Last Updated on 22nd April 2019 by Sophie Nadeau
With its iconic Cycladic windmills, narrow winding streets, and stunning sea views, Mykonos is one Greek destination you won’t want to miss off your next Mediterranean adventure. Even if you only have a limited time on Mykonos, this is one Greek Island that’s sure to leave enough of an impression to last a lifetime. Here’s a one day in Mykonos itinerary you’ll want to steal!
How to spend a morning in Mykonos
Explore Mykonos Town (the Chora)
Thanks to its ever-increasing popularity, Mykonos town is ever-busy and so your best bet for exploring the town without the crowds is to go as early in the day as possible. This means staying in a hotel nearby (check the best rates and availability here), or simply waking up early so as to snap your photos and soak up up the town’s ambience.
Pedestrian-only streets meander through white-washed buildings. Lose yourself a little in the place and allow your feet to wander where they will. Many of the houses look similar and the narrow winding streets are confusing. It’s fairly easy to get a little lost! And after all, this is how you’ll easily discover some of the best secrets of Mykonos- just don’t make the mistake of losing yourself so much that you forget to discover Mykonos’ top attractions!
Highlights of Mykonos town (which is also simply known as ‘the Chora’) include plenty of historic old churches. Characterised by their small rooftop crosses and climbing bougainvillaea, there are a staggering 600- 800 churches, monasteries, and chapels on the island!
Some of the more interesting churches in the Chora include the 17th-century Paraportiani Orthodox Church complex, which comprises of five interlinking white-washed churches, and the waterside Agios Charalambos. Throughout the town, there’s also a smattering of small boutiques and shops, though it’s worth noting that these are often pricier than on nearby islands.
How to spend an afternoon in Mykonos
Enjoy a traditional Greek lunch
There is perhaps no cuisine quite as delicious to be found in this part of the world than that of Greek food. Think sea-inspired dishes, drizzled in olive oil, and scented with the smell of fresh-from-the-vine tomatoes. In typical Greek style, enjoy a lazy lunch in the early afternoon, with all the trimmings.
Delights you must make sure to sample while in Greece include crumbling feta, stuffed vine leaves, and perfectly flavoured olives. Even if you’re not a meat or fish eater, you’ll soon find that there are plenty of vegetable-inspired dishes and delicious sweets to sample.
Relax on a Mykonos Beach
Post-lunch, take yourself to one of the many beautiful beaches that wrap themselves around the island. In fact, Mykonos has 25 beaches in total pristine beaches, meaning that there’s no shortage of sandy getaways from which to select.
With its golden sand and six-kilometre stretch, Super Paradise Beach is famous the world over. Once there you can laze on a lounger, sip on cocktails, or paddle in the water. Alternatively, Platis Gialos is well-known for its sparkling clear waters and sandy stretch where you can rent yourself a parasol to lie under.
Head out to sea on a day trip to Delos
Later on in the afternoon, it’s time to take to the water. If you’re a history buff, then consider taking a short day trip to Delos like this one to uncover the secrets behind the Ancient Greek monuments that are to be found scattered around the island.
Referred to by names such as ‘the island of light’ and ‘the sacred island,’ this UNESCO world heritage site is alleged to be the mythical birthplace of Apollo. There’s also an informative museum on the island where you can learn even more about Delos. For a morning tour check here, and for an evening tour to Delos check here.
Even if you’re not greatly interested by history, a boat trip out on the water is an absolute must. For example, this Yacht Cruise to Rhenia Island & Guided Tour of Delos will take you to the secret island of Rhenia, a paradise of a place that’s only accessible via boat.
How to spend an evening in Mykonos
Windmills & Little Venice
Start your evening on the island off the right way by heading up to the 16th-century Kato Mili windmills of Mykonos. Though these mills are no longer in use today, once upon a time the strong winds of the Cycladic islands was harnessed by the Venetians to ground grain. Today, there are 16 such windmills still remaining on Mykonos island, five of which can be found above the Chora.
From the vantage point of the windmills, it’s easy to enjoy the stilted houses of ‘Little Venice’. With their colourful façades, made all the prettier by being illuminated by the last rays of the dying sun, this district of Mykonos town is filled with bars and restaurants, perfect for mooching around or dancing the night away!
Post-dark, the island really comes to life. Unlike Oia of Santorini or the smaller island like Paros and Milos, Mykonos is well-known for its party scene. Head to a local bar to enjoy a local tipple; beers are pretty popular and though Greece is not famous for its wine, it’s still easy enough to drink…
Things to know before visiting Mykonos
If you’re looking to enjoy the best of Mykonos in one day as part of a guided excursion, then there are options to do this. For example, this Half-Day City Walking Tour and Island Bus Tour includes a guided walk around Mykonos old town, as well as a bus visit to some of the hidden gems of Mykonos like little villages and breathtaking beaches.
A firm favourite of travellers and locals alike all year round, there are still times when it’s better to visit Mykonos. For example, if you want to avoid peak season (which means peak prices, oodles of tourists, and scorching sun), then don’t visit Mykonos in July or August. Instead, April, May, and October are the best times to go to Mykonos. The weather is still great, the prices for visiting are lower, and you’ll still be able to enjoy long and lazy days exploring all that this magical island has to offer.
Though Greek is the language spoken on the island, you’ll soon enough discover that many people speak great Eglish. However, as is the case with anyone going abroad, it’s only polite to learn a few words of the local language. I recommend starting with ‘please,’ ‘hello,’ ‘sorry,’ and ‘thank you.’ Pick up a simple Greek phrasebook like this one to get you started.
Next, as a result of Mykonos’ ever-growing popularity, the best places to stay often sell out fast. You’ll soon discover that this island is much more expensive than many of its neighbouring isles, with clothing, taxis, and even hotels costing much more. As such, I highly recommend booking your place to stay as soon as you have your travel dates confirmed, so as to get the best deal. Check the best Mykonos accommodation rates here.