple of days should be enough, three days max. From Mykonos, jump on a ferry and head south to Santorini. Santorini is a bigger and more exciting island with tons more things to do. Without further ado, let’s look at the best things to do in Mykonos.
Things to Do in Mykonos
1 | Get Lost in Mykonos Town
Getting lost in Mykonos Town is almost inevitable. Ha! That’s because Mykonos Town is a rabbit warren of little streets and alleyways, yet this traditional design of Mykonos is ingenious. That’s because it served a purpose once upon a time: to protect the islanders from pirates and thieves. After all, they would get lost in the intricate network of the town.
And beyond the streets lie the houses, designed with size in mind due to the scarcity of building materials. Their shape and colour were also designed with the weather in mind to protect them from the harsh winds and boiling Mediterranean sun. So, when wandering Mykonos Town’s streets to admire its beauty, consider its beginnings and watch out for those pirates!
2 | Find The Windmills of Mykonos
Undoubtedly, the windmills of Mykonos, also known as Kato Mili, are one of its most famous landmarks on the island. But they weren’t built as a tourist attraction, of course! Back in the day, between the 1500s and 20th century, the windmills of Mykonos were used to grind grain, like wheat and barley, into flour, and most were built by the Venetians. Today, the windmills serve a different purpose – they are home to a museum and a harvest festival in September.
A visit to Mykonos wouldn’t be complete without a wander to the Windmills of Mykonos! You might even feel the pinch of that wind which Mykonos is so famous for! You will also get a good view of the next spot on our things to do in Mykonos from the windmills, which is to:
3 | Meaner Little Venice
Little Venice presents one of Mykonos’s most famous and charming photo spots.
The best way to enjoy Little Venice is to get inside one of the bars and secure a spot on the balcony. Little Venice also offers one of the best sunsets on Mykonos, so consider planning a visit during the golden hour to absorb those Mediterranean sunset vibes.
Little Venice also offers one of the best views of the windmills of Mykonos; if you can find a perch on one of the balconies hanging over the water. There are many excellent restaurants and bars in Little Venice, too.
4 | Find the Pelican of Mykonos
Picture this – you’re sitting eating gyros in a restaurant around Mykonos harbour, and suddenly, you see a massive pelican wandering towards you. Of course, it requires a double take, and then it disappears out of sight. So, you eat up and search for the pelican to find it around the back of the restaurant you were eating in. The pelican had gone to the back door to get fed, which we imagine is a regular thing in Mykonos Town!
The pelicans have become a mascot of Mykonos, and finding them is undoubtedly one of the most unique and unusual things to do in Mykonos.
Anyway, there’s a story about the pelicans which goes like this: in 1958, a fisherman found an injured pelican and decided to look after it. The pelican became accustomed to people and started to wander the streets. The islanders named the pelican Petros, and the rest is history! Although it’s hard to find the exact number, it’s suggested that three wander Mykonos Town.
5 | Watch the Sunset at St. Vasileios Church
For the single best photo opportunity in Mykonos, you must wander up the hill to St. Vasileios Church. This spot has the best location over Old Port and Mykonos Town. And the best bit? You will be the only people there. Like us, grab a beer from the shop at the bottom of the hill (Mythos have ring pull tops for times like this!), wander up and soak up the atmosphere. Fancy taking a shot like this? Please read our guide to take better travel photos!
6 | Take a Four-Wheel Tour
Mykonos isn’t a huge island, but you might want to explore more of it than sticking to Mykonos Town, and there is no better way to do that than on a quad! Hiring a quad is a cost-effective way of getting around the island, plus it’s safer than a scooter! Some roads are pretty steep, too, so you will have some power to plough up them. And aside from the price, they are fun to blast around on.
7 | Find Armenistis Lighthouse
So, if you hire yourself a quad (or car, if you’d prefer), get around to the following two places on this list of things to do in Mykonos. First up, out of Mykonos Town, is Armenistis Lighthouse. Be aware; the roads up are a little narrow, steep and windy, but that’s part of the fun, right? As they say, it’s not the destination; it’s the journey. Armenistis Lighthouse also offers another decent spot for sunset.
8 | Visit Odos Araxame Taverna
Mykonos still has some Greek charm, although it’s a little harder to find. If you’re a regular to Greece, you’ll know what we’re talking about – that indescribable rustic charm. Mykonos Town isn’t a true reflection of what many Greek towns are like because it’s got money to make everything pretty. Anyway, if you’re on the hunt for a taste of local Greece, head to Ano Mera in the middle of the island. There, you’ll find a taste of local Greece but more importantly, head for Odos Araxame Taverna. It’s a beautiful little taverna with the rustic Greek charm we love.
9 | Find the Instagram Hotspots
Mykonos is a treasure trove of fantastic photo spots. Even if you don’t want to be on camera, there are plenty of opportunities to photograph beautiful places around Mykonos Town and the wider island. The colourful Bougainvillea plants are a favourite around Mykonos and will add valuable colour to your travel photos.
10 | Search for the Churches
It’s claimed that Paraportiani Church is one of the most photographed churches in the world, which is the church near the harbour. We don’t know how true that is, but it’s a reasonably interesting factoid. Equally interesting is that there are 365 churches on Mykonos – one for each day of the year! But Paraportiani Church is the most famous of them all, although it wasn’t our favourite – St. Vasileios Church took that title with its unique sunset offering.
11 | Live the Party Island Life
Is it possible to go to Mykonos and not have a cracking night out? After all, it’s famous for its nightlife! You’ll find a ton of bars around the bazaars to spill in and out of. Head to Scandanavian Bar for a dance where the atmosphere spills out into the street, and if you’d prefer something a little quieter, head to the delicate bars of Little Venice, like Katerina’s Cocktail Bar.
Where to Stay in Mykonos on a Budget
Mycocoon Hostel Mykonos
As fairly budget travellers, we opted to stay in a Mykonos hostel, the Mycocoon Hostel Mykonos, to be exact.
It’s cool inside, plus the price was reasonable, it has a small pool overlooking Mykonos Town and Old Port, and there’s even a bar. If you haven’t stayed in a hostel before, be aware they come with a caveat or two, like having to share things like toilets and bathrooms, and you may even get a few people stumbling back in the early hours, waking you up.
But despite these problems, hostels offer something you don’t get anywhere else, which is an incredible social side. Mycocoon Hostel Mykonos was one of the best social networks we have ever witnessed. We met people from all over the world, including Brazil and Germany and even a couple who lived just 30 minutes down the road from us! What are the chances? But the beauty of this social network is that you get insider tips from people who have travelled to places you haven’t. So, if you haven’t stayed in a hostel, keep an open mind and give it a go; you won’t regret it!
How to Get to Mykonos
We flew into Mykonos from Athens. The flight cost roughly 20 Euros each, and the flight wasn’t long enough to turn the seatbelt signs off. The airport is a short distance from Mykonos Town, just over 1.67 miles (2.7 km), and there are three options to get from the airport listed below. A few UK airports fly directly to Mykonos, listed under FAQs.
- Bus – 10 minutes, costs a couple of Euros
Alternatively, you can get to Mykonos by ferry. Although we didn’t arrive by ferry, we did depart by ferry! From Mykonos, we moved to Santorini and used Ferryscanner to find the cheapest tickets to get us to Santorini. The search is super simple to use and checks prices against a load of ferry providers to find you the cheapest ticket.
Mykonos New Port ferry terminal is roughly 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Mykonos Town. Three methods to get to and from the port are listed below.
- Bus – 15 minutes, costs a couple of Euros.
- Walk – 35 minutes
Is Santorini or Mykonos Better?
In our opinion, Santorini wins this debate, hands down. Both islands have their merits, but Santorini offers a more diverse trip with more to see and do than Mykonos. If you only have time to visit one, choose Santorini. Beyond the number of things to do, Santorini is also cheaper if you’re on a budget.
How Many Days Do I Need in Mykonos?
Three days is enough in Mykonos. The island isn’t huge, and most of the exciting things to do are around Mykonos Town. If you want to venture further afield, one day on a quad will be long enough to explore other parts of the island.
Is Mykonos Worth the Trip?
Mykonos is worth the trip if you visit for a few days and tie it in with a visit elsewhere. We first visited Mykonos, intending to spend longer there than we did. That’s because there aren’t many things to do (if you like an adventure like us, anyway!) Tie a visit to Mykonos with other Greek islands or hop on a flight from Athens – it’s cheap, and the flight is short.
Is Mykonos better than Kos?
No. Kos has the edge over Mykonos. There are far more things to do in Kos. The island is also larger and has a more interesting landscape. It’s also a chapter option than Mykonos and has a small party scene if that’s something you are looking for.
Which UK airports fly direct to Mykonos?
At the point of posting this, the following UK airports fly direct to Mykonos:
- London Gatwick
- London City
- London Heathrow
- London Luton
We always use Skyscanner to search for flights, so take a look there to confirm direct flights from the UK airport to Mykonos that suit your needs.
Things to Do in Mykonos
- Get Lost in Mykonos Town
- Find The Windmills of Mykonos
- Meaner Little Venice
- Find the Pelican of Mykonos
- Watch the Sunset at St. Vasileios Church
- Take a Four-Wheel Tour
- Find Armenistis Lighthouse
- Visit Odos Araxame Taverna
- Find the Instagram Hotspots
- Search for the Churches
- Live the Party Island Life
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