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Things to do in Mykonos

Itineraries for Your Trip to Mykonos

Mykonos locals share their perfect days.
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3 Days in Mykonos for First Timers

Curated by Rebecca Winkea Hellenonophile whose Greek-American heritage draws her regularly to Greece.

The party capital of the Cyclades, Mykonos has long been a favorite island hot spot for the international jet set. Its nightlife is renowned, its beaches are open-air dance clubs, and its whitewashed harbor town is thick with luxury boutiques from Gucci to Louis Vuitton. But this island isn’t just for the rich and famous. There are welcoming tavernas for casual dining, stretches of coast far from the crowds, and inland hamlets and farms to visit.

My great-grandparents emigrated from Mykonos to the US, so my many trips to the island have been with family. This has allowed me to experience the island's quieter, more authentic side. Here’s how to experience both Mykonos’ glamour and charm in three days.

Expect heat in summer (with some cool sea breezes) and mild, overcast winters.

If you only have time for one thing, make it watching the sunset from the Little Venice district in Mykonos town overlooking the sea.

Day 1

Begin by exploring Mykonos town (also known as Chora), the largest on the island and the hub of its historic and cultural sights. Explore the maze of lanes lined with whitewashed houses and chapels, take in the famed windmills, pop into the pocket-sized archaeological museum, and have a drink overlooking the water on the old harbor.

In the afternoon, cool off on one of the island’s beaches. There are countless options, from swanky Psarou just outside of Mykonos town and sporty Paradise Beach to party-focused, LGBTQ-friendly Super Paradise. These are all accessible by public bus, water taxi, or car service.

Day 2

Set off for Delos, the neighboring island famous for its UNESCO-listed ancient ruins. You can take the ferry (about a 30-minute trip) and join a walking tour of the site on land or book a half-day boat tour that includes a stop on Delos plus breaks to swim off the coast and lunch on board.

Take advantage of the golden light of sunset and the island background this evening for a private photoshoot. Snapshots are great, but Mykonos is a fabulous location for keepsake portraits. Some of my family's most prized photos over the years have been taken during our summers on Mykonos.

Day 3

Most visitors to Mykonos stick to the lively beaches and chic harbor town. The inland hills and secret coves, however, offer a unique perspective on the island’s natural beauty. Set off this morning with a 4-wheel drive countryside tour to discover the quieter side of the island far from the crowds and enjoy a Greek barbecue.

End your time on Mykonos by exploring its underwater world with a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion. Despite the island’s popularity, its coastline and reefs remain pristine and rich in marine life; there are options for experienced divers, as well as for beginners.

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