Of all of the Greek islands, Mykonos is the one which has the reputation for hard partying and attracting a glamourous, jet set crowd. There’s much more to Mykonos than just staying up drinking and dancing until dawn, however, as it combines this hedonistic streak with much of the tradition and history for which this part of the world is famed and, of course, crystal white beaches lapped by the clear waters of the Aegean.
The number of people you’ll be sharing Mykonos with depends upon what time of the year you visit. If you’re stay is during the peak holiday season of July and August then expect crowds in the hotels and villas on the island itself, and on the cruise ships which regularly dock just off shore. The good news is that the island has kept pace with its growth as a tourist destination, and the choice of bars and restaurants has grown to meet demand without ruining the character of Mykonos.
Getting to Mykonos generally means flying to the Greek mainland and taking a ferry or catamaran across or, if you prefer, flying directly to Mykonos itself. The airport is located just 4km from the main town on the island and takes flights from the Greek mainland and most of the rest of Europe.
There are several smaller villages and communities scattered around Mykonos, but most of the attractions which bring in tourists are located in the capital, Mykonos Town. Built around a harbour in the middle of a sweeping bay, the town is a picture postcard version of a Greek seaside town, with tiny narrow streets, whitewashed houses and an unspoiled atmosphere preserved by the strict building laws on the island.
Despite these restrictions, however, the town has adapted well to its status as a leading tourist attraction, and the winding streets of the centre have a cosmopolitan atmosphere, being packed with art galleries, designer boutiques, chic bars and upmarket restaurants. You’ll even find outlets stocking clothes by leading labels such as Burberry and Chanel, a clear sign of the type of clientele which Mykonos is now attracting.
Travelling around Mykonos is relatively simple, as it is only roughly 10 by 15 kilometres, and has a comprehensive bus service running from Mykonos Town to destinations such as the quieter beaches on the southern side of the island. If you’re feeling more adventurous you could hire your own scooter or take the bus to nearby Platys Gialos, where it’s possible to catch frequent boats travelling to the quieter beaches on the southern side of the island.
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