Mykonos is an upmarket Greek island that attracts sophisticated, fashionable travellers, and is famously gay-friendly. It offers designer shops, colourful taverns and late-night dance clubs but, despite the trendy crowds and a couple of well-attended nudist beaches, the island retains a distinctly traditional feel. The trademark five thatched windmills still turn slowly on the hill, despite the swanky bars that serve modern cocktails near the beaches.
Away from the beach there is a fascinating archaeological museum which displays finds from the necropolis on nearby Rhenia. There is also the option to take a boat trip to the uninhabited island of Delos, which in ancient times was the religious and political centre of the Aegean, and is now an important World Heritage archaeological site.
Near the harbour, the 15th century Church of Panagia Paraportiani features four churches on the ground with another built on top. This curious configuration is intriguing from the outside and a delight on the inside.
You can also get up close and personal with the iconic windmills of Kato Myli. From here you can enjoy the sweeping vistas, marvel at the enormity of the 16th-century constructions and the intricate mechanics that keep those sails spinning year in, year out.
Of course, Mykonos is really best known not for its ubiquitous windmills but for its nightlife. This is one of the party playgrounds of Europe, justly famed for its exciting clubs aimed at the sophisticated reveller. Head to Caprice and sip on a cocktail while the sun sets before heading out for a night on the town.
For the best boutiques make a beeline for Matogianni Street, whose fantastic art galleries, Byzantine jewellery stores and designer clothing stores offer plenty to tempt even the most circumspect credit card holder. Popular buys with a much lower price point include hand-woven scarves, rugs and locally made sandals.
Of course, the beaches are one of the island’s main attractions. Little Venice is an enchanting place to visit with its characteristic balconies overhanging the water on the sea’s edge. Upmarket Psarou calls for only the best swimwear, family-friendly Platys Gialos demands a bucket and spade, while tranquil Ftelia is the place to seek respite from the pounding music of the night before. Do keep in mind when exploring that many beaches in Mykonos are nudity-friendly.
The Mykonos climate is characterised by its hot, dry summer and mild winter. Temperatures in the summer heights of July and August reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day. Rainfall is rare in summer but showers can be expected between October and April.
Greek is the national language but English is widely understood.
Greece is a member of the European Union. You may need a Schengen visa (short stay visa) to stay in the country for more than 90 days. Please check the rules around visa requirements before you travel, as they may change regularly.
Mykonos is generally considered a safe travel destination, but the usual precautions should be taken against petty theft.
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