Mykonos is the great glamour island of Greece and flaunts its sizzling St. Tropez-meets-Ibiza style and party-hard reputation.

The high-season mix of hedonistic holidaymakers, cruise-ship crowds, buff gay men, and posturing fashionistas throngs Mykonos Town (aka Hora), a gorgeous, whitewashed Cycladic maze, delighting in its cubist charms and its chichi cafe-bar-boutique scene.

Mykonos is one of the world’s most popular beach destinations, and once you go, you want to return time and again. There are many beaches around the cosmopolitan island, all of them beautiful, with crystal-clear turquoise waters, some with bars and restaurants, others nearly deserted.

Why Go to Mykonos?

Beaches, beaches, beaches. That’s why everyone goes to Mykonos. But there are many great beaches all over the world, including in neighboring destinations in the Mediterranean, so what makes Mykonos special? It’s its stunning natural beauty, its sunsets, and the fact that it has adapted so remarkably well to tourism, changing very little over the years. You won’t find high-rises on the coast like in many parts of the Mediterranean. Here you’ll still see the traditional local architecture, made up of small, whitewashed buildings. And then there’s the nightlife and the partying by the sea, but if that’s not your thing, you also have plenty of quiet, relaxing places for yourself in the calming blue of the Aegean. Mykonos is one of the most unforgettable places in the world!

What is Mykonos known for?

Mykonos is known as a trendy beach paradise and a party island, much like Ibiza, but it’s much more than that. Most of the partying happens at less than a handful of beaches, and most people spend more time quietly sunbathing and swimming than drinking and dancing. It’s also known as a well-preserved Greek island with centuries-old windmills and a pretty maze of narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses. It offers beautiful sunset views and stylish accommodation, which attracts couples on a romantic getaway or honeymoon. It’s also one of the world’s top destinations for gay travelers and the main gateway to the uninhabited island of Delos, which is one of Greece’s most important historical sites, with ruins from ancient Greece.

Mykonos grew as a travel destination in the 1960s, first attracting hippies and then wealthy Europeans. In the 1980s, it became one of the world’s first gay-friendly destinations. Today, it welcomes all kinds of people. It’s popular because of its beautiful beaches, lively and romantic atmosphere, live-and-let-live attitude, and because it’s one of the Greek islands that are easiest to reach. There are direct flights from many of the major European cities and regular ferries from Athens.

How to Go to Mykonos

Mykonos is easy to reach by ferry from the two ports in the Athens region: Piraeus and Rafina. Piraeus is the one closest to the center of the city, and Rafina is the closest to the airport. On a regular ferry, it takes about 5 hours to go from Piraeus to Mykonos. On a speedboat, that journey takes just 3 hours. From Rafina, the ferry takes 2.5 hours and the speedboat 2 hours. However, the services from Rafina are only an option if you’re heading straight to Mykonos from Athens Airport. If you’re visiting Athens before heading to the islands, the port of Rafina is about 1 hour and 15 minutes away, so you won’t be saving time by choosing it over Piraeus. The shortest travel time from Athens to Mykonos is 3 hours by speedboat, from Piraeus.

Additionally, ferries connect Mykonos to other islands like Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Milos, Folegandros, and Crete. The travel time between the islands depends on the distance and the type of boat, so it can range from 30 minutes to 5 hours.

Flights from Athens to Mykonos take about 30 minutes. Direct flights from Western Europe (London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, and other major cities) take 2 to 4 hours.

When to Go to Mykonos

Naturally, Mykonos is a summer destination, with July and August being the most popular months. May, June, and September are perhaps the best times to go. The weather is usually hot, dry, and with perfectly blue skies, but it can be windy (the famous “meltemia” winds of the Aegean Sea are particularly strong in July and August). The beaches in the south of the island are usually more protected from the winds.

How Many Days Should I Spend in Mykonos?

Five days is the ideal amount of time in Mykonos. That allows you to tour the island, take a trip to Delos, explore several of the beaches, and enjoy the nightlife and the strip of bars in Little Venice. You’re likely here to relax, so there’s no need to rush. Two days would be a minimum, but that wouldn’t give you the full Mykonos experience. Also keep in mind that if you come on a ferry from Athens and then return, you’ll spend much of those two days traveling. Accommodation can be expensive, so if you can’t afford five days, stay at least three nights.

What are the Main Towns in Mykonos?

Chora (sometimes spelled Hora) is Mykonos’ main town and is better known as Mykonos Town. It’s located on the western coast, by the two ports, and is where you find most hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops. Outside of the beach clubs, it’s where you have the best nightlife, especially around the waterfront by Little Venice. The only other village is Ano Mera, located roughly in the center of the island. Ano Mera has a 16th-century monastery, charming streets, and authentic tavernas, but no hotels, so you won’t find many tourists. The other major area for visitors is the southern coast, which has the main beaches.

Do I Need a Car in Mykonos?

Renting a car in Mykonos is quite common. Many people choose to do so instead of relying on the sometimes-infrequent buses. It allows you to see more of the island and reach more beaches, especially the more remote ones in the north. The main beaches, however, have regular bus services, so you don’t need a car.

Parking in the center of Mykonos Town can be a challenge, and you may end up having to park on the outskirts of the parking lot by the Old Port. Also, remember that cars are not permitted in the narrow streets of Mykonos Town (they’re easily accessible on foot).

What are The Best Things to Do in Mykonos?

The top activity in Mykonos is beach-hopping. You can tour most of the southern coast in one day, and there are also boat tours. End the day admiring the magical sunset view between the windmills and Little Venice. Follow that with a walk around the pedestrian streets of Mykonos Town, browsing the shops, and discovering the perfect restaurant and bar. The top cultural experience is Delos Island, which is a short boat ride away.

Is Mykonos Safe for Tourists?

When it comes to personal safety, travelers to Mykonos have nothing to worry about. It’s practically crime-free, and there are no real dangers. If your concern is health, you should just remember to always pack plenty of sunscreen and water.

What do airlines fly into Mykonos?

The following airlines have year-round or seasonal flights to Mykonos: easyJet (from the UK, Germany, and Italy), British Airways (from London), Aegean (from London, cities in Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland), Ryanair (from Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary, and Italy), Condor (from Düsseldorf), Vueling (from Barcelona), Lufthansa (from Frankfurt), Neos (from Italian cities), Volotea (from major and smaller cities in Greece, Italy, Croatia, and France), Wizz Air (from Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania), Transavia (from Amsterdam and Paris), Austrian (from Vienna), Eurowings (from Cologne), TUI Fly (from Brussels), Blue Bird Airways (from Tel Aviv), and Qatar Airways (from Doha).

What Currency is Used in Mykonos?

Greece is part of the Eurozone of the European Union, so the currency in Mykonos is the euro. Credit cards are accepted at practically all accommodations and major restaurants and shops. However, it’s a good idea to always carry some cash, as you’ll need it if you take the bus or make small purchases such as water and snacks. There are ATMs in Mykonos Town and at the major beaches.