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Things to Do in Mykonos

When it comes to the Greek islands, few places are able to meet idealized expectations like the island of Mykonos, with its stark-white buildings and beautiful beaches on the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. Now one of the more cosmopolitan destinations in Greece, Mykonos also serves as a convenient jumping-off point for nearby attractions. The neighboring island of Delos—the alleged birthplace of Artemis and Apollo—scratches that mythology itch with its treasure trove of ancient ruins, including the Temple of Apollo, Sacred Way, and Terrace of the Lions. Visitors who decide to book a tour have the choice of a catamaran, yacht, sailing boat, or even cruise ship to explore the nearby uninhabited island of Rhenia and its paradise beach; and guided scuba diving and snorkeling trips are popular ways to enjoy the region’s clear blue waters. Back on Mykonos island, there are two main communities: Mykonos Town, or Chora, is a sea of charming whitewashed houses and winding streets originally intended to confuse invading pirates. Though the town has developed rapidly, its original style is intact and evident in the medieval houses and wooden terraces of Little Venice. Inland, the small village of Ano Mera has a different energy, with a 16th century monastery and traditional tavernas still steeped in the old Mykonian spirit. After all the sightseeing tours, soak in Greek island spirit against a sunset backdrop to end any day in this Cycladic gem.
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Kalafatis Beach
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22 Tours and Activities
With its long stretch of golden sand and steady coastal winds, Kalafatis Beach is not only one of Mykonos’ most beautiful beaches–it’s also earned a reputation as the island’s water sports hub. The beach is most renowned for its windsurfing, but other popular activities include jet skiing, water skiing, banana boating and wakeboarding.
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Paros
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The holiday island of Paros is the place for chilling out and napping on the beach, soaking up the relaxed Aegean vibe. Away from the beaches, terraced hills climb up to the mountainous interior, where the island’s famous pure white marble is quarried. The Paros marble has been famous for millennia, used by the ancient Greek genius who carved the beautiful Venus de Milo and by the sculptors who adorned Napoleon’s tomb. Your main base on the island is the port of Parikia, at the head of the bay on the northwest coast. There’s a labyrinthine old town to explore, a 13th-century Venetian fort and taverna-thronged waterfront for sunset drinks and seafood meals. The Panagia Ekatontapyliani church is a highlight of the entire Cyclades, with an ornate interior dating from the year 326. Make sure to visit the Byzantine Museum while you’re in the church grounds, filled with icons and other artifacts from the early Christian era.

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Little Venice
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Little Venice is a tiny quarter of trendy boutiques, churches and whitewashed fishermen’s houses lining the seafront in Mykonos’ Old Town. Flowering bougainvillea adds a touch of crimson to the bright white walls, and wooden balconies painted in trademark Grecian colors of blue and rust hang over the narrow streets.

Just south of the Old Jetty at the entrance to Little Venice, stands the rocklike Church of Panagia Paraportiani, while the town’s iconic row of hilltop windmills overlook the quarter. Come to Little Venice at dusk to capture postcard shots of a Mykonos sunset, and stay on into the evening at a waterfront taverna.

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Mykonos Windmills (Kato Mili)
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The whitewashed windmills lined up on a hill overlooking Mykonos Town are a signature island sight. Capped with wood and straw, the 3-story conical windmills were built in the 16th century to mill flour. Out of the 16 preserved windmills on the island, seven are found in the area of Kato Mili overlooking the Chora Mykonos harbor.
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Church of Panagia Paraportiani
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The flower-bedecked Church of Panagia Paraportiani is a highlight of your walk through Mykonos’ picture-perfect Little Venice. Built between the 14th and 17th centuries, the island’s most photographed church is comprised of five whitewashed chapels across two floors that once guarded the entrance to the town’s castle.
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Panagia Tourliani Monastery
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Ano Mera is the second-largest settlement on Mykonos, and as far from the island’s party-crazy reputation it is possible to get. A whitewashed cluster northeast of Mykonos Town (also called Chora), life rumbles on here as it has done for centuries. There’s a daily fresh produce market in the village square and Ano Mera is popular with local families for leisurely Sunday brunches in traditional tavernas. The village’s chief claim to fame is the 16th-century whitewashed monastery of Panagia Tourliani and its church, which is fronted by an intricate marble bell tower and ornate triple bells. Founded in 1542 by monks from the neighboring island of Paros and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the monastery’s Byzantine styling is apparent in its red dome and its layout around a fountain-filled courtyard.

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Armenistis Lighthouse (Faros Armenistis)
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With its stark white tower perched atop the sea-cliffs of Cape Armenistis, and views stretching out over the ocean, the remote Armenistis Lighthouse (Faros Armenistis) feels a world away from the lively streets of nearby Mykonos Town. A striking reminder of Mykonos’ rich maritime heritage, the lighthouse dates back to 1891 and, despite standing at just 19-meters high, makes a dramatic sight, looking out across the strait towards Tinos island.
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Ornos Beach
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Tucked away from the buzzing nightlife of Mykonos Town, Ornos Beach is draped around a sheltered bay whose calm water makes it a popular family swimming spot. A generous selection of seafront restaurants, tavernas, and resorts offer plenty of amenities for a day in the sun or a longer stay on the island’s quieter side.
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Mykonos Cruise Port
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Known world-over for its cosmopolitan lifestyle and booming nightlife, Mykonos is a favorite amongst visitors on the Greece leg of their Mediterranean tour. With a load of wonderful beaches to park at, Mykonos is also filled with museums and other tokens of cultural life. The town itself is a wonderful maze of charming little streets and traditional buildings full of shops, cafes and restaurants. Feel free to get lost when exploring Mykonos.

Now with two ports, one of which is the relatively new, but smaller marina, all sorts of cruise liners, yachts and other boats swarm the island of Mykonos - making it a common ferry destination from places like Rafina or Piraeua, where you can catch a ride daily. Mykonos also has an international airport only a few miles away from the town itself, offering flights from a number of major European destinations.

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Paradise Beach
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After a day relaxing on the sand or jet-skiing through the water, Paradise Beach is where holiday makers come to party when the sun goes down. During the day, you can rent an umbrella and beach lounge, and make the most of the beach’s bar service. At night, there are a couple of restaurants in town, but it’s the pumping music played by beach club DJs that draws the mostly young crowds. Paradise Beach is fine for the family during the day, but the scene turns loud and sexy after dark. Don’t come here to sleep! As well as the beach dance floor, there’s the famous Paradise Club all-night party megaclub, that’s been a favorite rave scene since 1993.

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More Things to Do in Mykonos

Terrace of the Lions

Terrace of the Lions

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3 Tours and Activities
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Things to do near Mykonos