One of the main tourist destinations in Greece, Mykonos attracts cruises, families, and honeymooning couples. It is the most expensive island in the Cyclades, but it’s tough to resist with its quiet winding streets – small alleys lined with whitewashed houses overlooking a beautiful harbor. Mykonos is known as “Little Venice” which, though charming, is nothing more than a row of houses on the water. I love the island, but prices are so high during the peak season that I tend to avoid it!
Hostel prices – You can find cheap hostels on Paradise beach for $15 USD per night. However, most hostels aren’t cheap here and cost around $30 USD per night.
Budget hotel prices – Budget hotels (the few that are here) begin around $60 USD per night for a double. In the low season, prices can dip to $20 for a private twin room in a B&B.
Average cost of food – While you can find cheap gyros and pizza, for the most part eating out here is expensive. The night I went for seafood the going rate was $100 USD per kilo for fish! Even a light dinner of pasta and wine cost me over $27 USD. If you want to save money, avoid eating in the main town. Stick to cheap sandwiches, pizza, or gyros.
Transportation costs – The quickest way to get around is to rent a moped or scooter, which are cheap but require a license. Bus tickets cost about $2 USD. A taxi around the island will cost between $10-20 USD per person.
Money Saving Tips
Travel during the off-season – If you can, come here before June before the beaches get overcrowded and prices double.
Don’t stay in the town – Accommodation prices in the town are on the high end and the further you go from the town, the cheaper it is. There is a good bus system to get you to and from town.
Top Things to See and Do
Walk around Chora Village – From the hills, you can get a wonderful view. Bring a picnic as you’ll want to take it all in for as long as possible. With windmills and great restaurants, this town is on the west side of the island and worth the visit.
Little Venice – Because of the houses on the water, this place is referred to as Little Venice. It’s a nice place to spend some time eating a meal or having a coffee. During the late afternoon, lots of people file in to have a drink. There’s a great view of the windmills here too.
Elia Beach – The longest stretch of white sands in Mykonos, this beach also has transparent waters and plenty of tavernas and bars from which to choose.
Beach hop – Besides Elia, there are plenty of beaches on Mykonos. The three popular ones are Paranga, Paradise, and Super Paradise. Paradise is the most popular among backpackers and is where they party each night.
Go scuba diving – There’s great scuba diving around Mykonos. If you are a diver, consider taking a few dives while you are here. You won’t find a lot of coral but you’ll find lots of fish and even a few wrecks.
Visit Delos – A small uninhabited island close to Mykonos, Delos is known for its important archaeological sites. There are daily excursions from Mykonos Town except Monday, when the archaeological site is closed. The excavations are open from 8:30 am-3 pm, so have an early start if you really want to see it all. The cost is $24 USD for the boat, or $47 for a guided half day tour (boat, museum entrance included).
Panagia Paraportiani – In the western, and oldest part of Mykonos town stands this Byzantine church, which dates back to 1425. There are over 400 churches to see across the island, but this is considered the highlight of them all. It is comprised of 4 chapels, only one of which is open to visitors.
Gay scene – There a number of gay & lesbian bars/nightclubs throughout the island. Jacky O’ is one of the busiest places, but others include: Babylon, Diva, Pierro’s, Lola, Kastro Bar, Ramrod, and Porta Bar. Most of these places offer disco, dancing, and the promise of late-night fun.
Tour the museums – There are a number of different museums here, but most of them are only open from April to October. In Mykonos Town alone, there are six – The Archaeological Museum, Floklore Museum, The Boni Mill, Lena’s House Museum, Agricultural Museum, and Aegean Maritime Museum. Admission typically runs from $3-8 USD.
Find Petros the Pelican – Interestingly enough, the island of Mykonos has a beloved mascot—a real life Pelican. The original died in the late 80s, however there are now 3 that inhabit the island. It is fun to try to spot them and capture them in a photo.
Watch the Sunset at the Windmills – The windmills around Mykonos town are symbolic of the island, and also happen to be the most popular place to catch the sunset. Prepare for crowds if you plan to go; head over there early to get a good spot.
Go Snorkeling – Even if you’re not a diver, you can still check out some of the underwater activity by renting some snorkeling equipment. Paranga Beach has the island’s best snorkeling conditions.
Take a Boat Tour – Although this may not be a budget-friendly option, it’s a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can consider a variety of prices and options. You may want to arrange a private sailing trip, or a tour on one of the island’s glass-bottomed boats.