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Romper: Billabong / Sandals: Steve Madden (Similar Here) / Sunglasses: Quay / Earrings: BaubleBar / Bag: Hat Attack c/o
We just got home from our honeymoon and it’s hard to believe that this whirlwind is finally over. Cruising through Italy and the Greek Islands was an amazing way to see as much as you can in a nine-day period and determine your favorites to (hopefully) get to spend more time at in the future.
The number one question we’ve received since returning is what location was our favorite of the trip and we unanimously agree that it was Mykonos. Not only is it heart-wrenchingly beautiful, it is so much fun! And while we would love to spend much more time here, I wanted to share how we spent the day on the island for anyone who is cruising here in the future.
Our ship arrived at 7 a.m. and we made sure to be first off the boat to enjoy the uncrowded island, if only for an hour. If your ship docks at the new port, as opposed to being tendered in, there is a ferry that will take you to and from Mykonos Town for about 5 euro. This ferry runs quite often and there was only a short wait each way. Mykonos Town is the gorgeous, white-washed city you see on postcards. I could have cried roaming the winding streets because it was so pretty that it didn’t seem real. We spent about an hour exploring, shopping, and snapping pictures.
From there, the iconic windmills are only a short walk and impossible to miss. If you want to get a good photo, be sure to go early in the morning. By mid-day, the area surrounding the windmills is packed!
As Mykonos Town began to fill up with tourists, we were ready to explore the rest of the island. We strolled up the road, past the windmills on our right, to Best 1 Rent a Car. This was the best decision we made all day! For about 40 euro for the whole day, we rented a large ATV.
Some important things to keep in mind: I read HORROR stories about renting an ATV on Mykonos. If you make contact with another vehicle, it will cost you. The rental company will cover the damage to the other vehicle (after a $300 deductible), but you are fully responsible for the cost of damage to the ATV. But there is an easy way to protect yourself! AAA offers International Driver’s Permits for only $20. Just fill out the form and bring it to your local AAA and your current car insurance will be applicable in Greece. We took a risk and didn’t do this (Jeremy is an excellent driver), but I would have had a bit more peace of mind if we did.
Best 1 Rent a Car provided us with helmets and a map of the island. The sales associate pointed out her favorites beaches and churches and sent us on our way. There aren’t many roads in Mykonos so it is quite difficult to get lost, plus there are street signs in Greek and English EVERYWHERE pointing you in the direction of each beach and back to Mykonos Town.
Mykonos’ most popular beach is Paradise Beach, so that is where we headed first. Every detail, even down to the parking lot and campgrounds, was gorgeous here. The long beach is equipped with a bevy of bright blue (free) sunbeds and umbrellas. Depending on the time of year you travel, this beach can be relaxing or wild. May is just the beginning of Mykonos’ high season so it was quiet, but as the summer unfolds we’re told this beach gets crazy (think loud music and pole dancers), especially at night. Of all the Greek Islands, Mykonos is known as the party island and famous DJs from around the world come here to play. We also popped into nearby Paraga Beach, which is perfect if Paradise Beach is too loud for you.
From there, we rode our ATV over to Super Paradise Beach. This is a slightly smaller beach, but equally gorgeous. Keep in mind that depending upon the clientele that day, there may be nudists. This beach steadily gains popularity throughout the day, so if you want to relax, come early in the morning and if you want to party, come late in the day. Each of the beach clubs in Mykonos will typically stay open until the sun rises. To the right of Super Paradise Club is Jackie O’, a cliff-side club that is a must see. It is STUNNING – I am talking pools, waterfalls, and luxury shopping. But it is pricey! You’ll shell out about 20 euro for a drink, but it is worth it for the views.
While each beach club features a handful of restaurants, we took a short drive back to Mykonos Town for endless lunch options. There is free ATV and scooter parking by the windmills, so we dropped our vehicle off and headed into the city. Depending on how much you want to spend, there are pricier seafood options on the water or cheaper fast food options (typically gyros and tzatziki) if you venture into the town.
After lunch, we headed the opposite direction to Ornos Beach and then to our favorite location of the day, a secluded beach flanked by cliffs past Agios Ioannis. This small, private beach is a must-see. Turn right at Agios Ioannis onto a dirt road and ride along the cliff until the road dead ends. From here, you can sunbathe on the cliffs or climb down the rocks onto the perfect beach. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before and so romantic!
Afterwards, we took our time soaking up the island on the drive back to Mykonos Town where we spent a bit more time exploring before returning to the cruise ship. Overall, Mykonos had something for everyone, especially for adventure-seekers like Jeremy and me. Visiting for the day, you miss out on the nightlife the island is famous for and if you want to cover a lot of ground, you don’t have much time to relax. But Mykonos is impossible not to fall in love with and we certainly hope to spend more time here in the future!
Tips for Exploring Mykonos
Assume it will be at least 10 degrees warmer than predicted. The sun just seems much more powerful here! While my weather app said it would be in the upper 60s, it felt more like the mid-80s – definitely warm enough to swim and to get sunburned. Be sure to bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself.
If you intend to swim, consider bringing water shoes. The sand on the beach is much coarser than U.S. beaches (almost pebbles) and is difficult and, at times, painful to walk on.
Wear comfortable shoes. I wore sandals, but wish I had worn tennis shoes. There is quite a bit of walking, stairs, and unpaved terrain, so you might damage your shoes. Heels or wedges are a definite no-no, especially is you are renting an ATV.
Arrive early or stay late to avoid crowds. Many cruisers will head back to the boat early, but the ferry runs often, so enjoy the town when its quieter at the end of the day.
Purchase a pair of sandals. The Greek Islands are famous for their sandal craftsmanship and these cobblers will hand-make a pair for you.