Where to go in Mykonos
One of the biggest decisions other than when to go to Mykonos is where to stay, which really depends on what you hope to do while you’re here. Is shopping, partying, and nightlife your priority? Spending time at the beach? Or do you prefer lots of tranquility for relaxation and romance? The reality is every town on the island is ideal for honeymooners and other romance-seekers, but for everything else, it’s important to understand what to expect in each area.
If nightlife is important, you can always stay in Chora, and take the bus to the beach during the day. After dancing the night away, you’ll be able to walk back to your hotel. But there are options for everyone on this island, with several towns and beaches to suit a variety of travel styles, you just need to know which are the best for your style.
Mykonos Town or Chora, as it’s also known, is the largest town on the island, the place where all the action happens, with a ton of shops, restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife in the historic core. The city streets are closed to traffic during the day so be prepared for lots of walking – the main roads into town will be blocked off at night. The charming labyrinth of narrow streets make cars or even scooters totally impractical.
You will find outstanding bus connections that will bring you to the island’s interior villages and the beaches. The bottom line is that if you want to be close to dining, shopping and nightlife, you’ll want to stay in Mykonos Town. If you’re visiting in the high season and aren’t a fan of noise or hustle and bustle, which can be overwhelming here in July and August, consider a stay elsewhere.
The Paradise Beach area is one of the most famous across the globe. The beach itself is stunning and serves as the center of the summer’s best parties, geared to the young and hip who want to spend most of their day enjoying DJs, dancing, swimming, and sunbathing.
It’s home to The Paradise Beach Club, the largest on Mykonos and ranked among the best clubs in the world. You’ll find top international DJs at The Venue, another popular party spot that draws VIPS and those who come to see and be seen from nearly every corner of the planet. There are lots of hotel rooms, apartments, and a resort, with prices ranging from more economical to luxurious.
Ornos village is just a couple miles south of Mykonos Town. It’s home to Ornos Beach, one of the most popular on the island, with calm and shallow blue waters, white sands and lots of sun loungers. There are multiple seafood eateries right next to the beach, while the streets around it are lined with guesthouses and boutique hotels.
If it gets too crowded here for your liking, just five minutes on foot (north) will bring you to lesser-known Korfos Beach where you can almost always find a spot to yourself. Another plus is that boat trips to Delos Island depart from here and Ornos is the starting point for the water taxi that will bring you to Paradise, Super Paradise, Paraga, and Platis Gialos. There is also regular bus service to and from Mykonos Town, making it easy to spend time there too.
Platis Gialos is just 2.5 miles south of Mykonos Town and offers a little of something for everyone. In this area you’ll have an excellent mix of accommodation options, restaurants, laid-back nightlife and beautiful sands. Families like this area because the beach has white sand and calm, brilliant turquoise waters for swimming.
It’s a long stretch with many amenities like umbrellas and sunbeds for sipping cocktails while lounging with a view. As the best beach for water sports, visitors can also enjoy wakeboarding, standup paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, water skiing, fishing and more. If you want to explore other beaches, water taxis can bring you to other south coast beaches like Paranga, Agrari, Elia, Paradise, and Super Paradise, too. If you want to stay right at beachfront, there are numerous villas and hotels to choose from.
The Elia beach area has the most relaxed vibe of all the south coast beaches, located just over six miles from Chora. It’s home to charming Cycladic homes and is also quieter, with more of a family atmosphere as the last stop on the water taxi. The beach itself is the longest of the island’s sandy beaches and is filled with sunbeds and umbrellas, but there is plenty of room to stretch out on the sand with an area that’s sunbed-free too.
You’ll also find plenty of facilities for water sports like water skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing. There are beach bars, tavernas, and an outstanding restaurant for seafood, Elia Mykonos, which also rents out beach chairs. If you’re looking for more, about 10 minutes from the west end of the beach you’ll reach picturesque Agrari, which sits in a protected bay with calm, shallow waters, deck chairs, and several beach restaurants.
Ano Mera is the second biggest town on Mykonos but it has a small-town feel and it’s not overrun by tourists. This is where you’ll want to stay if you’re looking to get away from the crowds and the parties, enjoying peace and quiet for relaxation as well as the chance to learn more about the local culture. It sits at the island’s center, so you won’t be able to walk to the beach, but beaches are easy to access by rental car, taxi, or public transport.
Mykonos Town is a half-hour away and can also be reached by public transport or other means. You’ll find plenty of hotels to choose from along with restaurants that range from cheap and casual to fine dining, including lots of seafood. There are some great sites nearby too, like the ruins of Gyzi Castle that sit just above the village, a cemetery, and old market.
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