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Things to do in Mykonos – Understand
Mykonos is one of THE island destinations out of Greece’s 1,600 islands. It’s scenic, rather easy to reach and has a well developed tourist infrastructure. However you guessed it – this is also the downside of the island – it is a small island that gets an incredible amount of visitors during summer time.
Up to 10 cruise ships (!) dock in the harbor area every day – the airport runs at capacity and 10 ferry boats are scheduled to dock every day. The island is tiny and the roads and walkways easily get chocked up by the crazy crowds especially between 11AM to 5 PM.
Mykonos Town is the epicenter of the island and provides easy transport with public buses or taxis on to islands quieter areas and beaches. It’s also a pretty sight to see. Expect room rates for basic rooms exceed $150 and more luxurious options cross into $400 every night in July/ August.
Mykonos is a welcoming gay destination and the nightlife options are excellent and centered around Mykonos Town.
Mykonos Town has so many small alleys that GPS will be of limited use. Since it is such a tourist destination it’s hard to make out areas that mostly locals frequent.
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Things to do in Mykonos Town
Since the labyrinth of small alleys is confusing enough – don’t try to fight and just browse the alleys at your own pace. Preferably do it before 11 AM or between 5-8 PM when the crowds tend to be a little less intimidating.
Most of the houses have been transformed into souvenir shops or some kind of eating arrangement and the odd Bulgari and Sephora shop thrown in. It IS very touristy but the houses certainly show a local character and the shop keepers are friendly and will not harass you.
Given the never ending flow of tourists the restaurant owners invest more into flashy signs than excellent food. I do not blame them but it leaves you rather empty.
The town stretches from the old port area (which has a taxi stop and a major bus stop) towards the wind mills on the other side of town. The wind mills are very scenic and you should not miss the view – it gets even better just before sunset.
I asked around and got a recommendation for Madoupas for Greek food and D’ Angelo for Italian food. Both are of decent quality and are not as expensive as others. Are they great finds that I will keep in loving memories? No they are not!
There are a number of bars in a pretty setting – few with any distinguishable pro or con. The same goes for coffee – there are plenty of little coffee shops especially around the immediate old ‘customs area’ but the coffee served is exceedingly average.
Things to do in Mykonos – Beaches
Unlike Santorini Mykonos offers a huge number of beaches and even with the crowds many will leave plenty of space for you. Umbrellas and sunbeds run at about EUR 10 on most beaches.
I found Agios Ionnis the best of the bunch. It’s a cheap public bus ride away from Mykonos Town. The beach is down a steep hill and has some sandy areas and very cold, very clear water. It’s not the best beach by far but a clean alternative with a great view from up top.
Things to do in Mykonos – Where to stay
Only Starwood is represented of the major chains in Mykonos. A rooms comes for 30,000 Starpoints which isn’t a great deal under any circumstance.
I opted for a reasonably priced Mykonos Marina – a rather basic hotel. It was right in town on a quiet back alley. The room was basic but was freshly renovated with a great AC and high quality furnishing plus super fast WiFi.
However it was a hefty $150 a night – not exactly a steal!
Things to do in Mykonos – Conclusion
Mykonos is not as scenic as Santorini and gets very crowded during the summer months. It’s worth it of you are ready to hit the nightlife hard and have a deep love for crowds.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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