6 Best Things to Do in Mykonos, Greece
Images of Mykonos conjure up iconic windmills, traditional white cubist Cycladic architecture with bright blue doors and a maze of cobbled streets that are enjoyable just to get lost in. The island is also famous for its beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, world-class restaurants, and buzzing nightlife that draws plenty of VIPs and those who come to see and be seen.
While you could easily spend your trip simply soaking up the sun and the sand, wandering through Chora and Little Venice, you might want to plan some activities that will allow you to get to know the island, its landscapes and its culture a bit better. Of course, a day or more at the beach, enjoying those clear cobalt waters is still a must.
As you put together your itinerary, consider these top things top things to do for a well-rounded getaway that allows you to experience the best Mykonos has to offer.
Visit the Historic Windmills and Stick Around for a Sunset
If you have time for only one thing on this list, it should be to visit the island’s historic windmills. An iconic symbol of the island, they overlook Little Venice, the most enchanting neighborhood in Mykonos, so you can start there. While much of the architecture on the island is Cycladic, it’s characterized by Venetian-inspired 16th- and 17th-century sea captains’ homes and buildings with brightly painted wooden doors that sit right along the waterfront.
Many house cafes, bistros and bars that are perfect for dining or drinking with a view. From here, walk to the windmills with your back facing Little Venice. They were originally built by the Venetians in the 16th-century for grain production, but today, they’re known as one of the best vantage points for a spectacular view of the harbor, sea, Chora, and a glorious sunset.
Go Beach Hopping
Mykonos is famous around the world for its gorgeous pale to golden sands and crystal-clear sapphire waters. There’s a beach for everyone here, whether you’re looking to party and enjoy beach bars, take part in thrilling water sports, or simply enjoy relaxing on a secluded stretch. With so many options it can be hard to choose a favorite, so you might want to rent a car and go beach hopping or join a tour to explore several.
Local guides know where the best hidden stretches are that few tourists know about. The most organized beaches are along the southern coast, although they can get rather crowded during the busy summer season. Super Paradise is just minutes from Chora, known for its all-day parties and beach bars, but it’s also a great place to swim in glistening emerald waters or sunbathe on powdery soft sands.
Take a Boat Trip to Delos
Only a few miles from Mykonos, Delos is a popular day trip. It’s easy to reach by taking a boat tour from the village of Ornos and there are multiple options, many of which include a tasty meal with wine and visits to other enticing spots like Rhenia Island with its unspoiled beaches. The sacred island of Delos, which Greek mythology says was the birthplace of Apollo, is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country.
While it’s uninhabited today, it was once the world’s commercial center. You’ll be able to walk among the ruins, including some of the most extensive remains from the golden age of classical Greece, dating from the 5th- and 4th-century BC, and some even earlier than that. They include the Propylaea and Sanctuary of Apollo, mosaics, a theater, statues, and more.
Explore the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos
If you have any interest in the history of Mykonos, don’t miss the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos which faces the sea in the Old Port in Chora. It was primarily founded to preserve vestiges recovered from the 5th-century BC Purification Pit, unearthed in 1898. It now displays ancient artifacts uncovered in excavations throughout the island, and in nearby Delos and Rhenia, that date all the way from prehistoric times through the Hellenistic period.
You’ll be able to marvel at clay and marble sculptures, jewelry, ceramics, and vases. The collection of vases is particularly noteworthy, including a 7th-century BC vase with an image of the Trojan horse. There is also an impressive, rare clay figurine of a beautiful woman wearing a traditional himation and chiton from the 2nd century AD that was discovered at Rhenia, among countless other treasures.
Learn How to Cook Mykonian Fare & Enjoy the Results
Just about everyone who visits Mykonos raves about the cuisine, and what better souvenir than to learn how to prepare it yourself? Many people travel here to capture the magic of the Greek islands, which includes the culture and one of the best ways to do that is to take an authentic cooking class.
Plus, you’ll be able to cook some of your favorite dishes for your friends and family back home. There are lots of good options, from home-hosted instruction to classes held at traditional farm estates. Many bring the chance to get to know a local family while learning how to prepare local recipes using fresh seasonal ingredients. You’ll help make the meal and then sit down to enjoy it with your new friends, complete with Mykonos wine and other drinks.
Take a look at our Island Hopping the Cyclades itinerary for the chance to add an optional cooking class to your trip.
Discover the Island’s Hidden Treasures on a 4X4 Excursion
A variety of 4X4 tours are available on Mykonos too, providing the opportunity to discover the hidden treasures that most visitors never see. There are options for private tours with exclusive itineraries that are personalized to your own interests, an ideal way to celebrate your newly wedded bliss, an anniversary or anything else.
You’ll hop into a Jeep to explore backroads and reach secluded beaches, perhaps sipping homemade Greek wine as you watch the sun go down. Or head out in a 4X4 with a small group of other Mykonos travelers for the chance to make a new friend or two as you roll through the island, stopping to take advantage of incredible photo-ops and enjoy refreshing swims.
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