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There’s no doubt you’ve seen photos from Greece’s unfathomably beautiful islands. Clear blue water, bright white towns on cliff faces with pops of color all around, cute little churches that could make even the most skeptical of us want to sit down in reverence. Well we’re here to tell you: it’s all real. Stepping off of the ferry from the mainland, you realize very quickly that these islands are the definition of paradise. Case-and-point: Mykonos.
Arguably, Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island, Mykonos is known in Greek Mythology as the island formed by the petrified bodies of giants Hercules killed in battle. The name itself, Mykonos, is the name of the grandson of Apollo . The capital town of Hóra is one of the most iconic examples of Cycladic architecture: whitewashed buildings, colorful doors and windows, cobblestone streets, bougainvillea trees in bloom and hidden churches (below) .
The nightlife on Mykonos is world famous, causing some to dub it the Ibiza of Greece. Whether you’re staying in beachside hostels and attending parties at their pools or private beaches, or you’re staying in a five-star villa going to one of the exclusive clubs on the island (Cavo Paradiso, Bonbonierre, Queen, Astra, Moni and more), there’s no shortage of things to do when the sun goes down . Be strategic and book a hotel or hostel within walking distance of a couple of these places, as cabs on Mykonos can be quite expensive (and parking can be a hassle as well).
You can find every level of life on Mykonos: from the super-rich staying in ultra-exclusive resorts, to the more budget-minded perennial traveler staying at a beach-side hostel (like we did). While you may forego the occasional wild party during a cheaper stay on Mykonos, you miss nothing in terms of authentic Cycladic culture, which is why we always recommend the cost-friendly option of hostel over hotel. The true experience of Mykonos, in our opinion, is the town, the food (kopanistí, a soft cheese seasoned with pepper, acts as the island’s local delicacy) , and the Greek people themselves. And, probably our favorite feature: the SUNSETS.
As mentioned before, Mykonos is arguably the most famous island in the Cyclades (except MAYBE Santorini). While there is a reason for this (it’s beautiful), that inevitably means that the high season for tourism (July-August) will yield literally tens of thousands of tourists all flocking to the island at once . While this can be good for the party-oriented traveler, it can also cause immense disdain for the place itself, due to crowds and unfriendly locals who are ready for everyone to leave so they can have their home back. We traveled here during the mid-season, which is April thru mid July, and while there were a fair bit of crowds at some of the more popular beaches, we were able to get lost in Hóra and hardly run into a single tourist for most of the day.
Have a little photo tour around Hóra and Mykonos, courtesy of us here at Impressive Spaces. If you decide you have to see it for yourself afterwards, you’re welcome.