Mykonos was the third stop of our Mediterranean Cruise last October, and definitely one to remember.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you probably know that Greece is one of my favorite European countries. This was my second time in Greece, and after a perfect day in Katakolon, Mykonos did not let us down.
Our cruise arrived pretty early in the morning and left only in the evening, so we had plenty of time to explore the island, and we used it well.
Mykonos is part of the Cyclades islands, in the Aegean Sea. It’s one of the most popular Greek islands, best known for its summer party atmosphere and as a gay-friendly destination.
We visited in late October though, with many establishments already closed for the low season, so we got to see a quieter side of the island, enjoy desert beaches, and relish in all its beauty.
Follow along for an unforgettable day in the island of the winds.
Take in the charm of the Chora
We started the morning strolling across Mykonos town, or the Chora (the town in Greek) as the locals call it.
We wandered around, slowly taking in all the charm of the narrow cobblestone streets and traditional architecture: small whitewashed houses and churches, with blue wooden doors, windows and balconies, and ever present purple bougainvilleas.
With an undeniable cosmopolitan flair despite its small size, this picture perfect town is home to the majority of the 10 thousand inhabitants of the island, as well as to many small business catering especially to the tourists, from restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops, to upscale boutiques and jewelries.
Enjoy the view from the windmills
Mykonos is called the island of the winds because of the strong northern winds (the meltemia) that blow especially in the summer during the day.
To harness the meltemia, windmills were built all around the island, and especially on a hill overlooking the Chora, on the 16th century. Today the windmills are Mykonos trademark. Although no longer in use, many were restored to serve as houses.
We climbed our way to the windmills hill and enjoyed a superb view of the city and the Aegean Sea.
Rent a car and explore the beaches
After exploring the Chora and its surroundings we still had plenty of time in our hands, so we spontaneously decided to rent a car and explore some of Mykonos beaches.
If you are visiting in the high season I would recommend booking in advance though. We opted for a car, but renting a motorcycle is also a great option to get to know the island at your own pace.
We set to explore the beaches on the southern coast of the island, starting in Ornos Beach.
Located only 2,5 kilometers from Mykonos town, this beautiful beach is the closest to the Chora and can get very busy in the summer. Luckily in late October we had the beach almost only to ourselves.
Located in a gorgeous bay, in front of a small fishermen village, with white sand and turquoise waters, Ornos Beach is everything you can imagine when you think about idyllic Greek islands.
We didn’t swim here since it was a little windy, but the views were really worthy.
Platis Gialos Beach
Our next stop was Platis Gialos Beach. Platis Gialos is a long, nice beach, with many hotels, restaurants and bars lined in front of the soft white sand. It’s also one of Mykonos most popular beaches.
This time I couldn’t resist to the pleasant crystalline waters of the Aegean Sea.
Paradise Beach is the most famous Mykonos beach. We wanted to see what the hip is all about, so we headed there next.
I must confess I was a bit disappointed though. While this is a nice beach, it’s definitely not the prettiest beach I’ve ever been to.
On this time of the year, all the restaurants and bars around the beach were closed, with the exception of one bar directly on the sand, where we grabbed something to eat, before moving to our next stop.
To be honest, Paradise Beach is all about the big night parties on the sand during the warmer months, so I may have to give it another chance in the future.
Super Paradise Beach
I found Super Paradise Beach much prettier than its neighbor Paradise Beach. It’s no surprise it’s considered one of the most beautiful beaches in all Greece. It’s also one of the most famous gay beaches in the country.
Together, Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach are known as the best party beaches in Greece.
Generally speaking, beaches on the southern coast of Mykonos are best organized and can get very crowded during peak season, while beaches on the northern coast of the island are less organized and quieter.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore the northern coast, since it was time to get back to the city and return our rented car, but we will leave it for our next visit to the island of the winds.
Have a drink in Little Venice
Before we sail off to our next destination, we still had time for one last stroll across the Chora and a drink in Little Venice, one of the most romantic parts of the city.
Dating back to the 18th century, many of the picturesque houses of Little Venice, with its colorful balconies facing the sea, are now restaurants, bars, cafes and little shops, transforming the area into a tourist hub.
We enjoyed our beer and the stunning view over the Aegean Sea, listening to the meltemia one last time.
Whether you’re visiting for a day or staying for a week, Mykonos will blow your mind. From the lovely Chora, to stunning beaches, and a scenic landscape, the island of the winds is a tiny bit of paradise you’ll leave wanting to return soon.
Have you been to Mykonos? What did you like the most about the island of the winds?
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