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Panoramic view of Mykonos

- © Pawel Kazmierczak / Shutterstock
Mykonos
Mykonos

The flashiest of all the Greek islands

Mykonos in short

In summary

For centuries, Mykonos was a barren island in the heart of the Aegean Sea, populated by a few fishermen, shepherds and farmers - a Greek island quickly forgotten on the map of the Cyclades. Throughout antiquity, it was even overshadowed by its small neighbour, Delos, an island sacred to the ancient Greeks!

The waterfront in Little Venice, Mykonos at sunset.

- © SCStock / Shutterstock

Today the situation has changed a lot... Mykonos has become, together with Santorini, the most popular island for foreign tourists from the Cyclades archipelago and even from all over Greece! By boat, by plane, tens of thousands of visitors spend their holidays in Mykonos every summer, a period in which the island's population is multiplied by at least 5.

You will have understood: Mykonos has the glamour of tourist success, but it also has its downsides. On the one hand, the island is always lively, a real party capital of the Greek islands. On the other hand, everything costs more here than anywhere else... Its south-facing beaches are absolutely gorgeous, provided you like company on the sand.

© Δήμος Μυκόνου

From shopping to water sports to nightclubs, Mykonos offers a wide range of entertainment. It's hard to get bored because its days and nights are so full! But its authenticity is missing, it seems frozen in the postcard of its windmills or the houses on the waterfront of Little Venice. In short, Mykonos, some will love it, others much less: the island leaves no room for the in-between.

Mykonos experienced its boom in the 1970s, when Greece emphasised its tourist development. Still a secret island, Mykonos was quickly invested by the gay community, which broke out on the beaches of the south of Mykonos, like the mythical Paradise Beach... The rumour grows and the world jet set, then tourists from all walks of life, end up also investing in the dream beaches of Mykonos.

Plage de Psarou

- © Aerial-motion / Shutterstock

As the party grows in Mykonos, the beach clubs have multiplied, as have the hotels and rentals that have mushroomed all over the island: Ornos, Psarou, Platis Gialos have taken on the appearance of Cycladic seaside resorts and have become a reference for staying "feet in the water", a stone's throw from the beaches.

But it is in Chora, the capital of Mykonos, that the charms of the island are still most visible. Its narrow streets, decorated with whitewashed motifs, and its narrow houses have preserved the inimitable Cycladic style, with blue shutters on white walls, small chapels, bougainvillea and laurels.

Ruelle colorée à Chora, Mykonos

- © Aniczkania / Shutterstock

A real Cycladic village, but with a few modifications that set it apart from what is usually done in the archipelago: the incredible number of shops, the world's biggest brands, the trendy bars and the hip restaurants, Chora is the spearhead of contemporary Mykonos life, the landmark of the jet set, where one comes to see and be seen.

It is a mantra that sums up the general atmosphere of Mykonos, a destination that will not leave anyone indifferent!

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The must-sees

All the must-sees

How to get there?

By plane , There are direct flights available to Mykonos Airport from London Heathrow, Luton, Gatwick, and London City Airport. For any direct flights you'll likely be using airlines such as easyJet, British Airways, and Jet2.com. Mykonos flights arrive from the UK at Mykonos Airport (JMK), after a journey of between three and four hours. Between April and October, there are more direct services from UK airports, including flights to Mykonos from Manchester. Flights may also stopover in Athens.

By boat, numerous daily connections in season from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina (departing from Athens), as well as from Heraklion (Crete). You have the choice between fast boats with the company Seajet (2h35 the fastest), and ferries with the company Blue Star (allow 5h15 for the crossing).

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Where to stay?

In Mykonos there are countless hotels and studios for rent. You will be spoilt for choice around Chora Mykonos, the capital, and the main tourist beaches of Ornos, Psarou or Platis Gialos.

Prices are rather high for Greece, especially if you are travelling in high season (July-August): at this time it is always best to book in advance.

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Practical information

When to go?

  • If you want to party, soak up the sun and experience Mykonos at its most vibrant, go in high summer, July-August-September. The prosperity means that prices are higher (accommodation and car hire).
  • Spring (May-June) is an ideal time to discover a quieter Mykonos, with fewer people on the beaches... If the water temperature is too cool for you, the period from the end of September to October is more suitable.
  • In winter, Mykonos goes to sleep and lives in slow motion. Everything is closed to tourists, only the essential services for the locals are still running. A very different Mykonos!

The Meltem in Mykonos

The Meltem is a strong northerly wind that blows in the Cyclades especially in summer: just when people are around! The Meltem has the advantage of ventilating Mykonos and cooling the summer temperatures. But if it blows too hard, it can disrupt boat traffic and other sea excursions. The southern beaches are the most sheltered: it's not for nothing that they attract so many people.

What documents for Mykonos?

Due to Brexit, those coming to Mykonos from Britain will need to show a valid passport.

Time difference in Mykonos

There is always a 2 hour difference between the UK and Greece: when it is 12 noon in UK, it is 2 p.m. in Mykonos. The gap also grows over the sleepless nights.

How long should I stay in Mykonos?

It is easy to spend 1 week touring the beaches of Mykonos and its nightlife, even if the island is small.

Thanks to its airport and its many boat lines, Mykonos is also an excellent gateway to the other islands of the Cyclades. It is very tempting to make a short stopover in Mykonos before embarking for Naxos, Paros, Tinos or Santorini.

Why go to Mykonos?

Mykonos is clearly aimed at those who like their holidays to be all about partying and idleness, days on the beach interspersed with shopping and meetings. On the other hand, we will come back for authenticity and cultural visits: there are other Greek islands for that.

Where to eat in Mykonos

An important international tourist destination, Mykonos is renowned for the variety of its restaurants and the inventiveness of its cuisine. Traditional tavernas give way to more modern and trendy eateries. Prices, especially in the busiest areas, are higher than elsewhere in Greece.

The culinary specialities of Mykonos

On the menu you will often find the great classics of Greek cuisine, sometimes reworked with Mykonos sauce: moussaka, vegetables, souvlaki, lamb chops, tzatziki, Greek salads... Grilled fish, octopus and cuttlefish can be found in the sea, but rarely from the basket of a local fisherman.

Let's also mention two very local specialities: Louza , a cured pork sausage, and Kopanisti , a very spicy cheese that we like to accompany with a glass of ouzo and some mezze.

Transportation in Mykonos

The KTEL bus network efficiently covers Mykonos, with Chora as its central station. The main lines serve the southern beaches (Ornos, Platis Gialos, Paradise) and Ano Mera in the center of the island.

The most convenient way to get around the island is to rent a car. A simple scooter may be sufficient as Mykonos is not very large, but a car offers the best comfort/safety ratio. It is possible to rent a car as soon as you arrive at the port of Mykonos or at the airport, in Chora and in the southern resorts.

Mykonos: what to bring back?

Shopping in Mykonos is an activity in itself. Many high quality brands, fashionable clothes, accessories, island souvenirs of all kinds...

What to avoid in Mykonos

Nothing to fear in particular, Mykonos like all of the Cyclades is a safe island.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

In Mykonos, which is very popular with tourists from all over the world, prices soar in the high season, unlike other Greek islands. We recommend that you budget upwards to avoid frustration on arrival and to enjoy your holiday to the full.

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