It’s hard to resist the charm of this idyllic Greek paradise. Mykonos presents a delightful blend of postcard-perfect beauty, fascinating ancient history and hip hangouts - with plenty of unexpected treasures waiting to be discovered.
With some of the best nightclubs in the world – if partying is high up on your agenda, Mykonos will not disappoint. But this incredible destination certainly hasn’t lost its Greek identity. It also boasts spectacular beaches, a cultured old town and quintessential landscape - dotted with sugar-cube houses, blue-domed churches and iconic windmills. Constantly compared to St Tropez and Ibiza, this designer island certainly caters to an A-list crowd - with its label-laden shops, luxury accommodation and uber-cool dining and nightlife. But it shouldn’t be overlooked by those seeking less glitz and glam and more island-hopping and adventures.
Mykonos town (Chora) is one of the nicest towns in all of the Greek islands, and the largest on Mykonos. Situated on the west coast of the island, you will find great shops, high-end boutiques and restaurants. All surrounded by beautiful whitewashed houses and picturesque churches. The street layout was engineered to confuse pirates, so expect to amble for hours around the winding maze of streets. It is also the town where you will find all the best bars and clubs, and is known as the ‘Ibiza of Greece’ to many partygoers during the summer season.
Eight kilometres west from Mykonos Town, Ano Mera, is the only town situated inland. It is a beautiful unspoilt part of the island, and life concentrates on the working monastery here. The Panagia Tourliani Monastery, founded in 1542, sits in the centre of the village. It has an impressive bell tower and fountain, but it is the Byzantine iconography which is the real draw. You can visit in the morning and afternoon, but will need to dress appropriately, no beach wear allowed. There are also a few taverns and souvenir shops, a market and a bakery to discover.
Stretching along the south coast, these three beaches are some of the busiest on Mykonos. They all have a very lively social and gay scene, particularly in the summer months when loud party music can be heard all day, culminating with an evening celebration at night. Revellers are sure to have a good time on one of these beaches, and on parts of Paranga and Super Paradise clothing is optional. During the summer, it is easiest to get to Paradise and Super Paradise by regular boat (kaik) taxis.
On the east of Mykonos sits the quiet and sandy Kalafatis, which almost feels like a different island. Here you will find serene beaches lining the azure blue of the Aegean Sea and stretching two kilometres. It has great conditions for surfing and windsurfing, and the crystal clear water make it ideal for snorkelling. This is a great place to come if you want to get away from the crowds of Mykonos town and spend a leisurely day on the beach. As it is out of the way, it is recommended to plan ahead, as the buses run quite sporadically. Alternatively, take a boat taxi and see some of the beautiful coastline.
Delos, a small but beautiful uninhabited island just west of Mykonos, is a UNESCO world heritage area. According to ancient myth, Delos is where the Greek god Apollo was born – there is a whole sanctuary dedicated to him. You will find open archaeological sites all over Delos, indicative of the ancient history of the Cyclades. There are daily excursions from Mykonos Town, leaving from the harbour throughout the morning. This is must-see for the area, as it gives insight into the history and romantic ideals of the Greek islands.
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