Get to know Mykonos and it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular islands in the Cyclades group. Its beaches hum by day with beach bunnies and water sports, and the summer-evening beach rave scene is up there with Ibiza’s. Away from the coast there are tucked-away villages to discover, and fabled islands awaiting offshore.
Day 1: Getting Oriented in Mykonos
Start by exploring the island’s main port and town, Chora Mykonos. On the waterfront, you might spot one of the town’s three tame pelicans, a Mykonos emblem since the 1950s. Step inside the four-in-one Church of Panagia Paraportiani, with its whitewashed dome, then follow winding alleys through the chi-chi Little Venice quarter. At sunset, snap a photo of the four iconic windmills overlooking Little Venice, before choosing a taverna for the evening with waterfront views and a menu of seafood fresh from the sea.
Day 2: Around the Island
Buses and tiny boats can get you around the island, or you might want to hire a scooter or car. First stop, of course, is Paradise Beach, thronged with beachgoers in the daytime and loud and late drum ’n’ bass beach parties under the moonlight. Other beaches for sun soaking include Platys Gialos and Agrari.
Just outside Mykonos Town, step into the past at the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani. Topped with bell towers outside and with carved screens inside, the monastery is one of the island’s most beautiful sights.
Day 3: Day Trips from Mykonos
To sample life on neighboring islands, it’s easy to catch a ferry or take a tour from Chora Mykonos. If there’s one unmissable island it’s Delos, the archaeological jewel of the Cyclades and famous in legend as the birthplace of Apollo. The weatherworn Terrace of the Lions is one of the most poignant sights here, along with the temples dedicated to Apollo and the island’s theater.
Quiet villages and glorious beaches await on the nearby islands of Paros and Naxos. Both islands have Venetian forts to explore and lovely old towns, Byzantine churches and village-dotted mountain interiors.