Is one day in Mykonos enough? Granted that you’ve arrived on the most famous island of the Cyclades without the only purpose of your trip being clubbing and drinking, you have the opportunity to appreciate its magnificent sites the locals are the proudest of but the visitors tend to neglect. Here is a comprehensive one-day itinerary in Mykonos that will ensure that you get the most out of your time on ‘the island of the winds’.
Table of Contents
9:00 am - Rise, shine and fill the tank
Traditional spinach pie or 'spanakopita'- credits: Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com
If we’re limiting ourselves to just 24 hours of pure joy, then an early start is key. Wake up before the summer heat strikes, and take in your surroundings, peaceful and covered in the early morning mist the Greek islands are beloved for. Since it will be a long day ahead, skipping breakfast would be the worst move; you don’t want to run out of energy before you run out of things to do!
Therefore, take yourself to breakfast in the most authentic local way possible: visit one of Mykonos’ best bakeries and choose a traditional cheese or spinach pie -’tiropita’ or ‘spanakopita- in Greek- made with the world-famous ‘phyllo’ dough, among other local pastry delights.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can also opt for ‘bougatsa’, a short puff pastry filled with luscious custard, or a chocolate pie that is especially popular amongst the locals and in particular the younger ages. Gerasimo’s Bakery, Ntavelaki, Perasma, and Gioras Wood Medieval Mykonian Bakery are all equally great options, where you can taste original Mykonian baked goods; choose one depending on your location and you’ll never look back!
Are there a dozen more glamorous coffee shops that offer luscious breakfasts? Yes, there are and you’re more than welcome to visit any of them for a Greek breakfast experience that will leave nothing to be desired. However, I highly recommend you try to live your single day in Mykonos like a local would and that involves having breakfast from a local bakery. Don’t knock it till you try it; you must trust that locals know about good food better than the back of their palms!
Here is our suggestion for a tour when you only have one day at your disposal; explore the best highlights of Mykonos! The local guide is an expert on the island and knows exactly what to do in Mykonos in just one day!
10.00 am - Appreciate the culture of the island
Before you start basking under the bright Greek sunlight, make sure to admire the culture of the island before it gets too hot. Having a delicious breakfast in your belly, head towards the famous Paraportiani Church. Regardless of if you’re religious or not, Paraportiani Church is worth visiting as it is a great example of local architecture. It is, in fact, a cluster of five churches. Four churches form the basis of the building with the fifth standing as a dome, with the top one being the one that actually carries the name of the whole group.
The four churches on the ground floor are Agios Efstathios, Agioi Anargyroi, Agios Sozon, and the small church of Agia Anastasia. The church is called Paraportiani because it is close to the small gate of the wall of the medieval castle of the country. Its architectural uniqueness has made it an important monument, not only for Mykonos but for the whole Aegean. It is, for sure, one of the most photographed sights in Greece.
Of course, if you have enough time to spare after Paraportiani Church, you can also visit Mykonos Folklore Museum nearby. Housed in a building that used to be the home of a shipowner, the museum has 6 rooms exhibiting a collection of many different historical artifacts, everyday items, Byzantine icons, and vintage furniture. It also offers a library that consists of old manuscripts, maps, and photographs; a folklore treasure waiting to be discovered! And as if that wasn’t enough, admission to the museum is completely free of charge and it is open from 10:30 am to 2 pm and 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm Monday through Saturday.
Alternatively, visit the archaeological site of Delos. The sacred island of ancient times is one of the most important archaeological sites of Greece, so, although it can take up quite some time on your one day in Mykonos itinerary, it is still worth a visit. Combine the exploring of the historical site with a swimming session in the clearest waters of the Aegean during a 7 hours Delos and Rhenia island sailing tour!
11.00 am - Just keep swimming!
Kalo Livadi Beach - credits: Evangelos Gagkos/Shutterstock.com
The time you’ve dreamt about for months and months has finally come. Lather yourself up with tons of sunscreen, grab your hat and your sunnies and go get that Mykonian beach experience the island is known for worldwide.
The variety of beaches you’ll come across on Mykonos -although sometimes overwhelming- is a definite plus of the island as there is something to fit everyone’s taste and needs. Whether you like your beach experience to be extravagant, loud, and wild, or you want to spend some relaxing quality time with your loved ones spread out with the sunbeams giving you that sunkissed tan away from the hustle and bustle, you can count that there is something that will fulfill your dreams.
My guide to Mykonos’ beaches will help you decide which beach is the right one for you, but if it was up to me, I’d choose to visit Kalo Livadi, the beach that lies between Kalafatis and Elia beach, 10 km away from Mykonos’ town and 2 km from the scenic village of Ano Mera.
Although still pretty central and definitely popular, it is considerably quieter than the more “out there” coastal destinations such as the beaches of Psarou and Super Paradise. Additionally, while it is an organized beach with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, and changing rooms making the life of its guests comfortable and fun, it also offers space for those who choose to lay down their towels on the sand and enjoy the majestic landscape and the crystal-clear waters in an alternative, authentic, and maybe more hippy-ish way. The reason for that is the sheer size of the beach, which is one of the largest in length and width on the island.
The diversity of Kalo Livadi results in the beach being favored not only by the younger crowds but also by those visiting Mykonos with kids, since they are safe to play and swim in the shallow, yet clean, waters. Access to Kalo Livadi is easy via the road network. Choose the beach bar on site for a midday snack and absorb as much vitamin D as possible!
For an alternative and luxurious exploration of the beaches that lie at the southern part of the island, a Mykonos south beaches sailing trip will unfold before your very eyes landscapes you’ve never seen before while giving you the opportunity to swim to waters that seem clean enough to drink!
1.30 pm - Taste the local flavors
Tavern Al Fresco - credits: PBphotos/Despositphotos.com
If you’ve ever been swimming, you’ll know that there is nothing that whets an appetite more than the sea. With the salt still clinging to your skin, it’s time to explore Mykonos’ gastronomy and its numerous offerings. Being a rather bougie island, fine dining is more prominent in Mykonos than in any other Greek island - probably more than in any other place in Greece to be honest. That doesn’t mean that in order to try delicious handmade Greek delicacies you need to break the bank, of course not.
Expectedly, apart from exquisite gourmet establishments, there are a number of traditional taverns that offer much more humble -but just as tasty- dishes. With an impressive variety of traditional products and local, cult-classic recipes to choose from, deciding what to eat in Mykonos is easier said than done. To sum up, my absolute favorite picks, if you feel like splurging, Koursaros is one of the most glamorous and delicious high-end restaurants on the island. Its aristocratic ambiance and the welcoming and always friendly staff add to its flawless cuisine that includes fresh, high-quality sushi, and signature dishes such as sauteed scallops with pureed peas, mushrooms, and lime marmalade and to-die-for seafood risotto.
My favorite place when I feel like having a bite without claiming bankruptcy is Captain's - Food for Sharing. It is, in fact, one of my favorite food stops in the whole of Cyclades, as it encapsulates the concept of meze-eating in Greece in the most authentic and tasty way possible. It is exactly what it claims to be: a place where you go to share food with your loved ones, enjoying local treats accompanied by luscious wine or other traditional spirits!
Chicken saganaki in red sauce and feta cheese, seftalies traditional pork patties, prawns in creamy ouzo sauce, steamed mussels, grilled eggplant dip, and spicy cheese dip, are only some of the impeccable meze dishes you will have the opportunity of savoring there. Captain's - Food for Sharing is much more than good food, it’s a cultural and culinary experience you don’t want to miss!
Last but not least, when your sweet tooth gets hold of you, head to the most offbeat sweetshop of Mykonos, Kyklamino, which is reserved exclusively for its locals -until now- to curb your craving. Kyklamino, is a family-run shop that has been involved in the production and sale of desserts since 1980. Since its establishment, it has been a tasteful reference point for everyone who tries its creations, as it uses the highest quality raw materials to produce incredible results.v
If you’re down for a more hands-on experience with Greek, and especially Mykonian, gastronomy, join our Mykonos traditional cooking class, get a hold of age-old local recipes and gain the skills to recreate the delicious delicacies from the comfort of your home. Alternatively, enjoy our Mykonos wine-tasting that includes 5 ancient varieties or our Mykonos olive oil-tasting to savor the flavors of the Mykonian land!
3.00 pm - Go shopping the local way!
Mykonos Town - credits: ZGPhotography/Shutterstock.com
After a hearty meal, spend the rest of your one day in Mykonos by strolling the most commercial street of the island, the popular and world-renowned Matogianni Street. Famous for its adorable collection of small shops that offer from high-end brand name clothing to the most original Greek souvenirs you can think of, Matogianni Street is the perfect place to spend an hour -or two- discovering retail treasures for you and your loved ones. Take it from a fellow shopaholic, Matogianni Street is what a big spender’s dreams are made of!
It is one of Mykonos’ trademarks and as soon as you step foot in it, you’ll realize why; apart from the goods the shops offer, the flawless aesthetic of the street cannot but appeal to anyone who has eyes. With colorful doorways and whitewashed houses that follow the Cycladic style, the image of the artisanal shops, and expensive boutiques is a fascinating contrast.
It is arguably one of the island’s hotspots, the perfect place for a walk, and where you catch paparazzi waiting to snap a picture of the famous Hollywood star. The most enjoyable time to walk this wonderful road is the month of September when it is the quietest; however even during the high-season months, one can certainly appreciate the beauty of the street.
Filled with shops, art galleries, traditional restaurants, and nightclubs that stay open until dawn, this central street Mykonos starts from the old harbor, ends at the heart of Mykonos Town - or ‘Chora’, and deserves to be on every visitor’s bucket list!
4.00 pm - Don’t underestimate the power of a midday siesta!
I know that one day in Mykonos is a limited amount of time on your hands, you don’t want to waste a single second on the island. Nevertheless, you must under no circumstances underestimate the value of a good midday’s sleep that will let you explore the Mykonos popular nightlife with confidence and lots and lots of energy!
For that reason, after your stroll across Matogianni Street, I highly suggest you head to your accommodation and rest for as long as you want -you’re on vacation after all! After a good nap, you’ll have recharged your batteries and you’ll be ready to experience Mykonos by night like a pro!
If you need advice on choosing where to stay in Mykonos check our guide! But be warned; some of these resorts and hotels are so enchanting that you will struggle to leave after just one day on Mykonos island.
6.00 pm - Explore Mykonos Town
Mykonos' Windmills - credits: maugli/Depositphotos.com
Refreshed and ready to take over the nighttime scene of Mykonos, right before sunset is the perfect time to explore Mykonos Town and its picturesque cobbled alleys full of history and life! Mykonos Town -or Mykonos ‘Chora’ as most locals call it- is the charming capital of the cosmopolitan island, dearly beloved to every visitor.
It doesn’t take more than a relaxed walk through its narrow streets to see its extraordinary beauty. The traditional Cycladic architecture is nothing but impressive, while scattered around its limits one can find countless stylish cafés and restaurants and a bunch of small churches. Ther characteristic of the buildings of Mykonos’ Town, apart from their Aegean nobility, is that their construction follows a straight, rather minimalist, line.
The coastal road with fishing boats retains an irresistible old-time charm and its famous Windmills, the true trademark of the Mykonos that serves as the background for most pictures and postcards on the island, is the perfect spot to catch the sunset and watch the sun’s warm colors melt into the endless blue.
As expected, the establishments where you can sit for a coffee, a drink, or a full-on meal are more than plenty and if you feel like it, I encourage you to do so, but even if you just walk around and take in the positive vibe, smell the salty air and explore every nook and crevice of the region, you‘ll have an unforgettable afternoon that will make most afternoons of your life pale in comparison.
7.00 pm - Have a drink in Little Venice
Little Venice - credits: javarman/Depositphotos.com
It would be nothing short of a crime to not visit the most emblematic neighborhood of Chora during your one day in Mykonos, known for its good looks and trendy cocktail bars. Yes, you guessed it, I’m talking about Little Venice. Perhaps the most photographed and charming area of Mykonos, Little Venice or ‘Alefkandra’, its original name, is a picturesque Myconian neighborhood built on the sea that strongly resembles Venice in Italy, which is why it earned the nickname it maintains today.
It is a district built in the mid-18th century that used to house wealthy merchants and captains. Elegant and gorgeous houses with colorful windows, stairs, and wooden balconies, built on the sea bank, give the visitor the feeling of being in the famous Italian city -only better. In the afternoons, hundreds of visitors flock to the legendary hotspot to admire the fascinating spectacle of the waves of the wild sea crashing on the rocks on the coast.
Stop at this mesmerizing neighborhood for a drink at one of the many bars found there and combine striking views with delicious cocktails and a friendly atmosphere; the perfect opportunity to mingle with the locals! Kastro Bar, Semeli, and Scarpa are among my top choices when it comes to a relaxed night full of yummy cocktails and chit-chat, but I’m pretty sure that just a few-minute stroll will reveal to you a number of welcoming establishments waiting to host your memorable night.
Now from here on it is totally up to you. You may as well call it a day and decide to cuddle up in your hotel with a good movie and a glass of wine so you can sleep in a decent hour and wake up fresh as a daisy - a relaxing endeavor that sounds like heaven to most couples in Mykonos for a romantic getaway- or you can choose to party like it's 1999! There is no question that if you go with option number two the club scene of Mykonos will reward you greatly; people that claim that New York is the city that never sleeps have obviously never been to Mykonos!
There are literally thousands of options on the island and at least 15 things to do in Mykonos in order to be certain that you’ve explored it thoroughly, earning life experiences that will follow you for the rest of your life. If you’re thinking about booking your tickets and making Mykonos your next holiday destination, there is nothing that should stop you. Whether you spend 1 or 3 days in Mykonos, maybe even a week if you think your wallet can take it, you will never get bored and the experience will be unforgettable!
We hope you enjoyed our one-day Mykonos itinerary, suitable for cruise passengers too. Add Mykonos in your Greek island hopping destinations and be one of the many that nurture a deep love affair with the ‘island of the winds’ and make your summer's worth waiting for! Don’t forget to check our tours in Mykonos, so you can explore the island like a local.