What to see in Mykonos, the queen of the night, after the club music has died down and before the time for drinks on the beach arrives?
The reputation of Mykonos as a destination for young people looking for fun does not do justice to the many attractions of the island, starting with its beautiful beaches. In addition to the party beaches loved by the people of the night, there are also remote beaches for those seeking tranquility and equipped beaches ideal for families with small children.
The cultural offer is not less, with museums of history, art and folklore interesting and well maintained; from Mykons then depart boat trips to the ruins of Delos, the sacred island of Apollo and Artemis.
Dedicate some time of your vacation to the eclectic city of Mykonos, the capital of the island, which with its clubs and its enchanting views is able to charm the people of the night as much as romantic couples on a romantic getaway, after which visit a traditional village like Ano Mera.
Among all the tourist attractions of the island, we have selected for you the things not to miss in Mykonos.
Chora, Hora or Mykonos Town: whatever you want to call it, the capital and main port of the island is an unforgettable sight.
Imagine a cascade of whitewashed houses in a tangle of narrow streets and blooming bougainvillea. Add to this idyllic image noisy live music bars that coexist perfectly at ease with expensive jewelry stores, trendy art galleries, exclusive boutiques and souvenir stores and you get an idea of the eclecticism of Mykonos.
The city has been able to – and continues to – successfully propose itself to very different types of travelers such as young groups of friends, couples on romantic vacations and solitary travelers.
The most famous district of Mykonos is Little Venice, while the shopping and nightlife street is Matoyianni, which starts from the old port: to be avoided or to be fully immersed, depending on the type of vacation you want!
There is a little Venice everywhere you go and also Mykonos has its own, which has become one of the most famous neighborhoods of the capital.
Ask around where Alefkántra (this is the Greek name of the neighborhood) is and you’ll see that few will be able to answer you; then ask about Little Venice and you’ll notice the difference…
It is really just a row of stately homes overlooking the sea, but the atmosphere is magical, to the point of suggesting the comparison with the most romantic city in the world.
If romance is what you’re looking for, come here at sunset when the row of houses lights up with sweet pastel colors.
Ano Mera is a picturesque village, the second largest on Mykonos, built according to typical Cycladic architecture and located in the center of the island, just 8 kilometers from the capital.
Ancient and traditional, Ano Mera is a quiet village not yet overwhelmed by mass tourism although there are a couple of luxury hotels and several apartments and studios for rent.
The village is an excellent starting point if you want to discover the beaches of Mykonos along the northern or eastern coast, such as Kalafatis, Kalo Livadi and Elia, and is a good choice if you want to taste the typical dishes of the gastronomic tradition of the island.
It is worth visiting the 4 taverns that are located on the large central square where you will find a quiet atmosphere, genuine food and honest bill.
The village of Ano Mera is topped by two ruined windmills and is one of the few unspoiled parts of the island left. Village life is concentrated around the square in front of the monastery of Our Lady Tourliani.
Agios Stefanos and Tourlos are the first towns you meet going north from Hora, the ancient city of Mykonos, and are located along the northwest coast of the island.
These villages are located 3 kilometers from the capital of the island, have developed around the golden sandy beaches of the same name, and enjoy a wonderful location to enjoy the sublime Mykonos sunsets.
Tourists find both in the beach area and in the hilly area behind the bay many small high standard hotels, apartments, villas, all kinds of services such as car rental, a beautiful view and tranquility.
The bay has crystal clear shallow waters ideal for children’s play, is well protected from winds and is dotted with taverns and cafes.
The settlement of Agios Stefanos goes up the slope to the east on the beach from which you can admire a splendid panorama of the islands of Tinos, Syros and Rinia.
Tourlos, on the other hand, develops towards the south parallel to the coast, its promenade is one of the most popular walking places on the island. The area offers good hotel facilities, cheaper than Mykonos Town, and regular bus service to Hora.
In the area there are also many ancient and picturesque small churches such as St. Stephen’s, after which the resort is named, and St. George of Mihalovitch.
In Tourlos there is also the port where today all the cruise ships dock.
Platys Gialos is one of the best known villages of the southern coast of Mykonos. The pleasant environment, the beautiful sea, the possibility of choosing between hotels and vacation villages of all categories and the many typical restaurants attract many tourists here during the summer period.
The village of Platys Gialos is located 4 and a half kilometers from Mykonos Town and develops around the sandy beach of the same name.
The town is well connected and coming from Hora (the ancient name of Mykonos Town), you can see that the beautiful bay is actually composed of three smaller beaches: that of Psarou in the rightmost area, with the rocky mass of Lazaros in the west; that of Platys Gialos in the middle and, finally, the sandy bay of Agios Anna in the southeast. The landscape is impressive, the resort relaxing and the hills protect the bay from the strong winds of the south.
Despite the tourist development during the last years, you can still find typical rural elements, such as old farms and small groves. Finally, it should be remembered that on the hill of Platys Gialos are preserved the remains of theancient tower of “Portes”, an extraordinary monument and symbol of the coastal area.
The Orthodox Church of Panagia Paraportiani is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Mykonos Town.
Typical postcard image, this white church with blue sea in the background is actually a complex of four small chapels plus a fifth one located on the upper floor, reached by an external staircase. The different chapels were built between the 15th and 17th centuries.
The church is almost always closed to the public, but no tourist has ever complained: with such a view in front of your eyes the mood can only be sky high!
If you are still not convinced that Mykonos is not just a destination for wild youngsters, we are sure that the Armenistis Lighthouse is the proof that will make you change your mind.
Nostalgic and lonely, the lighthouse bears obvious signs of passing time, just as an old fisherman proudly shows his wrinkles.
Its remote location and its facade immune to any architectural restyling make it one of the most romantic corners of Mykonos and a perfect location for dreamy sunsets.
Mundane Mykonos is also an unsuspected but interesting cultural destination, with a good offer of little famous but well-curated museums.
If you only have time for one museum, we recommend Lena’s House, a traditional house known by the name of its last owner, Lena Scrivanou.
Enter this stately nineteenth-century home to discover the customs and traditions of the bourgeois families of the time and admire sumptuous mirrors, paintings, lace and other decorative or everyday objects in their real context.
Housed in an elegant 19th century building next to the House of Lena, the fascinating Aegean Maritime Museum is a fitting tribute to the unbreakable bond between the sea and the island’s inhabitants.
On display you’ll find a collection of ancient maps, navigational instruments and model ships from the pre-Minoan period to the present day.
The highlight of the collection is the original operating mechanism of the Armenistis lighthouse.
Other interesting museums to visit in Mykonos include the Archaeological Museum, the Folklore Museum and the Agricultural Museum.
Delos and Rinia are two rocky islets adjacent to Mykonos and both are archaeological sites protected by the Greek Ministry of Culture. Dragonisi, east of Mykonos is a diving paradise.
A very popular excursion from Mykonos is to the nearby island of Delos the mythical “sacred island” of Apollo, god of the sun, and his sister Artemis.
Today, it is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, with excavations continuing uninterrupted for decades and a ban on anyone who is not an insider staying on the island.
Don’t worry, the crossing from Mykonos to Delos takes less than an hour and with a day trip you’ll have enough time to visit the ancient ruins open to the public.
The small island of Dragonisi is located one and a half kilometers east of the eastern coasts of Mykonos, and 6 and a half kilometers from the bay of Kalafatis.
The small island of Dragonisi, also called Tragonisi, is located one and a half kilometers east of the eastern coasts of Mykonos, and 6 and a half kilometers from Kalafatis Bay. The small island is a real paradise, especially for lovers of scuba diving.
Rocky and uninhabited, this island is the destination of many boat trips due to the beauty of its seabed and magnificent sea caves. Of the spectacular natural rock formations, carved over thousands of years by the waves that have shaped thousands of tunnels, the most famous is Sigillo Cave, accessible only to experts.
Dragonisi is a protected nature reserve, part of the Natura 2000 project, and is the refuge of the monk seal, which if you are lucky you may meet during your visit, and habitat of theyellow sea anemone.
The island also has a small and pristine sandy beach surrounded by high cliffs.
Do not be surprised if wandering around the capital of the island you come across a group of… free pelicans!
The pelican Petros has been for many years the mascot of the island of Mykonos: arrived no one knows where in 1954, has lived for over 30 years on the waterfront of the capital, earning the affection of the islanders.
At his death the pain for the loss was so great that it was decided to welcome other pelicans, a custom that has been consolidated over time so that now the pelicans are a true symbol of Mykonos.