Mykonos, in the Cycladic islands, famous for her white cube villages and relaxed island lifestyle, Mykonos has come to epitomise the Greek summer holiday.
Close to the islands of Syros, Tinos and Delos, Mykonos is 176 km from Athens and 135 km from Santorini. An island of only 14 by 10 km; she has put her name on the international map.
Home of bright light, clear waters, sandy beaches, the deep blue Aegean sea and fresh air, Mykonos is also known for her luxury, style and jet set lifestyle.
With thousands of little lane ways to explore, the main town of Mykonos can only be seen on foot. Due to the high numbers of tourists during summer, we really do suggest that you do not visit in high season, it is best to visit in shoulder season of spring or autumn, when you will still be able to experience beautiful weather on the island.
Mykonos town is also known as Chora.
In the harbour, which is known as the old port, you will see a traditional seaside fishing village with wharves, coloured fishing boats, fishing nets, the work benches for cleaning the fish.
These are all mixed in with sparkling luxury yachts from all around the world, speed boats and a string of tavernas, jewellers and boutiques around the port.
From here ferries depart daily for Delos, and further around the port
larger ferries depart for many other islands. The huge cruise ships and
some other ferries depart from the large 'new port' which is about 1.5
km out of town.
After enjoying the old port, walk around the point to the area known as Kastro to marvel at the old white churches known as paraportiani. The name means inner door, which it was in medieval times.
This totally white structure is really a group of five small churches, whose first beginnings date back to 1475.
The curves amidst the white light, next to the blue of the Aegean are something to behold, pure simplicity and the essence of nature. One can see here architecture responding to the environment.
Walking on a little further you will discover more sweet white lane ways, some leading to the sea, and see buildings built right to the ocean side. This is the area known as Little Venice because of the houses built right by the water.
Many café bars line the seaside, forming a most romantic relaxing zone of Mykonos, of course overlooking the bright blue-green bay to the silhouettes of the large windmills on the next hill.
In the lane ways of Little Venice can be found boutiques and jewellery stores, amongst the atmospheric bars, galleries and cafes.
Here is the beautiful Kastro Bar, a sweet and romantic setting; perfect for a cocktail and one of the late night spots of this party town.
Katerina's Bar and restaurant is also here, with two seaside balconies also a great spot to watch the sunset.
The walk way comes right down to the edge of the water and here are some of the most romantic bars of Mykonos Greece. Here is one of our favourites, Scarpa Bar, just too cool and in the perfect location next to the water, with a complete view to the windmills.
The windmills date from Venetian times and were used to grind wheat. They no longer have sails and are not functional, just a reminder of times past. The thatch is restored often, and sitting up on the hill overlooking Little Venice, they are a reminder that Mykonos is one of the windiest islands, and these mills are perfectly placed to grab the wind.
To our surprise the area around the windmills is completely undeveloped, there are no tourist stores and virtually no infrastructure. This reminded us that until recently, this was just a simple farming and fishing community. This could also be because the windmills are actually private property. There is one beautifully decorated with its own little gate – named Meltemi, after the wind.
The little lanes or stena in this area of Mykonos town are full of surprises, with not only boutiques and jewellery studios, but restaurants, bars, the outdoor cinema, gardens, cafés and tiny hotels squeezed in amongst the white walls, white-washed houses and cascading flowers.
Endless curves and arches lead you on a dance of discovery, that is if you don't stop too long to take photographs. This is why it is important to visit in a quiet season, as the narrow paths are just your own to explore.
Another trick to capture great photos is to wander after 2pm which is siesta time, most smart people are sleeping!
There is so much to explore in Mykonos for serious shoppers. Many world class designers are represented here. Strolling amongst the whitewashed studios is a pleasure.
At Ag. Anargiron 13 is a treasure trove of interesting handcrafts and jewels, including hand-made jewellery by Chrys Kalfas.
Visit the studio of Vera Mondeki (pictured here) for stylish and unique hand-made jewels in Ag. Anargiron street, behind Little Venice. Vera and her sister craft these wonderful creations themselves and will gladly help you select a piece just for you.
For upmarket style in fashion, jewellery and art, visit Galerie Tsangarakis on Enoplon Dynameon 13, Mykonos Town.
Kastro Bar, Little Venice, Mykonos Town
Katerina's Bar, Little Venice, Mykonos Town
Scarpa Bar, Little Venice, Mykonos Town
Jackie O Bar, Old Port, Mykonos Town
Puerto, Plaza Mando, Mykonos Town
Bubbles Gallery, Agios Vlassis, Mykonos Town
Astra Bar, Three Wells, Mykonos Town
Cine Manto is an outdoor cinema in the heart of Chora, hard to find amongst all the lane ways. Σινέ Μαντώ is open from May to September with a beautiful garden setting, a great way to see a movie in Mykonos. Meletopoulou Gardens in Matogianni.
Flights to Mykonos
From Athens take Aegean Airlines, Olympic Airways to Mykonos, with a flying time of 40 minutes. Flights are also available in peak season from Santorini, Rhodes and Crete. Flights arrive from several European countries in summer.
Ferries to Mykonos Greece
Mykonos is one of the most popular islands in Greece and so has direct ferry connections from Athens. Ferries depart from the ports of Pireaus and Rafina to Mykonos. Rafina is the closest port to the international airport.
There are always more ferry services in summer than in winter and it is best to check the schedules in shoulder season such as spring and autumn.
Below is an approximation of the ferries to Mykonos, during summer there are fast and super fast services that run more quickly and more frequently.
Always check the up-to-date schedules and if possible book through an agent at the port as they have the most current information. Timetables and departures can change at short notice, especially due to the tides and the weather.
Companies servicing these routes include Blue Star Ferries, Cyclades Fast Ferries, Sea Jets and Hellenic Seaways.
Pireaus to Mykonos 5.5 hours
Rafina to Mykonos 4.5 hours
Syros to Mykonos 1.5 hours
Andros to Mykonos 2.5 hours
Tinos to Mykonos 40 mins
Ferries from Mykonos Greece
From Mykonos it is easy to explore the other Cycladic islands such as Paros, Sifnos, Ios, Milos, Amorgos and Thira (Santorini). To get to Crete from Mykonos take a ferry to Thira then to Crete.
Mykonos to Naxos 45 mins
Mykonos to Paros 1 hour
Mykonos to Amorgos 3 hours (via Naxos)
Mykonos to Sifnos 4.5 hours
Mykonos to Ios 6 hours
Mykonos to Milos 9.5 hours (via Naxos)
Mykonos to Thira 2.5 hours (with flying cat)
Mykonos to Thira to Crete 5 hours (with flying cat)
Below are some more beautiful images of Mykonos...
"I call it 'light madness', seeing things so clearly, even the inside of your own mind; dangerous! The Mykonos light just makes the whole experience metaphysical".