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10 Must Do’s in Mykonos!

Today’s post is going to cover one of my favorite places in the world, the beautiful island of Mykonos, Greece. The whitewashed paradise of Mykonos is only a 40-minute flight from Athens, and it is Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island. Located in the heart of the Cyclades, Mykonos takes it’s name from Apollo’s son, Mykonos. Mythology says the island was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules.

 

 


We happened to be in Mykonos on the day of the Grexit vote and it was quite the experience. The people came together, and were so kind, even in the face of the unknown. On that day, my love affair with Mykonos began. While there are 100’s of things to love about Mykonos, today’s post is going to discuss my top 10 favorite things to do on this beautiful island!

 

1. Explore Mykonos Town


Mykonos town, also called Chora, is the main town on the island of Mykonos. It is a charming town with the white buildings you’ve seen on so many websites. When you arrive in Mykonos you must spend a day exploring the town.

 

The heart of the city is closed off to traffic for most of the day, which makes it very easy to walk around. In Chora, you will find many shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes. There are also five museums. Bring a camera because there is literally a photo opp around every corner.

 


As the sun starts to set the streets of Mykonos town start to fill up with a crowd that is ready to party and dance the night away! You can’t miss this part of the island!

2. Dine in Little Venice


One of the prettiest parts of Mykonos is where the most Western part of the town meets the sea. This part of Mykonos is known as Little Venice, because the buildings are built right on the sea’s edge and their balconies actually hang over the water.

Our waiter told us that the houses were built this way during the 16th-17th centuries because pirating was common, and this made transporting stolen goods much easier and faster.Today, Little Venice is home to many artists and also to many amazing restaurants and bars. Little Venice is busy at all hours, but my favorite time to visit is for dinner. It is the perfect place to dine while watching the sunset over the Aegean Sea. Be aware you may  get splashed by waves as you walk to Little Venice from town. The ocean tends to take over the sidewalks here! Also, don’t forget to bring your camera. Little Venice is one of the most photographed places in Europe for a reason! It is stunning.

 

3. Photograph the Windmills ( Kato Myli)


Since the windmills are a defining feature of the Mykonian landscape they are a must see during your trip to Mykonos. (If you take my advice and have dinner in Little Venice then you will have a wonderful view of them!)  Currently, there are 16 windmills on the island and 7 of them can be found in Chora. The most famous four windmills, which you probably have seen in photos, are the Kato Mills, which stand in a row overlooking the sea in order to gather the strong Northern Winds.
The windmills in Mykonos were built by the Venetians in the 16th century to mill wheat and were an important source of income for the inhabitants.  Although the windmills aren’t in use today, they are still important to the locals on the island, and have been restored in order to preserve their beauty. In fact, one has even been made into a museum.  You simply can’t leave Mykonos without getting a photo of the windmills!

 

4. Visit Panagia Paraportiani!


Mykonos is home to hundreds of churches. So many, that there are over 400 churches on the island! The churches in Mykonos are built as a sign of devotion and some of the locals joke that, “They have a different church for every day of the year!”  Of all of the churches we saw during our trip, Panagia Paraportiani, a Byzantine Church, was my favorite.

 

Panagia Paraportiani is a stunning whitewashed church that started being built in 1425. Construction of the church was not finished until the 17th Century. Panagia Paraportiani is made up of five chapels, but the ground floor chapel is the only one open for visitors.  Visiting is free daily from sunrise to sunset, but please remember to be respectful as this is still an active house of worship.  Panagia Paraportiani is located in the oldest part of Mykonos town and it is quite easy to walk to if you are in the city. My favorite time to visit the church is at sunset as the light is starting to change. From the main entrance there are spectacular views of the Sea!

 

5. See a Film at Cine Manto


You probably haven’t heard about Cine Manto before, but it is a hidden gem in Mykonos that Christopher and I stumbled upon one day.  Basically, Cine Manto is an 11.300 sq. ft.  Botanical garden and open-air theatre located right in the middle of town. Palm Trees surround the space and block out the wind so it is the perfect place to watch a film outside.

 

Cine Manto shows many different films over the summer and it is so relaxing to hang out under the stars. In addition to showing films, Cine Manto also has a restaurant that serves delicious food and drinks. It is a lovely way to spend an evening!

 

Location:  Cine Manto, 84 600 Limni Chora, Mykonos, GREECE

6. Relax at the Beach!

 


I know you’re probably thinking, “Really, relax on the beach is your top tip for traveling to Mykonos?” but here is why I added this one. Sometimes on vacations you get SO caught up in trying to see/do everything that you don’t take the moment to relax and enjoy paradise! Mykonos has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world so make sure to take advantage of them. Some of my favorite beaches are below.

Elia Beach: Elia Beach is one of the longest and most popular beaches in Mykonos. It has nice sand and is family friendly!

 

Platys Gialos Beach: This beach is wide and has many hotels and restaurants along it. It is the perfect place to spend the day! You can also get a water taxi from here to Super Paradise Beach.

Psarou Beach: This beach feels trendy and its only 5 Kilometers SE of Mykonos Town. There are also many restaurants and shops here.

 

Fokus Beach: Fokus Beach is remote, and hard to reach, but absolutely beautiful! You need a car to get to Fokus Beach but if you go you won’t be disappointed. Definitely eat at the Taverna here if you make the trip. Fokus is about 13 kilometers NE of Mykonos Town.

 

 

Lia Beach: Lia is a great beach for swimming and snorkeling. It is quiet and secluded, but well worth the trip! You need your own car to get to Lia. If you go, try La Luna Taverna. Yum!

 

Paraga Beach: I find this beach to be one of the most beautiful ones on the island but it can be very crowded.  Parada Beach is only 6 kilometers from Mykonos and there is a public bus that takes you here so it is quite easy to reach. There are also a lot of restaurant/bar options. Hence, why it is so popular!

 

And if you’re wondering why I didn’t mention Super Paradise/ Paradise Beach just keep reading!

 

7. Take a day trip to Delos!

In my opinion you simply can’t miss seeing Delos on your trip to Mykonos. There are daily excursions to the island from Mykonos town every day except for Monday when the archeological site is closed. Boats leave for Delos at 9am, 10am and 11am right behind the church Agios Nikolaos. The boat ride is only about thirty minutes, but be aware it can be very rocky.
Delos is a small, uninhabited island close to Mykonos that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Legend has it that Delos was the birthplace of the God of Apollo, (The God of Music and Light) and the Goddess Artemis, (The Goddess of wilderness, animals and the hunt.) In the past it was believed no mortal would ever be allowed to be born on the land. Women in labor even used to actually leave the island to give birth! Now Delos is known for its important archaeological site.
The waves were so big that we were thrown all over the place. Once you get to Delos it is well worth the trip! Archeologists believe Delos has been inhabited since the 3rd Millennium BCE. Incredible! While in Delos expect to see sites like the Sanctuary of Apollo, the theatre, the House of Dionysis and the famous Terrace of the Lions. Words really can’t express how impressive Delos is to visit. It feels sacred.
Boats return to Mykonos 12:15pm, 1:30pm, and 3:00pm. Make sure to hike Mount Kynthos before you leave. It is a steep climb but the view of the ruins from the top is magnificent!

8. Go to the world famous beach party at Paradise Beach!

When you think of Mykonos, you think of beach parties, so attending one of the world famous parties at Super Paradise, or Paradise Beach, is a must while in Mykonos! They are insanely fun and compete with Ibiza’s beach parties! Paradise is the most popular beach party and it can be easily accessed via a bus from town. Super Paradise is about a twenty-minute walk from Paradise over the hill.
At around 4pm the music starts blaring at these two beaches and they turn into quite the party. Think a club on the beach. Overall, we liked Super Paradise a bit more than Paradise beach. Paradise seemed a bit younger and like Spring Break in Mexico. Super Paradise was more like a trendy club. Either way, anything can happen at these beach parties. Don’t be shocked if you see people dancing the night away nude!

 

TIP: Hire a driver to get to Super Paradise. You’ll want to drink and the road getting there is quite windy. Also, go early and reserve a chaise lounge or table!

 

And here’s a tamer video of the Super Paradise party starting to take off!

9. Watch the sunset at Hippie Fish

Hippie Fish

 Hippie Fish is one of my favorite restaurants in Mykonos and has been serving fresh fish since 1978. Located on the beach of Agios Ioannis, which has stunning views of Delos, Hippie Fish is an amazing place to watch the sunset. Try the Greek Salad and grilled Sea Bass. I’m still thinking about that meal! 

Beautiful Sunsets!

Fun Fact: The movie “Shirley Valentine” was filmed here in 1989.

Location: Agios Ioannis, Mikonos 846 00, Greece

10. Stay at the Myconian Imperial Resort

The Rooms

 I don’t always give hotel recommendations on this blog, but I really love the Myconian Imperial Resort, so much that this is one of my favorite hotels in the entire world.

The Pool

 The Myconian Imperial Resort is a 5-star hotel located on Elia Beach and has everything you need for a dream vacation. The rooms are to die for with amazing views of the Aegean Sea.

Picture Perfect

 The amenities the hotel provides are just as great as the rooms. The pool looks like something from a post card and is the perfect place to relax. The pool also features a swim up bar, and a nice hot tub with spectacular views of the sea. If you need a spa day the hotel has a superb Thalasso spa center.

Relaxing during the Grexit

 There are also several gourmet restaurants and a modern bar that is quite lively at night. The Myconian is about 15-minutes from town but there is a free shuttle that drops you off in town so you really can’t go wrong staying here! I am already dreaming of going back!

The Lobby of the hotel.

LocationElia Beach, Mykonos 846 00, Greece

The Bar

How cool is this bar?! 

 

Have fun in Mykonos!

 

 

 

 

 

 XOXO, 

Lindsay & Christoper 

Diva Diary

Diva Diary

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