After spending five amazing days in Santorini, the second stop on our Greek adventure took us to the popular island of Mykonos. Here you’ll find gorgeous sandy beaches, a thriving nightlife scene, lots of shopping, delicious restaurants and a charming downtown meant for exploring. We spent four days here checking out the best of what the island had to offer and truly had a blast!
my outfit details are linked in this post
MYKONOS TRAVEL GUIDE
WHY VISIT MYKONOS?
In Mykonos you could spend all day lounging at one of the island’s famous private beach clubs and then hit the town for dinner and late drinks. You could also take off away from town in a rental car or atv and explore secluded beaches. I could’ve sent days just shopping around town too. Mykonos had some AMAZING home decor and clothing boutiques!
SANTORINI VS MYKONOS
We LOVED Mykonos and couldn’t have been more happy that we decided to kick off our trip in relaxing Santorini first. By the time we arrived in Mykonos on day 6 of our trip, we had so much energy and were completely adjusted to the time difference.
It’s very easy to see why so many travelers combine Santorini and Mykonos into one trip. One one island (Santorini) you get beautiful views, wineries and can really detach from the rest of the world. At the other (Mykonos) you can hit the beach, put on your party pants and really indulge in some amazing shopping and food. The best of both worlds!
While Santorini had a very laid back and romantic vibe, the atmosphere in Mykonos is very upbeat and bohemian. And I mean that in a good way! I personally can only relax by the pool for so long. I get stir crazy and like being up and about exploring! Mykonos is great for that because you have the option of vegging out by the beach, but there is still so much to do in town.
We noticed many couples on their honeymoon, groups of pals on vacation and lots of young families. It goes to show that Mykonos has something for everyone and isn’t just a place to “party” or drink.
HOW TO GET THERE
We got to Mykonos via a Seajet ferry leaving from Santorini. It took about 2 hours and was honestly painless! I booked our tickets online about a week before our trip and then the morning of our departure was able to pick them up from the ferry office right in the port. We bought the cheapest economy option– it came with a reserved seat and we were able to store our luggage on the lower level. Once we arrived in Mykonos our hotel sent a shuttle pick us up– definitely recommend coordinating this through your hotel’s concierge!
HOW TO GET AROUND
Mykonos is very easy to get around in a car or ATV! While we didn’t feel the need to rent a vehicle in Santorini, we decided to get a car in Mykonos and it was definitely the right decision. Most of the hotels in Mykonos are located along beaches or in the hillside and are not walking distance to the main town.
While many hotels have complimentary hourly shuttles for guests, often these run only in the evenings, leaving you with only expensive taxis as an option for transportation during the day. We didn’t even want to deal with that so we rented a basic little hatchback car for all of the days we were on the island.
I just asked our hotel concierge to set this up for us and it was really seamless! They brought the car right to our hotel, I filled out the paperwork and we were good to go! I think we paid around $350 in total and all that was required for the rental was a valid U.S. drivers license. PS there’s a HUGE free parking lots directly adjacent to Mykonos Town and Little Venice. It seemed like most hotels and beach clubs had parking for guests as well!
WHERE TO STAY
Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort
If you’re looking for a resort-style experience in Mykonos then look no further than Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort. The two nights we spent at this 5-star Small Luxury Hotel property rivaled some of our stays at Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons hotels we’ve booked on previous trips.
Unlike the small boutique hotels we stayed at in Santorini, Mykonos Grand is a sprawling property and has all the amenities you’d expect at a large resort: attentive concierge service, spa, pool, multiple restaurants, tennis courts and a gym. The resort has 94 rooms so there are a variety of accommodations you book at various price points.
We could not have been happier with our spacious Premium Sea View room. Right away we could tell it had been recently renovated– there was a waterfall shower, free-standing tub and the entire room was all gorgeous white marble with nautical design touches. We easily could’ve moved in for a month!
One aspect that sets Mykonos Grand apart from other hotels in Mykonos is it’s prime location on Agios Ioannis Beach. Guests at Mykonos Grand have the option of enjoying the sun by the pool AND the beach, while at other hotels you would have to pay to go to a beach club if you want to spend the day on the sand.
Another feature we loved about Mykonos Grand was the complimentary evening shuttle back and forth to Mykonos Town. This ran on the hour every evening (I think beginning around 5-6PM) and is a great amenity to take advantage of especially if you don’t plan to rent a car or want worry about how much you’re drinking at dinner. Mykonos is the place to indulge after all!
Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa
By far one of the chicest hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting! We spent our final two nights in Mykonos at Mykonos Grand’s new 5 star luxury boutique sister location: Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa. Also a Small Luxury Hotel property, Mykonos Riviera is 100% a hotel you should consider if you’re looking for an ultra luxe retreat with super chic accommodations.
SWIM DETAILS // One Piece Swimsuit
This summer is actually the first season the hotel is fully open! Everything is completely brand new and you can tell how much thought the owners put into the design and interiors. Portions of the property were actually still under construction during our stay, however that didn’t take away from our experience. The service was top notch and our room was gorgeous. Many of the suites have private plunge pools and panoramic views of the water!
The most stunning aspect of the entire property was the incredible heated infinity pool. At night the pool looks as if it’s dotted with stars thanks to fiber optic lighting– it was definitely a site for the eyes! We actually had breakfast out by the pool every morning at the Pool Club restaurant. Still dreaming of that buffet!
Mykonos Riviera is also very conveniently located right near the port where the ferries arrive and is a less than five minute drive away from Mykonos Town. To get to town you can take the hotel’s complimentary evening shuttle or use your own rental car (what we did) that the staff at the hotel valeted for us at the property free of charge.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
Most of the island’s best restaurants and bars can be found in Mykonos Town. Lots of the island’s hotels have places to eat too, but we just found Little Venice so unbelievably charming that we decided to have dinner at a different restaurant in town every night of our trip. Here are my recommendations + a few more spots that we would’ve liked to try if we’d had more time!
+ Caprice Bar- The perfect cocktail bar to post up at and watch the sunset in Little Venice! It’s in a prime position right along the water and has the best view of the ocean and windmills.
+ nice n easy- We had a casual dinner here our first night in Mykonos and it really hit the spot! The restaurant is actually right next to Caprice and has a ton of outdoor seating, so you can easily grab a drink nearby and only have to walk a few steps to dinner. The food was good but it definitely wasn’t the best meal of our trip.
+ Negrita- Located directly adjacent to Caprice, at Negrita you can find similar gorgeous views and an extensive cocktail menu.
+ Kastro’s- Make sure to request the outdoor table directly next to the water!!!! We had one of our best and dreamiest meals of our trip here. Delicious Greek cuisine and seafood in the most beautiful peaceful setting again the water. It was heavenly!
+ Kounelas Fish Tavern- What Kounelas lacks in views in makes up for in incredible fresh seafood. Our hotel concierge recommended we dine here and made our reservation, so we honestly didn’t know what to expect. The entire experience was really cool and authentic! If you order any fresh seafood on the menu you actually get to pick out your exact fish from the big fridge in the back. Your dinner is then cooked over an open fire right at the entrance of the restaurant so you can watch it being prepared. At the end of our meal they served us complimentary shots that tasted like fireball. WIN!
+ Pepper Souvlaki- You can’t visit Mykonos without getting souvlaki (or as I call it, a gyro!) We had a really casual quick lunch here on afternoon while exploring Little Venice and it was so tasty!
+ Katerina’s Restaurant & Bar- We randomly stumbled on this restaurant/bar and I’m so glad we decided to go in! It’s right near Kastro’s and located a little ways off the beaten path away from the more popular bars and restaurants where people flock to watch the sunset. It turned out to be a total gem and had the best sunset view out of all the waterfront spots we checked out during our time in Mykonos. Highly recommend getting a table out on the balcony and ordering a chilled glass of rosé.
+ Passo Doble- A few people recommended this small cocktail bar to us and it didn’t disappoint! It was actually the only bar of our entire trip that actually played music I recognized… aka Beyonce. SCORE. Our cocktails were excellent and the vibe was really nice. Apparently if you stay later into the night people start dancing!
+ Lucky Fish- All the Mykonos restaurant goals! Just imagine sitting at an outdoor table on gorgeous whitewashed cobblestone street surrounded by flowers. That’s Lucky Fish! Not only were the vibes here super dreamy, but the food was incredibly tasty. Order the lobster spaghetti!
+ Ninnolo- The perfect little spot to grab a sweet treat! We stopped here for gelato twice after having dinners in Little Venice 😛
More Mykonos Restaurant Recommendations…
180 Degree Sunset Bar
Joana’s Nikos Place
WHAT TO DO
Spend the day at a beach club. Mykonos is widely known for it’s beautiful sandy shores and luxury beach clubs! You’d be doing yourself a disservice by not spending at least one day posted up at one of these clubs. How it works is you make a reservation similar to how you would at a restaurant, except you’re reserving a personal cabana or beach chair. The spot will be yours for the day to enjoy as much sand and sea as you please.
The clubs all have restaurants so you can order lunch and drinks to your chair + listen to music! There are a lot of beach clubs on Mykonos– some are more relaxed and bohemian, others are known for house music and hard partying. You can probably guess that we opted for the chills vibes 😛
+ Scorpios- By far one of the best and most luxurious beach clubs in Mykonos. Scorpios is located on it’s own secluded beach and cliff overlooking the ocean. It’s completely detached from any other clubs or hotels and is a great place if you really want to relax while being waited on hand and foot. While Scorpios is known for getting pretty poppin’ at night, the vibes could not be more chill during the day.
We spent our first full day here in our own private cabana enjoying cocktails, chilled rosé and lunch. The aesthetic of the club is very cool kid and luxury bohemian. To some I could see how it would feel a little bougie, but we honestly loved our experience at Scorpios and didn’t find the vibes off-putting. The crowd was a mix of mostly couples, groups of friends and a few families with teenagers (lucky kids…)
The entire club is immaculate and the design of the space is just a feast for the eyes. PS we booked the Slope Beach option when reserving our cabana, but honestly think we would’ve been fine with any cabana because everywhere had a good view and was in a prime position to enjoy the beach.
We had such a great time that we actually came back later that evening to watch the sunset and see the club transition from day to night. The vibe definitely got a little more upbeat and lots of larger groups had strolled in for evening dinner reservations. The music was faster and people were dancing. Even if you don’t visit Scorpios during the day, you should definitely stop by for a meal at the restaurant or for sunset drinks!
+ Branco Mykonos- We spent our second beach club day at Branco Mykonos and loved the experience! Branco is actually a hotel, however the beach club is open to anyone who wants to make a reservation. While Scorpios had more of a expensive hipster vibe (honestly don’t know how else to describe it) Branco was much more like a traditional luxury beach resort. The cabanas and chairs were lined in rows along the public beach, which is shared by a few other hotels and water sport vendors (highly recommend booking a jet ski!)
Branco didn’t have the ultra exclusive vibe of Scorpios, but we didn’t feel like that took away from the experience. After being somewhere so quiet the previous day we actually appreciated the upbeat setting and all the people-watching on the beach. PS the daily sun bed reservations at Branco range between 60-80 euros per person.
The food and service at Branco was amazing. For the entire day we had an assigned host who solely looked after us + a small handful of other guests who were seated nearby. She was never more than a few steps away and ready to take care of any request! We felt comfortable leaving our chairs to go in the water knowing that she was standing right next to our seats looking after our things. We also liked how Branco had a large food menu– there was even sushi! Our lunch and cocktails were SO good!
+ Alemagou- We only popped by here for a drink at the beach bar, but if we’d had more time I’d would’ve loved to spend a full day on Alemagou’s secluded private beach. The vibes here were so cool and bohemian– I mean the photos speak for themselves.
Wander the charming streets of Little Venice. Mykonos Town is where most of the island’s best restaurants, boutiques and bars can be found. It’s easy to explore on foot (no cars allowed) and adjacent to the island’s port where all the ferries, cruises ships and yachts dock.
Within Mykonos Town you’ll find the historic Little Venice– just head towards the water or windmills and you’ll be sure to hit it! Here you’ll find the most picturesque white washed lanes and narrow alleyways, storefronts covered in pink bougainvillea and quaint cafes with outdoor seating. It’s the perfect place to get lost and wander! Don’t forget your camera because you’re want to take pictures of EVERYTHING.
Rent a car/ATV and explore secluded areas of the island. Mykonos is very easy to explore with a vehicle and I highly recommend renting one if you’re visiting. We noticed lots of couples using ATVs and cars to get around on their own. On our last full day we took our car and drove to three different secluded beach outside of town: Paralia Agios Sostis beach, Ftelia beach and the private beach at Alemagou Beach Bar & Restaurant (where we have a very yummy cocktail!)
Shop til ya drop! Mykonos has some amazing shopping. Clothing, shoes, home decor, foodie finds, art– you can find it in Mykonos. I normally don’t like to spend a lot of time shopping on trips, but I couldn’t resist the charming boutiques of Little Venice. Here are a few that we stopped by!
+ Chora Art Home & Design– Chic bohemian home decor goals! If I could’ve bought the entire store I absolutely would’ve. All the art and decor here was SO my vibe.
+ Vasiliki- Another fun home store we stumbled on in Mykonos Town! We noticed lots of vintage items along with contemporary and modern decor.
+ Salachas- Nick could not get enough of the breezy linen shirts many men in Mykonos were sporting, so we made it our mission to find him some goodies and boy did we score at Salachas! Nick bought not just one, but four handmade shirts. I also of course couldn’t resist getting this goddess-inspired one shoulder dress!
+ Happiness Mykonos- Even if you don’t buy any jewelry or clothing, Happiness is worth stopping by for the photo opp!
Check out Mykonos’ famous windmills. You can’t miss these! Mykonos is home to 16 historic windmills, seven or which can be found directly overlooking Mykonos Town and offer an amazing photo opp.
Watch the sunset. If you find yourself in Little Venice in the evening prepare to be dazzled by the most gorgeous sunset you’ve ever seen! Similar to Santorini, Mykonos has absolutely incredible sunsets. Three of our four nights in Mykonos we watched it from a different bar or restaurant along the water in Little Venice. Highly recommend grabbing a spot at a table at least 30 mins before sunset begins because it can get crowded! The hill and beach below the windmills is a popular spot to watch from as well!
P A R T Y! Lots of folks flock to Mykonos for it’s nightlife and beach party scene. It’s very easy to indulge in as much or as little of this as you want. We really didn’t go crazy with the partying on our trip– that’s just not really our thing #gettingold, but the option is there and bars/restaurants do stay open late!
WHAT TO WEAR
If you’re heading to Mykonos during the summertime here’s what to pack! The weather will be hot (it was 75 & sunny the entire time I was there in early June) and you’re likely going to be spending a lot of time outside by the beach or pool. Obviously don’t forget your swimsuit, coverup, sun hat and beach-appropriate footwear.
I’d also suggest packing lots of lightweight maxi dresses, jumpsuits and shorts– whatever you’re most comfortable in when it’s warm outside.
Comfortable footwear too! We did a ton of walking, especially in Mykonos Town. Pack a few pairs of sandals or sneakers that you know you can wear and walk in for hours. Little Venice is all cobblestones and not a place where you want to be trekking around in heels!
THINGS TO KNOW + TIPS
There is so much more to Mykonos than just partying. Don’t let the island’s reputation scare you! Yes, people do come to Mykonos to let loose, but that all happens at beach clubs away from the main town. If you decide not to partake it’s not like it’s still going to be in your face.
Most hotels are located outside of town. There are only a handful of small boutique hotels in town that are walking distance to shops, restaurants and bars. While these may be convenient, I’d still recommend booking at a hotel outside of Mykonos Town either in the hills or along the beach. This way you can spend all day by the pool or out on the sand and then come into town at night to eat, drink and explore!
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