Best towns and areas to stay in Mykonos
Hora (Mykonos Town)
The islands capital Hora, also referred to as Mykonos Town, is a cultural hub that comes alive during the summer months. The marbled streets of the town are lined with white washed houses and churches, with the beautiful Panagia Paraportiani church topping the list of ‘must see’ attractions for visitors to the island. This picturesque town is a great place to stay if you are looking for an active holiday, as you can spend hours in the town centre visiting museums, strolling along the beautiful waterfront and stopping for breaks in traditional tavernas or modern wine bars. The views of the surrounding hills are stunning, with the island’s famous white windmills lining the skyline, creating excellent photo opportunities.
Luxurious boutique hotels can be found in the centre of town and alongside the golden beaches and there is plenty of self-catering accommodation and budget hotels available too. The beaches along the southern coast are popular with young people looking for a party, so this area is best avoided if loud bars and all night dancing is not what you are looking for. If it is a hedonistic holiday you are seeking, Paradise Beach is the place to head to if you want to stay in party central.
Mykonos town is also home to a very lively gay scene, with thousands of people heading to the island each year to enjoy a relaxing holiday with like-minded people. Dedicated gay bars and hotels will cater for your every need but will also welcome heterosexual guests, creating one big friendly atmosphere. Paradise Beach, Super Paradise Beach and Elia (partly nudist) beaches are most popular amongst the island’s gay clientele, with gay friendly bars and restaurants by day and great places to relax and party at night. Whilst all hotels in Mykonos welcome gay guests (as is the law), the Elysium is gay only and attracts thousands of customers each year.
>> Hotels in Mykonos Town
Mykonos is not all about parties and sun tans, it is a great place for families to head to for a fun summer holiday. Ornos is a favourite place to stay for families in Mykonos, due to its laid back atmosphere and child friendly facilities. Located just outside of Mykonos town, Ornos is a self-contained resort that has been developed with families in mind. Hotels have all the facilities you will need for your holiday, including pools, children’s clubs, family friendly restaurants and plenty of shopping opportunities. The arced beach that encases Ornos is ideal for children to play on for hours on end, whilst parents relax on one of the wooden loungers that line the beach. As well as families, Ornos also attracts those wanting to stay in a place where they can enjoy water-sports.
The beach is sheltered from heavy winds, making windsurfing and sailing a little easier to manage for beginners to water-sports. If you want a break from the beach, a stroll along the harbour of the town’s pretty port will give you a true taste of Greece. See fishing boats come in with their daily catch and sit in a café, eating souvlaki, with locals as they watch the world go by.
>> Hotels in Ornos
If lazy days on the beach followed by long evenings of cocktails and music are what you are looking for, Platis Gialos is the place to stay. The town is on the southern coast of Mykonos and is one of the most beautiful, with splashes of colour from the bougainvillea bushes singing out against the traditional white washed building. In Platis Gialos there is no pressure to get up early to go on excursions as it invites you to enjoy a little R&R, away from the busy life back at home. Blue flag beaches surround the town and upmarket bars and hotels are home to thousands of tourists that return year after year. You will be spoiled for choice when choosing where to eat as there is a mixture of traditional tavernas that serve up the best tzatziki you will ever have and a new wave of modern restaurants that offer world cuisine.
If lazy, sun filled days take their toll, you can hop on a boat to Delos for the ultimate culture fix. Delos is an important Greek archaeological site, where you can learn all about the Temple of The Delians and The House of Dionysus, amongst other significant excavations. Delos is packed full of mythical history and will certainly add a sense of magic to your Mykonos holiday. After an action packed day on Delos, you can return to your luxury hotel for a spot of entertainment and a cocktail or two.
>> Hotels in Platis Gialos
Whether venturing from Athens, or hopping from a neighbouring island via Ferry, visitors disembark in the small village of Tourlos, home to the new harbour of Mykonos. Dine in reasonably priced restaurants along the main road and wander down narrow paths to discover sandy beach sections. Tourlos Beach is a small beach that sees guests of nearby accommodation and the harbour enjoying a quick dip.
Enjoy a 15-minute stroll to the popular sandy beach of Agios Stefanos. With several restaurants and mini markets lining the beach, as well as water sport facilities and beach rentals, families and people of all ages flock to the beach’s tranquil waters for the day. Transport rentals and areliable bus system makes staying in Tourlos convenient with Mykonos’ attractions never being far away.
Hotels with swimming pools boast beautiful terraces overlooking the port. Views of cruise liners adorned with thousands of lights out at sea and docked in the harbour are sure to ignite excitement in the hearts of children and adults alike. With the best nightlife only minutes away in Mykonos Town, and great neighbouring beaches within walking distance, Tourlos caters for all ages, and is the ideal location for those passing through Mykonos fairly quickly.
>> Hotels in Tourlos
Located a kilometre from Ornos, and home to the famous beach where Shirley Valentine admires the sunset with a glass of wine, liesthe picturesque Agios Ioannis. The beach is scenic, with crystal clear water likened to glass, golden sand, and stunning panoramic views of the neighbouring island of Delos. Agios Ioannis is a great way to experience Mykonos without crazy nightlife and is arguably the most scenic of the beach areas.
Severaltrendy eateries line the seafront. Hippie Fish is a famous gourmet beach restaurant boasting a laid-back, yet elegant, vibe. It also offers sun lounges and comfortable outdoor couches with umbrellas. A word of caution, however: prices in this area are hiked so visitors should be prepared to dig deeper into their pockets.
Hotels and resorts offer private access to the beach but due to their terrific facilities, visitors often choose to forgo a day at the beach in favour of a day relaxing by the pool. While accommodation mainly caters for couples, families can still venture toother parts of the island thanks to the conveniently-located bus stop that puts Hora only 10 minutes away. Hotels can also arrange shuttle services for those seeking a night out in the town.
>> Hotels in Agios Ionanis
Elia beach is Mykonos’ longest beach and considered one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. While rows of sunbeds and umbrellas stretch along the beach as far as the eye can see, those who aren’t willing to part with 20 Euros can find solace in a few sunbed-free sections. Visitors can walk along the beach to the far right and venture over the rocks to find Agrari Beach and its beautiful church. Along the way they will pass two small pristine beaches nestled between the rocks below, boasting clear blue waters and stunning photo opportunities.
Elia is a famous gay and nudist beach, so visitors are sure to see people rocking their birthday suits in the course of the day. Located behind the umbrellas is Elia’s only beach restaurant where visitors enjoy delicious cocktails, frappés and tantalizing cuisine.
Flawless villas and resorts are perched upon the cliffs surrounding Elia beach, many equipped with swimming pools and terraces with bars. Those looking to stay in Elia should consider renting vehicles as there is no nightlife in the area besides a few restaurants, and Mykonos Town is a 20-minute drive away. Elia beach mainly offers lazy days on the beach and is best suited for adults looking to unwind.
>> Hotels in Elia Beach