Ahhh Mykonos, one of the most famous islands in Greece if not in the entire world. Prior to visiting the Greek island of Mykonos I had heard that it was the place to go if you want to party which made me both excited and horrified all at once.
I’ve been known to enjoy a mid-day beach party and an after-hours dance club in my day, but I am also acutely aware that I am beginning to be one of the oldest people there. Leading up to our arrival I began mentally prepping myself for what was sure to be an endless string of all-day beach parties followed by late nights on the town, but I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I should have been.
The most popular beaches on Mykonos are Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach. These two beaches are definitely the place to go if you are looking to party as they are home to some of the best beach clubs in Mykonos.
Unfortunately, every square inch of both beaches is covered in lounge chairs. So you’re only real option at these two beaches is to pick a beach club and rent a chair. The day will start out pretty relaxing, but as it turns into the afternoon the music starts to get louder and the go-go dancers will be rocking out to remixes of the latest pop hits.
So if your idea of a “relaxing day at the beach” involves a good book and a little peace and quiet, Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach clearly won’t be your jam. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so old, sober, or conservatively dressed in my entire life.
While Mykonos is not somewhere I’ll likely return anytime soon (I prefer Santorini), I did manage to find a few activities that were very enjoyable and felt a bit more age-appropriate. If you too find yourself overwhelmed on Mykonos, follow my tips to avoid needing a vacation from your vacation.
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Getting to Mykonos
Mykonos has a small international airport (Airport Code: JMK) and most visitors choose to arrive via airplane. The other option is to travel to Mykonos by ferry. There are dozens of ferry routes that connect all of the major Greek Islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Ios, Paros, etc.
Getting from the airport or ferry port to your hotel is, unfortunately, more expensive than it should be. The taxis on Mykonos are known for ripping off tourist – a taxi from the airport should be no more than 20€ but they frequently overcharge.
Make sure you check with your hotel before your arrival in Mykonos to see if they can provide an airport pickup service. At the time we visited they did not yet have Uber but it was coming soon.
Guide to Surviving Mykonos, Greece in your 30s
Wander the Alleyways at Sunrise
Visiting the city center of Mykonos anytime between the hours of 11:00am and 8:00pm will require you to push your way through hordes of tour groups in the blazing sun. And from 11:00pm until the wee hours of the morning the streets are again filled with college students pounding shots and dancing in the streets or spilling out of one of the many techno-music-blasting nightclubs.
If you really want to experience the beauty of the whitewashed buildings and the pristine cobblestone streets, get there early. Aside from the morning deliveries, you’ll pretty much have the place all to yourself. Take photos of the beautiful white buildings smattered with bursts of bright colors and enjoy a coffee and some yogurt with fresh fruit at Popolo Cafe.
Around 10:00am the waterfront restaurants will begin to fill with up with people and clattering silverware and you’ll be amazed by how the streets are almost unrecognizable as they come to life.
Rent a 4-Wheeler and Explore the Less Crowded Beaches in the North
One of the best things to do on Mykonos is to explore the more remote northern side of the island via moped or 4-wheeler. Mykonos is fairly small and the roads are mostly paved, so even if you don’t have experience driving a moped or ATV you’ll have an easy time driving in Mykonos.
You can rent a decent 4-wheeler from a variety of shops sprinkled all over the island for 30€ for a 24-hour period. Load up on snacks and water, don’t forget sunscreen and a beach towel, and head north to Agios Sostis and Panormos beaches for a day of lounging.
Most of the popular beaches in Mykonos fill every square inch of beach space with lounge chairs and charge anywhere from 10€ – 100€ to occupy it for the day. Panormos Beach is half-resort with beach chairs and half sandy public beach – we thought it was one of the best beaches in Mykonos. Vendors selling ice-cold beers and donuts will wander by occasionally.
Agios Sostis is a protected area so there are no resorts in sight, and only one tiny restaurant option (but no electricity so it’s all grilled meats and fresh salads), but expect to wait at least an hour for a table. The crystal clear water and undeveloped beach is stunning, but also too far for most tourists to travel to so you’ll find it far less populated than the southern beaches.
Lounge at the Pool
While this hotel is quite popular, it is not a “party scene”. You won’t find any thumping dance music or go-go dancers here. They have an amazingly helpful and friendly staff, reasonably priced snacks and drinks, and lots of options for lounging. The rooms are also quite large and each has its own patio if the pool gets too crowded for your liking. There are also plenty of other hotels on Mykonos with beautiful, pristine pools to choose from.
Artemoula’s Studios Hotel in Mykonos is conveniently located near the beach and just a few minutes walk to a grocery store, a delicious cafe, and the bus stop. Get up early to grab a prime cushioned spot and spend the day sipping delicious cheap white wine from the bar and lazily floating in the peaceful and pristine pool.
When you get hungry, head down to Avli Tou Thodori on Platis Yialos beach. It’s one of the best restaurants in Mykonos and is extremely popular so be sure to call ahead if you want a table with a view.
Soak in the Sunset From Above
Similar to the way that the beaches of Mykonos are filled to the brim with beach chairs, the seafront of Little Venice is teaming with tables vying for the best views of the sea. In order to get around you must weave your way through the mass of tables which is an unpleasant walking experience and likely an even worse dining experience.
But a few spots such as Gelleraki Cocktail Bar offer second story patio tables where you can watch the madness unfold below you from a comfortable distance.
The sunsets in Mykonos are absolutely stunning and you’ll have the best view in town! If you have a 4-wheeler you can also venture up the hill to 180º Sunset Bar which offers beautiful views of the city below, delicious martinis, and sweet jams.
And while you’re there, why not let loose a bit and shake your booty like it’s 1999 at least once? You’re on the biggest party island in all of Greece, live it up!
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