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About Mykonos

Excursion boats at Super Paradise Beach in Mykonos, Greece To call Mykonos a 'gay island' is like calling San Francisco a 'gay city'. Sure there are gay bars and homosexuality is not hidden, but unless you are looking for it you may not even notice it because Mykonos is a destination for all types of people. From jet setters to college students and families, Mykonos is Greece's most well known and popular island and the people you see are from all walks of life, from every country, and sexualpreference... even priests.

My experience with Mykonos began in the early seventies when I was a wild high school student and 1000 drachma (around $30 back then) would last me two weeks sleeping on Paradise beach or in the caves on the peninsulas that create the beautiful sheltered beaches the island is known for. At the time there was one restaurant, George's and no rooms. The only way to get to Paradise was by taking the bus to Platyialos and walking a couple miles down the coast. There were rooms to rent in Platyialos but nothing beyond besides a couple tavernas.

Fishing boats in MykonosTimes have changed and a thousand drachma now will barely buy you a souvlaki if you can find one. (Souvlakis you can find. Drachmas are gone for the time being). Mykonos town in the twenty or more years since I spent my last teenage summer there, has changed dramatically with clubs, bars, boutiques, internationally known restaurants of various ethnic styles and so many visitors that a summer night in town is like Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. Mykonos is not cheap. But if you are on vacation, with money to burn and willing to pull out all the stops the nightlife compares favorably to any major city or party town in the world. The discos stay open till dawn and there is no nicer place to nurse a slight hangover then in an umbrella shaded beach chair a few feet from the sea where one can slowly build up his strength to face the next evening's festivities.

Mykonos is the cross-roads of the hip universe. Everybody goes there, from Keith Richards laying on his back floating in the sea with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, to your favorite TV or movie star and their entourage, moving from club to club in search of action. Famous politicians, designers, newscasters, basketball players and coaches, kings, queens and commoners all make Mykonos their first choice in holiday destination.

Getting to Mykonos

Mykonos is easy to get to. There are many flights a day from Athens and more ferries from Pireaus or Rafina, then to any other island. The ferry boat ride is about 5 hours with stops in Tinos and Syros. Avoid any boat stopping in Tinos a few days before the 15th of August if you are going to Mykonos, and after the 15th when you return. This is because thousands of Pilgrims go to the Holy Icon in Tinos for the Panagiri and unless you have a ferry ticket in advance you probably won't get on and if you do you will wish you hadn't as it can be very crowded and uncomfortable. There are also connections to Mykonos from Santorini and the other Cyclades islands so if you find yourself in a position where you have to travel on these days, ask your travel agent for help with another route. There are now highspeed boats from Pireaus and Rafina as well as Lavrion that can get you to Mykonos in about two hours. See also Mykonos Information

Booking Hotels in Mykonos

Little Venice in MykonosI recommend booking a room before you come to Mykonos. It is possible to find rooms on your own when you arrive in most circumstances though difficult in July and September and almost impossible in August, particularly during the August 15 holiday. By booking a room in advance you will have more choice of where you are and what kind of place you stay in. Plus it's a nice feeling to know you have something waiting for you when you get off the boat, rather then having to walk around trying to find something. Like many islands there will be people at the boat waving pictures of their rooms and if not there is a tourist information office (or there was) but this is usually hit or miss. Again, book your accommodations with a reliable travel agency like Dolphin Hellas or Aegean Thesaurus who can probably get you discounted rates too or Fantasy Travel who not only have cheap rates but can also find rooms when everyone tells you there are none available. By contacting one of these agencies, you will be working with someone familiar with the territory and you can tell them what are your needs and how much you are able to pay. Plus they can assist you with the ferries which is very useful especially if you are going to more than one island. I recommend either staying in town at the Hotel Adonis if it is available or if you want to be on the beach and come to town at night for nightlife then the Princess of Mykonos at Agios Stefanos which is less of a party beach than most of the others. If you use my Create-an-itinerary form you can put together a custom program which includes Mykonos and any other islands you like, get it tweaked with the help of a reliable travel agency and get a price for it. It's free and it is really helpful in putting together a trip. For more about hotels and some recommended hotels see the Mykonos Hotels Page

Mykonos Town

Shops in the back streets of MykonosThe town of Mykonos is one of the best examples of Cycladic architecture and is a maze of streets and alleys so that you never know where you will end up. But along the way you will see things that may surprise you, from a branch of your favorite boutique that you assumed only existed in Manhattan, to expensive french restaurants, traditional churches, gold shops, tavernas, an internet cafe and a pelican named Peter who would be in his mid sixties had he not been replaced so often. (One incarnation bit me, in fact he nearly swallowed my entire head. Don't ask.) It is quite easy to get lost here but chances are you will find your way out before morning. My favorite shops, which are incidentally the two most practical are the Fruit Center, which of course sells fruit and the International Press Center where you will probably be able to find your favorite newspaper, magazine or book, no matter where you come from. Coming from Kea where the only newspapers you can find are in Greek or Albanian this was like finding paradise. Check out the Gallery of Yiannis Galati, one of Greece's most famous designer-artists and a lover of the island. Thousands of celebrities have visited his little shop. Across the street at Lalaounis jewelry museum they give away the best maps of the island and in the evenings have a wine tasting.


The Island of Delos is uninhabited but is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. It was once a thriving port and commercial center. Said to be the birthplace of Apollo, the Delian games were held here and the ruins of the city are quite extensive and well worth a visit, especially in the spring when wildflowers are in bloom. There are numerous taxi boats and tours to the island advertised in the port of Mykonos. See my Delos Page

Mykonos Beaches

Beach at Agios Stefanos in MykonosThe best beaches are found by taking the bus to Platyialos, which is more of a family beach, with rooms to rent, restaurants, beach umbrellas, and the small boats that can take you to the other beaches. The first beach you will come to is Agia Ana (and most likely pass without stopping), which is usually quiet and still relatively undeveloped. The next stop is Paraga and then Paradise beach where there is a campsite, music, water sports and a restaurant or two. The next beach is Super Paradise which was a gay nudist beach. The last beach is Elia which was also a nudist beach and now has a couple luxury hotels. You can now drive and get buses to all of these beaches. There are other beaches scattered around the island but these are the most well known and among the best in Greece. I like Agios Stefanos (photo) which is where the locals swim. It is small and unpretentous, close to town and has a couple hotels including the Princess of Mykonos and a really nice little fish taverna overlooking the sea called Taverna Vasoula.

If you are coming to Greece on a budget vacation your money will go a lot further on other less popular islands then it will on Mykonos. If you are traveling with your children you may want a more traditional island that is a bit more family oriented like Lesvos, Sifnos or Naxos. (though there are plenty of families that come here and have a wonderful time and you can find budget hotels and food) But if you are young, have money to spare and want to have a wild time, meet new people and possibly have sex with them, you will love Mykonos.

Far from the Maddening Crowd: In response to the travelers who worry that recent demonstrations in Athens may disturb their sleep pattern, at my request Fantasy Travel has put together a 10-Day Athens-Mykonos-Santorini package which includes a tour of Athens and all transfers and ferry tickets. The package starts at 790 euros per person. What makes it unique is for the Athens part of the trip you will be staying by the beach in Faliron, just 20 minutes from downtown by taxi or 30 minutes by bus or coastal tram. For more information see

New Economical Packages: Fantasy Travel has put together a number of packages that offer quality accomodation for economical prices. Most packages that seem too good to be true are actually not as good as they seem, often using hotels that are in areas you really don't want to stay in, to keep the price down. But Fantasy's economy packages feature hotels in and around the Plaka in Athens and are all good quality hotels. I recommend Fantasy Travel's program The Pursuit of Pleasure which is 12 Days and 11 nights in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini including hotels, ferries, transfers, tours, admission to archaeological sites and breakfast starting at 940 euros per person. You can't beat the price for these hotels and this itinerary. Or their 8 day package that includes a 4-day cruise plus Athens-Delphi-Meteora which starts at 595 euros per person. For these and other inexpensive programs that include Mykonos visit Fantasy Travel's Special Offers Page Greece Travel Banner

Return to Matt's Mykonos Index

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