From all the Greek variety we chose the island of Mykonos for this trip. Speaking about the other Greek islands, here you can read a blog about the island of romantics and lovers – Santorini (officially called Thira). Mykonos, as well as Santorini, is located in the Aegean Sea. In general, Mykonos is famous for its vibrant nightlife and beach clubs. But it is also worth visiting if you want to spend your vacation in solitude with nature, away from fuss and noise. If you prefer a quiet way of rest, this article is just for you. However, some paragraphs of this article will be useful also for those who love hustle and bustle.
In my travel blog, besides useful information about the Greek island of Mykonos, you will learn tips and life hacks for planning your personal trip. Moreover, I will share with you our impressions and photos for your inspiration! All names and important locations are connected by direct links to Google maps for your convenience. Official sites or helpful third-party sites are listed in order to discover more detailed information. For those who wish to delve into the details, learn the history, and understand the names I have filled with links to Wikipedia this travel blog.
The island of Mykonos has beautiful sandy and pebble beaches, bays and lagoons, cozy-coastal towns, and scattered white houses. The tourist season in Mykonos lasts from April to October, and the peak season is from mid-July to late August. The best time to visit Mykonos is from May to the end of June, from September to mid-October.
Places to stay
The best place for your stay, as mentioned above, will depend on the desired activity and pastime. If you want to party in the nightclubs, I would recommend staying in Mykonos town (the official name of Chora), Tourlos, in the area along the coast starting from Platis Gialos until Elia. All the most partying places such as Cavo Paradiso, Scorpios, Paradise Beach Club Mykonos, Super Paradise Beach Club, NAMMOS, and Elia Beach are gathered in this small southern part of the island.
If you strive for a quiet holiday, beautiful views, and want to hide away from crowds, I recommend staying in the North and the East of the island, preferring separate apartments. We stayed in such a place with a couple of dozen suites at the foot of Paralia Merchias beach. Our apartment was Seaside Merchia Villa. I must admit that we had an almost private beach for two weeks of our stay here in the second half of September. We were accompanied by small fish, cuttlefish (lat. Sepiida), and sea turtles (lat. Cheloniidae). Within a five-minute walk from here, there is a cute, tiny St. Nicholas Church.
The island of Mykonos is rather small. The longest distance from East to West will be about 15 km, i.e., about 30 minutes by car. If you want to explore the island, visit different beaches, enjoy the sunset near the lighthouse or stay away from hustle and bustle, then you will definitely need your own transport. The ATV is very popular on the island. Just imagine summer, a refreshing breeze during the trip, an opportunity to feel yourself being an explorer and trying off-road. What could be better? I would like to emphasize that the power of the ATV should be not less than 400CC so that when climbing the hill, you will not have to walk.
You should also think about renting some vehicles in advance. Of course, it is worth giving preference to the already proven and well-known firms that have their branch on the island or carefully study Google Reviews of the local firms. Unfortunately, it is easy to meet with unscrupulous local companies here who will be happy to swindle you at the slightest opportunity. They like to put a high price and say that if you refuse to rent, then they have Ronald, who pops out of nowhere and without hesitation wants to pick up your rental option. Or when you take back the rented vehicle, they may invent some kind of story to rip you off, when your check-in is about to end and you don’t have time for disputes and trips to the police, especially if the latter ones get a share in this case. I would not recommend the company where we rented our ATV. Preparing to write about discounts on transport rental on the island, I have learned about real offers from airlines such as EasyJet, RyanAir, WizzAir, and others. Also, do not be alarmed that your driving license will remain at the rental place until the return of the rented vehicle.
If you do not have a driving license or do not want to rent, local taxi drivers will be eager to help you. A comfortable scheduled bus also runs between busy towns.
The capital of the island of Mykonos is the same-named town Mykonos. This is what Mykonos is best known for. The town is an old village with very picturesque cobbled streets, small churches, and shopping boutiques. All the buildings are snow-white and represent Cycladic architecture.
Little Venice is a part of Mykonos town on the seafront, with many bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the local cuisine. I would recommend taking a walk along this street at different times of the day to feel the full atmosphere of this place. The way the houses were built here makes the so-called Little Venice very photogenic and one of the most recognizable places on the island.
You cannot but visit Mykonos and pass by its famous windmills! It is also a popular destination for holidaymakers willing to enjoy the sunset.
Today, there are 16 mills on the island of Mykonos, and seven of them are in Chora (the second name of Mykonos town). Almost all the mills were built by the Venetians in the 16th century. Their construction continued intermittently until the early 20th century. The mills were designed to grind, mainly flour, and became an important source of making the local residents’ living. In those days, Mykonos was a major supplier of flour and bread. But the importance of the mills was gradually diminishing, and by the beginning of the 1900s, the mills had no longer been used. One of the seven mills in Chora functions now as a museum. Boni Mill is an Open Air Agricultural Museum. The visit is free. Annually, on the second Sunday of September, the museum hosts a festival dedicated to the grape harvest.
Paraportiani is the oldest church, built-in 1425. It is a mixture of smooth forms and walls without external decoration. It is hard to believe, but this tiny Byzantine building actually consists of five separate churches. Four churches – St. Eustachius, St. Sozon, St. Unmercenaries, and St. Anastasia – stood on one site and constituted the base of a new one, the fifth, built above them.
Ano Mera is a small village in the heart of the island. There are two famous monasteries in this village. On the same-named hill, there is an active nunnery of the 18th century – the Paleokastro monastery. The monastery got its name from the nearby remains of the Gyzi castle or Paleokastro, which means old castle in Greek. A few meters from the cloister there is a second monastery. It can be easily recognized from afar owing to its beautiful tower-dovecote. The Monastery of Panagia Tourliani is named after the patroness of the island. This majestic temple is located in the central square of the town. The construction of this monastery dates back to 1542. At the end of the 18th century, its architecture was slightly altered. The magnificently carved iconostasis in the Baroque style with unique icons attracts visitors’ attention in the interior. There is also a museum in the monastery, which displays icons of the Byzantine period, church vestments, the first monastery bells, and various religious utensils. In the churchyard, there is a chapel and a beautiful marble fountain with sculptural decorations. The Monastery of Panagia Tourliani played an important role during the German occupation. Ancient burial places of prehistoric times can be found on its territory. The graves look like megalithic rock formations.
Must-try dishes in Greece
If we talk about Greek cuisine, it is pointless to talk about it: you must try it! Greek cuisine is recognized as one of the healthiest in the world. Just look at the list of dishes that can be found in any Greek tavern: moussaka (eggplant and minced meat casserole), dolma (stuffed cabbage rolls in grape leaves), various pies: tyropita, spanakopita and patsavouropita; fried calamari, pickled octopus, grilled sparus, souvlaki (grilled meat), tzatziki (Greek yogurt with cucumber and garlic) and, of course, the famous Greek salad and red olives Kalamon.
Countries strongly resemble women. Each has its own unique character and temperament. Some women are shy and modest, whereas others are fatal beauties. Likewise, some countries have dull nature, indistinct climate, as well as population accustomed to breed and climatic hardships. And there are countries in the world doomed to admiration: with abundant colors, beautiful landscapes, and hot-tempered people inhabiting them. Greece is one of them.
Spending your vacation on the islands of Mykonos and Santorini (you can read about the impressions from the island of Thira here), you never get tired of admiring the landscapes of pristine beauty: hills, bays, lagoons, rocks rising from the blue sea, a cooling breeze that can cool even on the hottest day, and what beautiful beaches are here, not to mention the delicious food!
There are so many magnificent corners and places in the world! I am glad to share my impressions with you and give you some practical advice. I hope they will be useful for you to organize an unforgettable sea vacation!