Founded in the 11th century by Iones from Athens, Mykonos was a prosperous trade city thanks to its location. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the island broke free from the Ottoman Empire, becoming a part of the free state of Greece. Throughout the 19th century, the place suffered, however after World War II ended, Mykonos began to become one of the biggest go-to destinations for tourist all over the world.
From luxurious beaches, fine dining, museums and extraordinary weather that will keep you smiling day and night, Mykonos has something for everyone. Here are our top five recommendations on what to see and do the next time you’re there.
After getting out of bed and eating a light breakfast, spending a few hours at a beach is a must no matter where you are in Greece. Because there is more than just one beach, knowing which one to go to depends on what you’re looking for. Ornos beach is the place for those of you who like a bit of adventure—snorkeling, swimming, and water sports is what this beach is known for.
Are you the type to relax while your friends or family members are out in the water? Ornos offers beachgoers the ability to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas. Plus, there are small stores and restaurants nearby, so having a drink at hand or a bit to eat is never an issue.
Greece is an ancient destination, and with that comes to history. Mykonos has a few great sites including the Gyzi Castle that was established in the 13th century. Only a few ruins are still there, but it is always fascinating to see and learn about some of the earlier settlers.
The Gyzi Castle—built by the Venetian Gyzi family—was used to keep the island from attacks by pirates and other enemies during the Medieval Ages.
The remains you will find still here are parts of the castle, a cemetery, a market, a wall (which used to surround the entire castle) and a church. The entire trip can take a few hours including getting here, exploring, and driving back.
Settlement at Ftelia
Another ruin that we recommend checking out is the settlement at Ftelia, dating back to the Stone Age. The oldest constructions found in Ftelia dates back 4,000 to 5,000 years. Items found inside these homes were animal bones, arrowheads, and clay pots with bean seeds still inside them.
The settlement at Ftelia can easily be reached by car—a 15 to 20-minute drive outside of downtown Mykonos.
Mykonos is full of restaurant options serving fresh seafood and delicious meats. One of our favorites is Kikis Tavern, located in the northern part of Mykonos.
Kikis Tavern is unique, operating without electricity (so no, calling for a reservation is not possible). It’s small and doesn’t have a sign, but it’s well known to locals, so make sure to ask if you’re unsure. The food there is absolutely amazing—serving some of the best pork chops you may ever eat, and salads that are full of ingredients and flavor that can make you so full you may not get to your entrée!
The restaurant is only open from 12:30pm until dark, and there’s almost always a wait (unless you’re the first one there), but with free wine being served for those waiting (and a beautiful beach nearby), your time spent before getting a table will not be so bad.
After a day of beaching and exploring, end your evening at Matoyianni Street, which is known for its liveliness. The area is full of bars, cafes, restaurants, and small shops selling clothes, souvenirs, jewelry and more. Matoyianni Street is always buzzing with locals and tourist, so don’t be shy about striking a conversation with a native over some drinks! Shops are open until 2am, and bars are open even later (some until sunrise)—make sure to check out Ode or Old Customs Cafe for some good drinks and music.
From shipping and eating to lounging and beaching, Mykonos is the place for travelers of all ages looking to spend a vacation on a beautiful island.
If this or any other destination speaks to you, we’d love to help you get there in comfort and save you up to 70% off. Submit a flight request or contact your agent and we’ll find the best dates to travel there!