5 Incredibly Affordable Activities to Enjoy in Mykonos
I returned to Greece this summer to sail in the islands again. A voyage last summer with Mar-A-Mar Travel was such a jam-packed adventure, I knew I had to return to revisit all the daily activities, food and fun I had enjoyed so much the first time.
I felt giddy at the prospect of seeing many of the same islands and trying a couple new ones, too. This time, I was bringing along the wife, who had heard so much about the wonderful time that she was eager to share it this time around.
Well, as anyone who travels a lot can attest, things rarely go exactly as you imagine.
Also, anyone who has sailed in Greece knows how predictably unpredictable the winds in the Cycladic Island region can be in summer. Thus, we found ourselves after one day of sailing from Athens and a quick overnight stop in Kythnos, arriving into a sunny and fairly calm Mykonos for our first extended port stop. Mykonos is a wonderful and vibrant place to visit. Only this time, we would be staying a few days longer than expected. Yes, those famed meltemi winds in the Aegean Sea kicked up and hemmed us in port for four days.
So our host with Mar-A-Mar Travel, Sherman Pencescu, helped us make the best of it, showing us all the hot beaches and restaurants nearby our berth at the marina in Tourlos. This "New Port" is expanding and modernizing, and we saw several cruise ships during our time there.
If you're on a cruise to Mykonos (many ships make overnight stays), you'll be happy to get these tips and tricks for having a good time without spending a fortune while on the island.
St. Stefanos Beach – Mykonos Beaches are legendary for their party atmosphere. But there is also a quieter little local beach less than a mile from the port. You can easily walk it by heading down the pier and taking a left onto the road that follows the coast. The road rises to give you cool views of your ship and Mykonos Town in the distance. Head to the beach and rent a lounger and umbrella or settle in at a beachside restaurant and go for a dip to cool off as needed between your rounds of Mythos beers. We loved the beer selection, food offerings (grilled octopus) and friendly service at the Dublin Irish Pub just across the street. Settle in on the porch there for sunset!
Try Four-Wheeling -- Rent an ATV for 30 to 40 euros — for 24 hours! — and you can tour the whole island at your own pace. Get over to Paradise Beach Club, Super Paradise, Pinky Beach and Tropicana to check out all the action. Careful on the roads, which are narrow and shared by walkers, cars, motorcycles, scooters and ATVs closer to the port. Having these machines all day means you can get to tons of places and climb high into the hills for amazing views over the island. We also used them to get back and forth from our yacht to Mykonos Town.
Head to Mykonos Town – This whitewashed enclave defines the island, with its nightclubs, boutiques, restaurants, courtyards and awesome views of the sea (especially for sunsets at Little Venice). Wander the tiny stone streets, steps and alleys to get lost amid the homes, businesses, churches and courtyards. The little town is rocking late into the night.
VIDEO: Mark Murphy in Mykonos
The Sea Bus water taxi takes you from Tourlos "New Port" to Mykonos Town "Old Port" for 2 euros one way. You could walk there, too. It takes about 25 minutes, and you need to be careful on the narrow roads. I suggest that you walk over and enjoy the scenic water views -- especially at sunset -- then take the Sea Bus back (check the schedules carefully for last ride departing Mykonos Town. The public bus is also an easy-to-use option.
Hike Up the Hill – Directly across the street from the cruise pier, you'll find a sign directing you to head left to St. Stefanos Beach (Agios Stefanos) or up a steep road toward Fanari. Up for a hike? Go for it. Just over a mile up the winding route, you are rewarded with the most amazing and picturesque views of Mykonos and the surrounding waters, which sparkle in the sunshine. With a few needed breaks along the way to catch our breath, we made it up and back in about 45 minutes.
Get Some Greek Grub – Also across from your ship, you can find several restaurants offering inexpensive (much lower priced than in Mykonos Town) and delicious authentic Greek food. We had a fine lunch at Molaraki, which serves Mediterranean cuisine and amazing pizzas. Or try the cuisine at Matthew Tavern Café, which has an excellent breakfast, too. Grab a seat on the porch at either of these spots, order a beer, Greek salad and a main dish — like moussaka or fresh seafood — and enjoy the breezes and scenery at the marina.
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