3 Days in Mykonos or My (hopefully) Comprehensive Mykonos Itinerary
So planning on spending 3 days in Mykonos and looking for the best things to do in Mykonos, that might or might not include a wet t-shirt contest related? Kidding! We all know that Mykonos has a reputation for being a rave lovers dream, but beyond the glow sticks and jello shots, what should be on your Mykonos itinerary?
Well, never fear because I am old and set in my ways and party more like a Golden Girl than a Playboy Bunny. I am one of the weirdos who is in her jammies by 9:00 pm, binge-watching the latest crime show on Netflix (Unsolved Mysteries anyone? Sorry, I’m letting my age show).
That’s why when I booked my trip to Mykonos, aka one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, I was a little nervous. I started to wonder, “Would there be any excursions in Mykonos that weren’t a booze cruise? Would I look weird spending 3 days in Mykonos without fist-pumping the night away?” (In addition to parties galore, there is a super cool Mykonos gay travel scene). Well, I am delighted to say that whether you like to party or are an old lady in training like me (where’s my onesie pajamas?), there is a Mykonos itinerary for everyone. And while this Mykonos itinerary is geared more towards cultural activities, I can assure you that the party scene is alive and well for anyone aspiring to have their own reality series on American TV. But before we discuss how to spend 3 days in Mykonos, let’s first get the boring details over with (womp, womp), like when is the best time to go, etc.
***You can easily travel from Mykonos to Santorini, so make sure you visit both islands if you have time!
Best Time to Visit Mykonos Greece (OCTOBER. Always October)
Okay so try not to fall asleep, because I know this isn’t the hippest part of this post, but I want you to have the best time in Mykonos since it’s easily one of the most beautiful places in Greece. So, I guess that means we need to figure out when is the best time to spend 3 days in Mykonos. Well, shocker, islands like Santorini and Mykonos are super popular and are going to be crawling with tourists who all have the great idea to visit Mykonos in the high season, which is typically in June, July, August, and even parts of September (Think hordes of tourists who are stepping on your feet as you try and board a bus that is really only built for 10 people.Talk about anti-fun).
But don’t feel bad if you plan your Mykonos itinerary for High Season. I went in May and thought I was being so smart and that no one would be there. Ha. Double ha. It was packed and I heard way more English than I did Greek (Wait, was I even in Greece? LoL). That’s why I would suggest traveling to Mykonos in OCTOBER (Actually, traveling to Greece in October is always a good idea, no matter where you go). It is still warm throughout this month but by this time of the year, most of the tourists have vacated the premises so you won’t have to do battle to obtain a vacant beach chair (No need to release the Kraken just yet). Actually, October is a great time
How to Get To Mykonos Greece (Most boring but essential part of this Mykonos itinerary)
So you could row, row, row your boat to Mykonos, but that would take an eternity. That’s why I suggest taking either a plane or a ferry to Mykonos from Athens (Which is generally where most people are coming in from). The transportation you take really just depends on your personal preference and if time or money is more of an issue for you.
You could swim, but that might take a while, even if you’re Micheal Phelps.
If you decide to take a plane (generally the more expensive option), it will take you about 30 minutes to fly from Athens to Mykonos. However, you also need to factor in the amount of time it takes to get to the airport (via metro) and the time spent waiting at the airport for your flight (I am an anal retentive weirdo and always arrive super early for my flights. Otherwise I have a virtual panic attack). Factoring in these time and money details will help you determine the best travel option for you (For more information about how to get to and from Athens Airport, click here.)
To find a cheap flight to Mykonos from Athens (or anywhere really), I always use the Skyscanner website (The airport codes for Athens is ATH and for Mykonos is JMK). Aegean Airlines/Olympic Air, Ryanair, Volotea, and Sky Express all offer direct flights from Athens to Mykonos. Exact flight times do change throughout the year so make sure you double check flight days and times before you book anything (The worst is when you book a flight and then realize 5 minutes later its for the wrong day. #Kellyislivingthedream).
To find the cheapest flights possible (€30-40 ) I suggest booking your tickets WAY in advance, at least for me. Think about 3 to 6 months before your trip. Trust me, I am not a planner but in this case, you should be. If you don’t plan out your Mykonos itinerary ahead of time you could end up paying as much as €150 for a flight (No thanks. I’d rather spend that money eating for 3 days in Mykonos. Nom nom), with Ryanair generally being the cheapest airline.
***Random aside, Ryanair is generally the cheapest airline. And most planes that land in Mykonos fly back to Athens about 40 minutes later.
If you are not a fan of flying (or you just saw the movie snakes on a plane one too many time), you can also take a ferry from Athens to Mykonos. To do this, you’ll need to leave from the post of Piraeus in Athens (ferries to Mykonos and Santorini usually depart from the E7 Port gate).
***To get to Piraeus from Athens City center (You can also take bus X96 from the airport. Tickets are 6€ for adults and 3€ for kids), take the green line, or line 1, It takes about 30 minutes to get to Piraeus from either Monastiraki Square or Omonoia Square.
When purchasing your ferry tickets, always opt for the largest and slowest boats since these boats are the most stable and the least susceptible to high winds (Translation? Unless you are in the navy, the small boats will make you want to toss your cookies). That’s why I recommend purchasing tickets from Blue Star Ferries. On these larger and slower boats, trips to Mykonos generally take about 2 and a half hours (Toot toot! To book your ferry ticket or to check departure days and times, check out Let’s Ferry).
Now lets talk price because I am not independently wealthy and that is one of the most important factors to me when I travel. The absolute cheapest ferry ticket (Super Economy) you will find starts at €20 in the off season. With this ticket you get a seat on deck and that is pretty much it. I went in May so I didn’t need to worry about not having a seat but just note that there is no seat guarantee for this ticket type.
Now if you’re traveling in high season (Like in July and August), the cheapest tickets you’ll find are Economy seats for about €36.50 (And you guessed, seats are not a guarantee). That’s why if I were traveling during peak season, I would get a Numbered Aircraft Type Seat (and yes, that is exactly what the seat is actually called), for €41.50. Sure, the seat costs a few more euros but this way you are actually guaranteed a seat and can maybe even enjoy your boat ride to Mykonos (don’t expect to see much though because the boat is huge).
Also be warned that while you can purchase ferry tickets online, you cannot print your actual ferry tickets at home. Greek law requires that ferry tickets must be printed out by either a certified travel agency or by the ferry company itself. Therefore, you can’t just use your booking number print out to board the ferry. Instead, you have to go to a ticket kiosk at the port (or a travel agency) and have them print out your ticket for you so that you can board the boat (Annoying as hell but thats how it works. So make sure you have your actual ticket before you board the ferry. You can also try and just buy your ticket there if it’s not high season).
***Ferries to Mykonos frequently stop at the islands of Tinos, Syros, Paros , Naxos, and Ios (Depending on which ferry you take and if it is direct).
***Ferry routes do change every 2 or 3 months so make sure your time table that is close enough to your departure date.
***There is a cabin option but do you really need a cabin for 2 and a half hours? Because I am no where near that fancy.
***There is a snack bar on board but shocker, it is really overpriced. I would just bring your own food and drinks.
***To buy ferry tickets you can visit any travel agency in Athens or even buy them at the info kiosk at Athens airport if the online thing is too much of a hassle.
Where to Stay in Mykonos Greece
Since Mykonos is like the party capital of the Greek Islands (Los Island too), there are about a billion and half hotels there. Cheaper hotels are hard to come by, unless you want to stay in a hostel (some of which look like they are right out of MTVs Spring Break). I opted for a private room because frankly, I am too old for wet t-shirt contests, body shots, and all night raves. Besides, I look like the corpse bride if I don’t get enough rest.
Thats why I stayed at Aeolos Hotel and absolutely loved it (Cannot recommend it enough). Not only do they pick you up from the ferry port for free, but they also drop you off wherever you like after you check out. Plus they have a pool, a kick ass (and delicious) all you can eat breakfast buffet, and the staff are warm and accommodating, to put it mildly (They carried all my stuff and allowed me to pick from two separate rooms upon arrival. Oh, did I also mention there were a ton of hot men too? #paradise).
The only tiny downside is that the hotel is a little bit of a hike from the city center (Its on a slight hill that is about a 20 -25 minute walk from the Old Port, the Windmills, and Paraportiani Church), but I would still stay there again because the service here was probably the best I have ever had in my life.
Address: 84600 Mykonos, Cyclades, Greece Mykonos Town
Rate: about $88 a night for a double room (Varies based on room type, how long you stay, and the time of year you book your hotel. If you’re interested, check them out here. And apparently they are gay-friendly so that is awesome too).
***If Aeolos Hotel is not for you and you’re wondering where to stay in Mykonos, I would suggest booking a hotel or hostel near Mykonos Town since that is where most of the restaurants and tourist attractions are. Find the perfect hotel with booking.com below.
How to Get to (or from) the Airport or Port
Honestly, getting to the Port is easy since it’s so close to Mykonos town, which is exactly where most of the hotels are located (you can take a water taxi, bus, or regular taxi, but most hotels will offer you a free transfer here). The airport, on the other hand, is a little further away. I would suggest either asking your hotel about a transfer or hiring a taxi since, during high season, the bus service between the airport and Fabrika Bus terminal (in Mykonos Town) is rather infrequent. Besides, a taxi from Mykonos town to the airport will only cost you € 8, plus an additional fee for luggage.
Public Transportation Around Mykonos Greece (Just Rent an ATV for your excursions in Mykonos)
Mykonos, Greece is a lovely island that has a lot of wonderful things, but public transportation is not one of them. Your two main options are busses and taxis. The busses here service the well-known beaches, the widely visited cities and towns and the airport. That being said, I had great difficulty using the bus when I visited Parangas Beach. Not only was the bus stop hard to find, but I waited forever for the bus and eventually gave up entirely. Instead, I just walked along the shore, back to Psarou Beach and took the bus from there.
But if you feel brave and want to use the public buses during your 3 days in Mykonos then there are two main bus stations in Mykonos town that you can use, the North Station and the South Station. The North Station is located near the local telephone company building, and services Ano Mera, Kalolivadi, Tourlos, Agios Stefanos, Elia, and Kalafatis. The South Station is located in the Square Fabrica and services Platis Gialos, Psarou, Paraga, Paradise, Ornos, Agios Ioannis, and the Airport.
***I used the Fabrica Square location and during mid-season, buses depart on the hour between 8.00am and 8:00pm and every hour and a half after 8:00pm. During peak season (July and August), buses run until 2am or later. Fares range from € 1.00 to € 1.60, depending on your destination.
You can also get around the island by taxi, especially if you want to venture off the beaten path. They are expensive though and there are only about 30 taxis in the fleet so it can take awhile for you to find a vacant taxi (your hotel can call one for you). The best place to get a taxi in Mykonos town is at the Taxi Square, which is located in the city center. Taxis here use meters so the cost depends on the distance of the route.
***From Mykonos Port (always Chora here) to Psarou Beach is €13 for 4.5 km, from Mykonos Port to Platys Gialos is €14, from Mykonos Port to Paraga or Paradise or Super Paradise is €15 for 6 km, from Mykonos Port to Elia or Kalafatis Beach is € 22 for 12 km, from Mykonos Port to Panormos is €16 for 7 km, and from Mykonos Port to Agios Stefanos is €14 for 5 km.
***I suggest renting an ATV for your entire trip (They generally cost between 17 and 27 a day, depending on whether you visit during high or low season. If I didn’t hate driving in foreign countries so much, I totally would have done this.
Day 1: Relax and Enjoy One of Mykonos 25 BEACHES
This is vacation so you’re probably gonna want to relax, at least for a little bit (hard to do when you have self-diagnosed ADD like me). Well, what better place to do that than at one of Mykonos 25 beaches (So much sand and only 3 days in Mykonos. Insert sad face here). And trust me, these beaches are amazing and some of the best beaches in Greece. So there are no rocky shores to contend with or muddy waters to wade through. Or the worst of the worst, super slimy alga that reminds you of a swamp thing as it squishes in between your toes.
Instead, these beaches have soft, almost plush white sand, pristine crystal blue water, and some man-made cushioned lounge chairs that come with seat side, drink attendants (chairs cost an extra 10 a day at Paragas Beach). Throw in a mobile masseuse and you have some of the best beaches that I’ve ever seen.
Sure, the house music is a bit loud, and yes, some random guy may grind up on you while you’re walking along the boardwalk, in the middle of the afternoon (not from personal experience or anything), but there are quiet stretches of beach where you can sip your drink in peace while listening to your headphones, at a volume that won’t split open your eardrums.
Because I was only spent 3 days in Mykonos, I only went to Paragas and Psarou beaches. Of the two, I enjoyed Paragas more since it was a lot less crowded. I mean, no one actually got to the beach before 2 pm, so I pretty much had the place to myself until then (maybe that was a hangover recovery period). The one drawback though is that Paragas isn’t as easily accessible via public transportation (I wanted for the bus but eventual gave up and walked to Psarou because the bus there comes at regular time intervals and actually stops at the sign that says, “Bus Stop”).
*** Since the beaches of Paragas and Psarou are only a kilometer from one another, I recommend starting at Paragas and then walking back along the shore, towards Psarou (the walk is really quiet and offers some lovely views, with no dusty and dirty traffic). From there, you can hang out and easily catch a bus back into town.
***Tasos Restaurant is right on Paragas Beach and is amazing. Like no joke, I expected it to be overpriced and terrible but the salad and dressing were amazing. And don’t even get me started on the bread and the olive/eggplant spread they provided. Great light options so that you feel full, but not like a beached whale as you head over to your lounge chair in your bathing suit (Feeling bloated in a bathing suit is the absolute worst).
Day 2: Explore Mykonos Town
Mykonos town is set among a series of cobblestone alleys and narrow, almost maze like village side lanes that create a postcard perfect picture of Greek architecture.
As you stroll past designer boutiques, traditional taverns, and touristy souvenir shops, you momentarily glance over and catch a glimpse of a man, walking home after a long day of work. What sets this moment apart is the fact that he isn’t just walking along any street. He is seamlessly passing through a series of white washed buildings, with royal blue shutters that are draped in some of the most beautiful, fuchsia flowers that I have ever seen (I am no botanist so I have no idea what they were but just go with it). For a brief moment, the overabundant tourist attractions fade away and all you are left with is Greece, pure and simple. So whatever you do, throw on a pair of comfy shoes and get lost among this labyrinth of alleyways.
Amidst all your wanderings, be sure to stop at the church of Paraportiani (It’s the famous, rock like, Greek, white-washed church, that all the tourists seek out. Just minus the blue domes because that is so Santorini). Panagia Paraportiani is definitely the most famous church on the entire island and is comprised of four small chapels, with a bonus chapel in the upper story.
When I visited I actually wanted to venture inside the church to learn about its history, but sadly it was locked (and usually is). Thats why I had to settle for an Instagramable shot of the church’s whitewashed exterior, set against the clear blue of the nearby ocean. Basically a great spot for a photo op that will take you maybe 15 minutes (and that’s if you take a lot of photos). You can also walk around the back and catch a great shot of the ocean crashing against the shore.
While you’re in Mykonos town anyway, be sure to check out the famous windmills that are set upon a hill, overlooking the entire town. These white, cylindrical windmills are relics of the past that overlook the entire village of Mykonos. Each one has a pointed roof and a series of tiny windows that make it difficult to see inside. Because these windmills can be seen anywhere in the village, they have become an emblem of the entire island itself and are definitely worth a visit.
***There are a total of 16 windmills scattered throughout Mykonos only seven can be found overlooking the village itself, so be sure to get your close up with these iconic seven. To learn more about the Mykonos windmills or Mykonos town, click here.
***Obviously we have to talk about food since half the fun of vacation is eating. So if you’re looking for some delicious eats in Mykonos Town try To Steki tou Proedrou (Get the traditional onion pie) at west side main plaza, Áno Méra, Madoupas (harbor front in Hóra), Joanna’s Niko’s for meatball and cheese croquettes (Megáli Ámmos beach, 1km southwest of town), and Ma’ereio (Kalogéra 16, Hóra).
Day 3: One of the BEST Excursions in Mykonos is to Delos Island
So every guide I read focused on the best raves in Mykonos and failed to mention that this archeological site is hella awesome, er I mean both interesting and informative. Seriously, this was my favorite part of the trip and I am so glad that I didn’t miss out on it because of the rain (don’t visit Delos when it is raining because there is no shelter on the island).
For a tiny, 5 kilometer island, Delos sure packs a serious archeological punch since this site is actually considered one of the most important and influential historical sites in all of Greece. That’s because this island lies at the center of the Cyclades and was formerly a hub of trade and commerce WAAAY back in the day, like mid-third century BC status.
While there are a ton of tile mosaics and doric columns are scattered throughout the island, but many of Delos’ most precious artifacts are actually preserved in the islands on site museum, which includes an exquisite set of lions from the Terrace of the Lions (FYI the lions on the outdoor terrace are plaster replicas). Other points of interest on the island include the House of Dolphins, the Sacred Lake, Mt. Kynthos, the House of Dionysos, the House of Masks, and the Artemision.
Because there is so much to see and do here (seriously don’t miss the stunning, and largely intact tile mosaics at the House of Dolphins), I would allocate a minimum of 2 hours to exploring the island. I also recommend hiring a tour guide to show you around and help you appreciate the rich history of this intoxicatingly beautiful place (get a guide on the island because it’s a lot cheaper than hiring one on Mykonos. They also help you cut the slow moving ticket line).
Overnight stays on the island are prohibited, so unless you can sprout wings and fly (that would be an awesome trick for sure) you will need to take a 30-40 minute ferry ride to and from Mykonos Island, for a roundtrip cost of €20 (kids 6-12 are only €10). Delos Tours has ferries that leave from Mykonos at 10:00 am and 5:00 pm on Mondays, and at 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am, and 5:00pm on Tuesdays through Sundays. Ferries leaving from Delos depart at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm on Mondays and at 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, and 7:30 pm (You can choose any combination of ferry times since your ticket is not time but day specific).
There is a cafe and bathroom on site, but that’s about it. So you’re better off bringing you own food and water. Also, there is minimal shade on the island so be sure to bring a floppy hat and throw on a touch of sunscreen and a pair of walking shoes just to keep your feet feeling extra spry.
Island Admission: Adults are €12 and children are free.
Hours: From April through October the island is open from 8am – 8pm. From November though March the island is open from 8 am – 3pm.
***If time is a concern, you can make Delos into a half day trip and spend the remainder of your day at the beach. There’s a ferry to Delos in Mykonos Village and at Psarou Beach so if you want to head to the beach after your visit, you might want to board the ferry at Psarou.
***To enjoy your 3 days in Mykonos and all of your excursions in Mykonos, you might want to consider bringing some or all of the items listed below (quick drying microfiber towel, a hat with a brim that isn’t hideous, Teva flip flops, a water bottle, sunglasses, and a sarong).
The great thing about this Mykonos itinerary is that its SUPER flexible. Don’t have 3 days in Mykonos? No problem. You can easily make this a 2 day itinerary by checking out Delos and then hitting the beach on the same day. It all just depends on how quickly you want (or need) to travel and what your interests are (So if you’re trying to hit up Santorini and Mykonos in the same trip, you can still make this itinerary work for you. For more on Santorini, check out this post here). Just pick what you like and leave the rest because in the end, its all about having a good time. I mean come on, you’re in Mykonos, time to live la vida loca (Oh wait, wrong language. Couldn’t waste the opportunity to quote Ricky Martin though). Now get out of here and go shake your bon bon baby (Okay, i’ll stop with the Ricky Martin antics).