If you are traveling to Mykonos, you probably already know that this island is different and quite special. From the moment you arrive at its port you can feel its vibrant, exciting energy. That feeling combined with its beautiful views will have you wishing you could stay and never leave.
It’s important to understand the layout of Mykonos so you can effectively plan what you want to see and do. On one side of the island you have Mykonos Town which will pretty much be your central point and I recommend staying somewhere within walking distance. About 20 minutes drive from there you will find the party beaches like Paradise Beach. The North part of the island is more natural and untouched by major tourism. Beach bars and umbrellas are specifically prohibited to maintain the natural beauty of the land. If you are looking to explore the entire island I recommend renting a car or maybe an ATV. It will be much easier to traverse on your own time and certainly much cheaper than getting taxis from place to place.
Mykonos is more of a party town. I think it’s helpful to know how this nightlife scene tends to operate. There will usually be a DJ playing at one of the party beaches that all the locals know about and will recommend on any given night. Those parties will last until 1am and then its party shut down, time to go. From here the party tends to move over to Mykonos Town in one of its bars, like Queen Bar or Scarpa Bar. Taxi transport from Mykonos Town to Scorpios will cost you about 25Euro. However, what no one tells you is that when you are ready to leave it will cost you about 50Euro to go back to Mykonos Town and there’s a very good chance that there are no taxis available. You can accept your fate, or you can plan ahead and rent a car or ATV if you prefer to drive yourself. If someone had told me ahead of time about the taxi situation, it would have saved me a good amount of euros.
Upon arriving at our hotel in Mykonos, we were met by a local guide who was awesome enough to take the time and sit with us to explain the layout of the island as well as his personal recommendations for bars and restaurants. He also convinced us to take advantage of a sailing excursion to the islands of Delos and Rhenia. At first I was somewhat skeptical as we had already done the Semi Private Catamaran day trip in Santorini and wanted to spend our 4 days in Mykonos exploring the town and island. However, this sailing trip proved to be my favorite experience throughout our two weeks in Greece. The company is called Luxury Sail Excursion and provided us with such an amazing day out on the water full of history, relaxation and most importantly, wine. The trip cost 70Euro per person and included transport to and from hotel, as well as a homemade lunch on board.
We had a perfect calm day to be at sea and set off at 11a to sail first to the island of Delos. Here we paid admission to the historical ruins and museum and were fortunate to receive our own personal tour from one of the local guests who was also on the sailing trip with us. The island of Delos contains an archaeological site for a major city and port full of houses, temples, markets and an amphitheater. The Archaeological Museum holds various statues and artifacts from this interesting city that once housed people from various countries, religions and nationalities.
After about an hour and a half of exploring, we reboarded our wooden ship to sail to the island of Rhenia with its clear blue waters and beaches accessible only by sea. Here we docked for some swimming, snorkeling and delicious lunch made by the brother and sister team that operate the boat. Since the waters were still a bit cold in early June, I chose to spend most of my time on board, lounging and taking advantage of the endless complimentary wine. Some time during late afternoon we started to head back towards Mykonos and got to just enjoy sailing through the deep blue open waters. We arrived around 5:30p, after a full day of adventure, sun and sailing and I knew I would always remember that day and how special it was.
Should you choose to go on a short adventure walk, I recommend going off in search of the Windmills of Kato Myli. The Windmills can be seen from Mykonos Town and are located on a hill overlooking the harbor. Besides their impressive structure, the area offers a great view, especially around sunset. You can also explore the area known as Little Venice, perfect for oceanfront dining and a fantastic view. The houses in Little Venice get their name from the architectural influence of Venice, Italy. Unlike the rest of Mykonos, with its white washed buildings with rounded corners, Little Venice is reminiscent of the 18th century fishing houses and their direct access to the sea.
Now if you are looking for an absolute gem, a diamond in the rough, this next spot is well worth the challenge of finding it. The 180 Degree Sunset Bar at Castle Panigirakis was something we stumbled upon by complete accident. While searching for a sunset yoga class at Castle Panigirakis, we got turned around and ended up being lost. Trekking up steep hills and following signs that were either very vague or nonexistent in our quest to find this yoga class. After a few wrong turns and a trip down a dirt path, our adventure brought us to the best views in all of Mykonos. From this vantage point, the entirety of Mykonos Town was laid out in front of us, from the Windmills, to the harbor, to the sun setting on the horizon. All of the frustration in trying to find where we were going turned into awe at what we had found. This spot is by far my favorite viewpoint on the island, no matter the time of day, but is especially stunning during sunset. I would, however, recommend getting a taxi to drop you off to avoid the pleasure of getting lost.
Last, but not least, I have a few recommendations for restaurants. Located just a short walk from the Windmills is a cute, outdoor restaurant called D’Angelos. They serve Italian style food, such as pizza and pasta, which, after 2 weeks of traditional Greek and seafood, was just what we needed. They also offer great options for fresh juices and salads, and can even deliver to your hotel.
The second restaurant I highly recommend is a place called Fato a Mano, located within Mykonos Town. The maze of streets makes this one a little bit more difficult to find, but its well worth it once you do. This cozy restaurant was nestled in between two others in a small square in town. The staff was so friendly and hospitable, making sure we had an excellent dining experience. The food was also fantastic and was one of the best meals we had in Mykonos.
Should you ever find yourself in Mykonos, I hope your time is full of adventure and excitement. This island’s energy is contagious and will leave you wanting to return again and again. For information on Santorini or the best places for yoga in Greece, check out my other blogs and enjoy.