When people think of Greek island paradises, the island of Mykonos is what they picture. With its whitewashed buildings, sandy beaches, crystal blue waters and 300 days of sunshine, it’s no wonder why this nonstop party island is one of the most popular travel destination in the Aegean Sea. Steeped in tradition and myth, Mykonos is said to be formed from the bodies of giants that were slayed by Hercules.
Today, the island is a playground for celebrities and a regular stop for the world’s largest cruise ships. Come to island, not only to explore all the fun attractions and things to do in Mykonos but also to experience the quintessential Greek island atmosphere. With the maze-like streets of Mykonos Town that are lined with little shops, art galleries, stylish bars and restaurants you’’re set for an unforgettable vacation.
See also: Where to Stay in Mykonos
17. Armenistis Lighthouse
This lighthouse stands like a sentinel over the Armenistis area, bearing symbolic testimony to the rich maritime past of Mykonos. The lighthouse overlooks the stretch of water between Mykonos and the neighboring island of Tinos. People continue to visit the site and try to absorb the historical aura of the area.
At present, the octagonal tower is managed by the Hellenic Navy’s Hydrographic Office. The lighthouse itself is not open to the public. But you can visit the site’s exterior. You have the chance to view a heart-stopping sunset with a cliff view, while the historical aura and the eerie, dormant landscape add to the overall magnetism of the site.
16. Agios Sostis Beach
Named after a nearby Church, Agios Sostis beach is one of the more remote beaches in Mykonos. A large, sandy beach, it sits at the northern mouth of a bay and is a favorite amongst surfers due to the strong north-westerly winds. At the beach, you will not find umbrellas, deck chairs or beach bars. As there is no bus connection between Agios Sostis Beach and Mykonos Town, access is limited to private vehicles and taxis.
Kiki’s Tavern offers a great lunch spot. It is an open-air eatery offering local fish dishes and beans. If you are looking for a downbeat beach spot Agios Sostis is highly recommended. Simply bring your towel and find your unspoiled spot on the beach.
15. Archaeological Museum of Mykonos
Built in 1902, the museum’s elegant architecture was designed by the renowned architect Alexandros Lykakis. Among the finds from this historic island is the ‘Pithos’. It is a large jar made in a workshop in the 7th century BC, richly decorated with embossed pictures of scenes from the Trojan War. The display also includes grave statues, funerary urns from Rheneia, and pottery dating from the 25th to 1st century BC.
The museum is located in Mykonos Town, on a dominant position above the old harbour. All relics are spread over six grand, illuminated exhibition rooms and a leafy courtyard. Visitors are welcomed by statues of Hercules and Aphrodite.
14. Rarity Gallery
The Rarity Gallery holds various exhibitions throughout the year, hosting many cosmopolitan artists. Located in in a lovely historic manor house in the heart of Mykonos Town, it is a wonderful way to spend a morning. It was the first gallery in Greece to exhibit the works of internationally recognized contemporary artists.
A range of media is represented: You can find paintings, sculptures, and photographs. Established in 1995, the two curators who founded the gallery said their goal is to offer an original and carefully curated aesthetic experience aimed at strengthening the public’s appreciation for contemporary art, whilst also honoring the artists and their exposure.
13. Cine Manto Mykonos
‘Dinner and movies under the stars’, boasts the official website of Manto Cinema. Greece is famed for their tradition of open-air theater, and this particular Mykonos cinema upholds this custom. From gardens to the cinema, they offer an alternative experience in Mykonos, where you can unwind and find peace while taking part in interesting activities such as partaking in garden yoga, or a mosaic workshop – there is an activity for everyone.
A tiny lush oasis in the heart of bustling Mykonos lies this perfect getaway, the chance to experience romantic films in a retro atmosphere on an island that never sleeps. Grab a bite at the Cine Manto restaurant before a screening, or ask to be served a meal whilst you watch.
12. Folklore Museum
This museum is located in the Kastro neighborhood in Chora, in an 18th-century whitewashed house with red brick windows. It is a storehouse of antiquities belonging to the 19th century. Formally opened to the public in 1958, items on display include vintage furniture, tools, historical photographs, and ceramic tools.
It has a fine collection of paintings and highly preserved cannons from the War of Independence of 1821. If you want a glimpse of a quintessential 19th-century middle-class seating room or bedroom, you can find it here at the Folklore Museum. There are six exhibition halls. You can also see traditional musical instruments, historical plates and prints, locks and keys, and all vintage items.
11. Panormos Beach
Those looking for a more relaxing beach experience can head to the northern side of Mykonos, where a cozy bay forms Panormos Beach, and a cove protects the area from high winds. Less developed and harder to reach than the other beaches, Panormos Beach has fewer accommodations and fewer visitors. Visitors need private transport to get there as no bus or boat goes to Panormos.
The quiet beauty of this beach does attract a regular crowd that enjoys the beach volleyball area and the shaded taverna. Stroll along the white sand or enjoy a walk in the surrounding countryside.
10. Super Paradise Beach
The aptly named Super Paradise Beach seems to have one goal: to out-party Paradise Beach. Travelers who came to Mykonos for peace and quiet should stay away from Super Paradise Beach, where the loud music and open-air party atmosphere is present day and night. Those who did come for the dreamiest summer parties will find the fun that they are looking for at the numerous beach bars.
Dine in a luscious Mykonian spot, the Paraj Restaurant, for fresh fish dishes and seawater views. You can also partake in water sports such as riding on jet skis and wakeboards if partying isn’t your thing.
The sands are completely covered in sunbeds and thatch parasols. To get there, there is now a shuttle operated by the beach club, departing from the bus terminal at Fabrika. This beach represents all that Mykonos has to offer: beauty, enjoyment, and relaxation. The Jackie O’ beach club is a place to let loose with a tremendous beach atmosphere. You can enjoy funky DJ sets in the afternoon that continue throughout the evening.
9. Platys Gialos Beach
On the south side of Mykonos lies Platys Gialos Beach, a family-friendly beach where numerous hotels are located. Hotel guests staying on Platys Gialos can walk directly from their rooms to the beach to relax on a sunbed or enjoy watersports. Platys Gialos is also a mini travel hub where taxi-boats depart regularly for the island’s other famous beaches.
Located just a short distance from the main town of Chora, Platys Gialos Beach lies in a picturesque half-moon bay. Along the beach there is an abundance of Greek and Italian restaurants as well as cheap and delicious Mediterranean take-away.
8. Ano Mera
While it’s easy to spend an entire Mykonos vacation on the beach, an inland excursion to Ano Mera can’t be missed. Here in this village, you can experience a more authentic side of island life away from boutique resorts.
The village of Ano Mera was built around a 16th Century monastery called the Panagia Tourliani. The restored monastery, with its statuesque bell town and marble fountain, can be toured daily. Inside the monastery there is a collection of Byzantine relics for viewing, and the marble-tiled area around the monastery is home to several souvenir shops and restaurants.
Nearby to Ano Mera there is an even older monastery, the Monastery of Paleokastro, as well as the ruins of a Byzantine castle.
7. Panagia Paraportiani
Historic religious sites on Mykonos can also be found along the coastline, and Panagia Paraportiani is one of them. Located at the entrance to the Kastro neighborhood of Chora, the whitewashed walls of this seaside church form a unique shape due to the building’s unusual construction.
Five small churches that were built on top of each other beginning in the 14th Century became the Panagia Paraportiani that can be seen today. The asymmetrical shape and rare combination of architectural styles combined with the ocean view have helped to make Panagia Paraportiani one of the most photographed sites in the world.
6. Paradise Beach
No trip to Mykonos is complete without a visit to Paradise Beach, one of the most popular party spots in all of Greece and home to the island’s largest nightclub. It used to attract all the hippies in the 70s, and a decade ago it was synonymous with the gay community. Currently, it attracts young crowds, who dance, drink, and lie on the sand all day and night, to the sound of music.
During the day, several open-air lounges on Paradise Beach serve cocktails to beachgoers while they relax beneath grass-roofed cabanas and umbrellas. The summer parties start in the middle of the afternoon and last until daybreak. Overlooking the beach is a large club called Cavo Paradiso which has major international DJs playing throughout the summer.
5. Elia Beach
Elia Beach is the largest sandy beach in Mykonos. Somewhat isolated and more laid back than the party beaches, it is almost completely covered in parasols and sunbeds, but there is a small sun-bed-free section. This is where you will see the proud rainbow flags and gay crowds to the far end on the right side. Elia is 25 minutes by car from Mykonos Town. It can be reached by bus, departing from the Old Port or by boat from Platis Gialos.
There are plenty of boutique hotels centered around the beach. With a never-ending beach of white sand and a light cool breeze in the air, customers can expect efficient drinks and food table services from the nearby Arte and Mare Resort restaurant. It is mostly quiet in the morning, with people arriving around lunchtime and leaving in the evening.
4. Kato Milli
Kato Mili, or the “lower windmills” in Greek, is a row of historic windmills that stand facing the sea in the town of Chora. A defining feature of the Mykonos landscape, the wood-and-straw capped windmills were first constructed in the 16th Century by the Venetians.
Today, the preserved windmills are iconic relics that have been converted to museums and are among the most popular attractions in Mykonos. There are currently 16 windmills on Mykonos of which 7 are situated on the famous landmark hill in Chora. Visit the windmills to see how the Venetians harnessed the power of the wind, and enjoy a panoramic view of the town and ocean.
Mykonos makes a great home base for a short trip to the island of Delos, the birth place of Apollo and Artemis in Greek legend. Delos is uninhabited, and daily ferries can take you there from Mykonos for the chance to explore the ruins.
The island’s top sights include the Sacred Harbor, now a dry lake; the Terrace of the Lions, Cleopatra’s House, and the House of Dionysius, a luxury private home built in the second century. Delos also boasts a museum filled with Greek sculptures and vases as well as a small cafe.
2. Little Venice Quarter
As the name suggests, Little Venice Quarter is a section of Mykonos where the barrier between the buildings and the sea is nonexistent. Waves lap the sides of the charming houses, cafes and restaurants that sit elegantly perched on the water’s edge.
Built during the 16th and 17th Centuries by wealthy sea merchants, Little Venice Quarter is situated on the western edge of Chora near Alevkantra beach. The romantic atmosphere and ethereal beauty of Little Venice Quarter make it a favorite hangout for artists who have recreated the scene in countless paintings.
1. Get lost in Mykonos Town
The maze-like streets of Chora were designed to discourage invasion. It was easy for invaders to get lost in the narrow, winding streets, and that is the same for tourists. Embrace it! There are beautiful white buildings with stucco to admire and chic boutiques and fine jewellery shops to explore.
It is a traditional Cycladic village, built around a bay. Cars are not allowed in the heart of town, which makes the walk among the labyrinth highly pleasurable. Bougainvillaea, colourful windows, doors, and balconies, and the mesh of white and cobalt are truly breath-taking. Follow your instincts around the maze. It is quiet in the morning and during the day, yet is invaded by people in the afternoon.