MYKONOS – WHY GO?
Topped by its trademark windmills and white sugar-cube houses, sun-kissed Mykonos is the legendary party island of the Cyclades. Sun lounger society thrives here by day, while the effervescent club scene takes over after dark.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
While many visitors never stir from their Mykonos beach parasol or poolside perch, there’s plenty to see beyond the hedonistic sand-and-sea experience. Inland, you’ll find appealing white sugar-cube houses, olive groves, and mountain slopes where goats clamber. It’s easy to hire jeeps, mopeds and boats to get around, and there’s a decent bus service.
Mykonos has plenty of beaches lapped by the Aegean for honing your tan. The best sand beaches lie on the south coast – whether it’s to be the party beaches of Paradiso, Agios Ioannis (the film set for Shirley Valentine) or sunny Platis Gialos. Most can be reached by taxi boat from Mykonos Town.
Regarded as one of Greece’s glammest destinations (rock stars and celebs are frequently spotted here), Mykonos Town is a maze of narrow winding cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, blue wooden shutters and balconies trailing vivid bougainvillea. There’s also a picture-postcard harbour (complete with resident pelican) and – since the town faces west – stunning sunsets.
Worth seeing are the waterside area of Little Venice, backed by the famous windmills, the 18th-century whitewashed church, and the Archaeological Museum near the harbour. You can visit an old 16th century monastery in Ano Mera, a few miles to the east.
The island’s reputation as a see-and-be-seen destination makes it a mecca for nightlife and ethnic-chic tavernas. It’s a big fave with clubbers and the gay set.
There’s open-air clubbing (often with guest DJs from abroad) on the beaches of Paradiso and Super Paradiso, and plenty of bars around Psarou and Platis Gioalos beaches. Concerts, theatre shows and theme parties are held at various spots around Mykonos during the summer months.
Mykonos Town is packed with chic boutiques selling designer gear, swimwear, Byzantine style jewellery and local crafts.
Boats leave the harbour in Mykonos Town daily during the season for the short hop to the nearby isle of Delos – said to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis and home to temples and archaeological remains. Look out for dolphins en route.
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The mid-September Festival of the Grapes dates back to the ancient Dionysus (grape harvest) times and includes plenty of drinking, dancing and music.
Have your picture taken next to the trademark Mykonos windmills – preferably at sunset, against a rosy sky.