Why Go to Mykonos
The cube-shaped buildings and whitewashed exterior facades of Mykonos scream Mediterranean. Winding roads twist through the main city of Chora, past expensive storefronts and beautiful churches that give the island a grounded sense of Greek tradition. But Mykonos is far from conservative, as it’s known for its rowdy beach parties and crazy nightlife. In the “Ibiza of Greece,” you’re never far from a party at any point in the day.
Mykonos’ silky sand beaches are the biggest draw. Vacationers come to them to see and be seen — ahem — often in the nude. This laissez-faire attitude particularly appeals to those who love a ruckus; Psarou and Paradise beaches start jumping early in the day and don’t clear out until sunrise. Don’t worry early birds, there are also plenty daytime sights like the Cycladic-style buildings of Chora, the windmills of Kato Myli and the ornate temples of Delos. Here, you’ll discover the perfect Greek mix of sophistication, relaxation and jubilation.
Best Things To Do in Mykonos
The main Mykonos attractions are the beaches, where you can sunbathe, relax, snorkel — even party. Paradise Beach is considered the no-brainer shore option here, though you should expect to be one of many tourists enjoying its soft sands. Away from the beach, tour Panagia Paraportiani in Chora, photograph the Windmills, or visit the island of Delos for its archaeological finds. Travelers also love Little Venice for its restaurants, shopping and postcard views. Save some energy for an evening out, as the island has long had a reputation for seaside hedonism. Read Best Things To Do in Mykonos 2018 …
What to Eat in Mykonos
Cuisine in Mykonos is unsurprisingly heavy on seafood, yet it does ooze with Greek flavors. Olive oil and olives are featured in many dishes. They serve to enhance the fresh local cheeses and produce, which are also heavily represented in Mykonos restaurant menus. On the more casual end, street vendors sell gyros, or Greek sandwiches, which are also relatively inexpensive.
Writers say that unfortunately it’s all too easy to find mediocre food in Mykonos, which nonetheless costs a lot. To find the best options, writers suggest following the island’s residents to a taverna — a small and casual restaurant — for authentic Greek cuisine. Little Venice is a popular option for those looking to grab a bite to eat.
Best Times to Visit Mykonos
The best time to visit Mykonos is September and October. Sitting in the Aegean Sea, this island’s weather permits a year-round flow of tourists, but in those months you’ll see that the crowds have left, the water remains warm and the hotel rates descend back into a reasonable range. The spring, before the summer rush comes, is also a great (and affordable) vacation time. Mykonos experiences a typical Mediterranean winter: mild with temps that dip to the mid-50s. June, July and August are especially busy; temperatures average in the upper 70s and 80s, and there are nonstop parties and pricey hotel rates.
Mykonos sees nonstop action in the summer. Parties rage with the waves, and hotel rates peak with the temperatures. Although this is the warmest time (mid-80s), the ocean breeze and frequent dips in the water cool down visitors. You’ll also get to experience several Mykonos festivals honoring the patron saints. Book your accommodations in early spring if you want to pay anything less than premium.
Getting Around Mykonos
The best way to get around Mykonos is the bus — the island has an efficient system that connects many cities and attractions. Chora actually banned motor vehicles, so everyone walks or rides a bike through town. We strongly advise against renting a car — they’re expensive to rent, and parking is a pain. Why would you want to add a worry to a potentially stress-free vacation? Taxis are available but expensive; however, you might consider using one to get to your hotel from Mykonos Island National Airport (JMK). Many travelers arrive on the ferries through Tourlos port from other Greek islands or the mainland.
The streets might be convoluted, but getting lost in them is part of the fun. Area residents are friendly enough to point you in the right direction, if you need help. We suggest letting the sea breeze blow you through the tiny alleys and avenues.
Yes, biking is faster than walking and, for some, more enjoyable. You’ll be able to cover more distance on a bike, plus you’ll indulge in Mykonos’ laissez-faire atmosphere. You can rent bikes at several shops in Chora and large touristy towns.
Theses now classic, carefree and poignantly European vehicles are great for speeding around town and along the coast. Unfortunately, inexperience and bumping, swerving island roads mean “danger” for most American visitors. If you do wish to try one, you can rent a moped at several shops in Chora.
A car is neither necessary nor incredibly helpful. You’ll find parking scarce, fuel expensive, roads narrow, and street signs difficult to translate. If you absolutely require one, you can rent one (at a great cost) at the airport.
In stark contrast, cabs can be very useful particularly when you are just arriving. If you are carrying heavy luggage and don’t know where your accommodations are located, the ride might pay for itself. “Car” taxis travel from the perimeter of the Chora to other cities, while “scooter” taxis will traverse the tiny avenues in town. Pick up a “car” taxi in Taxi (Manto or Town) Square. Taxis use flat rates, which are will be much more expensive than a bus fare.
Mykonos operates a convenient bus system that goes across the island and links towns, beaches and attractions. Hours of operation are extended in the summer — as late as 4 a.m. Considered one of the best in Greece, this bus system’s trips cost only a few dollars depending on your destination. Tickets can be purchased at stands along the streets and in tourist shops across the island. Make sure to get your ticket stamped when you board — forget to do this and you may run into a heavy fine.