Mykonos for first-timers
Gallery Of Mykonos for first-timers
It’s hard to tell looking at how popular this Greek island has become in the past years, but in the 1950’s Mykonos was a simple finishing island. Back then, probably no one would have guessed that the place was going to become the most popular island in the country for luxury, parties and extravagance.
Mykonos is worldwide famous among the rich and celebrities, couples, party goers, and teenagers. Every day there is at least one enormous cruise ship docked at the island’s port, and as the summer season arrives, this number goes higher each day, together with luxury yachts and private boats.
Some claim that with all the fame and high number of tourists, the island has lost its authenticity and culture. That was also my first impression as soon as I stepped foot on the port, especially because I was coming straight from other two totally different Greek islands, and Paros. However, if you are willing to see a different Mykonos, the real Mykonos, all you need is to wake up early. Yes, that simple. Well, for the party goers not so much.
On our last day on the island, we woke up early to get some pictures and videos of the center city. Our hope was to have the least people in the middle as possible. Well, it worked, and we didn’t even need to wake up so early, at least in May the city seems to only wake up at 10am or later. What we saw at 7am – 8am were empty streets and cafes, fishermen and many local elderly people, a quiet Little Venice and for the first time we were the only ones at the windmills. Worth it!
Before our trip to Mykonos, I honestly had no idea what to expect. We’ve heard many different experiences along the way, good and bad opinions. We had lots of help from a friend who lives on the island, but not everyone gets this kind of help, so I decided to help you out based on our experience during our 3 days on the island, and created this basic guide of Mykonos for first-timers.
Mykonos is one of the easiest Greek islands to reach:
- There are direct daily flights leaving from Athens and from many other international cities across Europe.
- It is only 4 hours by speed boat from Piraeus and Rafina ports
- It can also be easily reached by boat from other islands like Paros and Santorini, and from its closest neighbor, Tinos.
Know that getting a taxi in Mykonos can be very tricky, to say the least, so if I were you I would avoid relying on this type of transportation. Instead, I would highly recommend you to arrange a transfer from and to the port/airport with your hotel, and to rent a car while in town or even in advance. I know that some rental companies like the one we hired, , can drop you off at the port/airport when you are leaving without any extra cost.
The port is within waking distance to the center city, so if you are on a cruise and are only spending the day on the island, you can easily walk between them. Though if you are staying longer, renting a car is no doubt the best option, as it is the best way to reach the beaches and explore others parts of the island.
Keep in mind that in Mykonos there is also traffic and parking can be hard to find sometimes, especially near the center. It is also important to mention that the roads connecting the city to the beaches and the airport are quite narrow and dangerous. So if you are driving in Mykonos, take extra precautions, remember that this is a party island and you may find many drunks around .
During the high season there are also city buses, which might be handy for many people. As soon as you get there try to get the buses schedules and routes, it might be useful.
Accommodations in Mykonos vary from hotels, hostels, guest houses, and rented apartments and houses. Unless you are on a yacht, on a cruise ship or have friends who live in town, you will have to pick one of these options. But where?
If you don’t mind the noise, stay in the center city. If you prefer quiet places, there are many options near the beaches, as well as some not so far from the center. Know that you don’t have to stay in the city center to enjoy the island, just rent a car or motorbike to get around, everything is easily reached within maximum 20 – 30 minutes.
If there is one thing you shouldn’t be worried about in Mykonos, that is to keep yourself busy. The island has plenty to offer, and here are the top fun things to do in Mykonos:
Mykonos has several beaches for you to pick from. Beach hopping was one of my favorite things to do on the island, each one was a surprise, some prettier than others, some calmer than others. We visited 6 beaches in total, and even though Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach are very famous, my favorites were Paraga, Agrari and Kalafati.
Tip: forget who ever mentioned to you that you can get from one beach to the other on foot, don’t venture yourself on this one. Get a quad, motorcycle or car.
Mykonos is a sunset type Greek island. Why do I say that? Because each island has its “specialty”, sunset or sunrise. is best for sunrise, for example, while Mykonos is for sunsets. The most famous place to watch the sunset on the island is Little Venice, though it doesn’t mean it’s the only good one. Many places offer a spectacular view over the island, find one, wait and see.
This place is something. Despite how touristy it is this place has character and it’s one of the prettiest I’ve seen in Greece so far. Early in the morning is empty, as the day goes by, it’s a challenge to find a vacant place to sit.
The postcard of the island, the so famous windmills of Chora . They are no longer in operation, but were once an important source of income to the island, as they were previously used to mill wheat until the 20th century. Nowadays, some of them were turned into museums.
- For better photos, get there early in the morning
- It’s another amazing place to watch the sunset
Great news to the shopaholics, Mykonos is also famous for this activity. On the island you may find boutiques from local and international designers, jewelry and souvenirs stores, and much more.
Chora, which means town, is the city center of Mykonos. There is where you find Little Venice, the windmills and of course, those pretty narrow and colorful streets you expect to see on the island, which make up for a labyrinth. This was my favorite thing to do while I was there, getting lost in this pretty labyrinth of narrow streets. Each turn you find something different, every step taken, a picture; good thing we were not in a hurry.
If partying is the reason why you are going to Mykonos, then you are going to the right place. There are endless options for enjoying the night out on the island until the sun rises. One of the most famous clubs in town and in the world is .
Since partying isn’t really my thing, I was happy to know that Mykonos is also famous for its gourmet restaurants. We tried the so famous , an experience not to forget, and the newly opened and wonderful .
Half a day trip to Delos Island
With boats leaving daily from the old port, visiting Delos island is another activity to do while in Mykonos. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage and according to the Greek mythology, it’s where Apollo was born.
Unfortunately, because of the rain that was constantly coming and going, we decided not to risk and visit the island . Tickets between both islands can be bought last minute at the old port or you can choose to take an organized tour with a local company.
Tip: for more ideas on what to do in Mykonos, where to eat and drink and much more, download the app .
Expect to experience a very busy island, especially in the high season during the day, as all the tourists from the cruise ships make their stop. Expect crowded streets, amazing sunsets, mouth watering food, and some of the best beaches in Europe .
Things you should know before you go
- If you want to avoid crowds, please don’t go during the summer season! If in May it was already busy, I can’t even imagine how crowded the island is in the months of July and August.
- Mykonos has 2 ports, the old and new ports. In case you wonder when you get there, they are both side by side, and the new port is where the cruise ships and speed boats arrive and depart from.
- Is Mykonos expensive? Yes, it is, but I guess that that doesn’t come as a surprise in there. However, what might surprise you is that it is possible to enjoy the island on a budget, it will just require a little bit more of planning from you.
- How long should you stay in Mykonos? We stayed 3 days and found it a great length, but everything depends on the reason why you’re on the island. If you expect to enjoy the beaches, then I would say stay longer.
- Is Mykonos good for couples? Yes, definitely, W and I enjoyed a lot our time on Mykonos, from lying on the beach to romantic dinner, watching the sunset or wandering the narrow streets.
On our trip to Mykonos we were invited by restaurant for a gourmet experience and we got a discount to rent a car with . As always, all opinions are my own and I only recommend what I like and believe that my readers will like too.
June 8, 2016 Allane Filed Under: ,
A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.
Such a helpful post, Allane. Thanks for sharing!
Great post Allane, take me there now! The beaches are just fabulous aren’t they?
Thank you Ting ???? yessss, they are amazing!! I wish the water was warm enough so I could jump into the water! ????
Oh Allane, Mykonos sounds absolutely amazing!! I’d been toying with the ideas of Santorini or Mykonos for maybe later this year but this post might just have persuaded me! The views are so magical. I’m not too good at waking up early in the morning but I think I might have to force myself to beat the crowds for these peaceful views. Also great to know that it is doable in just a few days as I was hoping to go just for a few days rather than a whole week if and when I make it ????
Shikha you have to go!! If you are looking for more of a romantic place I would suggest Santorini, if you guys like the partying then Mykonos. Both are romantic though, but Santorini is more ????
Yes, just a few days is enough, most of the islands 3 days is enough, but if you are going to only one, then stay as long as you like so you don’t have to hurry and change islands ????
I hope you take the trip, you are going to love Greece!!
Thank you soooo much Vlad!! I’m always happy when you say that, it means my photos are improving ????
Fingers crossed you will go to Greece soon, you are going to love it there… I’ve never been to a place so photogenic as Greece, not even the Maldives is so photogenic ????
Yes, it is easy to tell why it became such a popular place!!
This is definitely helpful! I hope to make it to Greece soon and this is one of my locations I want to visit but don’t know where to start.
I hope you do go to Greece soon.. and you’re right, it’s really hard to decide where to start!! We did a mix of touristy locations like Mykonos and off the beaten path like Astypalea, it was a great way of seeing how different the islands are ????
If you need any tips let me know!!
Ohhh how amazing! Your cruise must have been an amazing.
Mykonos is very pretty! I hope you get to visit it again sometime ????
It is a good idea isn’t it? Early in the morning is the best time for photography! ????
The sunsets ara indeed amazing, breathtaking! I hope you do go back some time ????
I’d love to return and visit the beaches I didn’t!
Thank you!! So happy to know I inspired you even more to go to Mykonos, I hope you do go!!! It’s a very beautiful island!! ????
Thank you!! Happy to know you liked it… I hope it will be useful to you someday.
And you are right, Greece is beautiful in general ???? I love that country!
Thank you sooo much dear, so happy to know you like my photos! ????
Ohh great to know that about Rhodes Emma. I would love to visit it someday, maybe next time in Greece.
Happy that you liked the post ????
hahaha oh my, I can imagine!! I hope you do go there finally, after helping so many people to get there ????
September does sound great, May was a bit too cold, but I can’t imagine myself there in the hot months as it will be packed!
Ohh yes, my party days are also gone!! Thank God there is another side to the island, the beaches are the best part… and of course, the food too ????
I hope you do visit it sometime ????
I’ve been seeing your pics on Instagram and I’m so jealous that you are in Greece! I hope you enjoy your time in the country, especially the warm water!! ???? I will be heading to Croatia soon and will do the same ????
I know, right? I have to return to Mykonos and visit Delos!! I wanted to go badly, but hence the bad weather and the short time on the island, we didn’t manage :/ another reason to return! ???? The pretty narrow streets are amazing, I loved them too!
The narrow streets are amazing Kacy! I hope you do visit Greece sometime, it’s one of my favorite countries ever ????
Thank you Lindsay, glad you liked the tips. I hope you will get to use it sometime ????
They are pretty aren’t they? ????
Thank you Kirstie, happy to know you liked the photos!
Me too ???? they are so pretty!!
So good to know you went to Mykonos as a family, the island definitely is more than partying, and the beaches are the best ????
hahaha thank you for taking part ????
I hope you visit it someday, I’m sure you will love it ????
Ohh how nice, I didn’t get to visit Delos :/ I hope next time it will work out! ????
I hope next time you visit Mykonos, it probably won’t be your favorite island, but it’s definitely worth the visit, and it’s also nice to compare it with the others. It is a gorgeous island, despite being packed. Waking up early is definitely worth it ????