Doing a cruise in Greek is very popular. A lot of people are attracted to the ease and convenience of having a single cabin to see multiple places and only unpacking once.One of the most popular destinations on a Greek island cruise is Mykonos. It can be very busy and quiet, so this article explains all you need to know to spend one day in Mykonos and really make the most of your time.

Further reading:

One day in Athens

One day in Rhodes

one day in Mykonos

Where is Mykonos and what is it known for?

The of Mykonos is one of the most famous islands in the world and is a summer playground for the rich and famous and regular people too. 

It is located in the north of the Cyclades group of islands, also home to Santorini. It is just 30 minutes north of Paros and Naxos by ferry and east of Syros, yet different from them all.

Mykonos is renowned for its beautiful beaches, world-class beach clubs and parties with international DJs and VIPs, as well as its picture-perfect Cycladic architecture. The Old Town is a popular destination and the waterfront area of Little Venice and the Windmills are some of the most photographed in Europe.

Right next door to Mykonos is the sacred island of Apollo so even people that are not interested in parties or beach clubs visit Mykonos just to go to Delos. 

Where do the cruise ships dock in Mykonos?

Mykonos has two harbors, but the majority of ferries and cruise ships dock at the new one, Tourlos, located a few kilometers from Mykonos Town, right beside Agios Stefanos Beach.

Few cruise ships anchor off the old harbor; in this case, a tender boat will bring you on land right into the heart of Mykonos Town.

You will find several facilities at the new harbor, including the ferry terminal, car rental agencies, the sea bus jetty, and a taxi station.

one day in mykonos

How to get around Mykonos

Once you disembark in Mykonos, you will surely want to explore this beautiful island. Here are the best ways to get around.

Taxis are among the most popular ways to get around the island as they drive you to the designated point quickly. Like taxis pretty much everywhere, they don’t come for cheap. Another downside of taxis in Mykonos is that there aren’t many on the island (only 30), so you will likely need to wait around at times, especially during the peak of tourist season.

If you don’t want to spend those extra euros, catching a public bus is a great alternative method to move around the island. Cheap and efficient, the bus company operating the service on the island is KTEL. Since the island is relatively small, you won’t need to spend much time inside a bus to reach the most touristy spots.

Car hire is another option you have to get around Mykonos. Renting a car is the best way to maximize your time on the island, as it gives you the freedom to stop wherever you want and stay as long as you want without having to worry about specific schedules. That said, if it is peak season ( July -September) the roads will be very busy and parking can be an issue.

The newest transfer service available in Mykonos is the Sea Bus, which runs every 30 minutes and quickly connects the New Port (Tourlos) to the Old Port in Mykonos Town. The mini-cruise is charming, as you will admire the picturesque landscape of Mykonos from the sea.

one day in Mykonos
one day in mykonos

One Day in Mykonos itinerary

It is likely your cruise will offer several tours you can do. This can be easy and convenient as you simply follow the instructions of the Guide or Activities Director and join the rest of the tour.

The downside to these tours is they are usually more expensive than if you did them independently and they usually result in large crowds of people all descending on the same attractions at the same time. It also means you will be bound to the times dictated by the tour which may be at a slower pace than you would like, or perhaps too rushed. People consistently complain that time is too short on Santorini for example.

If you would like to explore the island at your own pace, this is what we suggest to maximise your one day on Mykonos.

The most popular tours offered by cruise ships and mainland operators are a day trip to sacred Delos Island, a tour of Mykonos Island, and a sailing trip around the two. These are great activities, but you can get them cheaper by booking your own, plus you might prefer to be away from the other passengers on your ship or explore more independently. 

One day itinerary in Mykonos – Mykonos Town Only

8 a.m.: Catch the Seabus or a taxi into Mykonos Town and get photos of the windmills and back streets before things open up. Grab a coffee at Sic Coffee and a tiropita (cheese pie) at il forno di Gerasimo.

10 a.m.: Time to hit the shops. This could easily take all day, but you might need deep pockets.

12 – Visit the archeological and maritime museums.

2 -4 pm – Lunch at Remezzo or Kalita

4 pm: More shopping, exploring the many winding alleys, Mykonos Folk Museum, or Rarity Gallery  

6 pm: Sunset drinks at Rhapsody or Bao in Little Venice ( this may be early for sunset and the departure time of your ship will dictate when you can do this and for how long)

7/8 pm: return to ship

One Day Itinerary in Mykonos – on steriods

9 – Explore Mykonos Town as above

11 a.m.: Catch the ferry over to Delos

1pm: return on the ferry 

2 p.m.: Catch the Seabus to a beach club. 

5 p.m.: Early dinner at Compass or Zuma

7 p.m.: return to the ship

a boat trip to Delos 

Mykonos is close to one of the best archeological sites in Greece, Delos. During your stay in Mykonos, consider visiting the UNESCO-listed Delos. This small, uninhabited island used to be an economic and political power as it served as the Inviolable Sanctuary and the Seat of the Athenian League in the fourth century BC.

The island has an important role in Ancient Greek culture also because it was considered the birthplace of the Greek gods Apollo and Artemis, who are dedicated to the temples and sanctuaries you can still see the ruins of.

The only way to get to Delos is by ferry. From Mykonos’ old harbor, ferries depart every day of the week, with multiple departure times, between April-November. From November to March, there are very few ferries. 

A great idea is to experience the stunning archeological site of Delos with an expert guide who will teach you all about its important history. This half-day tour of Delos from Mykonos is ideal if you want to reach Delos without having to organize the transfer on your own. The tour is led by a certified guide who will disclose all the site’s hidden gems.

Another option is this Viator tour, offering a 4-hour guided trip to Delos from Mykonos. This educational tour of Delos’ archaeological site will uncover the myths and history of ancient Greece.

This is also a great half-day trip to Delos, which includes the ferry from Mykonos to Delos and a local guide sharing their expert knowledge about the UNESCO site, showing you beautiful spots like the Terrace of the Lions and the House of Dionysus.

Mykonos Town – things to see and do

Called Chora (which means ‘main town’) by locals, Mykonos Town is one of the best-preserved historic towns on the Greek islands. 

There is much to see and do in Mykonos Town, starting from the neighborhood of Little Venice. The houses of this district mix the traditional white-and-blue colors of Greek traditional buildings with the colorful style and architectural elements (arches and byways) of Venetian houses.

With their balconies hanging over the sea, you will have the feeling of being on one of the canals in Venice. The district is also a perfect area in the town for a sunset cocktail or a romantic dinner. 

Another must-do in Mykonos is marveling at its iconic windmills. From Chora, you can actually see all the 16 windmills scattered around the island. Mykonos’s windmills date back to the 16th century, and they were built by Venetian merchants who arrived on the island.

Among the best windmills to discover is the legendary Boni Windmill, on the edge of the village of Apano Mili. Inside is housed the Agricultural Museum.

All the windmills have been pillars of the island’s economy for centuries, but the wheat industry died out during the 20th century. Thankfully, the windmills are perfectly preserved and the best spots in Mykonos to take in breathtaking panoramas. 

Wandering around Mykonos, you will also see an incredible array of churches. The small island is home to over 600 of them! The most beautiful is located right in Chora, and is the famed Church of Panagia Paraportiani.

Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, the white-washed Panagia Paraportiani are five small churches built on each other, all boasting different architectural styles. The combo of Byzantine, Western European, and Cycladic styles gives life to this unique church located next to the entrance of the town. 

There are more sights to see in Mykonos Town, including the Aegean Maritime Museum, the Rarity Art Gallery and the churches of Agia Kyriaki and Agios Nikolaos.

one day in mykonos
athens santorini mykonos

Ano Mera

Mykonos might be small, but it offers charming villages to visit. The most gorgeous one is Ano Mera, which is located around 8 kilometers from Chora.

The architecture of Ano Mera is quintessential Cycladic, with white-washed houses with colorful doors and windows, lush bougainvillea, and narrow streets. The village is incredibly tranquil, which is a big contrast to Mykonos’s most touristy areas, making it the ideal spot on the island to experience an authentic atmosphere. 

In Ano Mera, you will find gorgeous Greek monasteries where you can learn more about local history and culture. Be sure to stop by the Panagia Tourliani Monastery and the Monastery of Paleokastro, which boast a wonderful religious art collection and Byzantine icons. 

Ano Mera is also one of the best places on the island to try the local cuisine, thanks to the many tavernas you will find. Charming little restaurants serving delicious dishes made following traditional family recipes are the perfect venues for experiencing the Mykonian lifestyle. A couple of the most popular tavernas you should consider visiting in Ano Mera are ‘Fisherman Giorgos & Marina Taverna’ and ‘Tsaf’.

one day in mykonos
one day in mykonos

The beaches and beach clubs of Mykonos

A day on a Greek island mainly means visiting some great beaches! On Mykonos, there are excellent beaches you can explore, perfect for spending some time relaxing or partying.  

One of the most frequented beaches in Mykonos is Paradise Beach. This lively beach offers a small free area where you won’t find amenities and a bigger section with many bars to rent umbrellas and sun loungers.

Paradise Beach is lined with lively beach clubs playing music from the early afternoon into the night, turning into real nightclubs, like the ‘Tropicana‘, which is also one of the most affordable.

With a reputation as the place to party on Mykonos, Super Paradise Beach is located in a small bay surrounded by beautiful hills, blue waters, and golden sand. The beach boasts several beach clubs popular for throwing iconic parties at night.

During the morning, the area is rather tranquil, but as the afternoon sets in, it turns into a lively spot thanks to the many beach clubs playing great beats at high volume – and the party doesn’t stop until sunrise!

Among the top beach clubs to visit is Super Paradise Beach Club, with an elegant design and top-quality amenities and services, including a cocktail bar, a shisha bar, a restaurant serving a fusion menu, and hardcore nightly DJ sets. We also love Jackie O’s.

Not far from Paradise Beach, you will find Platis Gialos. The beach is wide, with several beach clubs offering all the comforts, from sunbeds to restaurants to water sports amenities. Platis Gialos also has a small area where you can sunbathe free of charge as there aren’t umbrellas and chairs to rent. 

Another wonderful beach to visit is Ornos Beach, located in the namesake village on the southwest side of Mykonos. A small bay with white sand and a dreamy transparent-blue sea, Ornos Beach is sheltered from the wind, which makes it particularly family-friendly.

Easily reached by bus or water taxi from Mykonos Town, it’s one of the busiest beaches on the island during the summer season. At Ornos Beach, you will find every possible service: fully equipped beach resorts, lively beach bars where you can enjoy colorful cocktails, and delicious restaurants where you can taste Greek cuisine. 

one day in mykonos

Platys Gialos

one day in Mykonos

Nammos Beach Club

Tropicana

Spending one night in Mykonos?

Perhaps you’ve flown direct to Mykonos and your plan is to head from Mykonos straight to islands like Tinos, Syros or others in the Cyclades you may want, or need, to spend the night before boarding your ferry the next day.

If that’s the case we recommend spending the night in Mykonos Town. It can be quite charming at night when the day trippers have left, and there are some great dining options such as Remezzo on the Old Harbour or sunset drinks at Little Venice or 180 Degrees Sunset bar are really quite incredible.

Our favorite boutique hotel is Harmony Boutique Hotel, a solid 4-star option overlooking the harbour. Its good value too, for Mykonos, and has a lovely pool.

She Mykonos is another option we like as it has great views, is walking distance into the old town but it is also easy to get parking there too. 

one day in mykonos

She Suites

Harmony Hotel