1. Start the day in Chora
The first of the Best things to do in Mykonos is to start the day in Chora. Check out whitewashed taverns, homes and windmills in the island’s capital.
Chora (Mykonos Town) is the largest and busiest settlement on the island of Mykonos. The jumble of whitewashed structures that line the hill are typical of the Cycladic architecture that dominates the island, and it’s narrow, winding lanes are free of traffic, but be prepared for the crowds of tourists.
In the morning, you can get a sense of local life and buy seafood delights at bargain prices by visiting the fish market, which is near the Old Port of Mykonos Town. If you just want to relax in the sun while enjoying the cool sea breeze, taste some local appetizers and sip a glass of wine by the waterfront – most restaurants have plenty of available seats during the day.
2. Visit the Lighthouse Armenistis
On the north-western tip of Mykonos, you’ll find the 19-metre tall Faros Armenistis lighthouse, which was constructed in 1891. While tourists aren’t allowed inside the building, the site offers panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and neighbouring island of Tinos, making sunset the best time to visit. The easiest way to reach the lighthouse is to rent a car or go on a guided tour. We recommend arriving just before sun down to relish the sights so that you can be back in Mykonos Town just before the bars start bursting with tourists.
3. Must see Little Venice
Little Venice is famous for its 18th-century fishing houses that overhang the sea, though most of the houses are now occupied by restaurants, cafes, bars and shops. You’ll find plenty of spare seats during the morning, but be prepared to jostle with eager tourists during afternoons and evenings.
Booking a table in advance comes highly recommended, particularly if you want to taste authentic Greek cuisine while enjoying the pink and orange colours of the sunset. If you’re staying in Mykonos Town, the easiest and most fun way to reach Little Venice is to meander the narrow lanes that lead to the sea.
4. Relax at Agrari Beach
Agrari Beach remains less developed than most other beaches on Mykonos, and because it’s nudist-friendly, it’s a relaxing hideaway where you can complete your ‘all-over’ tan. Umbrellas and sunbeds occupy about half of this long stretch, and the remainder is just golden sand that meets crystal-clear water.
The easiest way to reach Agrari Beach is to take a bus to Elia Beach and then cross over the rocks on foot, which takes about 5 minutes. In return for making the journey, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most relaxing daytime experiences Mykonos has to offer.
5. View the historic windmills
The iconic Kato Myli grain windmills overlook Little Venice and date back to the 16th century. All have a distinctive round shape, are coloured white and have thatched wooden roofs. 6 of these windmills can be seen from almost any street in Chora, though if you intend to climb the hill for a closer look, be wary of strong winds.
Just 600 metres east of the Kato Myli windmill cluster lies Boni’s Windmill, which is open to tourists from July until September. If you’re interested in learning about these early innovations and their inner-workings, you should visit Mykonos during the harvest festival, which takes place on the second Sunday of September.
6. Shop at Matogianni
Matogianni is Mykonos’s busiest alley, but battling through the crowds is well worthwhile thanks to its assortment of shops, restaurants and even the odd late-night bar. While all the shops retain the island’s traditional Cycladic architecture, they sell goods ranging from luxury items of clothing to cheap souvenirs.
If you’d rather avoid the crowds, we still recommend forcing yourself to have a quick walk down the alley for a spot of window shopping. You can give your feet a rest in between shops by enjoying local cuisine and a coffee or beer in a café or tavern.
7. Sail to Mykonos island
Just a short ferry ride from Mykonos is Delos, the holy island of ancient Greece and birthplace of Artemis and Apollo (according to Greek mythology). Just over 2,000 years ago, around 30,000 Greeks occupied what are now the relatively well-preserved ruins of theatres, temples, homes and other monumental structures. The entire island of Delos has been a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.
It takes about 30 minutes to reach Delos from Mykonos, and crowded ferries make several trips daily during summer. If you’d prefer a more exclusive experience, you can charter a yacht to the island.