If you are traveling in Greece, your destination list probably includes Mykonos. One of the most popular islands in Greece and one of the most expensive I must say. Mykonos is the most cosmopolitan island in Greece and particularly famous for its nightlife. Chora, as the locals would say, or Mykonos Town, is considered the jewel of the island.
So naturally we decided to visit the island as well. Straight after Paros we went by ferry to this popular island, but unfortunately we only had 48 hours to explore as much as we could. Mykonos is quite large and some of the best beaches are on the opposite side of Mykonos town (we got a place right in the center), we had to plan our two days thorough.
This article is for anyone who has a great desire to see Mykonos, but is limited by time. We did Mykonos in less than 48 hours so if you only have a couple days in Mykonos and want to make the most of it, then this guide is for you!
(We arrived to Mykonos Town around 2 pm so after checking into our hotel it was almost 3 before we could start our day.
To my liking, this beach is too crowded (even in October, I can’t imagine what it is like to be here during the season), but it is only 10 minutes by bus (one way fare 1.80 euros) from the Fabrika station in Mykonos Town. The beach is quite large and sandy, half of the beach is covered with sun beds and umbrellas, so if you are ready to pay (was 30 euros for the set when we asked) you can relax, laying comfortably under the beach umbrella. If you don’t care much about umbrellas or sun beds than the left side of the beach is for you. The infrastructure is quite developed: whether you want a cocktail or a snack it won’t be a problem since there are many restaurants and shops by the beach.
After the beach, relaxed and tanned, we went to see the famous windmills. It is quite close to the Fabrika bus station, same bus station to Ornos beach. You probably know that Mykonos is famous for its strong wind and old windmills. There are 16 windmills on the islands and fifth of them (known as “Kato Mili”) are located just few hundred meters from Little Venice. They were built by the Venetians in the 16th century and were used for milling wheat. Nowadays the Windmills of Kato Mili are mostly tourist attractions.
They do offer a great view and the best time to make photos of them is the sunset of course. It was a shock to us with how many people were gathering there, but we still managed to take good pictures.
Going down to the coast from the Windmills you will see a place called Little Venice. No wonder it is called a Little Venice, since the place is tiny, but it does remind you of Venice with its houses standing on the water.
Lots of cute restaurants and bars are located on this narrow street where people are forced to sit so close to each other. It almost doesn’t worse in my opinion (got the impression that every tourist on the island gathered in one place). However, the cocktails looked good, the food smelled fantastic and the people seemed to be having a great time, so I suppose it all depends how much of a party person you are.
Matoyianni Street is one of the places where you will find all the souvenirs you need. The whole area is an interlacing of the narrow streets with whitewashed shops, homes, and restaurants. It is a really beautiful place; you can just get lost and wander around trying to find something interesting for yourself.
Particularly, Matoyianni street is famous because of its numerous shops offering luxury items from premium international brands. Although I think that it is a kind of a marketing strategy to place all these stores at this location, it does not make the walk less enjoyable.
A tip for you: just be careful with pick pockets!
Just 5 minutes from Little Venice is the old Paraportiani church. The church is also quite crowded with people trying to enjoy the sunset, just like at the windmills and Little Venice. The church has an unusual shape and is different from what you are used to seeing in Greece.
It was built somewhere between 14th and 17th centurues and it is actually a complex of fife joined churches. The churches were not built at the same time. The first one was built in 14th century and it is called Agios Anargyros. The other rest of the churches were built on top or next to each other in 16th and 17th centuries. On there very top is a church of Virgin Mary and it looks like a dome.
The old port is the original port in Mykonos that was used for trading, since this island and many others in Greece were important trade routes. There is a small pebble beach and lots of restaurants where you can get a decent seafood meal. At this port you can get a ferry to Delos or other close islands as well as other beaches around Mykonos.
Keep in mind: it only takes about one hour to see items 2-6 on this list, so I think it is best to walk these places during sunset (between 5:30 pm and 7 o’clock pm).
If you want to take photos without a large crowd, it is best to wake up early the next day and arrive at these places before eight in the morning (at least, this is what we did). The sunset is better here than the sunrise, because the sun is rising behind the mountains and the photos are not so bright, but the lack of crowds is a big plus. If you want to see how different the lighting is, click here and watch our drone video from Mykonos (first 1 min – sunrise, then sunset)
If you are already in Mykonos, one of the main places to visit is Delos Island. It is not far from Mykonos (20 minutes by boat). You can buy tickets at the Old Port or on the website www.delostours.gr I recommend that you arrive half an hour before departure to buy tickets or buy them in advance. Ticket price is 20 Euros for a round trip. There is no travel time on the ticket, so if you are late you can always take the next boat. Upon arrival to the island you will have to pay 12 euros per person entrance fee. The Archaeological Museum is located on the island and it is where you can get a free bottle of water.
It takes about 2 hours to view all the ruins, so I recommend taking the boat at 9 am and returning at 12 pm to make the most of it
Delos had a huge value to Ancient Greece. According to the legends, it was the place where Leto found a safe place to give birth to her twin children, Apollo and Artemis. Apollo is a god of light, balance and harmony and Artemis is the goddess of Moon. People from all over came to worship Apollo and his twin sister.
The island gained prosperity after 167 BCE, when it was declared to be a free port (no taxes). After that all the commercial activities from the east Mediterranean gathered on Delos. That actually became a reason of the destruction of the city. After the island was attacked twice in 88 BCE and in 69 BCE, it was abandoned. Almost 2000 years later (in 1872) the archaeological excavation began.
Upon return from Delos, you can take a bus to one of the best beaches in Mykonos (the bus station is opposite the Old Port, 5-7 minutes walk). I recommend starting with Kalo Livadi. This beach is on the opposite side of Mykonos town (25 minutes by bus). A bus ticket will cost 2.30 euros one way. Since it was 6th October the beach was almost empty. At the end of the season, no restaurant or shop is open near the beach, so I recommend taking water and snacks with you (this was our big mistake).
The beach is wide and sandy, and when you step into the water you can feel the soft sand under your feet. It is not deep here, so it is a great place for families. I want to pay attention that when we came to the beach, we did not see either sun beds or umbrellas (I am sure that they are there during season, but if you are traveling at the same time as I did, then be prepared that there are problems with the shade here). There are several resort hotels on the slope near the beach, but they are closed during the off-season.
For a better understanding of how beautiful this place is and for lovers of beautiful photos I recommend taking the road that is to the left of the beach on the slope. This gives you a great view and from here you can continue your journey to the next place.
Agia Anna beach is a 25-minute walk or a few minutes away by car or scooter. It is a relatively small beach, but no less beautiful. It is somewhat hidden, so not many people are on the public side of the beach in the off-season. There is a hotel at the beach, Anastasia village, which is still in operation in October, so for anyone who wants to stay for a few days at a beach hotel away from the city, look out for this place. What I really liked about this beach is that you can comfortably sit in the shade of trees and not carry a beach umbrella.
Just minutes from Agia Anna beach is another incredible beach. Kalafati is long and quite wide. Here you can find everything you want, soft sand and smooth rocks. There are sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach, so you don’t need to bring an umbrella with you if you are okay with paying. You can enjoy a snack near the beach at a variety of restaurants and shops. The bus stop is right next to the beach (there is a sign).
I recommended starting with Kalo Livadi and ending with Kalafati because buses from Kalafati go up to 10 pm and you will have a longer time to enjoy your evening.