Once among the barest and poorest Greek islands, Mykonos has become a bohemian mecca. It is now the glitziest and most renowned destinations in Greece. For a short while, this was a resort for gay travelers, through since then it has tried to reinvent itself for a more varied clientele. Nightlife remains to be gay-friendly. It has numerous clothing and jewelry boutiques in the main town of Hora. But vacate it between 10am and 5pm; this is when the cruise ship is in port.
Things to see and do
The Hora. With its windmills lining the ridge overhead (which were actually ground grain until the mid-1960s) and Cycladic architecture along narrow lanes, the Hora is the main attraction, and is a paradise for strollers, although a very congested one during high season. The signature building is the lopsided Paraportiani just beyond the west jetty.
Beaches. Paradise is the party beach of the island. It is a popular spot for watersports by day, and clubbing on the adjacent headland once the sun goes down. Just near it are the excellent beaches Super Paradise, mostly patronized by gays, and Paranga, which as protecting headlands and outstanding taverna. There is also the family-oriented Psarou in the west and the broad sweep of Kalafatis in the east.
Scuba Diving. Dive Adventures, located at Paradise Beach, is one of the most established centers in the country. It has two wrecks, various reefs and some taverns nearby for visitors to explore and get sailboat rentals. It even has shore dives to the shallow waters of Bikini Reef, where tourists will be rewarded by a stunning display of fish by Greek standards.
Day Trips. If the weather permits, excursion caiques sail Greece on a daily basis except Monday from the west jetty of the old port to Dellos islet, which is a commercial town with some of the biggest religious centers of the ancient world. The site has a small museum that takes three hours to properly tour. Highlights include replica lions on the terrace, colorful floor mosaics, numerous temples, and a stunning view of the place from Mount Kynthos.
Eat and drink
Tasos. This is a beach tavern with a cult following. Their bread comes with ramekins of Greek dips, which are all made on site. The shrimps are fresh, chips friend and table wine decent. Their portions are generous, with efficient and friendly service.
Ma’ereio. A hole in the wall, this is very popular among locals for their louza, garlic mushrooms, kopanisti and wholemeal bread. It also has slightly pricier dishes. They have fruity white table wine and clear spirit.
Joanna’s Nikos. This is rare in Mykonos: affordable, unpretentious and old-fashioned. It has mushroom-based dishes, cheese croquettes, and meatballs, along with a wide range of puds. It has sunset views from the beachside setting, well worth the short walk out of town.
Madoupas. This is a combination bar, café and cookhouse that gives delicious Greek fare and less normal prices. It is a local institution that offers considerable atmosphere, especially inside the gallery that’s laden with black and white pictures of old Mykonos.