October’s arrived and to chase away the cool misty mornings comes an exciting month of cruise news and all things cruise related. As the evenings draw in ‘Plan a Cruise Month’ is the perfect time to think about booking a cruise and taking advantage of some fabulous offers and promotions which the cruise lines are offering throughout October.
The theme for this year’s ‘Plan a Cruise Month’ is destinations. One of the things I love about cruising is that a whole range of destinations can be explored in just one trip. One of my favourite cruise destinations is the Greek islands. 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. Here’s why…
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. 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 your time 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 18th 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 sultry sunset 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 16th 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.
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 spent 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.
Delos – Isle of Light
Mykonos boat trips are available to spend time enjoying the water. You could also take the Mykonos to Delos boat and visit the nearby ‘Isle of Light’. The tiny 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.
I hope you can see why I loved the island and that this article has given you some ideas for what to do in Mykonos. If you’re thinking of booking a cruise visit www.cruiseexperts.org for information, guides, tips and cruise inspiration. Find them on Instagram and Twitter and look out for our international tweet up on Wednesday 11 October where I’ll be tweeting away. You can also join in with #CruiseMonth until the end of October.
Click here for more self-guided walking tours in Mykonos
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