The diva of the summer in Greece!
This white-washed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades, is considered one of the most elegant holiday destinations in Greece and one of Europe’s hippest vacation destinations. For years, the Cycladic Island has welcomed the jet set and anyone who likes to party past sunrise.
Today Mykonos still holds the reigns of the cosmopolitan island of Greece being the diva of the summer in Greece and the ultimate escape for discerning travelers and celebrities, including many distinguished movie stars, singers, artists, politicians and royal families.
The island, though, is not only about cosmopolitan lifestyle. It literally has everything and is perfect for everyone, for all ages, and all tastes.
Barren landscapes in contrast with white washed houses and the endless deep blue of the Aegean Sea, traditional villages, gorgeous sandy beaches with a plethora of water activities, solitary bays, picturesque fishing villages, friendly and hospitable islanders, delicious food, folk music, the narrow streets of Chora, the romantic sunset in Little Venice, Petros the pelican – the mascot of Mykonos, the Aegean Maritime Museum are a few examples of the distinctive personality of the island.
Lovers of Greek history and Ancient mythology will be fascinated by the neighboring island of Delos, the birthplace of the twins Apollo and Artemis, one of the most famous archaeological sites in Greece.
Mykonos remains a favorite amongst the most discerning travelers as it combines perfectly the cosmopolitan atmosphere with authentic Greek island life and the exuberant natural beauty that surrounds it!
Exploring the island’s capital town
Mykonos town -or Chora- is the capital town of Mykonos island where one can find the most important sightseeing spots, the most commercial streets and shops, the most popular bars and restaurants. Chora’s architecture is typical of Cyclades, all white-washed cubic houses with blue windows, charming narrow streets with pebble-stoned pavements and little white chapels with sky-blue cupolas. A walk through Chora, the old port, Little Venice and the Castle, will put in your way the most significant places to visit in Mykonos and will allow you to take the most characteristic Mykonos polaroids!
Chora – The windmills
Mykonos Windmills, with their distinctive form and white figure, have been a landmark of the island since the 16th century. Due to the strong winds that have always been present in the region, as well as the privileged geographic position of the island as a trade crossroad, Mykonos used to be a major supplier of refined grain and flour. What used to be a main part of the island’s activity and a force of the local economy, became a sightseeing attraction after the mills stopped working around the middle of the 20th century, courtesy of the industrialization.
There used to be a total of 20 windmills on the island, most of them built in or around the main port, the town Chora and Alefkantra neighborhood. Around half of those were still in good function during the first decades of the 20th century and today only 7 still stand as proud reminiscent of their past. Geronimos Windmill (of private property) remained in operation until 1960’s and is still today in very good shape with a great part of its machinery intact.
Chora – Lena’s House
Gifted by G. and M.Drakopoulos on 1970, “Lena’s House”( a branch of the Mykonos Folklore Museum) is situated at Tria Pigadia in the town of Mykonos. It is an authentic middle-class Mykonian residence of the 19th century and represents a typical internal arrangement of space. It contains a spacious drawing room, two bedrooms and two courtyards and a dovecote. Of particular interest are the rich antique furnishings, such as large frames containing splendid prints, the tapestries, the wood carvings, old mirrors, painted plates, etc. It was named “Lena’s House” after its last owner Lena Skrivanou. “Lena’s House” is open daily from 1st April till 30th October, between 19:00- 21:00. Telephone: +30 22890-22591, 22748. No admission charge.
Chora – The Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological museum of Mykonos is located in Mykonos town next to the harbor and is home to marble sculptures, ceramics, jewels and utensils, all findings from the excavations in Delos, Rhinia and Mykonos itself. Built in 1900, the museum was initially destined to house the findings from the excavation of the “purification pit” in Delos dating from the 5th century and the necropolis of Rhinia. In the winter of 426/425 b.c, the Athenians decided to “purify” the island of Delos. They opened up all the tombs on the island and transferred all remains of the deceased and all offerings buried with them to a large pit in Rhinia. Then they declared Delos a sacred island and said that no one was allowed to be born or die on Delos. Pregnant women, citizens struck by serious illness or injury and old people were to be moved to Rhinia also. The “Purification Pit” was discovered and excavated by Dimitris Stavropoulos in 1898-1900 and all findings are exhibited in the museum. The museum is also famous for the great collection of vases, representative of the distinctive Cycladic ceramic art, some of which date back to the Geometric period back to the 6th century b.c A special reference has to be made to the “Pithos of Mykonos”, a 7th century vessel with relieved decorations representing scenes from the Trojan wars. The Museum is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., except Mondays and on major public holidays.
Chora – Mukonos Folkloric Museum
Located in the Venetian castle (called Castro), the Folklore Museum of Mykonos was founded on May 1958 and is housed in the 18th century house of a sea captain and displays a rich collection folklore items. There are six main exhibition halls which house collections of antique furniture, Byzantine icons, Folkloric ceramics, historical commemorative plates, decorative prints and gravures, as well as embroidered and hard-woven fabrics, locks and keys, weights and measures, a lovely collection of model boats, and other historical artifacts. There are also import archives of manuscripts and printed matter, photographs, maps and a significant library. Open from April to October 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily except Sundays.
Chora – Aegean Maritime Museum
Displays models of a collection of ships from the pre-Minoan period through to the 19th century and nautical and ancient artifacts related to the history of shipping on Mykonos. Located by the Three Wells, next door to Lena’s House, this museum displays scale models of various rowing boats, sailing vessels and steam-powered ships which, in turn, from Prehistoric times until the present, have traversed the Aegean. Also there is a rich collection of maps and other engravings can be seen a collection of reproductions of ancient gravestones, carved with sea-themes; there, as well, is the tower with the mechanism of the Armenisti Lighthouse (1889). The “EVANGELISTRIA”, a traditional sailing vessel belonging to the museum, is moored every summer in the old harbor where it may be boarded by interested visitors. Open, April to October, daily, 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Chora – Little Venice
Between Kastro and Skarpa, on the east side of Mykonos harbor, there lies one of the most picturesque places in Greece. Alefkantra, also known as Little Venice, was built around the mid-18th century as a neighborhood for rich merchants, sailing captains and boat owners. During pirate raids, very popular at the time, Little Venice was used for sailors to quickly load and unload goods onto the boats, and the narrow streets were made with a maze-logic in order to confuse the pirates that managed to set foot on the island! With a very characteristic architecture, wooden balconies that hang over the waves, colorful walls and a very privileged view of the sun setting on the sea, Little Venice has inspired over the years’ countless romances and works of art, as no soul can resist the beauty of this scenery. Some of the old houses are now bars, taverns and clubs, where visitors can enjoy the sunset sipping on their favorite cocktail, and a few remain as private residences.
Chora – Petros The Pelican
One of the “animate” attractions of the island, and a total celebrity in Greece and abroad, Petros has been the official mascot of Mykonos since 1954, when a storm obliged this pelican to leave behind its migrating plans and settle on the island. A favorite amongst locals and tourists, Petros was deeply mourned after its death around 1985, and soon was replaced by a proud successor. In the meantime, Jackie Kennedy had donated a female pelican named “Irini” to the island, for Petros to have companionship and in later years another young pelican by the name of “Nikolas” fell on the island and made it its home. Nowadays, there are 3 pelicans running around the island, posing for tourists’ snapshots only when they feel like it!
Chora – Paraportiani Church
Paraportiani Church is one of the most interesting architectural structures in Greece, located near Mykonos harbor entrance. This peculiar construction is actually a complex of 5 churches. The first 4 were built between the 14th and the 17th century, forming a base on top of which the 5th one, Panagia Paraportiani (dedicated to Virgin Mary) was then built. The name Paraportiani means “the side door” and refers to the fact that the original church was next to the north-west side door of the medieval walls that used to surround and protect the “Castro” (the castle area), the old town. An emblematic monument of Mykonos, the Cyclades and Greece, Paraportiani church is responsible for some of the most idyllic pictures ever taken on the island!
The small island of Delos, birthplace of the god Apollo and a sacred land according to the Ancient Greeks, is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. Situated at only 2 km from Mykonos (less than half an hour by boat), Delos remains under the jurisdiction of Mykonos for administrative matters and has been declared a monument of World Heritage by UNESCO since 1990. Delos can only be accessed from the main harbor of Mykonos, with little boats “kaikia” that make daily excursions. However, no one is allowed t stay on the island after the sunset without a written permission. The guided excursions on the island and around the archaeological sites usually last 3 hours and the last boat from Delos back to Mykonos leaves at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Make sure you catch it!
The Armenistis Lighthouse
The ‘Armenistis’ Lighthouse is located at the north-western side of Mykonos and it was built in 1891 after the tragic sinking of the English steamboat VOLTA in 1887, when 11 members of the crew drowned. Overlooking the narrow pass that separates the island of Mykonos from the island of Tinos, it is indeed beautiful scenery to visit, due to its location high up and the unique view that it offers. The Lighthouse is an octagonal cylindrical tower built out of stone, with a lantern, a gallery, and a total height of 19 meters (62 ft.). Its focal plane is 184 meters (604ft) with a white beacon that flashes every 10 seconds. The original lens was a Sautter Lemonier lens that was actually awarded with a prize at the World Exhibition in Paris and remained in place and working until 1983. Nowadays, it is on display for the public at the yard of the Aegean Maritime Museum in Mykonos Town (Tria Pigadia location). The Lighthouse is located at 6 km from Mykonos town and can be reached by taking the coastal road towards the north, passing by Agios Stefanos village (follow the signs towards Agios Stefanos village, not the Agios Stefanos beach), continue towards Houlakia Beach and follow the little street towards the lighthouse. The amazing view of Tinos island opposite will reward you.
Indulge yourself in sports and activities
Mykonos easily captures the visitors interest, thanks to the great variety of choices offer here. There is something for everyone, whether one is a typical world traveler or a nature lover.
The island is a paradise for water sport enthusiasts! It is only natural that the “Island of the Winds” should attract surfers and sailors from all over the world! There is a great choice of beaches for windsurfing; however, the most secluded ones are considered to be the best. Choose from Kórfos, Fteliá, Meyáli Ámmos and Kalafátis, where surfing lessons are also available.
Play tennis or mini golf at Ayios Stéfanos, beach volleyball at Agia Anna or try sea parachuting or jet skiing at Eliá or Kalafátis.
Diving fans can do a little exciting exploration of the underwater magic of Mykonos. September is thought to be the best month for diving, as the water is warm and visibility is good down at the seabed. On the island you can find many well-organized diving centers (some of them also offer snorkeling lessons) and stores specializing in diving equipment.
Explore the island on a ‘kaiki’ or a boat and discover secluded beaches, or take a boat tour around the nearby islets, which are also ideal fishing spots!
A large though undeveloped beach, Ftelia remains a favorite amongst wind- surfers for its smooth sand and wild winds. No umbrellas or sun beds, but a few accommodation choices facing the beach and tavernas where to grab a meal are actually available. The sense of open space is of great value, although relaxing as such on the beach is not always easy because of the blowing winds. The bus will leave you on the main road and a 10-minute walk will take you down to the beach. Free areas where to leave your car or motorbike can be found around the beach.
Super Paradise is right next to Paradise beach. Less organized than its neighboring coast, it is still one of the most popular places on Mykonos.
Paradise is one of the most famous beaches of Mykonos, attracting mostly young crowds for its day and night beach parties.
Agios Sostis is among the quietest beaches of the island due to its location, a bit far from the popular southern beaches of Mykonos. This is an unspoiled area without any kind of amenities, a characteristic that creates to visitors a feeling of total freedom. The beach stretches for about 250 meters and visitors go down a small path to reach Agios Sostis. You can only come here by car or motorbike where you can park on the road and then walk down the hill. On your way to the beach, you will see a hidden tavern to enjoy a lovely meal after a hot day. Another path will lead you to the beach of Panormos, a lovely fishing village.
Elia is the longest sandy beach of Mykonos, fully organized, offering a wide choice of taverns and bars as well as water sports facilities such as water-skiing, parasailing and windsurfing. Elia is the last stop on the caique (traditional fishing boat used as taxi boat) so slightly quieter. Lots of nudists come here. It is a quiet beach unlike Paradise, Super Paradise and others. There is a nice view to the left up the hill, enjoy the traditional Cycladean houses.
Lia is one of the most beautiful beaches in Mykonos with exotic waters and great environment. It is located in the south eastern edge of the island, 14 km from Chora, near Kalafatis. Lia beach is well organized with colorful umbrellas, sundecks and other useful facilities. Even though it is considered a rather quiet beach for the standards of Mykonos, Lia has been a favorite place for this reason. Its blue waters and the white sand create the ultimate combination for a swimming paradise. The beach is surrounded by rocks making it a great spot for diving and snorkeling. The beach is easily reachable if you pass from Ano Mera and then follow the signs. There are two restaurants nearby and a beach bar with various snacks and drinks. The hills that surround the beach are mostly bare and the natural landscape gives you the feeling of total freedom.
Kalo Livadi is one of the longest beaches in Mykonos and quite popular for the facilities and the parties. It is found between Kalafatis and Elia beach, located 10 km from Mykonos Town and 2 km from Ano Mera. The vast beauty of the exotic waters and the idyllic setting mark the landscape of this beach. It is well-organized with many umbrellas and sundecks available for your comfort under the hot sun, the ideal destination for people who wish to spend some days away from the noisy crowd. Everyone can find space to lay their towel in the sand. Many families tend to visit Kalo Livadi due to the shallow and clean waters and the quiet atmosphere.
Kalafatis is known for its water sports. This is very much an active beach. In the left corner of the beach of Kalafatis one can find a hut with hire facilities from a snorkel to diving. There is also a windsurf center, where you can rent a board by hour, and a water sports center for jet ski.
Agrari is a quiet, clothes-optional, medium-size beach with pebbly sand, umbrellas and sun beds available for rent, a nice beach bar and a water sports area also. There is also a hotel right on the beach and a traditional taverna only a short walk away. Agrari attracts a mixed crowd of Greeks and tourists and can be reached by car or motorbike (make sure to admire the stunning view from up the hill just before reaching the final turn), by boat from Platis Gialos or Ornos bay, or by foot from Elia Beach, as there is no direct bus service to Agrari. The two small beaches that lie between Elia beach and Agrari beach, are also a good option, and especially frequented by a gay crowd.
Psarou Beach is famous for attracting celebrities from all over the world. It is a beautiful organized sandy beach with clear waters, attracting thousands of visitors during summer. Water sports facilities such as scuba diving are available at Psarou. The beach is located at 5 km from the island’s capital.
Paranga Beach is a combination of two sandy beaches separating by a headland and forming a large beach. The southern beach is the calmer, while the northern one is fully organized and lined by many taverns playing music.
Platis Gialos is actually an extensive beach community, with plenty of space and umbrellas/sun beds available for rent. Surrounded by hills, it remains protected from the strong winds, and offers full-scale facilities such as a water sports center (with water ski, jet ski, banana boat, and all kinds of water toys), restaurants, souvenir shops, beach bars, as well as many hotels, apartments, rooms and villas to rent. It is a very convenient, family-friendly beach, with a sandy and shallow shoreline for children to play safely as well as a life-guard on duty. Located on the southern side of the island, Platis Gialos is connected by boat with other southern beaches -such as Paraga, Paradise, Super Paradise, Agrari and Elia- and can be reached by regular bus service from Mykonos town. Also from Platis Gialos, one can easily reach Agia Anna beach and Paraga beach on foot. If you are thinking of using your rental car or motorbike, keep in mind that parking space is rather limited.
Experience refined cuisine and party atmosphere
The Island of Mykonos features amongst the best places for dining and partying in Greece where lucky travelers can taste great dishes prepared by renowned chefs in magnificent settings and experience a vibrant nightlife.
Mykonos Island was amongst the first places to offer a more sophisticated and contemporary version of the Traditional Greek Cuisine, and propose a refined cuisine that will suit the traveler’s cosmopolitan taste. Anyhow, one thing is certain; in Mykonos you are really spoilt for choice!
The greatest selection of gourmet or casual restaurants, ouzeries and taverns catering for all tastes can be found in Mykonos Town, called Chora. You can try creative versions of classic Greek cuisine, fusion cuisine or even Japanese and Italian that you will find in many Mykonos bar restaurants.
Furthermore, during summertime, Mykonos nightlife is the most vibrant in Greece and is famous worldwide for its extravagant parties and events organized in all the clubs, bars and beach bars of Mykonos Island.
The party atmosphere is felt all day and all night long in Mykonos beach bars, bar restaurants and clubs with famous DJ sets from all over the world and we invite you to dance until the morning in the best bars in Mykonos for the most unforgettable nightlife experience!
THE LUXURIANS offers an exclusive booking service to the best restaurants and bars on the island, based on its fully supported recommendations. The comprehensive ‘little black book’ that we have compiled and update every year, lists restaurants and bars in every tiny place on the island.
Just lay back and let your personal concierge with first-hand experience make all arrangements on your behalf.
A creamy white cheese with an intense and spicy flavor, is the island’s gastronomic trademark. Try it as a topping on a round rusk spread with grated tomato, a favorite local mezés (appetizer).
Meat eaters can sample “loúza”. Delicious pork shoulder blade fillet, spiced up and seasoned with a mix of spices, pepper, oregano, and olives. It is put in piglet’s intestine and dried in open air for half a month.
Homemade sausages, flavored with rich spices, herbs like oregano, peppers and olives, dried in the open air.
A very rich and delicious fish soup with olive oil.
Pites & keftedes
Pies and Balls
Homemade onion-pie with local cheese “tirovolia”.
Homemade wild-greens pie, often it also contains cheese.
Fried fennel balls.
Fried zucchini balls
Fresh urchins in oil and vinegar.
A casserole dish with snails
Local smoked pork
Choirino WITH lachana
Pork stew with cabbage
A very distinctive cheese with a lightly sour flavor.
A rare white and sour cheese
A very refreshing non-alcoholic almond drink that is served cold.
Amigdalota & honey pies
To finish off your meal you can sample two exceptionally good local pastries, “amigdalotá” (small round cakes with ground almond, icing sugar, typical of Cyclades)) and honey pie.
When to go
Mykonos is most enjoyable in late spring – when the landscape is still green, the sea has warmed up to feasible swimming temperatures, but the crowds have yet to descend – and early autumn, when the summer hordes have departed and the sea is at its warmest. In both spring and autumn, you can expect attractive prices for villa accommodation compared to summer. But take note – not too late in autumn; after the third week in September many facilities close down, storms do hit, ferry links get sparse but paradoxically cruise ship calls at Mykonos become more frequent, with their patrons on shore leave clogging the streets of the port towns all day.
Temperatures in July and August can range from 30ºC (86ºF) during the day and down to 22ºC (72ºF) at night. Sunglasses, hats and a generous handful of sun protection cream are a must-have / must-use during your Mykonos vacation. But, as strong winds called “meltemia” can be a regular phenomenon in late summer, especially in August, make sure you also bring a sweater.
National prefix for Greece is +30 if you are calling from abroad. All numbers in the capital Athens start with 210 and are followed by 8 digits (e.g. 210 3227400)
Area Code for Mykonos: 22890 If you wish to call abroad, you have to start by dialing the other country’s national prefix (i.e. Germany is 0049, England is 0044 etc.) and continue with the area code and the number where you wish to call.
Euro € Euro Bank Notes: Are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. It is not always easy to receive change for 200 and 500 Euro Notes
Mykonos National Airport (JMK) is located at 4 km from Mykonos town (Chora) and it can take about 15 min. by car to cover that distance. There is no public bus operating on this route and the most common way to reach Mykonos town from the airport is by taxi. Taxis can be found waiting outside the airport.
Mykonos National Airport Tel.: +30 22890 79000/ Fax: +30 22890 27489 Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos www.aia.gr
Olympic Air: For accurate timetables and tickets costs visit the Olympic Air website: www.olympicair.com.Tel 8018010101/ (+30)2103550500 Office at Mykonos Airport Tel +30 22890 22327
Aegean Airlines: For accurate timetables and tickets costs visit the Aegean Airlines website www.aegeanair.com. Tel: 801 11 20000/+30 210 6261000 Office at Mykonos Airport Τel.: +30 22890 28720/ Fax: +0030 22890 28730
Athens Airways: Athens Airways is a new charter airline flying from Athens to Santorini during the summer season www.athensairways.com. Tel.: 801 801 4000/+30 210 6696600
Mykonos Island features two ports; the old Mykonos Harbor, where arrive all the ferries and there is also the New Port of Tourlos, mostly used for Cruise Ships.
There are boats, ferries and high speed ferries to Mykonos departing from Athens (Piraeus Port and Rafina Port), Thessaloniki, as well as other Cyclades Islands, Dodecanese Islands and Crete.
The main port to take you to Mykonos from Athens is Piraeus, but there are also ferries departures, especially high-speed ferries, from the port of Rafina, which is closest to the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport.
To reach Mykonos by sea, there are two types of ferries; the high-speed ferry which takes approximately 2h30 (from Rafina Port) and the normal ferry which is much slower and takes approximately 5 hours.
You can also travel to Mykonos by ferry from/to main Cyclades Islands.
Blue Star Ferries Santorini (normal ferry) For accurate timetables and tickets costs visit the Blue Star ferries website www.bluestarferries.com
High Speed Ferry Santorini (fast ferry) For accurate timetables and tickets costs visit the Hellenic Seaways website
Cars are not permitted in the town of Mykonos, but you can leave your car in a parking place on the outskirts. Buses, taxis and small passenger boats provide transport around the island.
http://www.ktelmykonos.gr (KTEL) Tel + 22890 23360 Departure points: Agios Stefanos and the New Port, next to Remezzo departures to Ano Mera, Elia, Kalafatis and from Fabrika departures to Platy Gialos, Paraga, Agios ioannis, Ornos, Paradise beach.
Taxis in Mykonos are grey in color. They can be hailed on the street or arrive by appointment. Radio Taxi Service Tel.: +30 22890 23700/+30 22890 22400
Rent a Car / Motorbike
Renting a car or a motorbike to get around is common practice in Mykonos and there are many such agencies operating at the airport, the harbor, Mykonos town, as well on certain beach areas like Platys Gialos and Kalafatis.