The essential Mykonos travel guide for first time visitors
“As summer draws near, I get way too many messages from people asking me for recommendations and tips about beautiful and famous Greek islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, etc. I’ll start a series of recommendations for all of them. This essential Mykonos travel guide for first time visitors is about “the island of the winds”, so let’s get right to the top things to know before visiting Mykonos!
- Mykonos is accessible by both ferry and airplane. Depending on your time and budget, you can choose the best option for you. Personally, I recommend taking the boat if you wish to have a more original Greek islands experience. Plus, nothing like sitting on the deck watching the deep blue sea and sailing by all those beautiful islands around you.
2. Mykonos is generally considered an expensive destination, however, there are always budget options in terms of accommodation and food. So, look for those if you need to.
3. Chora town (the main town) is an absolute must to visit and one of the top destinations of the essential Mykonos travel guide, which you’ll probably do anyway if you visit Mykonos. Probably the most picture-perfect little town you’ve ever seen, anywhere. Full of shops, life, classic white-washed narrow streets, friendly locals. Make sure you walk around enough to discover it all and make your way to the famous windmills spot and Little Venice area (on the picture!) where there’s plenty of bars and restaurants.
5. Mykonos has two ports, the old and the new one. Make sure it’s clear which port you arrive at and then which one you leave from. They’re both close to each other and there’s a local shuttle bus that takes you to the main town. It’s not hard to find, everyone will probably be going to its direction.
6. Transportation: Mykonos has a great public bus network. However, it’s possible to rent a car, a bike, a quad bike to get around Mykonos. Always be careful on the roads though: Mykonos has a lot of narrow streets so always keep an eye for incoming vehicles in the corners. Oh and always wear your helmets if you’re driving a bike or a quad bike. Don’t speed up, there’s no need to rush. Besides, you’re on vacation and the distances aren’t that big in Mykonos.
7. This island can get very busy and crowded. If you want to shoot all the famous spots and take those pictures that will make your Instagram account stand out (like this one in Little Venice) without people in the photo, you have to do it early in the morning..or have good PS skills so you can delete everyone!
8. Mykonos is called the “island of the winds” for a reason. Due to its position, Mykonos is exposed to high northern winds, especially during the summer months (it’s called “Meltemi”, strong northeastern winds that cool down the atmosphere). Take medicine with you if you get easily seasick and a light jacket for those chilly summer nights.
9. Mykonos is known for its loud, glamorous cosmopolitan lifestyle, however, there’s also a very quiet and traditional side that not many people know about. Do discover it! It will enable you to really get to know the island better. Experience Mykonos off the beaten path with a Jeep Safari, or a hiking adventure. Learn the local dances, ask an elder to cook a local delicacy, ask to hear their stories. You’ll be rewarded!
10. Mykonos is blessed with amazing beaches, like almost every other island in the Cyclades. Hire a car or a bike and go around the island to visit them. Not everyone is willing to do that, so it’s possible to find empty beaches even in the middle of the summer.
11. Don’t litter. Don’t waste. Support sustainable tourism!”
All photos and quotes by Stefanos Addimando