Mykonos- Greece – A cosmopolitan retreat
The quintessentially Greek island of Mykonos is characterized by whitewashed houses, domed churches, imposing windmills, and a labyrinth of winding streets designed to disorient pirates.
Everywhere there is a touch of bright, bold blue – doors, shutters and window frames, sea and sky. The harbor is bustling with colorful fishing boats, fishmongers and locals gathered with visitors in the casual seaside cafes. The harbor even comes with two beloved mascots, the pelicans Petros and Irini.
The island of Mykonos has long been recognized as one of the most popular islands in Greece. The idyllic beaches, the breathtaking sea views over the Aegean, and the lovely tavernas tucked away in quaint streets offer a truly romantic day in this unforgettable cruise port.
The island also has a lively cosmopolitan edge. Mykonos has a vibrant nightlife, great shops, and plenty of sports activities. This island appeals to both old and young. Cruise enthusiasts are welcome to experience the vibrant island life during a day in port.
How do you best spend your day on this beautiful and special island?
TOP 10 MYKONOS MUST SEE’S
Between the museums, historical sites, and beautiful beaches, Mykonos is a cruisers dream destination. You will soon notice that there are plenty of activities available. But we have selected 10 that we think you should not miss. That is …if you have time enough.
1 – Alefkandra – Little Venice
This is a romantic and beautiful area close to the sea and best known for its picturesque medieval houses. This is the perfect place to watch the sunset with a refreshing cocktail or enjoy a delicious lunch. Around the western edge of the Old Harbor is a beautiful web of small car-free alleys. All within walking distance of your ship and tender dock. These alleys are laid with the typical dark marble cement pavers. The quaint little streets are covered with the same brilliant white paint as the houses.
It’s the waterfront that gives Little Venice its nickname. Where restaurants open onto a narrow path less than three feet above the sea and couples’ tables line the road. These buildings have slightly shabby wooden bay windows and balconies painted in blue and green. On the west, the sunsets are impossibly beautiful. So try to get a table before dusk and look down to watch the windmills catch the last rays of the sun.
2 – Windmills
Do not forget to visit the famous windmills of Mykonos. These are located on a small hill, a short walk from Little Venice. What immediately catches the eye when entering Port Mykonos is this row of seven white windmills on a small promontory.
Most likely these were built by the Venetians as early as the 16th century. They are oriented to the north to catch the prevailing sea breeze. The location was of course not chosen randomly. The mills are close to the harbor so that the grain unloaded from the sheep could easily be transported to be ground by the mills.
The windmills have since become the symbol for the entire island. And it’s just an easy walk southwest of the Alefkandra district. Adjacent is a small gift shop for nice mementos on this island. And of course, the perfect spot to take a picture and capture this memory for home. The white mills in beautiful contrast with the blue of the sea and the sky.
3 – Matogianni Street
This street that runs from north to south through Mykonos town has all kinds of small alleys and side roads. This is the street where it all happens and you must have been here to capture true Mykonos. A haven for shopaholics.
Here you can stroll pleasantly, view souvenir shops. Boutiques and jewelers are plentiful here. But you can also find international chains here, but in the beautiful characteristic white houses with blue details. Also for the hungry cruise enthusiast, there are many tavernas to eat souvlaki or gyros. It is good to know that these a little further from this street are usually more reasonably priced.
If your ship leaves late or has an overnight stay, there are many romantic spots overgrown with bougainvillea. It is great to relax in the many cozy and cozy Greek bars and terraces.
4 – The Church of Panagia Paraportiani
Explore the streets of Mykonos Town and the Church of Paraportiani. Located in the center of Chora, this church is a visual feast. with a cluster of four smaller ones with invisible partitions. The name of the church (Paraportiani) means standing next to the entrance door, as the church was next to the Castle door.
Located a little north of Little Venice, in the Kastro district, stands this fascinating church. This monument was already built between the 15th and 17th centuries. It consists of four separate but interconnected churches under a fifth built on top. That tallest church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panagia) and is easily identified by its dome. The oldest is Agios Anargyros, which begun in 1425, while the remaining four churches were all built in the 16th and 17th centuries.
And what could be nicer than just an afternoon strolling through the alleys full of cozy boutiques in this area.
5 – Delos Island
Combined with a visit to the uninhabited islands of Rhenia, where four pristine sandy beaches offer shelter from the bustling beach life of Mykonos. Visit the archaeological site and museum in Delos, where Mycenaean remains offer a unique insight into the history of this fascinating island, known as the birthplace of Apollo.
From the old port, you can sail out to one of the most treasured archaeological sites in Greece. The island of Delos is just a few kilometers off the southwest coast of Mykonos. The excavations have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You are probably aware of Olympic Greek mythology. Then you may know Delos as the birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis. But more than a thousand years before that, the island was a revered holy shrine.
There is much to discover on Delos. Such as the Terrace of the Lions from the 7th century BC, the Doric Temple of the Delians, the Minoan Fountain, a series of market squares, and the Theater Quarter, covered with beautiful mosaics. You can also see impressive Hellenistic mosaics in the House of Dionysos. But also at the House of Masks, House of the Trident, House of the Lake, and House of the Dolphins.
6 – Archaeological Museum of Delos
After 30 years of excavations, the French School of Athens needed a museum for all its discoveries on Delos. This was inaugurated in 1904. The archaeological excavations continued for more than 145 years. The museum had to be expanded in 1931 and 1972 to house all this material.
The oldest pieces here are the ceramics, dating back more than 3,500 years. One of the must-sees is a bronze mask of Dionysos from the 2nd century BC. In addition, an ivory plaque with a relief of a Mycenaean warrior as old as 1400 BC and a magisterial sculpture of Boreas kidnapping Oreithya from the end of the 5th century BC. To learn more you can visit their website.
7 – Old Harbor
Mykonos island is one of the most popular destinations in the Cyclades and can be approached by plane or ferry.
Mykonos has two ports: The Old Port which is in the Town of Mykonos (Chora) and the New Port in the Tourlos region, which is the one operating with passenger ferries to Mykonos.
After catching the SeaBus from the new port of Tourlos, disembark at the marble quays of the old port. On the east side are the arcades of the town hall from the 18th century, in front of which stands the small church of Agios Nikolaos, topped with a distinctive blue dome. Agios Nikolaos Church is a small Orthodox Church built during the 4th century in honor of Saint Nicholas, the protector of sailors and fishermen.
There are many options to embrace bars and restaurants in the curve of the harbor. As you explore the side streets, you will come across boutiques, designer shops and tasteful souvenir shops. Shoulder to shoulder with quaint little churches such as Agia Eleni and Agios Kirykos. Here you feel the real Mykonos.
8 – Archaeological Museum Mykonos
For those with an interest in antiquity, there is the island’s own modest but captivating archaeological museum. This museum has artifacts recovered from Mykonos and adjacent islands. Dating from prehistoric times to the end of the Hellenistic period around the 1st century BC. In the large collection of ceramics is a ‘pithos’ (jug) from the 7th century BC. It’s shows reliefs depicting the conquest of Troy.
There is also exceptionally old pottery with a Cycladic pattern from 2800 BC, preserved tombstones from the island of Rineia near Delos, and black vases from the Ionian Islands. Another notable piece is a statue of Heracles with a mace, also of Rineia. It’s made of the finest Parian marble in the 2nd century BC.
9 – Lighthouse of Armenistis
Six kilometers north of Chora is a working lighthouse directing traffic along the strait between Mykonos and neighboring Tinos. This landmark building was completed in 1891 with an octagonal tower and still flashes a white signal every ten seconds. It was established in response to a disaster in which the Volta steamship sank in 1887 off the north coast of Mykonos. This cost 11 lives at the time.
The Armenistis Lighthouse is ideally located in Cape Armenistis, an area of Mykonos. This old lighthouse stands like a sentinel over the Armenistis area and stands as mute testimony to the rich maritime past of Mykonos. At present, this legendary lighthouse is managed by the Hellenic Navy’s Hydrographic Office. The lighthouse is all 19 meters in height. The best part about this lighthouse which is conspicuous by its octagonal tower is that it is still in operation. In order to visit the Armenistis lighthouse, one has to take the road from Agios Stefanos.
Although you can’t go inside, the lighthouse is a trip worth doing for the amazing scenery. And of course that beautiful picture for home! This is best done just after sunset when you can see the lights of Agios Sostis and Laouti on the other side of the strait. But then of course your ship must not have sailed away already.
10 – Beaches on Mykonos
If you’re a beach lover and need some space to yourself, head to the beaches in the less-visited north of Mykonos. This area is also dotted with natural parks. Agios Sostis has no bars, restaurants, or sunbeds on the beach. As a result, the beach is noticeably quieter than that in the south. Behind it is little more than gently rolling hills sparsely strewn with scrub. Going further north there is a small village with a taverna and a church, and another much smaller bay bathed in shallow, shimmering water.
Or maybe you want to experience Mykonos at its most vibrant and cosmopolitan. In that case, Elia Beach on the south coast is a good choice. It is the longest beach on the island and the favorite destination of gay tourists to Mykonos.
Elia is surrounded by arid slopes with golden sand in the middle and gravel under the low cliffs. In the east of the beach to Elijah is a naturist part. While this beach is also one of the most popular on the island, it never feels overcrowded. There is enough space for everyone.
You can rent a jet ski from the jetty in the middle of the beach. Or climb the bare slopes past white Cycladic houses to see the bay in all its splendor from above.
In the southeast of Mykonos, Kalo Livadi is a supreme sandy beach. Fronting a picturesque valley with clusters of white houses. A few hundred meters from the coast, the beach has a soft gradient, allowing children to play in the shallows. Confident swimmers can venture a long way out without worrying about currents.
The shore has regimented blocks of sun loungers, six deep and divided by wooden walkways. These are rented out by the restaurants behind and can be pretty pricey. But they are worth every penny if you want full service. If you prefer to go your own way, there’s a patch under the rocks on the west end of the beach where you can lay your towel. On the west side is a boat charter company with its own jetty if you’re up for a self-navigated voyage.
Two beaches off Kalo Livadi, Kalafatis is another attractive sandy cove with an arc of golden sand and shallow, clear waters. What sets this beach apart is that it is oriented to the east and there is a generous breeze not far offshore. So while you relax in your sun lounger, you can watch windsurf sails glide along the horizon. In the summer some trendy yachts are anchored in this bay. Kalafatis also has a water sports center with facilities such as wakeboarding, water skiing, and jet skiing for the active cruise enthusiast. At the northern edge of the bay is a wharf with a waterfront restaurant and where tour boats depart for cruises.
Eat & Drink
Restaurants in Mykonos are found in the paved streets of the town and along the beaches. Except for the super remote beaches on the island, all the other coasts are lined up with restaurants, taverns, and beach cafes. Some beaches, like Super Paradise, Paradise, Psarou, and Paranga, have beach bars with parties and dancing all day long. Most clubs in Mykonos are found in the Town, while very famous is Cavo Paradiso at Paradise beach.
Are you looking for places to eat and drink on Mykonos island? Here are some interesting suggestions to have lunch, enjoy a relaxing coffee in Mykonos. If you have visited any of these places, feel free to leave your feedback or upload their photos, if you have.
Tours & Excursions do it yourself
A very entertaining alternative while spending a day in this Cruise Port is definitely participating in a few of its well-organized tours and excursions. From majestic cruises to cooking classes and enticing walking tours, there is a fitting option for everyone. With the tourist season expanding in the last few years, numerous Mykonian tours are available from April to late October.
We have selected some tours and excursions for you which you can arrange and book by yourself.
Click on the one you like for more information.
- SIMPLY MYKONOS TOUR
- ORIGINAL TOUR TO DELOS
- JEEP SAFARI FUN & DRIVE TOUR
- TOUR TO TINOS ISLAND
- SOUTH COAST CRUISE
- ARMENISTIS LIGHTHOUSE VISIT
- SAILING AND SNORKELING EXCURSION AROUND MYKONOS
- MYKONOS HIKING ADVENTURE
- GREEK OLIVE OIL TASTING WORKSHOP
Mykonos is a magical island that gets under your skin. An island you will definitely want to return to. The vibrant and trendy nightlife is famous and you miss that of course a day in port. It is a wonderful island to wander around through the small, bougainvillea-covered white alleys. There is a lot to shop for and there are many fantastic little terraces and restaurants to enjoy the Greek life with ouzo and souvlaki. Save this wonderful island in your head and you will have another lifelong memory.