Mykonos, Greece Windmills

What to Do in Mykonos, Greece in 24 Hours

Named for the grandson of Apollo, Mykonos is the most cosmopolitan of the Cyclades Islands which sit in a rough circle amid the Aegean Sea south-west of Athens. Peppered about with gorgeous pale-sand beaches, the island’s lively nightlife scene attracts a string of celebrities both home-grown and of international fame as well as visitors from every corner of the globe.

However, beyond the buzzing bars, clubs and hedonistic holiday makers Mykonos has a different side. This includes the beautiful and tranquil inland village of Ano Mera with its two ancient monasteries, a series of Venetian and Ottoman Empire leftovers evident in the architecture, food and culture, an almost uncountable number of churches housing treasures within and some truly iconic sights such as its centuries-old windmills crowned with pointed thatches.

Mykonos Town itself is also a delight, home to a labyrinthine network of charming cobblestone alleys which are hemmed in by buildings almost exclusively painted an eye-dazzling white save for the splashes of Aegean blue and the pinks of bougainvillea. Tucked away amid this maze are any number of gorgeous cafes and tavernas, cute little shops and hidden corners to explore and getting a little lost here is almost obligatory. The locals will tell you that the town was purposely designed in this chaotic fashion in order to confuse any pirates who prowled these coasts long ago and would came ashore to pillage anything they could find.

Otherwise, besides simply feasting your way through plates piled with seafood and lazing on gorgeous beaches, Mykonos has a wonderful collection of museums to keep you busy, small enough to fit several in so that you can acquaint yourself with every aspect of the island’s past.

One major highlight while you are visiting Mykonos is the opportunity to jump on a boat and explore the UNESCO-listed site of Delos, one of the country’s most important archaeological treasures which is more than 2,000 years old and according to legend the birthplace of the twins Apollo and Artemis

From strutting pelicans which enjoy the celebrity status of protected island mascots to marble fountains which date back to medieval times, it is often the little details which make Mykonos special and provide a stream of delights and unexpected elements for its more inquisitive visitor to enjoy.

A Morning on Mykonos

With its highly photogenic windmills from centuries past to its meandering and charming cobblestone maze of whitewashed buildings, Mykonos Town and its highlights are where your Mykonos adventure begins. After a break for coffee tucked away in some corner of the town’s alleyways or at an elevated cafe with a panoramic island view you can continue your explorations visiting the museums or heading out to the enchanting traditional village of Ano Mera.

Mykonos Town

No visit to this island is quite complete unless you have lost yourself for a while amid the enchanting maze of its main town. Picturesquely paved with cobbles and made up of winding alleyways, Mykonos Town is almost exclusively painted white and blue, the only variations of its color palette afforded by the frequent splashes of purple and pink as bougainvillea tumbles down from balconies or goods hang for sale outside of shops. The best time to take a wander here and really soak up the charm is first thing in the morning when the party crowds of the island are still sleeping off the excesses of the night before. At this hour everything can seem all but deserted and almost hushed and, as most of the streets are far too narrow to allow vehicles, there isn’t even any traffic noise.

Paraportiani and Town Churches

Poking your head inside any little church you come across is often worth the effort although you would be stretched to cover them all; Mykonos in general has a vast number of churches and the main town not surprisingly has a fair share all its own.

One of the reasons why churches are in such great supply on Mykonos is that typically churches are constructed and maintained by island families and in the past also served as their private mausoleums. Such a practice means churches are highly individual, each bearing the decorative details or design features according to taste rather than religious tradition. Churches such as Zoodochos Pigi, St. Eleni and St. Kyriaki all have interesting architectural features while the tiny Paraportiani is an almost obligatory stop on any visit. Appearing over and again on postcards, tourist literature and promotional material, this lovely little white-washed waterfront church dates from the 1600s and is located where a medieval castle once stood. Paraportiani’s rock-like appearance and irregular design is due to the fact that this isn’t actually one but five churches built one on top of the other over 200 years.

While it appears that most of the time the doors to this tiny gem remain firmly closed it really isn’t the interior which visitors flock to see. The views here are exceptionally lovely and with the stark white of the higgledy-piggledy round dome-topped church contrasting beautifully with the vibrant blues of the Mediterranean Sea and sky it is almost impossible to take a bad photograph.

Just 100m east of this Mykonos star can be found another little picturesque waterside church – St. Nicholas. Also pure white but this time with a small blue dome, the tiny interior has a beautiful chandelier and a ceiling of midnight-blue. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of fishermen and sailors and if you see candles burning here they may have been lit by the local fishermen who come here before setting out each day.

While you are in the vicinity of Paraportiani and St. Nicholas keep a look out for Peter the Pelican and friends although this Peter is not the original. The original ‘Petros’ died in the 1980s after having been an island mascot for almost 30 years after a local fisherman had found him wounded and brought him back to Mykonos where he was nursed back to full health and became a beloved island icon.

Little Venice

Just 100m south of Paraportiani, Little Venice actually refers to an area of the town which was once the domain of wealthy sea-merchants but it is the single row of former dwellings dating from the 1700s which steal the show here. With their colorful wooden balconies jutting out over the sea and doors giving direct access onto the water, the similarities with the area’s namesake are obvious and the slightly dilapidated element simply adds to the romantic charm. Sunsets can be spectacular here as the light of the dying sun bathes the picturesque houses in a golden glow, reflecting the scarlets and orange of the sky. Today, most of these former private residences are cafes, shops and bars.

The Windmills

Along with the Paraportiani church and Little Venice the windmills of Mykonos make up the trio of the island’s most iconic images. Leftovers from the Venetian era when flour production was an important cog in the local economy, the island has 16 windmills in total scattered around its whole but the greatest concentration is found in Mykonos town. Visible from Little Venice and within easy walking distance, the cluster of five windmills known as Kato Myloi sits on an exposed headland which in the past allowed them to take full advantage of the winds needed to turn the sails and work the machinery for grinding the grain.

Dating back to the 1500s, the windmills continued in use until the early 1900s when industry decline, modernization and more effective methods made them redundant. Almost identical in appearance, each whitewashed windmill is capped by a conical straw roof and has a spidery-armed sail mechanism attached.

Besides the spectacle of the windmills themselves lined up in a row, the views from this headland are also special, offering a panorama which takes in the town and port and the sparkling Mediterranean beyond. Although the area can get quite busy later in the day if you arrive here early you may have the windmills all to yourself.

Of the town’s two other windmills, the further inland Boni’s Windmill stands alone on a hill with some more spectacular views of the town and bay below which makes the climb here more than worthwhile. Identical in appearance to the other windmills, Boni’s is the only one of the island’s collection which lets you see inside and houses a museum which covers the story of the windmills and the agriculture associated with it. If you want to visit the museum you will have to come in the afternoon but many still arrive here outside of opening hours just to take advantage of the lovely bird’s eye view.

Morning Coffee in Mykonos

Mykonos town offers a wonderful collection of cafes and tavernas in which to take a morning pause so all you have to do is decide what scenery you want to gaze upon as you rest your legs.

Possibilities include terraces which overlook Little Venice’s row of old houses, a string of open-air options at the Old Port with waterfront views or something tucked away amid the labyrinth of white-washed alleys.

Of this latter kind is the charming Popolo whose long thin interior displays the full range of wonderful croissants, pastries, tarts and cakes you can choose to accompany your coffee, all freshly made on the premises. Squeezed into the tiny alley outside are a handful of tables which make you feel as if you are truly hidden away in some secret corner surrounded by the distinctive blues and whites of the town’s buildings. This is a characterful and gorgeous little spot and as an added bonus the coffee quality is high as are the freshly squeezed juices if you would prefer something cold.

mykonos greece

To swap the shady alley setting for something wide open and breezy head to Karavaki, the lounge bar and restaurant of the Vencia Hotel. Open to non-guests, this hill-perched option gives you a coffee break with stunning views of the Aegean Sea from its lovely alfresco patio. Although casual and welcoming the chic Karavaki gives a touch of refinement to your morning pause with quality furniture and touches of class. The pretty interior surrounds you with bare stone walls and large picture windows so you can still enjoy the scenery of white-washed town and blue sea from your vantage point.

Ano Mera and Its Monasteries

Located just east of Mykonos Town can be found the island’s only other major settlement and although only five miles lie between them these two towns are worlds apart. While Mykonos Town has something of a partying crowd reputation Ano Mera is living proof that this Cycladean island has so much more to offer beyond that.

Ano Mera’s slow pace and traditional atmosphere where the locals don’t rely on tourism to survive presents a very real contrast to the main town’s hustle and bustle and if you want to see how islanders go about their daily life without all the trappings of tourism here is the place to do it. This is one for those who want a more serene and authentic interaction with island culture along with some fascinating historical leftovers.

The lovely central square is the only part of this village which could be said to be lively and even here the air of a countryside retreat prevails. Cute tavernas, souvenir stalls and cafes circle the square and an open-air market sells its noted goat cheeses and other fresh produce to the shopping locals. Like Mykonos Town the buildings here are whitewashed and the narrow alleys charming and picturesque however Ano Mera has a very special inclusion.

The historic Panagia Tourliani Monastery stands imposing and proud on the square with its exquisitely lovely bell-tower rising from one end. Originally founded in the 16th century, the external appearance of this whitewashed Holy Mary dedicated monastery would be relatively plain were it not for its distinctive red dome, the three bell arches over its entrance and, most notable of all, the square bell tower which adorns its right-hand side. Constructed from marble and highly ornate, this tower incorporates a series of relief carvings depicting folk scenes, flowers, figures and decorative symbols. Also in the pretty courtyard with its vibrant splash of bougainvillea can be found a lovely marble fountain set into the wall.

The interior is small but exceptionally beautiful with a series of priceless treasures and intricate decorative details which would take some time to explore fully. The instant glints and glitters which hit you on entering are due to several gilded and golden features including the beautiful chandeliers, the bishop’s throne and the stunning altar screen. This latter dominates the chapel, taking up the entire far end wall and is a mass of details. Carved from wood in 1775 by master artisans from Florence, the Baroque-style iconostasis incorporates a series of icons along with carved figures of the apostles at the crown.

A collection of Eastern-influenced silver incense burners hang on chains in front of the screen featuring dragons while the magnificent bishop’s throne on the right-hand side is a further highly ornate feature of the interior. One other notable aspect is that of the dome when viewed from inside which is painted with a large fresco of Christ.

A small museum exhibits a collection of ecclesiastical vestments, antique documents and religious embroideries and carvings.

Ano Mera can also boast another monastery, this one – Paleokastro – found half a mile outside the village perched on a hill. Some of this site – a nunnery dating from the 1700s – with its lovely views of the surrounding countryside and the sea beyond is in ruins and the pure white exterior is plain and unadorned. Paleokastro – which means ‘old castle’ in Greek – is named for the Gizi Castle which once stood nearby and whose ruins along with its old cemetery can still be explored.

The Monastery of Paleokastro also has an ornate altar screen although on a much smaller scale than that of Panagia Tourliani along with some other beautiful Byzantine details while upstairs can be found a tiny museum exhibiting religious relics and ancient artifacts.

A Mykonos Town Alternative – A Collection of Museums

If you would prefer to spend the latter half of your morning in Mykonos Town itself you will find a wonderful collection of museums with diverse themes to explore. None of them are big so you can cover more than one if you feel so inclined.

Arguably the pick of the bunch is the small Lena’s House which along with the Boni’s Windmill falls under the umbrella of the Folklore Museum. Taking its title from the last man who lived here until his death in the 1960s – Lena Skrivanou – this charming museum offers visitors the chance to step back in time to the life of an affluent family of the 1800s and explore something of the island’s social history.

Lena’s House is decorated with authentic period furnishings typical in the island’s bygone eras along with household objects, etchings, art, textiles and photographs and with decorative items of the kind which would have been bought back from sea travels, the equivalent of souvenirs at the time.

Next door to Lena’s House located inside an historic building from the 1800s is the Aegean Maritime Museum with its collection of replica and model watercraft along with maritime-themed maps, coins and artifacts. The highlight here is the huge lighthouse lantern outside which also displays antique anchors and some larger nautical items.

A few minutes’ walk from here and a stone’s throw from the Paraportiani church will bring you to the free-to-enter port-side Folklore Museum, the main branch of the trio which also includes Lena’s House and the Agricultural Museum housed inside one of the famous windmills. This 18th century two-storey building was once the private residence of Nikolaos Malouchos, a well-known sea captain from the island. Its six rooms are home to furniture, art, sculpture, jewelry and more with recreations of both a bedroom and a kitchen from the 1800s while the basement has a collection of maritime items. These include ship models, cannons and nautical artifacts along with an old well said to be that of the pirate Mermelechas, discovered during renovation works a few decades ago.

Located a little north of the town center is the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos where sculptures of Heracles (Hercules) and Aphrodite greet you on arrival. Although relatively small the collections here are impressive and include a variety of antiquities unearthed form archaeological sites around Mykonos as well as the neighboring islands of Delos and Rineia. Displaying sculptures, weaponry, amphora and funerary items, its Cycladic ceramic collection is one of the largest of its kind in the world with pieces dating back to the 9th century BC. The jewel in the museum’s crown is its 7th century BC vase which depicts scenes of the capturing of Troy including the famous Trojan horse.

Lunch on Mykonos

Mykonos cuisine reflects elements of its Venetian and Turkish history along with traditional Greek dishes while international choices are also in the mix. Like much of the Mediterranean seafood features heavily on the island menus and as it has often been delivered straight from the fishing boats earlier in the day it doesn’t get fresher than this. If you have a sweet tooth you are also going to be spoiled as the Greeks are famous for their love of desserts such as bougatsa, diples and melomakarona.

If you ended your morning exploring the monasteries and slow-paced atmosphere of Ano Mera this is a wonderful spot to linger for lunch. The restaurants here all tend to fall into the category of charming and as many proprietors grow their own produce freshness and quality typically come as standard so no matter which you choose you really can’t go wrong. The main square is ringed about with little tavernas with open-air tables so you can wander here until you find a menu which matches your ideal. Otherwise the area also has some real gems scattered about one of which – La Cucia di Daniele – sits just north of town. This is one for appreciators of gourmet quality food at pocket-friendly prices in pretty settings with its gorgeous little patio or cheerful homely interior to choose from.

As you might guess from the title this little restaurant is run by an Italian owner-chef who weaves some Greek elements into his Italian cuisine creations and offers a wine list second to none on the island. Sourcing fresh seasonal island produce along with specially imported ingredients from Tuscany, the dishes here are simple but perfectly balanced to deliver some true sensations for the taste buds with everything beautifully presented. Specialties include the champagne
vinaigrette-marinated octopus, lobster risotto and the home-made tagliatelle with foie gras.

For those who prefer to head back to the main town there is more choice than you could work your way through in months including a collection which allows you to sample truly authentic island fare.

One of this kind which offers a gorgeous garden setting is Eva’s Garden, tucked within the town’s maze of streets off the lovely flower-filled Goumenio Square. This restaurant allows you to have an intimate lunch beneath hanging grape vines and pots filled with strawberries on a highly atmospheric alfresco patio. Something of a hidden gem as it isn’t easily found unless you know it exists, Eva’s Garden has an extensive menu of classic Greek cuisine which includes a plentiful seafood choice of shrimp, lobster, swordfish and more. Other options include spanikpita, lamb with lemon sauce, pork souvlaki and a range of grilled meats.

An Afternoon on Mykonos

While Mykonos itself has plenty to keep you busy the island also happens to be a gateway to one of the entire country’s most important archaeological sites – the island of Delos. Bursting at the seams with marvelous ancient antiquities, this city of long ago needs at least two hours to explore and has enough to keep you engrossed and fascinated for many more if you can spare the time.
The island is also home to a museum which contains many of the treasures unearthed during major excavations, all of them at least 2,000 years old.

Delos

Just a 30 minute ferry ride from the Mykonos Old Port brings you to one of the country’s most important ancient sites in terms of archaeological scale and mythology. Today Delos is an uninhabited island but 3,000 years ago this was a thriving center, home to sacred sanctuaries and temples around which a city grew and a port developed. At its height Delos is thought to have had a population of 30,000 which for an island just 3 miles long would have made it decidedly crowded.

Ruins of Cleopatra House in Delos

Serving as a major hub for the ancient Greeks and one of its most important sanctuaries of the Hellenistic period, Delos played host to the Feast of the Delians every four years which was a festival of gymnastic performances, theater, music, displays of horse-riding prowess and banqueting of equal status to the ancient Olympic Games.

Said to be the birthplace of the twin children of the god Zeus – Apollo and Artemis – the ruins of their dedicated temples can still be seen along with an almost bewildering number of other highlights and important archaeological features. Besides several temples the many other features of Delos – most of which were uncovered during excavations in the late 1800s – include private dwellings, a gymnasium, market squares, a stadium, a theater, workshops and any number of decorative details and features such as grand columns, arches, sculpture and some incredibly preserved mosaics.

So rich is this site that it is highly recommended you take a guided tour, not only to ensure your wander amid the ruins covers all the major highlights but also to bring to life all that you are gazing upon. The former use and significance of some of these amazing relics is not always immediately obvious and it can be easy to pass by something of enormous importance.

If you do choose to tour the site independently a map is a must with free pamphlets available from the departure ferry office on Mykonos and a more extensive version free from the Archaeological Museum in Mykonos Town. The latter marks off almost 100 different features as well as offering a choice of routes ranging from a 1-hour option to an extensive 5-hour one.

The mighty power of Delos finally fell in 88 BC when it was attacked and all but destroyed by Mithridates – the king of Pontus, a realm in Asia Minor. After a series of pirate raids in the years which closely followed Delos was finally abandoned.

Some Delos Highlights

To truly explore all of the many treasures of Delos would take several hours but if you are short on time there are some must-see highlights. If you do want a more prolonged visit here that is possible as the final ferry doesn’t leave to take you back to Mykonos until 7.30 pm.

The Naxos Lions

The most famous of the Delos highlights and that most often depicted on postcards and tourist literature is that of the Naxos Lions. Standing sentinel over the sacred lake (which no longer contains water) where Apollo was born according to ancient myth, stand five stylized stone lions. In former days of glory it is thought that as many as sixteen lions stood guard here, gifts from Naxos around 600 BC. The carved figures which you will find today are replicas but you can see the originals in the on-site museum, moved there in order to preserve any further deterioration of their condition from exposure to wind, sun and rain.

The Sanctuary of Apollo

South of the lions can be found the Sanctuary of Apollo which is actually three separate temples side by side. Largest of the series, the columned Temple of Delia, was begun in the 5th century BC but was never actually completed.

The Amphitheater

Another of the site’s main features is the theater which although mostly ruined is still very clearly a classic design amphitheater of the period and still has the stage foundations in place. When this stone semi-circular series of tiered seats was new in the third century BC it could hold more than 5,000 spectators.

The Theater Quarter

Close to the amphitheater can be found what was once an area of grand private dwellings and marks a part of the site which is often the most admired by visitors. From the second century BC Delos experienced a surge in its development as Romans used the island for trading, including that of the buying and selling of slaves. As a result a number of rich merchants built homes here and their grand central courtyards, columned facades, sculptures and in some cases even stone stairways are still standing in places to give you some idea of the luxuriousness of these dwellings.

Many of the homes carry names such as the House of Masks, the House of the Dolphins and the House of Cleopatra to name but a few with the most remarkable feature of several of these being their exquisite and incredibly well-preserved floor mosaics. So numerous are these mosaics that the site is home to more than 50% of all Greece’s mosaics still in existence from the Hellenistic period.

Furthermore, spanning the period when the art form of mosaic moved from black and white stones to the use of colored tesserae in squares, Delos is considered of enormous importance to archaeologists studying the ways in which this decorative embellishment developed over time. Perhaps the highlight of all these incredible artworks is that of the House of Masks where the richness and size of the many mosaics and the overall size of the dwelling suggest this house belonged to some especially important figure of the time.

The Delos Archaeological Museum

Located at the site’s center, the Delos museum serves as the repository for the many priceless treasures unearthed during excavations. Packed with ancient history and full of 2,000 year old statues, mosaics, tombstones, jewelry, vases, frescoes and a wonderful collection of household items recovered from the Theater Quarter’s private dwellings, this museum is an essential inclusion in any visit to the island.

There are nine separate exhibition areas, two thirds of which are principally dedicated to the many ancient statues of the island, a collection considered to be one of the finest of its kind in the world. The pottery collection includes some truly ancient finds which pre-date the Hellenistic era, dating from more than 4,000 years ago.

Pre- Dinner Drinks and Dinner on Mykonos

While the full-on partying scene along with its all-night dance parties and thumping music is one aspect of the Mykonos scene it is far from being all of it. This side of island life doesn’t tend to really amp up until later into the evening anyway so if quiet cocktails watching the sunset and tranquil dining are more your idea of perfection you will be able to find just that too.

mykonos greece

A little of everything is on offer with the drinking and dining options of Mykonos, from cozy tavernas to modern chic venues and serving cuisine which ranges from traditional Greek to more international fare with an abundance of fresh seafood in plentiful supply.

Cafes, bars and restaurants are scattered liberally all round the island with distinct scenes offered according to different hot-spots. The many beaches within easy reach come complete with their collection of waterfront venues while the options at the Old Port have a lovely atmosphere all their own. Right in Mykonos Town its labyrinth of alleyways hide any number of special gems but the center of much of the action is focused around Little Venice where you can have gorgeous views of
windmills and its scenic terrace of old houses as you take in the sunset over the sea.

Pre-dinner Drinks

Ideal sundowners by their very definition should include sunset views and having a front row seat for this is part of what makes Little Venice such a popular spot. The other factor in this idyllic equation besides the sunset are its otherwise spectacular views which you can have from the choice of bars here, the majority of which place you at the water’s edge so Aegean Sea vistas come as standard. Completing the panorama are the iconic windmills which being pure white take on the scarlet and tangerine glows of the sky at sunset making for a 101 exceptional photo opportunities.

One choice which ticks all the bonus boxes of this kind is Veranda. Part of the Little Venice scene for more than two decades, this perfectly-positioned cocktail bar offers a spacious terrace with sofas or a first floor veranda from which to gaze at the five windmills rising picturesquely from the headland across the bay to the south. 

Another even longer established spot in the vicinity is Kastro which has been around since the 1970s. Here you can swap the more regularly found DJ sets for classical music along with an air of relaxed refinement. One part of this Little Venice favorite is the tiny whitewashed alley which has a sofa bench running its entire length and which opens out directly to a blue Aegean view. Otherwise expect the typical and lovely panorama of windmills and sunset from the balcony at a venue known for its wonderful cocktails and wines. 

For a windmill view with a difference make your way to one of the newer offerings on the Mykonos scene – the Nusr-Et Mykonos. Part of an international chain run by a celebrity Turkish chef, this steakhouse and bar perches you above the town on the same hill as the Boni’s windmill which frames the foreground in a vista which continues on over the whitewashed town and beyond to the sea. Sunsets with a drink in hand from a table at one of the stone terraces here or from a cushioned perch on the stone steps are unbelievably beautiful.

Dinner

When it comes time to dine on Mykonos the whole island is your oyster. Less than 20 miles from east to west, Mykonos is not a large island which brings all there is here within reach and while Mykonos Town without doubt has the bulk of the dining options that is far from being the entire culinary story here.

The gorgeous Ano Mera, which you may have explored earlier in the day, is one alternative choice to the main town which gathers together a restaurant collection while the many beaches deliver up a whole other series of dining choices. One such of this kind and so extra-special it is more than worth the 20 minute taxi ride to get there is Spilia. Located in a small cove on the strip of sand known as Agia Anna in the island’s south-east corner, this unique restaurant has been carved out of a cave and offers a setting which is both wonderfully dramatic and romantic. Surrounding you with stone, wood and the grape vines which weave across the trellis overhead, the main dining area of Spilia sits perched on a rock ledge right at the edge of the Aegean. For those who want a truly intimate meal there is even the option to dine inside the cave with just a handful of others but you will have to book ahead to be sure of bagging one of these tables.

With such a killer setting it is hardly surprising that Spilia has been around for some time – more than 30 years in fact – and this means they have had plenty of time to perfect their art. With moonlight reflecting on the water and candles flickering in the breeze, this gem would be a guaranteed winner even with average food. However, the quality of this restaurant’s offerings matches the sublimity of its setting in every way with a focus on Mykonian and Italian favorites. Seafood is the star of the show here with their oysters, mussels, urchins and lobster fished out straight from the natural sea-pool on site as you order it which ensures a freshness of the ultimate kind.

If you would prefer to stay closer to Mykonos Town you can take your pick of scenery and views which include a wonderful range of tucked away treats nestled in the whitewashed maze of the streets. One such is Avra whose modest entrance is easily missed and gives no indication whatsoever of the gorgeous secret garden which lies within.

While the crisp linen-draped interior tables present a touch of elegance its inner courtyard garden bordered by traditional buildings is the real star, offering one of the most beautiful settings on the island as you dine surrounded by giant cacti and huge cascades of bougainvillea. The lanterns and candles add an extra romantic element to what is already a highly magical dining experience while the diverse menu ensures there is something for everyone. Traditional Greek dishes such as seafood saganaki, herb-roasted lamb and stuffed vine leaves are here but so too are steaks, pasta and risottos and even a Thai curry with a good wine menu to complete the picture.

An Evening on Mykonos

For many the sole reason for coming to Mykonos is for the after-dark party scene but if crowded clubs, dancing until dawn and music at full volume aren’t really your thing there are alternatives if you know where to find them.

For those who would like a little music in their evening but of a more refined or low-key nature there are also options. The most famous of these is the Piano Bar which, as the name suggests, gives you a live piano man and occasionally singers accompanying him. Besides the musical element this Little Venice venue offers all that the majority of the bars and restaurants in this location do and that is a beautiful waterfront setting with views of the iconic windmills, atmospherically lit after dark, and picturesque old fisherman’s houses leaning out over the water. Later into the evening this spot also stages cabarets which are great if you enjoy a little risque fun but be warned these are strictly adults-only performances. 

If you just want to relax with some after-dinner cocktails to round off your Mykonos day one great place to head is the Oniro Sunset Bar. Located on a rooftop in an area just inland from the Old Port, this tranquil bar offers a stunning open-air terrace which is furnished with cushion-filled benches and lit by candles. As Oniro is set apart from the main center this elevated perch allows you to take in the whole sweep of the bay and the entire town which with its arrays of twinkling lights and after-dark-lit landmarks is perhaps the best night views you can have from anywhere on the island.

For an evening under the stars of a different kind make your way to the open-air Cine Manto in Mykonos Town which screens two back-to-back movies every night from June to September beginning at 9pm and 11pm respectively. The huge garden setting full of palm trees, cacti and other greenery is lovely and there is an on-site restaurant and bar to keep you fed and watered throughout your moonlight cinema experience.

The menu of movies is diverse and includes some just-released blockbusters as well as some older favorites. Soundtracks are the original English where applicable with Greek subtitles.

Ready to have the experience of your life in Mykonos? Contact one of our vacation planners today to find the right cruise for you!

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