We all know that Mykonos has a reputation for being a bit of a rave lover’s dream. But beyond the fist-pumping mania and ever-present electric hue of glow sticks pulsating through the air, what should you do on Mykonos Island? Well, never fear because I am one of those total weirdos who is in her jimmies by 9:00 pm, binge-watching the latest crime show on Netflix.
That’s why when I booked my trip to Mykonos I was a little nervous. I started to wonder, “Would there be anything to do besides hop on a booze cruise? I can safely say that whether you like to party or are an old lady in training like me there is a Mykonos itinerary for you. And while this Mykonos itinerary is geared more towards cultural activities, I can assure you that the party scene is alive and well for anyone aspiring to have their own reality tv series on American television.
Enjoy one of the Mykonos’s 25 beaches
This is a vacation, so you’ll probably want to relax, at least a little. Well, what better place to do that than at one of Mykonos 25 beaches. And trust me, these beaches are amazing. No rocky shores, muddy waters or super slimy algae to contend with. Instead, just soft, almost plush, white sand, pristine crystal blue water, and some man-made cushioned lounge chairs that come with seat side, drink service. Throw in a mobile masseuse and you have some of the best beaches that I’ve ever seen.
Sure, the house music is a bit loud, and yes, some random guy may grind up on you while you’re walking along the boardwalk, but there are quiet stretches of beach where you can sip your drink in peace while listening to your headphones.
Because I was only spent 3 days in Mykonos, I only visited Paragas and Psarou beaches. Of the two, I enjoyed Paragas more since it was less crowded. I mean, no one actually got to the beach before 2 pm, so I pretty much had the place to myself until then (maybe that was a hangover recovery period). The one drawback though is that Paragas isn’t as easily accessible via public transportation.
Explore Mykonos town
Mykonos town is set among a series of cobblestone alleys and narrow, almost maze-like village side lanes that create a picture-perfect view of iconic, Greek architecture.
As you stroll past designer boutiques, traditional tavernas, and touristy souvenir shops, you momentarily catch a glimpse of a man, walking home after a long day of work. For a brief moment, the overabundant tourist attractions fade away and all you are left with Greece, pure and simple. So, whatever you do, throw on a pair of comfy shoes and get lost in this labyrinth of alleyways.
Amidst all your wanderings, be sure to stop at the church of Paraportiani (It’s the famous, rock-like, Greek, white-washed church, that all the tourists seek out. Just minus the blue domes). Panagia Paraportiani is definitely the most famous church on the entire island and is comprised of four small chapels, with a bonus chapel in the upper story.
When I visited I actually wanted to venture inside the church to learn about its history, but sadly it was locked (and usually is). That’s why I had to settle for an Instagramable shot of the church’s whitewashed exterior, set against the clear blue of the nearby ocean.
Also make sure that you visit the famous windmills that are set upon a hill, overlooking the entire town. These white, cylindrical windmills are relics of the past that overlook the entire village of Mykonos. Each one has a pointed roof and a series of tiny windows that make it difficult to see inside. Because these windmills can be seen anywhere in the village, they have become an icon of the island and are worth a visit.
Take a day trip to Delos
For a tiny, 5 kilometer island, Delos sure packs a serious archeological punch since this site is actually considered one of the most important historical sites in all of Greece. That’s because this island lies at the center of the Cyclades and was a hub of trade and commerce in the mid-third century BC.
While there are a ton of tile mosaics and Doric columns scattered throughout the island, many of Delos’ most precious artifacts are actually preserved in the island’s on-site museum, which includes an exquisite collection of lions from the Terrace of the Lions (the lions on the outdoor terrace are plaster replicas).
Other points of interest on the island include the House of Dolphins, the Sacred Lake, Mt. Kynthos, the House of Dionysos, the House of Masks, and the Artemision.
Because there is so much to see and do here (don’t miss the stunning, and largely intact tile mosaics at the House of Dolphins), I would allocate a minimum of 2 hours to exploring the island. I also recommend hiring a tour guide to show you around and help you appreciate the rich history of this intoxicatingly beautiful place (get a guide on the island because it’s a lot cheaper than hiring one on Mykonos. They also help you cut the slow-moving ticket line).
Overnight stays on the island are prohibited, so you will need to take a 30-40 minute ferry ride to and from Mykonos Island, for a roundtrip cost of €20 (kids 6-12 are only €10). Delos Tours has ferries that leave from Mykonos at 10:00 am and 5:00 pm on Mondays, and at 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am, and 5:00pm on Tuesdays through Sundays. Ferries leaving from Delos depart at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm on Mondays and at 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, and 7:30 pm (You can choose any combination of ferry times since your ticket is not time but day specific).
Island Admission: Adults are €12 and children are free.
Hours: From April through October the island is open from 8am – 8pm. From November though March the island is open from 8 am – 3pm.
So there you have it, my guide to have a truly memorable visit to Mykonos and experiencing all the beautiful culture that this island has to offer. So rent a scooter, eat some feta and Greek pastries, and soak up the sun as you sunbath the day away. Just pack some sunscreen because the sun is a bit strong.
Kelly Duhigg currently lives in New York and works there as a nanny. In her spare time, she travels across the globe and shares all of her hilarious adventures on her travel blog, Girl with the Passport. She hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams of travel, no matter what. Follower her on Facebook and Instagram.