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Mykonos is One of the Best Greek Islands to Visit
One of Greece’s iconic islands featuring whitewashed buildings, beautiful Greek churches, a resident pelican as the island mascot and of course the famous and often photographed windmills. Indeed the nickname of Mykonos is the “island of the winds.” Mykonos is one of the best Greek Island to visit for first time visitors.
In Greek mythology, Mykonos is the site of the battle between Hercules and the Giants, and many of the stories of the geography and formation of the island and tied to this myth.
Mykonos is one of the smallest Greek Islands and it is easy to get around. With poor soil and little natural resources, tourism is the primary industry and I have to say, the locals of Mykonos were fantastic hosts.
Many first time visitors to the Greek Islands and many large cruise ships stop on Mykonos making it one of the most visited of the Greek Islands. Unfortunately that also makes It one of the most expensive.
It is a very picturesque island. All of the buildings are built in traditional style and are white. Only certain traditional colors can be used for trim including shutters and balconies. There are very strict building guidelines to maintain the traditional look and authenticity of the architecture. As a visitor it makes for some great pictures.
What to Do on Mykonos
It is a small island with one town, Mykonos or Chora (meaning town in Greek) or Hora as it is also called. Chora town is the place to stay if you want in the middle of the action. It can be loud and busy. Cruise ships dock here and the town can be extremely busy with day visitors. There are a number of nightclubs here as well and Mykonos has a reputation as a party island.
In Chora (or Hora)
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- Wander around the streets of this small town, the architecture and shops are just fantastic. The streets wind around and you are sure to get lost, but that is all part of the fun. (Most shops close 2-5 pm.)
- Little Venice- is the area on the west of town near the sea. There are lots of bars, restaurants and cafes offering a seat near the water and a great place to watch the sunset.
- Look out for Petros the Pelican (as all pelicans on Mykonos are named) the island mascot wandering the streets.
- The Windmills- one of the most photographed and well known landmarks of Mykonos located on the west side of town near the harbor. This is a popular place to watch the sunset.
Beaches On Mykonos
Mykonos has a number of quieter beaches where you can find accommodation and restaurants. For those of you that prefer something a bit quieter, Platis Gialos (or Platis Yalos) provides some nice accommodation, great beaches and your choice of restaurants.
Other well known areas with beaches include Agios Ioannis and Agios Stefanos.
There is bus service and taxis all around the island and no need to rent a car. (The island is tiny). You can also rent a scooter to get around if you prefer.
A few days lazing around the beach and you will have no trouble adjusting to the pace of island life.
If You Visit Mykonos
Mykonos is easy to reach by plane or ferry.
Weather reports have Mykonos receiving over 300 days a year of sunshine. It receives most of its rain in February and March. It is a dry, windy island without reliable water supply. Water used by both residents and tourists is sourced through reverse osmosis.
The best time to visit is May-June or September –mid October. July and August can be quite warm and very busy and is the peak season. Mid-Oct through late April/early May can be quite windy and most things are closed on the island. Mykonos has a resident population of only 10,000-12,000 people (estimates vary) and many people head to the mainland for winter.
English is widely spoken throughout the Greek Islands.
We really enjoyed Mykonos! Read our next post to find out more about the food and hospitality of the locals on Mykonos.
If you are continuing your exploration of the Greek Islands from Mykonos- Syros and Naxos are both easy to reach via the ferry from Mykonos.
If Mykonos is the end of your time in the Greek Islands trip and you are returning to Athens- our guide to what to see and do in Athens and planning your visit to the Parthenon are both helpful.
My husband and I visited the beautiful island of Mykonos in April of this year. We arrived by cruise ship on a bright sunny day. It was a relaxing excursion of wandering the streets, visiting the quaint shops, eating in Little Venice and many photo ops. One of our goals was to find the Gioras Bakery which is a medieval bakery in operation for over 500 years. After exploring the city we found the bakery and purchased pastries. It seemed to us that the streets were a maize but if you are interested in finding the bakery it is on a street leading to the bus station. I remember shops leading into the street that had a vast collection of straw hats. The bakery entry are steps that drop down from the street level into a dark cave like atmosphere. Mykonos was a highlight of our cruise.
We also enjoyed wandering through what seems an ancient maize of streets full of interesting shops. I’m glad you found the Gioras Bakery, not easy to do in Mykonos.
Cai Dominguez- Travelosyo
Now I knoe its called Mykonos. I believe this year is a good year to visit Greek because of the recession. It would also help their economy to recover. Awesome photos. Thanks for sharing
I think visiting Mykonos would be the best thing you could do. Tourism creates jobs and brings money into the local community. Thanks for your comment.
Janna on a Jaunt (@jannaonajaunt)
Greek islands? Mykonos? Just take my money! I wouldn’t even think twice. Greece has been on my bucket list for many years now so thanks for sharing your wonderful photos from your trip.
Janna, it was everything it is cracked up to be. Food, sunshine, laughter. Blue and white everywhere. All good. Thanks for your comment.
These islands were incredible to experience in person, thank you for sharing. We can only hope the latest EU deal with Turkey will stem the tide of refugees. The locals are already overburdened, and the country does not receive adequate transfers to deal with the crisis from Brussels – then again, what central authority could ever provide enough.
Mykonos people make money out of tourists and it is really important that tourists continue to come. Thanks for your comment.
Trisha Velarmino - P.S. I'm On My Way
I’ve never been to the Greek isles but I’ve always been fascinated with Mykonos (and Crete). I travel long term and stay in places months at a time and Mykonos seems like a nice change of pace. Any outdoor activities you can recommend? How’s the tourism and the expenses there considering the Eurozone crises?
Mykonos is quite a small island, so there are lots of water-based activities. We also like to spend a lot of time in the one place. I would not put Mykonos in the cheap category, it was moderately expensive. We found Naxos to be much cheaper. Thanks for your comment.
I get so jealous when my friends post their experience in Mykonos. We are going on an Eastern med cruise next year for spring break… and I am REALLY hoping Mykonos is on the list!!
Jennifer, we enjoyed Mykonos thoroughly but we also enjoyed all of the Greek Islands. So hopefully your cruise goes to one of them so you get to experience the Greek Island culture. Thanks fopr your comment.
Some iconic imagery when one thinks of the Greek Islands here.
Looks a beautiful place, however I’m never a fan of tourist hordes!
Chris, Try the island of Naxos, not so touristy and a huge island plenty of places to get lost and have the whole place all to yourself. There are a lot of Greek Islands that fit that description.
Chris, one of the downsides of a beautiful place are the tourist crowds. Try Naxos, if you are looking for a quieter experience. And half the cost! Thanks for your comment.
Beautiful! Mykonos is a photographer’s dream indeed. I didn’t realize they had windmills on the island. Thanks for the tips.
Christina, There are windmills on Santorini as well.
I love how they have controlled the colors on all of the buildings in Mykonos. The windmills are very cool. Thanks for your comment.
Mykonos looks beautiful! I used to wonder if it was by choice that everyone painted their houses white, but now I know. No complaints though, the result is stunning. It seems like there are many things to do too, would love to get lost in those streets. Definitely will look out for Petros!
Mar, It is a beautiful place!
I would love to visit Mykonos! The photos I’ve seen of it over the years have always caught my eye. I love Greece, and Mykonos has any of the same charm as Santorini, I know I’ll love it.
Doreen, We wanted to go to the Greek Islands for a long time. I think Mykonos is a good island to visit on a first or second trip. It is stunning.