Mykonos is an island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea, it is a part of Greece. Mykonos is not just all about the lively bars and nightclubs though. It is actually an island that is worth exploring by daylight. One of the most iconic landmarks is a row of 16th Century windmills high on a hill above Mykonos town.
According to mythology, Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules. Did you know that the island took its name from the grandson of Apollo, “Mykonos”? Rather than stay in a busy hotel why not consider one of the many villas in Mykonos. They are perfect for unwinding and enjoying your own space. Mykonos is a great destination for all and is perfect for families.
Visit Little Venice
Little Venice is in Mykonos town and it is a series of buildings set on the water. They are stunningly whitewashed and many have gorgeous blue balconies. It’s a great photo spot. There are some lovely bars and restaurants along the water’s edge. It also has stunning views of Mykonos harbour and isn’t too far from the famous windmills.
Monastery of Panayia Tourliani
The Monastery of Panayia Tourliani is a stunning building both inside and out. It has a wonderful roof painting and a lovely new museum with local artefacts. It is a hidden gem located in a somewhat run down town. The Monastery was built in the 16th century. The main sanctuary has a wooden altar and all the trappings of Greek Orthodox religion, it is still very much active today. The monastery has a red dome and a wonderful relief on the marble bell tower. There is also a fabulous water fountain.
Shop on Matoyianni Street
In Mykonos town it is worth spending some time shopping on Matoyianni street. There are some lovely little shops and it’s a great place to practice your bartering. Walking the street is quite an adventure in itself. The streets around here can be quite maze-like. If you got lost just head downhill and you should find the sea. When you wander around Mykonos town lookout for the local celebrity Petros the Pelican. He is the fabled resident and mascot of Mykonos. He is definitely the most sociable Pelican you will ever meet.
The Windmills (Kato Milli)
As mentioned above the Windmills above Mykonos town are the most famous site on the island. It’s a great spot to take some photos and admire the view of the town below. The windmills are no longer operational and can currently only be viewed from the outside. It can get very busy so it is advisable to visit early in the morning. It’s also a great spot for joining in with a Yoga session.
Church of Paraportiani
The church of Paraportiani is a lovely Byzantine church overlooking the sea. It’s really unusual looking and it is situated between the port of Mykonos and Little Venice. It is actually 5 churches in one. It sits on an elevated spot so it also has great views. This is one of the most picturesque photo opportunities on the island.
Boat trip to the island of Delos
There are a few different boat tours from Mykonos to the island of Delos during high season. Delos is mostly famous for it’s stone lions located on what is now a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is one of the best-preserved and most important archaeological sites in Greece. Other sights not to miss include the Sanctuary of Apollo, Agora of the Kompetaliastae, The Temple of Delians and The Agora of the Italians. These sites mostly date back to Roman times.
Visit an organic farm
Mykonos has a small organic farm perfect for families. There you can learn about the history of local farming, experience everyday life, and discover traditional Mykonian farming practices. Today, the farm focuses on organic farming, animal farming, and a return to more traditional ways. All the family will enjoy seeing how a rural farm in Mykonos works. Depending on the season you may be able to help harvest some crops or get involved in other farming tasks. Visits to the farm can be organised as day tours which you should book in advance. They include a meal and drinks.
Mykonos Tuk Tuk Tour
There are a few companies that run Tuk Tuk tours of Mykonos. These are a great and fun way to get about and explore. It is a great way to see the main sights and a lot of them seat more than just a few people.
Go to the beach
One thing Mykonos does well is beaches. They are a paradise for swimmers, sunbathers, water sports and snorkelling. Ornos beach is the most family friendly and is surrounded by wonderful taverns. You can expect a beautiful blue sea with golden sands. A lot of the beaches are quite rocky which can be perfect for diving or snorkelling to see fish. There is a wide choice of touristy beaches or quiet and secluded beaches. Why not check out this post for the 12 best beaches in Mykonos.
Eat some wonderful food
Why not try the island’s gastronomic trademark, pepper flavoured kopanistí, a soft cheese seasoned with pepper. Meat eaters can sample “loúzes” (cooked pork filet with spices) and tasty local sausages sprinkled with pepper, and local oregano. To finish off your meal you can sample a local pastry such as “amigdalotá”. These are small round cakes with ground almond, rosewater and caster sugar.
Mykonos is a great island to experience a variety of different water sports. Not all watersports are suitable for young children. You could try your hand at Parasailing, water skiing, diving, wakeboarding and tube riding. Or even jet skiing and boat hire. Hiring a boat for the day is a great way to explore many of the coastal caves around Mykonos. A good beach for families to try water sports from is Kalafatis beach. It is less busy so there’s less chance of nudity and parties on the beach. Other beaches worth trying for family water sports are Kalo Livadi, Ornos and Platis Gialos.
How to get to Mykonos
The nearest major International airport is Athens Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH). From here you can continue via plane or by ferry from Piraeus or Rafina to Mykonos Island (about five hours).
Did you know that cars are not permitted in the town of Mykonos? You can leave your car in a parking place on the outskirts. Buses, taxis and small passenger boats provide transport around the island.
Mykonos is at its busiest during the summer, especially in August. It is one of the busiest islands in Greece. If you want to escape the crowds then it is a good idea to visit in Spring or Autumn. The temperatures do drop over winter.
Disclaimer: This post may contain compensated links. All words are my own. Photos are sourced from Pixabay
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