The Greek Islands are an amazing place if you just want to chill out. As we were doing a whirlwind tour around this part of Europe we had very little time to stop and really enjoy the atmosphere with only a couple of days available to us, however it was obvious from the start that these small islands with their clear beaches and glistening white villages built into the hillsides were the perfect place for winding down.
And so we found ourselves with some time to kill on Mykonos.
Arguably, Mykonos is the glamour girl of the Greek islands, with a bit of a party-hard reputation. But if you want to soak up some fun and sit back and relax… come out during the day when the party crowd are sleeping off the night before in preparation to do it all over again!
You’ll find the island surprisingly tranquil, mostly with just day trippers.
Things to Do
I’m a beach mad Australian – and there are beaches aplenty on Mykonos. But be wary some beaches will have hawkers trying to sell fake bags, jewelry and watches as well as pirated dvds.
Elia beach is one of the more popular beaches, with crystal clear turquoise waters and is about 10km from Mykonos town (Chora). Sunbeds with waiter service are lined up in orderly fashion along the stretch of beach. Now if you come from Australia like me, you are probably going to find this hysterical. All over Europe, it amazed me that people paid to go to the beach and then were so orderly about it. God help them if they came to Bondi on New Years Day! The waiter service I could get used to though!
If sunning yourself beach side with a cocktail is not your thing, then take a walk around Mykonos town. You’ll see probably the most famous of the island’s landscapes – the Windmills of Mykonos.
The seven windmills that surround the port town are the most famous but Mykonos actually has 16. Most of them were erected by the Venetians in the 16th century when Mykonos was on an important trade route between Venice and the eastern Mediterranean.
These days they are simply a tourist attraction, but well worth seeing. After watching a young couple take twenty minutes attempting to take a “star-jump” photo – unsuccessfully as he kept missing the jump – Scott and I thought we’d do the same, just for giggles. I’m pleased to say that my non photographer husband nailed it first time! High fives all round!
We did not get a chance, but the trip to Delos is also supposed to be worthwhile and is another UNESCO world heritage site, known for it’s archaeological significance. To be honest, we really were there just for the chilling out – after several months of seeing significant archaeological sites all over Egypt and the Middle East.
It’s also fun to wander the back streets and alleys of Mykonos Town- where small shops cater to tourists with locally made jewelry and art. You’ll also find plenty of high-end shops catering to the cruise ship tourists.
The whitewashed buildings are typical of the Cycladic style, and the character of the place has remained in tact.
Of course one of the best things to do is find a nice taverna and settle in for a beer, wine or local spirits and snack on some seafood, just watching the world go by.
The best way to get there is by boat from the mainland – either a ferry or highspeed catamaran – which takes half the time but costs twice as much. It takes between 3 and a half to five and a half hours between Athens and Mykonos – depending which boat you get.
You can also get a flight from Athens to Mykonos that takes about 35 minutes.
When to Go
Mykonos tends to be extremely crowded during the peak season of July and August. The best time to visit Mykonos is mid-May through June. This is the early season and accommodation is much cheaper. As an added bonus it’s not unbearably hot. September through mid-October after the peak is also a good time to go.
What to Take
Pretty much a hat sunscreen and swimmers, will get you by. Oh and if you don’t go with a chilled out relaxed outlook on life – you will definitely come back with one!