Mykonos is a very popular island in the Cyclades in Greece, and rightly so. It has a reputation for being a party island and for good reason- Mykonos attracts some of the best DJs in the world and its parties at Paradise Beach are epic. Unfortunately, it has become rather expensive, with prices now verging on Ibiza prices, so if you’re backpacking around the Greek Islands, expect to blow some of your budget here. Mykonos Town is extremely pretty with cobbled alleyways, blue and white buildings, windmills and fishing boats. It is also rather trendy and cosmopolitan, with swanky cocktail bars, boutique shops and gay bars galore. The sunset in Chora is definitely one to rival the sunset in Santorini, so order a cocktail in one of the waterfront bars in Little Venice and have your camera at the ready. By day you can laze on sunsoaked beaches and by night, party till long after the sun comes up.
Perhaps one of the reasons Mykonos is such a popular destination is because it has its own airport and you can get particularly cheap flights with Easyjet from London. Alternatively you can take the ferry from Pireus in Athens which takes between 4 hours 30 minutes and 5 hours 15 minutes depending on the ferry you are taking. Ferries from Athens to Mykonos run all year round, although there are fewer frequencies in low season.
Even if you stay in hostels, it’s quite difficult to keep your budget down in Mykonos if you plan to party. The main hostel that backpackers stay at in Mykonos is Paradise Beach Resort, which is where the parties are at night too. Accommodation is usually cheaper out of season, but during the months of July and August, things can get expensive. If you’re trying to save some money then stick to eating Gyros, pre-drink before you go out and arrive at the clubs before 2am for a cheaper entrance fee.
Things to See and Do
The Windmills- The windmills are an iconic symbol of Mykonos and appear on all the postcards. If you walk up to the windmills you can get a good view of the harbour and the main town.
Little Venice- Dubbed as “Little Venice”, this area of Mykonos Town doesn’t look much like Venice, but it does have bars that sit right on the water. Order a cocktail and sit in the window for a romantic view of the sunset.
Walk around Chora- Chora, which is the main village in Mykonos, has lots of great seafood restaurants, jewellery shops, clothing boutiques, cafes and cocktail bars. Take a stroll along the harbour and down all the pretty whitewashed alleyways.
The Beaches- The most popular beaches in Mykonos are Paradise, Super Paradise and Paranga, although Elia is one of the prettiest. Paradise Beach is very popular with tourists and backpackers and gets very busy in peak season. The day parties at Tropicana Beach Bar are infamous.
Nikos Taverna is great for dinner, serving traditional Greek food and seafood. It’s also in a prime spot at the end of the harbour. It usually gets very busy in the evenings and has a great atmosphere.
For cheap (ish) lunch I would recommend Madoupas on the harbour, which is great for coffee and watching the world go by.
Bars & Nightlife
If you want to hang out in Mykonos Town then Scandinavian Bar and Down Under are probably the best joints for young backpackers, but generally the major nightlife is down at Paradise Beach.
The main clubs at Paradise Beach are Cavo Paradiso and Paradise Club, attracting big name DJs like Tiesto and David Guetta. The two venues usually alternate their nights and there are buses that run regularly throughout the night between Mykonos Town and Paradise Beach when there is a club night on.
Tropicana Beach Bar is also on Paradise Beach and is well-known for its day parties and drunken debauchery.