Mykonos is a dream holiday destination in Greece. It is often called the party capital of the islands, but it has plenty to offer every style of traveller, so don’t worry if the nightlife is not for you. It is a great luxury getaway with plenty of wonderful things to see and do while you are there.
More about Mykonos
Mykonos is one of the Cyclades islands and is fairly small, being just 10 km long and 15 km wide. About 10,000 people call Mykonos home on a full-time basis, and annually they will be invaded by over 1 million tourists during the summer months. Tourism is very much part of the economy on this stunningly beautiful island. It is actually the second most popular tourist destination in Greece, with the first being Santorini.
It boasts some white sand beaches that are some of the most beautiful in the world, including the aptly named Paradise Beach, Paranga, and Super Paradise. If you are looking to soak up the sun in a peaceful environment away from the crowds, you will find some gorgeous secluded coves, as there are over 25 different white sand beaches. Mykonos is also famous for the gorgeous whitewashed properties that appear all over the landscape and the myriad of windmills it has to offer.
For those who enjoy music and late-night dancing, there is lively nightlife in Mykonos, and it is a dream gig for many of the international DJs on the circuit. The capital is Chora, and this is a very tourist set-up affair. It boasts plenty of trendy bars, narrow streets, and shops, and Greek taverns. Perhaps its most famous area is Little Venice, which is a beautiful storybook-type harbour. It’s a fabulous location to watch the sunset in one of the bars that overlook the water. It’s certainly an outstanding destination that you should take the time to visit.
If you are looking for luxury and opulence, check out our ten best things to see and do in Mykonos that are out of this world.
1. Sunset yacht cruise
Mykonos has stunning sites, no matter what time of day, but there is something truly magical about the sunset. Watching the light turn a golden yellow and diffuser around the landscape is just wonderful. One of the best ways to experience this is from a sunset yacht cruise. There are many different charter boat companies offering this service, so have a good look around and see what sounds best for you. Many of them include added extras like a glass of champagne to sip as the sun goes down.
This would be an amazing way to finish an intimate meal for two, and unsurprisingly many tours depart from Little Venice, where you will also find a gorgeous range of eateries offering many different types of food. Be sure to book your place on one of the tours well in advance. While we are discussing watching the sunsets, another great place is Mykonos town because it is home to the legendary windmills that stand at the end of the promenade. As the sun sinks into the sea, the sky changes colours from red to blue, giving a stunning backdrop which is well worth experiencing from one of the many bars along the promenade.
2. Helicopter tours
A helicopter gives you an amazing Birdseye view of your local surroundings. This is another popular luxury tourist offering on Mykonos, and your helicopter tour can be booked as part of a group or as a private couples tour. The beaches are stunning no matter how you view them, and it’s amazing to fly effortlessly over the gorgeous white sand as it contrasts where it meets the beautiful crystal clear blue waters.
Cruise over the white buildings that Mykonos is so famous for, and your tour guide will help you locate and enjoy many different landmarks. Unless your accommodation happens to come with its own helipad, the Mykonos heliport is located in Tourlos, and you will need to book and make your way there as agreed. If you have never experienced a helicopter ride before, then this could be the most amazing first-time outing.
3. Wine tasting
While it may not have a reputation as being one of the most prolific wine-producing areas, Mykonos does have some impressive local wines. One of the vineyards is Mykonos, Vioma Organic Farm and Vineyard, and they offer some wine tasting twice per day 2PM and 4PM.
While you are there, you will get to experience the production techniques, as well as getting to taste some of the local produce. The farm and vineyard are set in a stunningly gorgeous location not far from Maou, which is a historic monastery vineyard near Ano Mara. There is also the option of adding a bike tour through the vineyards if you’re feeling energetic. If you prefer, you can just sit under the shaded tables and keep enjoying a glass or two of wine.
4. Charter visit to Delos Island
Delos is about 40 minutes boat ride from Mykonos, and there are daily ferry trips heading over to the island, but these do get very crowded. For a more luxurious experience, you can take one of the charter yachts and arrive in style. Delos is a small island with massive archaeological significance and was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1990. There is something very haunting about the preserved ruins that include temples, theatres and homes. Until around 2000 years ago, there were over 30,000 Greeks living on the island. You can still see evidence of the civilisations from the Aegean world, as well as the 3rd millennium BC right through to the palaeochristian times. The legend is that Apollo, the god of light and Goddess Artemis were both born there, which meant the island became sacred.
5. Boutique shopping
Mykonos Town (Chora) boasts a very high-end boutique shopping experience. There are still lots of souvenir tourist shops, but these are very heavily outweighed by upscale boutiques. There are some gorgeous brand-name clothing, retailers, Swarovski crystal-encrusted shoes, and lots of gorgeous jewellery perfect for a reminder of your time on the island. If you enjoy art, be sure to visit the gorgeous galleries where you can acquire works from both internationally renowned artists and up-and-coming locals.
The shops have an excellent opening hours policy, with many staying open until after midnight. If you don’t want to carry your purchases around, that is no problem, and they can be delivered to your hotel or Villa and be waiting when you return. In the mornings, the town is bustling with crowds hoping to find bargain price seafood delights from the fish market at the Old Port. There is no denying that the gorgeous narrow stone-paved alleyways and picturesque blue domed churches create the most stunning backdrop, so don’t forget your camera.
6. Take a Greek cooking class
If you are hoping to achieve culinary greatness, then why not book into a culinary seminar which teaches everything you need to know about traditional Greek cooking? It is held in the village of Messaria, which is a very traditional village and hosted at Mykonian Spiti. It is a very hands-on workshop that begins with collecting your ingredients locally and learning how to prepare them in authentic Greek style with a local chef guiding you through the process. When the food is ready, you can dine in style in this gorgeous stone-built Mykonian house, where you will also have some of the most wonderful locally produced wine to accompany your meal.
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7. Enjoy an open air movie
Thanks to the delicious climate, watching a movie in the open air is the perfect way to spend a warm evening in Greece. Cine Manto is located in Mykonos town and creates a fabulous backdrop underneath the stars, with blockbuster movies rotating daily. Guests can enjoy the film with soft drinks and popcorn, and they even offer classic movies from time-to-time. It’s romantic and intimate and sure to be a hit on your luxury holiday to Mykonos.
8. Head to unspoilt beaches
You will find that many of the larger beaches are crowded and heavily set with restaurants and bars along the town side. But if this is too touristy, and you want to get away from it all and experience a much more unspoiled natural beach, then head to either Agios Sostis Bay, Fokos Bay or Agrari. Agios Sostis Bay is a true hidden gem because there is no public transport in that area. It requires a rental vehicle which many tourists don’t bother with. It is a beautiful 250-meter stretch of golden sand nestled up to the edge of crystal-clear waters.
It’s the perfect location for a swim without loads of onlookers nearby. Fokos Bay is hidden on the northern side of the island and has no facilities to speak of, but that is one traditional Tavern nearby. Again, you will only access the beach in a private vehicle, meaning it stays relatively hidden and very tranquil, no matter what time of year you visit. Finally, Agrari is another quiet stretch with powder-like white sand and mesmerically clear waters that shimmer in hues of indigo. The beach is stunning and features just one small café offering a few sun lounges. There is a walk down to the beach, and visitors should be where that this is quite steep and very narrow, so must exercise caution.
9. Learn a water-based activity
Head to Platis Gialos or Kalafatis and experience some high-impact adventurous water sports with experienced professionals looking after you. There are several activity centres in the area where you can try out scuba diving, jet skiing, waterboarding, flyboarding and kite surfing. Mykonos diving centre has been open since 1978 and has very experienced local teachers ready to show you the basics of exploring under the water. They have an outstanding safety reputation and provide all the equipment you could need. There is something very magical about seeing the Aegean sea bed.
If you head to Koreas Bay, you’d find Mykonos’s Kitesurfing Central. It’s just a short 2.5 km drive away from Chora, and the kite Mykonos centre is on hand to give you a fabulous day learning kitesurfing, which is ever-growing in popularity. Jet ski rental is an ideal way to explore some of the local coves and bays, but if you’ve never used one before, it’s always worth a quick lesson from a professional who can run you through the safety aspects. JetSki rental is only on offer to people who are over 15 years of age. If you really aren’t a fan of watersports, then why not consider hiring a quad bike and exploring the island? You can head off-road and explore some of the more remote locations, and more often than not, quad hire is a cheaper option than hiring a car.
10. Spend a day at SantAnna
This stunning beach, bar and restaurant combines luxury and elegance and makes the perfect way to spend a day. Found in Paranga Bay. SantAnna is a fabulous retreat where you can indulge in beauty treatments or just relax by the side of the pool with a drink in hand. You can also take advantage of the private cabanas for a more intimate experience. There are several beauty salons on the premises offering a range of wellness treatments, and it is the largest seawater swimming pool in the whole of Europe. The resort has been open since 2017, and guests can enjoy the culinary delights on offer at a top-notch fusion restaurant. The menu is comprehensive and includes a range of signature dishes, fresh caught seafood, and sushi. During the summer, they host a range of events, including concerts and private parties. It is a very lavish setting and just perfect for a day of escaping the hustle and bustle of the island.
So there we have it. My top 10 favourite things to do in Mykonos and I’d love to hear if you have any more to add to this list so we can go and explore these ones too!!
Kerrie Potts is CEO at Exclusive Private Villas Limited. Exclusive Private Villas offers exquisite, handpicked luxury villas around the world.
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