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Mykonos

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Mykonos is a popular tourist destination in the Greek islands of the Cyclades group, situated in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Mykonos is located south of Tinos, east of Syros and north of Paros and Naxos.

Cities

Mykonos' main communities are Chora, the island's port town and capital, and Ano Mera.

Other communities

Understand

Mykonos is famed as a cosmopolitan destination amongst the Greek islands and widely recognised as one of the great travel meccas. It is one of the most touristed islands in the Aegean. This means that any visitors should be prepared for loud dance clubs, English breakfasts and over-priced merchandise. Mykonos, along with Santorini, is more expensive than other Greek islands.

Mykonos tends to be extremely crowded with visitors in July and August. The best time to visit Mykonos is May through June (early season, accommodation is much cheaper and it's not that hot), or September through mid-October (post season).

Ibiza, Gran Canaria, Sitges (all in Spain) and Mykonos are the hottest gay holiday destinations that Europe has to offer. Out of these four Mykonos has the most character. Mykonos is a gay friendly island, featuring a vibrant gay nightlife. Recently quite a few new gay bars and clubs have opened. If you're gay, get yourself an up to date map [1] with all the gay venues. The most popular beaches with gays are Super Paradise and Elia. These are not gay beaches, but they have parts where gays congregate. The only gay beach which deserves that name, is the small beach between Elia and Agrari.

Talk

Greek is the official language of Greece, and therefore it's spoken by all the permanent inhabitants of the island and most of its visitors, but the foreign visitor will have no problem at all communicating in foreign languages, mainly in English.

Get in

By boat

From the Greek mainland ferries and highspeed catamaran services [2] run daily from Piraeus and Rafina.

The journey between the port of Piraeus (Athens) and Mykonos takes between 4h 30min and 5h 15min, depending on the type of ferry you are taking. On a slow ferry a seat in economy class will cost € 30,50. All the ferries to Mykonos depart from Port Gate Ε7. Most of the ferries connecting Piraeus to Mykonos stop working by end of October and resume by April.

Many travelers probably don’t even consider Rafina a possible departure port if they are heading to one of the Cyclades, but if you are arriving at the airport of Athens you are often better off taking a ferry from Rafina than traveling to Athens and get a ferry from Piraeus. The journey between Rafina and Mykonos takes between 2h 10min and 5h 30min, depending on the type of ferry you are taking. On a regular ferry expect to pay € 21 per person for a seat in economy class. Most of the ferries connecting Rafina to Mykonos stop working by end of October and resume by April.

Mykonos can also be reached directly from other islands in the Cyclades. There are frequent boat connections from Syros, Andros, Tinos, Paros, Naxos, Ios and Santorini. There are less frequent boat connections from Crete, Rhodes, Chios and Lesvos. Not more than twice a week there is a time consuming boat service from Samos and Ikaria.

Mykonos has two ports: the old port in Mykonos Town, and the new port at Tourlos, about 2 km north of Mykonos Town. Check before you travel which port your boat will use. All cruise ships use the new port and most of the ferries as well. The highspeed catamaran services still use the old port in Mykonos town.

Ferry companies:

By plane

Mykonos has an airport (IATA: JMK) [6], about 4km away from the main town. There are daily flights from Athens airport (35 minutes) by Olympic Air [7] and Aegean Airlines [8]. In high season there are also less frequent flights from Rhodes, Santorini and Crete (Heraklion) by Sky Express [9].

From May till October charter airlines fly directly to Mykonos from many European airports.

Taxis are usually waiting at the airport, at the taxi rank opposite the terminal building, but competition for them can be keen. A taxi from Mykonos airport to town costs about € 8. Many Mykonos hotels offer airport transfers.

During high season there is an infrequent public bus service from the airport to the southern bus terminal, Fabrika, in Mykonos Town. The bus leaves the southern bus terminal in Mykonos Town at 12:15PM and 1.45PM, and then is scheduled to go back from the airport to Fabrika 10 minutes later. As the schedule changes every two weeks those times might change a little. This bus service is not useful if you have to go to the port.

Take a free and useful Mykonos Sky Map [21] from the airport. This free map is also sold in shops in Mykonos Town.

Get around

Distances from Mykonos Town in km (and taxi prices in 2007)


  • Airport 4.2 (€ 5.90)
  • Agios Ioannis 4.5 (€ 5.90)
  • Agios Stefanos 3 (€ 4.00)
  • Agrari 7.5
  • Ano Mera 8 (€ 6.90)
  • Elia (€ 11.40)
  • Kalafatis 11 (€ 10.50)
  • Kalo Livadi 10
  • Ornos 3.5 (€ 4.40)
  • Paradise 6 (€ 7.20)
  • Paranga 5
  • Platis Gialos 5 (€ 5.90)
  • Psarou 4.5 (€ 5.90)
  • Tourlos 2 (€ 3.70)

With a length of 12 to 15 km and a width of 10km, Mykonos is one of the smallest of the Cyclades islands. On Mykonos you can get around by bus, taxi, car, scooter, ATV or boat.

By bus

There is a bus network [22] that takes you around the island. There are two bus stations in Mykonos town, each on different sides of Mykonos town. From the main southern bus station, Fabrica, buses can be taken for departures to Platys Gialos, Paraga, Paradise, Ornos and Agios Ioannis. From the northern bus station, Remezzo, which is not very far from the old port ferry quay, buses can be taken for departures to Ano Mera, Elia and Kalafatis. Frequencies of buses are higher in high season. Departure times are clearly marked at the bus stations. There are also night buses from Mykonos to Platis Gialos and Paradise leaving every hour.

There is no bus connection between the two bus stations. From one bus station to the other will take about 20 minutes of walking through the streets of Mykonos town.

You can buy your bus tickets (go and return) before boarding the bus. They are available at kiosks, mini-markets and tourist shops. Hand over your ticket to the bus driver and he will "validate" it by simply tearing your ticket. There are ticket stamping machines in the bus, but they simply don't function. Don't be surprised (and don't try to explain why) if a man that is already on the bus near the bus driver will check your "validated" ticket a few minutes later. Even though your ticket is just teared and not stamped, he will inspect your ticket thoroughly. Bus tickets are € 1.40, except for the further destinations of Elia and Kalafatis which cost € 1,70. Tickets for night buses are are also € 1,70. Sometimes it is very possible to buy a ticket from the bus driver, though you may have to wait at the back of line while you wait for the people who have already bought tickets to get on. Buses in Mykonos are almost always full during the busy parts of the day; the bus driver will squeeze in as many passengers as he possibly can.

By taxi

On the entire island there are only about 30 taxis, which means that depending on taxis for transport can be an exercise of great patience. In Mykonos Town the main location for taxis is in Manto Square (also called Town Square or Taxi Square), on the harbour front near the statue. You have to wait in line and sometimes you can wait for hours in the taxi queue. In the evening it can be very difficult to find a taxi. Taxis do not use meters, but there's a notice board giving rates for each destination. Fares are quite reasonable. Contact telephone numbers are 22890, 22400 and 23700.

By boat

The Plati Yalos Boat Service [23] provides a good and fun way of getting to the southern beaches of Mykonos.

Price for a return ticket is € 5 for Paranga and Paradise, € 6 for Super Paradise and € 7 for Agrari and Elia. Boat services can be cancelled due to strong wind, but with the exception of Super Paradise all of these beaches can be reached by bus from Mykonos Town as well.

From June to September there also infrequently boats leaving from the harbour in Mykonos Town to Super Paradise, Agrari and Elia.

By car or by motorbike

Mykonos has an extensive public transport system from Mykonos Town. By public transport it is easy to get to all the southern beaches, which happen to be the nicest beaches as well. Renting a motorbike or a car is the way to go if you want to explore the rest of the island, especially the more remote beaches at the north coast. Motorbike and car rentals are readily available around the island. In Mykonos Town the highest concentration of rent a car - motorbike agencies is in and around the area of the southern busstation, where you will find a wide range of choices. The other area of Mykonos Town with rent a car - motorbike agencies is near to the old port, behind the Archaeological Museum.

See

Attractions in Mykonos Town

Panagia Paraportianí, a true Byzantine jewel. This whitewashed church, which building dates back to 1425 and was not completed until the 17th century, is the most popular and most photographed of the 400 churches on the whole island of Mykonos. It is made up of four chapels at ground level with another one above. Only one of the chapels on the ground floor is open to visitors, from early morning until sunset. The church is located in the Kastro district, the oldest section of Mykonos Town.

Museums

All museums are open from April to October, except the Archaeological Museum which is open year round.

Beaches

Most of the beaches have tavernas and restaurants and are well equipped with with deck chairs and parasols. Most common price is € 12 for a set of two deck chairs and an umbrella. The best beaches are on the south side of the island and sheltered from the prevailing northern wind. On the more popular beaches, it is not uncommon for people to walk down the beach selling probably illegal goods such as DVDs, fake bags, clothes, jewellery and watches. They come right up to you and it can be somewhat annoying but they are easily pushed away with a simple 'No, thank you'. Also, many beaches, even the more family-orientated, are often populated with the 'european' style of sunbathing - i.e. topless.


Psarou is easily accessible by bus from Mykonos town. Get off the bus one stop before Platys Gialos.

Bus service from Mykonos town is very frequent and takes about 15 minutes. Platys Gialos is the starting point for regular boat services to the other southern Mykonos beaches.

Paranga is easily accessible by bus from Mykonos town or with a regular boat service from Platys Gialos (first stop). It is also an easy walk from Platys Gialos (15 minutes) or Paradise (10 minutes). On your way walking from Platys Galios you will pass by the beach of '''Aghia Anna''', an enchanting little cove nearby Paranga Beach. At this beach there are two lovely restaurants nearby, an Italian restaurant (Blanco) and a traditional-style Greek tavern (Nikolas).

Paradise is easily reached by bus from Mykonos town or with a regular boat service from Platys Gialos (second stop).

There is no bus service to Super Paradise, but it is easily accessible with a regular boat service from Platys Gialos (third stop). With you own transport it is a difficult winding road (7km) from Mykonos Town.</.

If there are enough passengers, the boats from Platys Gialos will make a stop at Agrari. Otherwise, it is an easy 5 minutes walk over the rocks from Elia Beach. With you own transport it is a quite difficult 8km road from Mykonos Town.

Elia is most easily reached by a direct local bus from Mykonos Town’s northern bus terminal, but also with a regular boat service from Platys Gialos beach (fourth and last stop). Last boat back is at 6PM, but after that time buses are still running.

Best reached with your own transport, but you can get there by bus. Take the bus to Elia and get off the bus at the top of the hill where it turns to go to Elia Beach and walk about ten minutes downhill to your left.

Kalafati can be reached by bus from Mykonos town, but this bus only runs a few times a day. Immediately next to Kalafatis are the sandy beaches of '''Draoumia''' and '''Tafarnis'''.

To get there you need your own transport or you can walk from Kalafati.

To get there you need your own transport. From Ano Mera follow a weaving road down to the beach.

Accommodation is also available.

Ornos is easily accessible by bus from Mykonos town.

Do

Buy

You can go shopping or window shopping in the fabulous little boutiques which carry exclusive name brands, among them outstanding Greek jewelers, souvenirs as well as works of art. Bring money and credit cards. Most shops are open seven days a week, but will be closed from 2PM to 5PM. Many tourist shops will remain open late into the evening. In case you are looking for department stores, as some cruise tourists do, there aren't any.

Of course, you will also find the shops you need to fill all your basic needs and comforts. There are mini-markets, green grocers, butchers, kiosks, bakeries, a few small supermarkets (and bigger supermarkets out of town), many pharmacies, a dry goods shop, bookstores, photo and electronics shops.

ATM's are available throughout town. There's a concentration of ATM's near the southern bus station.

Eat

In Mykonos Town you will find most of the restaurants and eateries. All over town there are various gyros and souvlaki shops and creperies where you can eat quite well for just a few euros. Mykonos offers dining options catering to a range of tastes and budgets. You can have good Greek food at reasonable prices, but it also easy to spend a fortune.

Mykonos Town

Ano Mera

The town square offers several traditional restaurants.

Kalafatis

Ornos

Platys Gialos

Psarou

Beach Taverns

Drink

Mykonos is famous for its intense nightlife as evidenced by a vast number of bars and nightclubs. Drinking can be quite expensive in Mykonos.

Beach bars

Bars

Nightclubs

Although Mykonos´ nightlife focuses mainly on bars, there are a number of notable dance clubs to be found on the island, some of them attracting world-famous DJs.

Gay bars and nightclubs

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under € 75
Mid-range € 75-150
Splurge Over € 150

Mykonos has a well developed tourist infrastructure with countless hotels, studios, apartments and rooms for rent. Accommodation can be found in and around Mykonos Town and nearby the beaches. Compared to other Greek islands accommodation in Mykonos is expensive. The price of accommodation varies greatly according to season. Mentioned prices are for low season. Expect prices to double in high season. Mykonos becomes overcrowded from mid July to the end of August, so be sure you have a room waiting if you go during that season.

A lot of the locals rent rooms and they will be waiting for you when you arrive at the port or the airport, waving pictures of their rooms. If approached to let a room, make sure you don't end up in an isolated apartment up on the hills around the town. Outside high season it is also easy enough to look around in Mykonos Town for yourself. There are 'rooms' signs everywhere. Wandering around with a backpack you will be approached.

Camping

For the young and most budget conscious travelers there are two campgrounds, both situated at popular beaches:

Both offer shuttle bus transportation to and from the airport and ferry boat ports.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Contact

Stay safe

Mykonos is generally a safe island, with the only problem of dangerous and drunk driving. Be aware in case you want to rent a motorbike or quadbike, because its roads are sometimes narrow with sudden twists that need driving experience and extra care.

Get out

Move on by boat to Paros, Naxos, Ios or Santorini.

Nearby Syros can be used as a transport hub to further Greek Islands.

Related Information




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A list of contributors is available at the original article on Wikitravel. Additional modifications may have been made by users at TRAVEL.COM [25].

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

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