If you’re planning a holiday in Mykonos, a short road trip is a must!
I took a short one day trip with a small convertible car and my holiday gang to see some of the highlights of the island. Unfortunately, my list of places to see grew so big that I only managed to tick off a fraction of them. Before I turn this post into a novel, I will leave you with a few practical tips on driving around and some locations to visit.
Oh, and of course some photos!
Roads in Mykonos – most roads are in good conditions, those leading to more remote areas might be tight and with a few holes here and there. Nothing out of ordinary. Unfortunately, there is no circular road that would lead around the island and enable you to plan your trip in a more efficient way. Most roads lead down to a bay and you have to drive back pretty much same way, going to center of the island from where you can access other parts. That makes planning a trip quite tricky.
Renting a car – we didn’t book anything in advance and only rented a car for one day. Walked into the first car rental place in Mykonos town, right next to the bus station. The charge was 50 eur for a day, with half tank petrol, which is pretty standard in high season. The car was already in a pretty poor condition with scratches on both sides so we were encouraged to take a video in case someone would claim we caused the damage. No deposit to pay, they only took card details as a security. The horror came when we had to return the car to the same position, right next to extremely busy bus station on the main road. There were cars and people everywhere and a police officer directing us away from the parking space which was reserved for the car rental place.
If you renting a car, make sure you get it from a place that’s easily accessible, like located on a side of a wide road, so you won’t have a similar problem.
Parking – parking is quite a huge issue if you’re staying in central Mykonos. There is big parking lot by the windmills, but the charges can be quite steep per day in season. Also quite hazardous when it gets busy as you are driving through massive potholes while trying to navigate around other cars. If you’re staying in central Mykonos and want to rent a car, arrange a parking with the car dealer to make sure you don’t have to stress about it. If you’re living a bit off the central town – like in a private villa up the hill, then you don’t have to worry about.
Planning a road trip – this was the first time that I solely relied on google maps and insights for planning a trip and it was super helpful and easy. You can check the map to see where the beaches are, zoom in on the restaurants and check them up close. You can also get a look through Google street view which is invaluable to get insights about the road conditions and the sort of views you can expect. Because Mykonos is such a small island, I found this the easiest way to find nice places to see.
Mykonos Road Trip Highlights:
Not all of these were checked off my list on our drive, but these are definitely worth seeing. Those I’ve seen are marked.
Psarou Beach and Nammos Mykonos – cool beach restaurant overlooking the bay, location here + Nammos website here. This was one of the must go places on my list however due to lack of time and pre-booked wine tasting we didn’t find a spot in our itinerary to make it here.
Platis Gialos Beach and DK Oyster Restaurant – another beach very close to the previous one with another uber cool place to eat – DY Oyster focuses mainly on seafood and you can check their menu here. Location of the beach and restaurant here.
Scorpios Mykonos and Paraga beach bay – I managed to book Scorpios for a birthday dinner for my husband, however, after some further reading and investigations, we felt like it was a bit too flashy and way to expensive for our taste. I contacted them on social media to check their menu and they did not even bother to respond. The place is super cool and food is probably up to the standard you pay, but the drinks prices really put us off (which are not listed on their site but you can stumble upon lots of reviews of people complaining about it). If you’re happy to bite the final bill, by all means, book a table.
I’ve been told in summer you need to book a long time ahead as they are almost always completely full.
Paradise Beach – we spent most of our time on the last day on this beach and I can’t recommend it enough. There are so many facilities and super comfy sunchairs with coolest umbrellas. There are small shops to buy any beach equipment you might need and even though we arrived at a very busy season, there was no issue in finding a free spot on the sunchairs. There is a decent selection of restaurants and bars and some will bring your food and drinks direct to your sunlounger. Water was super clean and the whole beach was tidy. I was even impressed with the state of the public bathrooms!
To get to Paradise beach there are regular buses going from Mykonos town, I think every hour in summer, sometimes more often. It’s a very short journey and super convenient if you don’t want to drive.
Monastery of Panagia Tourliani – this monastery is well documented in the pictures below and is located right in the middle of the village Ano Mera, in the heart of Mykonos. Stunning place to visit and nearby are a few very cute restaurants for a quick lunch. Due to our booked wine tasting, we headed straight to this monastery and after that to the winery for wine tasting.
Alemagou Beach Bar – another cool beach bar with a restaurant at the edge of a beautiful bay. As we arrived they just told us the place is closed for a wedding, which was a shame. Beautiful looking interiors and views overlooking the bay. Instead, we headed to the opposite side of the bay to Ftelia Beach Club, also mentioned in my previous post.
Armenistis Lighthouse – the star of this post. This beautiful place is only a short drive from Mykonos town and the views are to die for. I couldn’t believe there was barely a soul when we arrived. As we wanted to return the car before sunset, this was the last stop on the road trip. Driving back to Mykonos from here also offers stunning views on the old Mykonos port and cruise ships parked nearby.
PS: for dinner that night we headed out to Niko’s Taverna (see end of the post) which was recommended by our airbnb host, but left disappointed. It’s super busy and the food was just ok, and arrived cold at the table. It’s right around the corner from the sea so it was also super windy and cold.