The popular cruise destination of Mykonos is located east of Athens in the Aegean sea. Just 33sqm in size, it is approximately halfway between Athens and the Turkish port of Kusadasi. Mykonos is known for its glamorous party scene, but when you visit it during the day that is not apparent at all. Perhaps it appears so sleepy because the party crowds are sleeping when most cruises visit the island.
As quiet as Mykonos town initially seems in the daytime, its streets (mostly little lanes if near the shore) are often crowded by visitors from cruise ships. During our visit they were so packed we could hardly get around. There was us, a Costa ship and a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ship tendering and another NCL docked in town.
As I took this picture, I heard a training announcement from the Bridge. It was directed at the crew but I found extremely entertaining as it was delivered in an obvious Glasgow accent! I later found out from another Scottish passenger that they had a young cadet onboard on placement from Glasgow’s Nautical College.
Mykonos is certainly a stunningly picturesque town, with beautifully paved, quaint winding streets. The traditional white-painted stone buildings contrast the bright blue sky above them. Probably the most famous landmark associated with the town is its famous windmills. As your ship approaches the island, you can see them on the hill behind the town. The earliest of them date back to the 16th century. Due to their location and height, these windmills can also be seen from all over the island – not just from the ship.
Near the iconic windmills, down the steps (pictured above) is the area of Mykonos town called Little Venice. It is filled with cafes and restaurants in old fishing houses right at the sea, with balconies hanging over the water. Beautiful white houses like you see in paintings, exquisitely detailed minuscule churches. All very romantic, if it wasn’t for the masses of people milling around.
There aren’t really any obvious signs of the glam party reputation, no massive clubs with neon signs and flyers scattering the streets – thankfully. But there are a number of small, expensive boutiques selling expensive labels (clothing and jewellery). There are some local shops selling beautiful unique fashion accessories that are not cheap either. I spotted this stunning multicoloured hand-painted canvas shopper I wanted – but I wasn’t going to spend 100 Euros for it. But they must have customers who don’t blink at paying that kind of money for a canvas bag. Regular souvenirs at more acceptable prices were also available. These you’ll find closer to the small-boat harbour at the end of the beach.
You could also catch local boats to the neighbouring island of Delos from this harbour. This is where the tender boats to the ship and back operate. Since we had a longer time onshore at this port, the queues to disembark ship weren’t as bad as we’d had in Kotor. Neither were tender tickets required after the first 30mins or so. A much more relaxed morning for all of us.
Many tour activities are on offer when your ship calls at this island. There are active excursions (kayaking, diving, cycling and sailing) and other less so, if you want a more leisurely stroll. You can visit the neighbouring island of Delos (just a mile away) for its historic ruins or other villages on Mykonos, such as Ano Mera with its monastery. We settled for a morning of wandering around the town as we’d had a long excursion at our previous port of Piraeus.
As the ship was just a short tender away, we did not dine out on Mykonos at all. This means I am unable to comment on the vegan food served on Mykonos, though another vegan blogger Little Green Kettle wrote about her dining there. Check out her blog, as linked.
Next port of call, the island of Kefalonia and the port of Argostoli. If you have any questions or comments, would love to hear from you!