The beautiful Cyclades island of Mykonos is often labelled as a 24-hour party island – offering beautiful, but crowded beaches and beach bars by day, and parties at world-famous clubs by night. But there’s so much more to Mykonos with many cultural and culinary attractions and plenty of gorgeous little beaches and secluded coves. You can choose to be close to the popular sandy hotspots with a vast range of beachside facilities on tap, but many of our villas are in quieter areas too, for those who prefer a more private location. TLTB founder Susie Marquis shares her personal tips from her travels around the island from top experiences to top tables and the best luxury villas to rent in Mykonos.
Arguably one of the prettiest islands in the Cyclades, Mykonos offers a large enough choice of white sand beaches to suit all beach lovers from party people and water sports enthusiasts to those who simply want to watch the waves and laze in a tranquil spot in the sun. Many, particularly on the south coast of the island, are equipped with sun loungers and beach umbrellas, as well as offering a good choice of beach bars, restaurants, and water sports activities, which means they are more crowded in high season. However, there are plenty of lovely white sand beaches offering a quieter and more relaxing vibe. One of our favourites is Agios Sostis on the north coast, which is also home to Kiki’s Tavern, an authentic traditional restaurant located behind the quaint Agios Sostis church, near the beautiful small sandy beach.
Kalafatis beach, near a tiny fishing village on the southeast of the island, also feels quieter than other popular beaches. Here you’ll find crystal-clear waters, white sand, and a restaurant, as well as umbrellas and sun loungers for rent. If you’re seeking even more peace and quiet, lovely Agia Anna beach (not accessible by road) can be reached via a seven-minute walk from Kalafatis. Another great option for those looking for a more secluded atmosphere is Lia Beach, about 14 km from Mykonos Town, and rated as one of the best swimming and snorkeling beaches on the island. There are also umbrellas and sun loungers for rent here, and a beach club offering food and cocktails.
For those looking for a busier vibe in the way of beach restaurants and clubs, the famous sandy beaches, including Paradise, Platis Gialos, Psarou, Ornos, Kalo Livadi and Agrari are all beautiful, but expect more crowds during the summer months.
Mykonos Town (Chora) is a particularly picturesque Greek island town, with very pretty, narrow streets and quaint traditional white houses, with colourful painted doors, verandas draped in bougainvillea vines. and stairways and terraces filled with pots of geraniums. The town also offers a great choice of cafés, bars, and restaurants, as well as both tourist and high-end shopping options.
If you’re looking for somewhere particularly special to enjoy an evening drink, and soak up the atmosphere, we recommend the beautiful area of Little Venice, home to 18th-century captains’ mansions with balconies perched over the sea. The waterfront bars and cafés here also provide a great photo opportunity for capturing the famous windmills on the hill in Chora, which overlook Little Venice, particularly at sunset.
Mykonos has a long and fascinating history dating back 3000 years – the ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans all laid claim to Mykonos for a period of time. After the Greek War of Independence in 1830, the island was once again part of Greece, where it has remained ever since. For lovers of history, a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos, a three-minute walk from the old port in Mykonos Town, is a must. Visitors here can enjoy a vast collection of exhibits from the Hellenistic period and prehistoric times, including vessels, statues, and columns. We also recommend a visit to the nearby sacred island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and one of the most important archaeological sites of the eastern Mediterranean. A magical place to visit, highlights include the remains of the Temples of Apollo, the sanctuary of Artemis, the famous Lion Street, and the island’s museum.
Local food and wine experiences
For those who are interested in learning more about the island’s history and mythology, as well as enjoying some excellent food and wine, we can arrange a number of local experiences, including cookery classes, wine tasting, and a cocktail masterclass. One of our favourites is a unique wine tasting adventure with an expert sommelier, in a magical beach location. In a relaxed Bohemian style, you will be provided with beach cushions and enjoy wine tasting, along with the sea and sunset views. Listening to stories from Greek Mythology, you can also sample Greek cheeses that pair perfectly with the various wines.
Two other top experiences: Mykonos town - morning walking tour with breakfast. This is a great way to explore Mykonos town before the crowds arrive. You will be given a delicious breakfast bag filled with local specialities, and visit the Manto Mavrogenous statue, the fashionable Matogianni Alley, the windmills, Little Venice and more. You receive restaurant recommendations and places to visit during your stay, and also enjoy a local Greek coffee, the famous local cappuccino (or espresso) ‘Freddo’. An Oyster and Clam tasting picnic, accompanied by Ouzo, Tsipouro, White Wine or Champagne. Visitors can enjoy Mykonos oysters and clams collected by fishermen every morning. The guide for the tasting here is a local fisherman who works with the most famous fishmongers in Mykonos. For details of other experiences available – please contact us for more information and prices.
Recommended restaurants in Mykonos
Sea Satin Market: Located on the shoreline, directly below the windmills, adjacent to Little Venice. Especially renowned for its fresh fish and local produce, as well as its ambiance, especially at sunset. Tel: +30 2289 024676
Avra: An elegant restaurant with a warm and friendly ambiance in a courtyard garden, shaded by bougainvillea, as well as a top terrace. Tel: +30 2289 022298
Nikolas Taverna: A family taverna on the small beach of Agia Anna Beach, reached by foot via the walking path between Platis Gialos and Paraga beaches. The fish is caught by the owner, and most of the meat and vegetables come from the family farm. Tel: +30-2289 025264
Bakalo: A traditional white-washed Mykonian 18th-century house with arches and courtyard gardens, situated in Lakka, at the heart of Mykonos town. Tel: +30 2289 078121
Kiki’s Tavern: A well-hidden restaurant at Agios Sostis beach, where visitors can relax and enjoy the beautiful sea views, on the covered terrace, while dining on fresh seafood, and delicious meat. Tel: +30 6940 759356
Nammos: With its seaside location on Psarou beach, Nammos offers an informal café by the sea offering light meals and cocktails, as well as an elegant and formal 5-star restaurant. Tel: +30 2289 022440
Top villas to rent in Mykonos
Villas holidays in Mykonos allow you to dip in and out of the busier locations and nightlife as you wish. By choosing a villa rather than a hotel, you get a peaceful home from home, from which you can explore the island’s natural attractions and avoid the party places entirely if you so choose. A stunning 8-bedroom villa to rent on Mykonos, Villa Tourlos, is ideally situated in a tranquil spot just 3 km from Agios Stefanos beach, and just a short drive from the town's lively centre.
A 4-bedroom villa situated in the area of Agios Lazaros, Psarou Beach View, is just 4 km from Mykonos Town. In an elevated position on a hillside, the property benefits from a swimming pool and spa pool, and stunning 180-degree views over Psarou Bay and the beach.
Villa Apollo is a fabulous 6-bedroom villa in a secluded location on a hillside overlooking beautiful Agrari Beach, with uninterrupted views across the sea. The property has been featured in Architectural Digest (USA) as one of the top houses in the world in its category.
Looking for a workcation haven? The 4-bedroom Villa Alcyone is in an elevated, quiet position overlooking the sea, and just 150m from Ftelia beach. The owner has created a sanctuary of peace and wellbeing, including an indoor gym. The villa is also very well equipped for office work, and entertainment, with a home theatre with an HD projector, Bluetooth-powered BlueRay media player and Apple TV.
Mykonos, like many Greek islands, also has many small white churches (apparently around 60 in Mykonos town alone, and around 400 churches throughout the island). Some of our larger villas to rent in Mykonos also have their own small church, including the 13-bedroom Agia Anna Estate. The large estate sits between the beaches of Kalo Livadi and Kalafatis and offers absolute privacy as well as breathtaking sea and sunrise views, a beautiful swimming pool, a gym, and a helipad. The villa grounds have space and facilities to cater to up to 900 people for a special occasion.
We also offer more beautiful villas to rent in Mykonos and many more in our other Greek Island locations:
Corfu, Paxos, Zakynthos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Crete, Hydra