This upmarket Greek island is a sophisticated, fashionable favourite destination particularly for the gay travellers, and probably because of its popularity it has become reputedly the most expensive of all the islands. Its designer shops, colourful tavernas and throbbing dance clubs are doing a roaring trade, but despite the trendy crowds and a couple of well-attended nudist beaches, the island retains its traditional flavour while its trademark five thatched windmills turn slowly on the hill.
Tourists to Mykonos TOWN who would like to do some serious sightseeing can visit the archaeological museum on the island, which displays some finds from the necropolis on nearby Rhenia. It is also possible to take a trip across to the uninhabited island of Delos (just six nautical miles away), which is an important World Heritage archaeological site, having been the religious and political centre of the Aegean in ancient times. Explore the temples and the Avenue of the Lions, and see some stunning archaic sculptures in the museum.
Getting around Mykonos
Mikonos site seeing
One of the best things to happen to Mykonos was the government decree that made Hora an architectural landmark and prohibited motorized traffic from its streets. You will see a few small delivery vehicles, but the only ways to get around town are to walk -- or to ride a bike or donkey! Many of the town's large hotels ring the busy peripheral road, and a good transportation system serves much of the rest of the island.
By Bus -- Mykonos has one of the best bus systems in the Greek islands; the buses run frequently and on schedule. Depending on your destination, a ticket costs about .50€ to 4€ ($.65-$5.20). There are two bus stations in Hora: one near the archaeological museum and one near the Olympic Airways office (follow the helpful blue signs). At the tourist office, find out from which station the bus you want leaves, or look for schedules in hotels. Bus information in English is sometimes available from the KTEL office (tel. 22890/23-360).
By Boat -- Caiques to Super Paradise, Agrari, and Elia depart from Platis Yialos every morning, weather permitting; there is also service from Ornos in high season (July and Aug) only. Caique service is highly seasonal, with almost continuous service in high season and no caiques October through May. Excursion boats to Delos depart Tuesday through Sunday between 8:30am and 1pm, from the west side of the harbor near the tourist office. (For more information, see a travel agent; guided tours are available.)
By Car & Moped -- Rental cars are available from about 50€ ($65) per day, including insurance, in high season; most agencies are near one of the two bus stops in town. Windmills Travel can arrange a car rental for you and get good prices. The largest concentration of moped shops is just beyond the south bus station. Expect to pay about 15€ to 30€ ($20-$39) per day, depending on the moped's engine size. Take great care when driving: Island roads can be treacherous.
Warning: If you park in town or in a no-parking area, the police will remove your license plates. You -- not the rental office -- will have to find the police station and pay a steep fine to get them back.
By Taxi -- There are two types of taxis in Mykonos: standard car taxis for destinations outside town, and tiny, cart-towing scooters that buzz through the narrow streets of Hora. The latter are seen primarily at the port, where they wait to bring new arrivals to their lodgings in town -- a good idea, since most in-town hotels are a challenge to find. Getting a car taxi in Hora is easy: Walk to Taxi (Mavro) Square, near the statue, and join the line. A notice board gives rates for various destinations. You can also call Mykonos Radio Taxi (tel. 22890/22-400).
Commercial Bank and National Bank of Greece are on the harbor a couple blocks west of Taxi Square; both are open Monday through Friday from 8am to 2pm. ATMs are available throughout town. Mykonos Health Center (tel. 22890/23-994 or 22890/23-996) handles routine medical complaints; serious cases are usually airlifted to the mainland. The tourist police (tel. 22890/22-482) are on the west side of the port near the ferries to Delos; the local police (tel. 22890/22-235) are behind the grammar school, near Plateia Laka. The post office (tel. 22890/22-238) is next to the police station; it's open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 2pm. The telephone office (OTE) is on the north side of the harbor beyond the Hotel Leto (tel. 22890/22-499), open Monday through Friday 7:30am to 3pm. Internet access is expensive here: Mykonos Cyber Cafe, 26 M. Axioti, on the road between the south bus station and the windmills (tel. 22890/27-684), is open daily 9am to 10pm and charges 16€ ($21) per hour or 5€ ($6.50) for 15 minutes. Angelo's Internet Cafe, on the same road (tel. 22890/24-106), may have lower rates.
There are good ferry connections between the Cyclades islands and the mainland, and in summer, hydrofoils and high-speed catamarans as well. Between May and September it is easy to island-hop, although strong winds can upset the more sensitive hydrofoil services. There are airports at Mykonos, Santorini and Paros. Reliable bus services connect the main towns on the islands, and taxis are easily available. Rental car agencies are available, as well as moped and motorbike hire, but as roads are treacherously narrow and winding it is not advised unless an experienced rider