Mykonos Holidays

A party island with a softer side

The hedonistic reputation of the island of Mykonos precedes it – Mykonos holidays are all about letting your hair down. Prepare to splurge on nearly everything, to have absolutely wild nights and to meet some fascinating people. And unlike other party islands, Mykonos has a properly glamorous side. You’ll find Michelin-starred restaurants, designer boutiques, multi-million dollar yachts bobbing in the harbour and some of the world’s best nightclubs.

It's always been a popular LGBTQ+ destination as well, and there’s a vibe of sensual freedom here that is delightfully unique. Much of the revelry is concentrated in the southern beaches along the coast and in Hora – an adorable cluster of whitewashed houses covered in purple bougainvillea, and cobblestone streets that are crowded with people in the summer.

But away from the wild nights, Mykonos exemplifies the landscape of the Cyclades islands. The land is a scrubby brown and green – and nearly all flat – with sugar-cube houses dotting the landscape. And there’s another, little-known side to holidays to Mykonos – a quiet, agrarian interior, where locals still farm the land, dairy is churned into cheese and butter and you can even find an empty beach or two. This is the side of the island that Mykonians love, and that is inclusive for the whole family.

Three tips for a top trip

Hire a taxi
Instead of drawing straws for a designated driver, hire a reliable taxi driver and plan to have them pick you up at specific hours each night.
Sit at the back
There’s a tiered payment system for lawn chairs in beach bars – the seats set furthest back from the waterfront are always the cheapest, so you can save your cash for nights out.
Plan ahead
You can have a great meal every night in Mykonos – you just need to make reservations well in advance, as everything with a reputation books up a month ahead.

Best attractions to see in Mykonos

Super Paradise

Since the 1970s, the Super Paradise beach and surrounding clubs has been the most reliable party spot on Mykonos, and attracts a mind-bogglingly huge crowd each night.

Mykonos windmills

Perched on the edge of town, these historic windmills are the classic symbols of Mykonos – beat the crowds and visit them early in the morning while the sun comes up.

Delos island

Mykonos is the base for visits to the extraordinary ruins on Delos, an uninhabited island that was the commercial and spiritual centre of ancient Greece.

Your Mykonos questions, answered

The locals joke that the main thoroughfare of Mykonos Town is like a catwalk – pack your sharpest looks, because the fashion competition here is stiff.

Given the number of people who come to Mykonos each summer, it’s not uncommon for the ATMs to run out of cash – take back-up bills and cards.

If you’d like to be right at the centre of the action, any time between June and September is the best time to visit. The weather will be at its hottest then too, so this is also a great choice for sun-worshippers. In May and October, the sea’s still warm enough for swimming, but the crowds are smaller. Ancient history buffs, on the other hand, might enjoy a trip to Mykonos at any time of year. Just check sites are open if you plan to visit in winter and it could be chilly in the sea.

You certainly can, and it’s good to plan ahead. There are a surprising number of kid-friendly and off-the-beaten path activities in Mykonos, especially if you come off-season.

Agios Ioannis has a fine, sun-bleached sand beach, while the one at Kalo Livadi is more of a beautiful soft beige. Choulakia’s crescent bay is surrounded by rocky outcrops and filled with fine pebbles. Elia, meanwhile, boasts the biggest beach on the island’s south coast and really is idyllic. But, as well as being a good spot to relax, this serene island is popular for watersports. Ftelia is famed for its natural beauty, with crystalline waters, golden sand and dramatic rocky hillsides. And you’ll just love the small, quiet beach at Megali Ammos lined with a few tavernas and bars.

You don’t need to rent a car on Mykonos, because it’s a compact island with a great local bus service. For example, Mykonos Town is only a short ride from Agios Ioannis and Megali Ammos is within walking distance. From the Fabrika bus station, in Chora, there are also regular services to several villages along the Southern Coast, like Elia, Kalo Livadi and Choulakia.

Mykonos is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, which includes residencies by famous DJs from all over the world. The fun begins early at the beach bars of Paradise, Paraga and Panormos and often continues right through the night. You'll love this place if you're a hardcore clubber, but Mykonos is not solely a party island. There are lots of other reasons to visit, including fantastic scenery, history, climate and beaches. So whether you’re a party animal or enjoy a more calm, serene holiday, this very special place has something to offer.

Mykonos has a warm, Mediterranean climate and September is a lovely time to visit. Daytime temperatures usually reach around 24°C and only fall to about 18°C at night. You’d expect to see 11 or so hours of bright sunshine every day too, which works out at 85 per cent of daylight hours. The average sea temperature is still 23°C in September, perfect for anyone who enjoys swimming. The average rainfall is around two days a month, so it’s unlikely to affect your holiday.

Every type of cuisine is available on Mykonos, particularly in cafes and restaurants in the capital. Local specialities worth trying include spicy kopanisti cheese; louza, a traditional pork delicacy; soutzoukakia, or Greek meatballs; octopus, and Myconian honey pie. Gyros, which are quite similar to doner kebabs and souvlaki, grilled meat or vegetables cooked on a skewer, are also easy to find. You must sample krommydopita, a hearty onion and cheese pie, at least once. The combination of slightly tart tyrovolia cheese and sweet onions in its filling really is something special.