Having established a big name for itself worldwide, Mykonos, the queen of Cyclades has been consistently on the top of the list of the most popular Greek destinations. Although not the cheapest of the Greek Islands, the prominent Cycladic aesthetic, striking sandy beaches and the warmth of the locals make it worth your while. Here are the top things to do in Mykonos to get the full Mykonian experience.
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Snap a photo at Mykonos’ windmills
The trademark of Mykonos island, you’ve probably seen its famous windmills plastered across postcards or uploaded on your friends’ Instagram feed. They are visible from all across Mykonos town -or Chora- and they are the first thing you see when you arrive at the harbor of Alefkandra, sitting on top of a hill overlooking the Aegean sea. The windmills were primarily built by the Venetians to mill wheat, but their construction continued into the early 20th century. Now the 16 windmills that can be found on the island are no longer in operation, with one of them having been transformed into a museum. Check out the emblematic windmills, snap a picture, marvel at the incredible view that lies before you, and let the fact that you’ve indeed arrived at Mykonos set in!
Surf the wind in Ftelia Beach
Ftelia Beach - credits: lucamarimedia/Shutterstock.com
Mykonos is famous for its immaculate sandy coastlines and crystal-clear, deep blue waters. Mykonos beaches, however, while all equally beautiful, are very different from one another; from cosmopolitan, organized beaches with loud music and trendy beach bars to secluded, unorganized beaches that offer peace and quiet and everything in-between. Ftelia beach is a relaxed beach destination that is famous among watersport fans due to the strong winds that make it ideal for windsurfing. It is located approximately 7 km north-east of Mykonos Town, but due to it not being accessible by public transport, it remains tranquil even during the high-season months of July and August. Near Ftelia Beach you can also find a couple of bar-restaurants that will provide you with drinks and snacks to refuel your energy. Apart from its windsurfing potential, Ftelia is also known for the famous neolithic settlement that was found there, believed to be the tomb of ancient Iliad hero Ajax the Locrian.
Stroll around Matoyianni Street
Mykonos Town - credits: ZGPhotography/Shutterstock.com
Being a luxurious destination, Mykonos has some of the best boutique shops in Greece -people argue that retail in Mykonos is even better than in Athens! Matoyanni Street is where both the shopping and nightlife heart of the island beats, hosting a wide variety of boutique shops and bars. On the picturesque, white and blue street you can indulge in some serious shopping therapy, buy unique Greek souvenirs and enjoy a delicious coffee or even traditional souvlaki by day, while by night, you can taste delicious Greek spirits in one of the trendy bars while mingling with the locals. In Matoyianni street you will not come across the wild party scene most people have associated with Mykonos nightlife, but a relaxed, often romantic, setting decorated with the trademark bougainvillea plants that never sleeps!
Explore the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos
As a cultured individual, you can’t skip visiting the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos during your trip to the island, even if Mykonos’ beaches, cobbled alleys, and cafes seem a lot more tempting! Located in Mykonos Town, the museum offers a one-of-a-kind collection of artifacts that have been brought to life from the excavations that have taken place on the island and the neighboring islands of Delos and Rhenia. The museum’s collection consists of marble and clay sculptures, jewelry, and everyday objects, dating all the way back to the 9th century BC. The museum was established in 1902 by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Archaeological Society of Athens, and its impressive architectural feature was designed by the renowned Greek architect, Alexandros Lykakis.
Have a drink in Little Venice
Little Venice - credits: avarman/Depositphotos.com
If you’ve heard of Mykonos, you’ve heard of Little Venice; this scenic region of Mykonos is something that once you see, you never forget about. Arguably one of the most romantic spots of the island and perfect for hosting visitors’ spontaneous photoshoots, Little Venice’s coast is lined with rows of 18th-century stone houses with balconies looking out the sea. They were built there to accommodate the fishermen of the island, however, most of them have now turned into cozy cafes, nice restaurants, and other miscellaneous shops. As you’ve probably guessed, its peculiar name was given due to the resemblance it holds to the Italian city of Venice and because it tends to get incredibly busy, if you plan on having a meal there, your safest bet would be to make reservations. Most people come to Little Venice to catch one of its awe-inspiring sunsets, and we suggest you do too; the explosion of colors in the sky the minute the sun sinks into the sea will leave you speechless!
Sail to Delos and its impressive archaeological site
In very close proximity to Mykonos, just a couple of kilometers southwest of the island, lies the historic island of Delos along with its archaeological site, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the tales of Greek Mythology, Delos was the birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis, making it a sacred place where no human was allowed to be born or die. That’s why a peculiar tradition was developed: in antiquity, women who were about to give birth and people who were about to die were transported from Delos to the neighboring island of Rineia. Nowadays, Delos is a popular tourist attraction and a cradle of Greek history; no other island in the world hosts so many monumental artifacts from the Archaic, the Classical, and the Hellenistic periods. Set on a Mykonos full-day sailing experience and grab the opportunity to explore the sacred islands of Delos and Rineia; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure you don’t want to miss!
Mykonos is a destination people lust after and for good reason; it is as magical as people claim it to be! If you don’t believe us, however, the proof is in the pudding; come see for yourselves, follow our list of the top things to do on the island, and you won’t regret it!