Why The 2 Idiots recommend exploring Mykonos
The moment your ship arrives in Mykonos, you’ll notice white buildings everywhere with the blue roofs that provide the backdrop you were expecting about the Greek islands. It’s amazing to experience the island – even the streets are white to help keep the buildings cool and reflect the sun. Plus, there are no cars on the narrow streets, making it great for young kids, who can run around as you explore.
CREATING AN IDEAL ITINERARY
Mykonos is located in Greece. Our ship spent 11 hours in port, and with this much time you can easily enjoy the island. Skip any expensive excursion offered and follow our recommended itinerary. We chose to get a later start, allowing the ship to empty with the earlier tenders and leaving around 10:30 a.m. We didn’t return to the ship until after sunset, around 7 p.m.
Mykonos does not have a port large enough for a cruise ship, so you will need to take the tender to the marina filled with smaller ships. This day will be done completely on foot, although you’ll want to bring a great stroller to manage many of the ups and downs you’ll encounter on the (very) hilly island. Be sure to ask for tender return times, so you know when to get back to port without having to wait.
|Itinerary||Estimated cost per person (only attractions)|
|Start at Agios Nikolaos church
Enjoy morning on the beach
Have lunch at a beachfront restaurant
Get lost in the winding streets
Walk to Boni windmill
Visit Rarity gallery
Enjoy the iconic Kato Milli windmills
Visit the Church of Paraportiani
Finish your day in Little Venice
|All are free!|
Enjoy a Leisurely Morning
When dropped off at the marina, the very first attraction you’ll see is the Agios Nikolaos, the small white church facing the Aegean Sea. It is a very small church that was once home to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of fishermen and sailors – it was one of the most beautiful places we saw on the island; it’s just like a postcard! It dates back to the 4thcentury. From here, it’s a short walk to Mykonos Town, or Chora, as the locals call it, and beaches along the sea so blue it matches the blue domed roofs of the island. A small beach is located right in the old port that you can walk to and enjoy. Sure, there are bigger and more popular beaches, but this one is super close and the water is still beautiful at any beach you find. After making multiple stops in historic places prior to visiting Mykonos, we definitely wanted a day to relax and we spent our entire morning on the beach and swimming. Along the waterfront are a plethora of restaurants to enjoy lunch, all with views of the Aegean Sea and the boats. Of course, the seafood is going to be very good. You’ll find yourself easily eating seafood that was caught that very morning!
Get Lost in Mykonos
After lunch, it’s time to explore Mykonos Town. Roaming the winding streets is just magical! The streets are so narrow and the white and blue creates such a picturesque scene it will be difficult not to stop and take pictures every 100 yards. The narrow streets also offer wonderful shopping in intimate boutiques.
It’s very hilly, but as you stroll, make your way up to Boni windmill; it is an exhausting walk but completely worth the views – you can see your ship out at sea! The 19thcentury windmill and Lena’s House is an outdoor museum from June to September.
As you make you way back down the hill, pop into the Rarity Gallery, which is the island’s leading art gallery. We typically don’t visit galleries with our toddler, and they certainly seemed worried about him touching things at every turn, but it really is a cool gallery with fantastic modern, pop art. So many people ranked it on TripAdvisor, we decided we should see it, too. Turns out, it was the first gallery in all of Greece to showcase international contemporary artists, such as Andy Warhol.
From here, stroll to the Kato Milli windmills. They look like the Boni windmill but are a collection of five windmills, providing yet another awesome photo stop– it is one of the postcard moments in Mykonos!
Relax into the Sunset
After all the ups and downs and the heat – it can be oh, so hot during summer! – swing by the Church of Paraportiani for one last sight to see in Mykonos Town. Construction began on the white structure in the 1400s, yet the church was not complete until the 17thcentury.
From here, you’ll walk to Venice Town. Although Mykonos doesn’t have the canals and bridges of Venice, the way the sun hits the buildings as its descending certainly reminded us of Venice. Find a bar and grab a glass of wine as you watch the sun set into the sea, and then walk back to port to catch the tender back to your ship for the night.
- The buildings and streets of Mykonos are in white to reflect the sun and help keep interiors cooler because it can be super-hot on the island. You’ll need sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water for your visit.
- Take your bathing suits and a towel or two so you can go into the sea while visiting the beach. We forgot to bring ours, but let our son play in his diaper. The water is so pretty, you won’t want to miss the chance to go in!
- Although Mykonos does have cars (as well as buses that can take you to more remote beaches), in town, most areas do not allow or have space for cars, so you can let your kids run around.
- Bring a good stroller but be prepared to carry it up and down a lot of stairs. We took our son out and let him climb up and down while we carried his stroller; easier on us, and he enjoyed the stairs.
- Don’t take an excursion or cruise shuttles, you can do this day on your own. Read How to Do a Cruise Excursion on Your Own.
- A good data plan is critical for a visit to Mykonos, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking around narrow, and hard-to-find streets. With a good plan, make use of Google Maps, although for a moment, we literally stopped looking at our maps and got lost on purpose. It was so much fun because we got to see stuff most people don’t when they visit. And, when we were ready to be found again, we just turned the Maps back on.
- Natasha wishes she wore something bright to pop against the backdrop of Mykonos. This is an amazing Instagram day; you’re going to want to look your best for lots of pictures.
- You’re on an island in a wonderfully blue sea: be sure to try seafood while you’re here. Also, Greek wine is quite lovely