It’s not difficult to see why Mykonos is one of the most photgraphed destinations in the Greek Islands. Spend a day in Mykonos exploring ancient windmills, swimming in crystal clear waters, discovering pretty churches and losing yourself in winding alleyways lined with white-washed houses adorned with blue-shuttered windows. Mykonos is stunning.
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Mykonos is especially beautiful and I must admit to falling a little bit in love with the island when I visited as part of a Mediterranean cruise. If you’ve arrived on a cruise ship it’s likely you’ll only have a day in Mykonos, or maybe just a few hours to explore. There’s plenty of sightseeing just steps away from Mykonos port and you’ll find them all in my one day in Mykoos itinerary. Read on for how to see all the sights above plus a boat trip to one of the most important islands in Greek history – Delos.
A Day in Mykonos
Mykonos Old Town is just a ten-minute stroll from the cruise dock. If you’re in the mood for exploring under your own steam there’s plenty to see within walking distance of the port or you could book a Mykonos guided tour. If you’ve only got one day in Mykonos you can take in the ancient history of nearby Delos and still see the beautiful sights of Mykonos with time to enjoy its windmills, pretty alleyways, shopping, beaches and good food. Here’s how to spend a day in Mykonos.
Mykonos Old Town
As you approach the town you’ll skirt a bay of clear turquoise water lined with restaurants, bars and shops. Fishing boats back from the day’s catch are moored in the shallows and whitewashed houses tumble down the hillside like little boxes.
Agios Nikolaos Church, the tiniest of blue-domed churches, sits almost on the water it’s flags fluttering on the warm breeze. Its pristine white-washed walls are the perfect contrast to the cobalt-blue of the sky.
Paraportiani Church Mykonos
Carry on past the bay and up the hill and you’ll come to the most famous and most photographed of Mykonos’ churches. Paraportiani Church is a small pyramid-shaped structure made up of four churches built asymmetrically together in varying architectural styles.
This pretty church has a bell-tower, a dome and is crowned with crucifixes which stand out against its backdrop of never-ending ocean and sky. If you’ve only got one day in Mykonos then don’t miss this gorgeous little church.
Visit Little Venice
Keep walking away from the port and you’ll arrive at Little Venice. The waterfront is lined with rows of eighteenth century fishing houses with wooden balconies that hang out over the sea. The houses, with direct access to the sea, originally belonged to shipping merchants but now house a lively area of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops.
Tables are set up all along the water’s edge for outdoor dining with stunning views. If you’re ready for a cool drink find yourself a bar with a shaded balcony looking directly over the water and soak up the scenery. I made myself at home in Katerina’s bar and spent a pleasant half hour chilling on the balcony as the sea lapped below me.
Check out the Mykonos Windmills
Refreshed and rested from your stop in Little Venice you’re now ready for the short walk up the hill to the iconic Mykonos Windmills. This is one of my favourite things to do in Mykonos. The Kato Mili which stand sentry at the top of the hill were built by the Venetians in the sixteenth century.
Originally the straw-topped mills with wooden sails were used for milling flour. Nowadays one houses a museum and another can be rented for short stays. There are around a dozen windmills on the island but these are the most famous.
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Chill on Megali Ammos Beach
If you want to beat the crowds and find a quiet beach with a typical Greek taverna I know just the place. Keep going past the windmills and meander your way down to the golden sand of one of the best beaches in Mykonos. Megali Ammos beach is a well-kept secret (until now!).
It’s just a ten-minute walk from the windmills and Joanna’s Niko’s Place Taverna serves up delicious Greek fare with a side of traditional Greek music. Think crisp Greek salads, fresh fish, baked feta, fried zucchini, tzatziki, taramasalata and warmed pittas for dipping. After all that good food take time to relax on the beach for an hour before heading back to explore the alleyways in Mykonos Town.
Explore the Alleyways of Mykonos
Make sure you leave at least an hour to wander the winding white-washed alleyways and back-streets of Mykonos. You’ll find art galleries, boutiques selling artisan jewellery and souvenir stalls. Narrow lanes festooned with vibrant Bougainvillea lead to hidden churches.
Cats laze in front of azure-blue doorways soaking up the endless sunshine. A day in Mykonos slows the pace as you adjust to its laid-back Greek vibe, take time to chill and allow yourself to fall under its spell.
A Mykonos day trip is a must-do on your Greek island cruise. You could spend your time exploring Mykonos old town or choose from Mykonos excursions and see more of the island.
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Delos – Isle of Light
Take a Mykonos boat trip and spend time enjoying the water.
If you take a morning guided tour of Delos you’ll still have time to explore the rest of Mykonos town in the afternoon. Delos is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece. It’s also the mythical birthplace of Apollo, god of light, truth and music and his twin sister Artemis.
The island is just 25-minutes by boat from Mykonos and is a UNESCO World Heritage site peppered with old statues, sprawling ruins and an ancient shrine. Read more about Delos the Isle of Light.
I hope you can see why I loved my visit to the island of Mykonos and that this article has given you some ideas for what to do if you just have one day in Mykonos. If you’re thinking of booking a Mediterranean cruise visit www.cruiseexperts.org for information, guides, tips and cruise inspiration.
Click here for details of my self-guided walk tour in Mykonos available to download to your mobile device.
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This is a sponsored post written in partnership with cruiseexperts.org. As always all views and opinions are entirely my own.
Monday 5th of February 2018
It's been years since I visited Mykonos. I loved all the houses, the blue skies and beaches. I spent a day on Paradise beach which was like a club with blaring music the whole day. Won't be going back there in a hurry!
Saturday 17th of February 2018
Ha - I used to love a clubby style beach but not so much since I hit 50!
Saturday 20th of January 2018
The trouble with Mykonos is that the cruise ships bring in too many day visitors and the place becomes unpleasantly crowded and expensive. Best to head for a smaller island in my opinion!
Saturday 20th of January 2018
This post was about what to see on the island when you're visiting from a cruise....!
Wednesday 10th of January 2018
It’s a lifetime since I was on Mykonos, but it looks beautiful as ever, Suze.
Wednesday 10th of January 2018
I love the Greek islands - all beautiful!
Monday 4th of December 2017
It's a lifetime since I was on Mykonos, but it looks beautiful as ever, Suze. :) :)
Tuesday 5th of December 2017
You need to re-visit Jo :)
Tuesday 17th of October 2017
You had already got me swooning at Mykonos a while back with one of your posts & now you've gone and done it again Suzanne! I'd previously always heard of it being quite a party island & whilst I'm game for a party, it's nice to hear its charm extends beyond that!
Wednesday 18th of October 2017
I was only there for the day so missed 'party time' but what I saw during the day was more than enough to want to spend a lot more time on the island :)