Things to do in one day in Mykonos – cruise itinerary
Are you looking for a one-day Mykonos itinerary for your next Mediterranean cruise? Then I got you covered! Mykonos was my favorite stop on my 7-day cruise through the Eastern Mediterranean sea – and I will make sure you will love it just as much.
There is so much to see and do on this small island that it can be so hard to choose from. Mykonos is relatively small, with only 10.000 inhabitants living on the island.
But with only one day to explore this amazing island, how do you make the most of your precious time?
I have been to Mykonos on a cruise and have absolutely loved my day there. To make sure you have an amazing experience as well, I have created this ultimate guide to help you have an unforgettable day in Mykonos.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- The Mykonos Cruise Port
- What is Mykonos known for?
- Things to do in Mykonos in one day
- 1. The Best Tours and Day Trips in Mykonos
- 2. Exploring Chora
- 3. Have a traditional Greek lunch
- 4. See the Windmills of Mykonos
- 5. Explore Little Venice
- 6. Learn about history and culture by visiting archaeological sites
- 7. Relax on the best beaches of Mykonos
- How to get around Mykonos
- What do I need to pack for Mykonos?
- Conclusion: Best things to do in a day in Mykonos – for cruisers
- FAQ: One day in Mykonos
The Mykonos Cruise Port
First, let’s start by locating the cruise port. The busiest port in Mykonos is in Tourlos, which welcomes large cruise ships from April through October. It is located near Agios Stefanos Beach.
From there, you can either take a public bus to Chora, the island’s main town, or hire a taxi for a relatively short ride there. It is about 1.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) of driving time. It costs about EUR 10,00 to get to town.
Alternatively, you can also walk, but it takes about 30 minutes and there are no sidewalks.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous, rent a scooter or ATV and get ready to explore the island a little deeper.
What is Mykonos known for?
Mykonos is one of the most popular cruise ports in the Mediterranean, with thousands of visitors flocking to its stunning beaches and clear blue waters each year.
Located on the 105.2 m2 big (or small) island, this picturesque port has been a gateway for generations of cruisers looking to experience the rich history, culture, art and natural beauty that lies within its borders.
Sadly, over the years Mykonos has also gotten a reputation of a bit of a party island. Luckily, there is so much more to Mykonos than what meets the eye.
From exploring the charming cobblestone streets of Chora to taking a leisurely sail around neighboring isles, Mykonos has something for everyone.
There are several attractions that make this Mediterranean island a popular vacation destination, including the iconic windmills, Little Venice and the Archaeological Museum of Delos.
Little Venice has become Instagram famous recently, because of its picturesque little waterfront buildings and all the cute cafes on the shoreline.
Water sports enthusiasts can also take advantage of numerous activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and windsurfing.
With an array of delicious restaurants and shopping opportunities available, Mykonos is also an ideal spot for travel girlies like me looking for an unforgettable experience.
Mykonos’ Ties to Greek Mythology
Mykonos is steeped in Greek mythology, with a number of stories tied to the picturesque island.
Legend has it that the god Apollo and the famous goddess Artemis defeated the Giants near what is now the port of Mykonos.
This event is commemorated by a group of eight impressive windmills that were built around 1650.
Additionally, the nearby island of Delos was believed to be the birthplace of Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. This site also holds some of Greece’s most important archaeological sites, making it an excellent destination for cultural exploration.
Some legends also say, that the island of Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of some giants that were killed by Hercules. But to be fair, I hope that is not true (:.
Mykonos’ ties to Greek mythology make it an intriguing destination for history and mythology buffs alike.
Things to do in Mykonos in one day
If you arrive in Mykonos on a cruise ship, you have quite a few options on how to spend your day there. You can either book a guided day trip or half-day trip – or make your itinerary and explore the island by yourself.
1. The Best Tours and Day Trips in Mykonos
If you choose to book a guided day trip or a tour in Mykonos, you need to make sure it has a good cancellation policy. Cruise ships do not always dock punctual, and sometimes ports of call even get cancelled due to bad weather on the way.
I usually book all my trips with Viator. They are usually amazing and affordable – and you can cancel them without paying a penalty. Perfect for cruisers. Plus – they usually offer cruise ship pickup so you don’t need to organize a thing.
Here is my selections of the best tours in Mykonos:
- Private Tour: Mykonos Island in Half a Day 🤩 5/5 Stars (82 Reviews)
- Semi-Private Brand-New Catamaran Cruise in Mykonos 🤩 4,5/5 Stars (131 Reviews)
- Mykonos Shore Excursion with Terminal Pickup 🤩 5/5 Stars (11 Reviews)
- Mykonos: Combo Yacht Cruise to Rhenia and Guided Tour of Delos 🤩 4,5/5 Stars (322 Reviews)
- Authentic Jeep Adventure Tour 🤩 4,5/5 Stars (37 Reviews)
2. Exploring Chora
An amazing thing to do in Mykonos is exploring the charming narrow alleys of Chora, also known as Mykonos Town.
Chora is the picturesque capital of the island, it is located on its northwest coast. It’s known for its whitewashed homes and narrow cobblestone streets that lead up to churches with bell towers.
Chora is home to about 600 – 800 little historic churches, you can spot them by the little cross on the rooftops.
Another prominent feature of Chora are the bright pink bougainvillea plants that make the small alleys even more picturesque.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Chora, including shopping at the boutique stores along Matoyianni Street or visiting some of the famous galleries and museums. I loved the secondhand designer stores in Mykonos, they had amazing products at a great price point.
Chora has several museums worth visiting, such as the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos and the Aegean Maritime Museum. The best galleries to visit are the Lifeline Art Studio and Municipal Art Gallery
If you are interested in a big dose of culture, you might want to visit Virgin Tourliani/ Panagia Tourliani. It is a famous monastery that has a fabulous marble fountain and lots of interesting artifacts.
3. Have a traditional Greek lunch
There are so many great restaurants in Mykonos that serve delicious lunches and traditional cuisine. After a fun day exploring, what could be more refreshing than a big bowl of traditional tsatsiki.
Here are some of my favorite restaurants:
- Kiki’s Tavern: Located on the beach of Agios Sostis, Kiki’s Tavern is a famous seafood restaurant that serves fresh fish and grilled meats. It has a relaxed and casual atmosphere and is known for its stunning views. Fun fact: they do not offer Wifi or electricity so people can actually enjoy the view without being disturbed by phones.
- Captain’s: Super cute and authentic restaurant. They offer the so-called mezze-eating: little tapas and finger-food are served and shared with the entire table.
- Spilia Seaside Restaurant: This restaurant is located on a small platform of rocks in Agia Anna, and it serves Mediterranean cuisine. You can try fresh seafood, pasta, and salads. The setting is unique and romantic, making it a popular spot for couples. It is also one of the most iconic Mykonos hotspots, so it can get quite full. Keep in mind that they only open at 2:00 pm so it might be a late lunch.
- Avli Thou Thodori: a small restaurant located on Platis Gialos Beach offering a breathtaking view and a big variety of local dishes. They are especially famous for their seafood dishes.
- Nikolas Taverna: Nikolas Taverna is a family-run restaurant that serves delicious homemade Greek food. The menu includes dishes such as moussaka, stuffed tomatoes, and grilled lamb.
- Kastro’s Cafe in Myokonos is probably the most famous hot spot of the island. It is mainly known for being located in a small alley right by the water.
- Kyklamino: A family-run business specialized in sweet delights. Make sure to stop by for a yummy desert!
These are just a few of the many great lunch restaurants in Mykonos. My favorite place to have lunch is in Little Venice, it is simply so cute and picturesque.
But there are plenty of other options to choose from, depending on your taste and budget. One thing you can’t miss is trying a traditional Greek gyro with hot melty pita and a mix of juicy lamb and chicken with fresh tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.
4. See the Windmills of Mykonos
The Kato Mili windmills are one of the most iconic landmarks of Mykonos and something that need to be on your one day in Mykonos itinerary. Not only are they super picturesque but you also have an amazing view from the windmills.
The windmills are conveniently located on a hill super close to Chora (Mykonos Town). From the windmills you have an amazing view over the picturesque neighborhood of Little Venice and the Aegean Sea.
The iconic windmills were built by the Venetians in the 16th century. Back in the day, they were used to grind wheat and barley into flour, which the island people depended on.
Today, they are no longer operational. However, they remain an important part of the island’s history and culture. And of course they are among the most visited landmarks in Mykonos.
To see the Kato Mili windmills, you can take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Chora. The windmills are located at the top of a small hill, so you will need to climb a few stairs to reach them. I found the stairs not too intense, but you do need to wear good shoes.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi or rent a scooter or ATV to reach the windmills. Keep in mind that there are only 30 taxis in Mykonos, so you might wait a while.
Once you reach the windmills, you can take in the breathtaking views of the town and the sea. There are also several small shops and cafes nearby where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. This is also a great sunset spot, in case your ship takes off later in the evening.
5. Explore Little Venice
Little Venice is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Mykonos and it is my favorite spot on the island. You can find Litte Venice in the western part of Mykonos Town.
Here are some of my favorite things to do in Little Venice:
- Little Venice is known for its charming houses and restaurant terraces that overlook the sea. Enjoy the stunning views while you relax in one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area. Sipping a cocktail or a coffee and overlooking the ocean with my loved one is my number one favorite activity on any trip.
- The streets of Little Venice are narrow and winding, with charming boutiques, art galleries, and souvenir shops – and of course lots of pink bougainvillea flowers. Take a leisurely stroll and discover the hidden corners of this picturesque neighborhood. Here you can find many Instagram photo spots as well.
- Visit the Panagia Paraportiani Church: This famous church is located in Little Venice and is one of the most photographed landmarks in Mykonos. It is a unique example of Cycladic architecture, with a whitewashed exterior and four chapels. Translated it is called “Our Lady of the Side Gate”.
- You can take a boat tour from Little Venice to explore the island’s beaches and coastline. If you have the time, you can take a sunset cruise to enjoy the breathtaking views of the sunset over the Aegean Sea.
- Little Venice is home to many bars and clubs that offer live music and fabulous cocktails. It’s a great place to experience the vibrant nightlife of Mykonos. This of course is only a consideration if your cruise ship stays overnight in Mykonos.
Overall, Little Venice is a charming and picturesque neighborhood that offers a unique mix of history, culture, and entertainment. It’s a must-visit destination on your one-day in Mykonos itinerary and I hope you will love the area as much as I did.
6. Learn about history and culture by visiting archaeological sites
Mykonos is not particularly known for its archaeological sites, as it has mainly been a maritime and commercial center throughout its history. There are still a couple of interesting archaeological sites that you can visit on the island.
Here are my favorite sites to visit in Mykonos:
- Delos is a small uninhabited island located just a few kilometers southwest of Mykonos. The site includes temples, sanctuaries, markets, and residential areas, all of which provide an insight into the island’s history and culture. It is only a short boat ride away.
- Kastro Panigiraki is an old castle and fort with high stone walls. It is located right outside of Mykonos Town. It is mainly famous housing the Anemos Windmill.
- Ftelia Archaeological Site is located on the northern coast of Mykonos that was once a significant settlement in the Neolithic period. The Site is located on a beach and shows ruins of houses, and other structures that offer a glimpse into the island’s early history.
I suggest including at least one of these sites in your one day in Mykonos itinerary – since it is a great chance to learn about history and culture of the small island.
7. Relax on the best beaches of Mykonos
Mykonos is famous for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters.
Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot or a more lively atmosphere, Mykonos has it all!
Here are my favorite beaches to visit during your one day in Mykonos:
Paradise Beach is of the most popular beaches in Mykonos,. With soft golden sand and clear blue water, there’s plenty to do here. Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, jet skiing, windsurfing and more! It also offers lots of beach bars and restaurants.
Elia Beach is located on the south side of the island and is perfect for relaxing in the sun. It is a lot quieter than the other beaches of Mykonos. There are still plenty of activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving to explore on Elia Beach, so you will surely not get bored.
Agios Sostis Beach
Agios Sostis Beach is another quiet and peaceful spot located in northern Mykonos. This glorious beach is backed by mountains and offers some stunningly turquoise waters.
Super Paradise Beach
Super Paradise Beach is home to some of the best parties on Mykonos. It is quite fun in the day, but I feel like it is a bit crowded in the evenings.
Agios Ioannis Beach
Agios Ioannis Beach is a beautiful, quiet beach located on the southwestern coast of Mykonos. It offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea and the island of Delos, and is a great spot for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling.
Psarou Beach is a beautiful sandy beach that is popular among celebrities and VIPs, so you have probably seen it on Instagram. It features crystal-clear waters, water sports, and upscale restaurants and beach clubs.
How to get around Mykonos
There are several ways to get around Mykonos, depending on your preferences and budget. Of course you also need to keep in mind that your cruise ship will dock outside the bigger cities.
Here are some of the best options on how to get around Mykonos:
- Walking: Mykonos Town is a pedestrian-friendly area, with narrow streets and alleys that are best explored on foot. Walking is a great way to discover the hidden corners of the town and to enjoy the charming architecture and atmosphere. However, I would not recommend to walk from the cruise ship to town since there are no sidewalks.
- Public Transportation: There are buses that run regularly between Mykonos Town and other parts of the island. The buses are reliable and affordable, and the routes cover most of the popular destinations on the island. Since your cruise ship will most likely only be in town for a few hours, I would not recommend this option either. Flexibility is key when you want to see a lot of the island in little time.
- Taxis: Taxis are available throughout Mykonos, and can be found at taxi stands in Mykonos Town and other popular locations. There are also taxis available at the cruise port. Taxis are a convenient and comfortable way to get around the island, but they can be more expensive than other options. Also, there are only 30 taxis on the entire island, so it might take a while to find one.
- Scooter/ATV rental: Renting a scooter or ATV is my favorite thing to do when exploring an island, There are many rental shops in Mykonos Town and they even offer rentals right at the cruise port usually. It is cheap and flexible and a fun adventure.
- Car Rental: Renting a car is another great option if you want to be more flexible but a bit safer than on a scooter. There are many car rental companies in Mykonos, and rental prices are reasonable. However, driving in Mykonos can be challenging due to the narrow and winding roads, so it’s important to be cautious and alert while driving. If you choose to rent a car, I suggest you get a very small one, because parking can be a hassle.
Overall, there are many options for getting around Mykonos, and the choice depends on your preferences, budget, and itinerary. My favorite option is definitely renting an ATV, and I can wholeheartedly recommend that for Mykonos.
What do I need to pack for Mykonos?
When packing for Mykonos, it’s important to keep in mind the island’s climate and the activities you plan to do. Here are some of my favorite essentials to pack for a day in Mykonos:
- Lightweight clothing: depending on when you are visiting, it can get quite hot in Mykonos. Pack lightweight and breathable clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and skirts to stay cool and comfortable in the summer heat. If you go in April or October, you may wanna bring a cover up since it can be a bit chilly in the wind.
- Swimwear: Mykonos is famous for its beaches, so be sure to pack your swimwear. You may also want to bring a beach dress for when you’re heading towards a beach bar or a restaurant
- Sun protection: The sun can be intense in Mykonos, so be sure to pack sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. It can be super windy in Mykonos, so you will not feel the sun as harshly as it actually is. If you bring a hat, make sure he doesn’t fly away.
- Comfortable shoes: Mykonos is a pedestrian-friendly island, and you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking on uneven surfaces and cobblestone pathways. Pack comfortable shoes such as sandals, sneakers, or flip-flops that you can walk in for long periods of time. I wore sandals on my shore excursions and I had no trouble.
- Photography gear: make sure to bring your camera, GoPro (for snorkeling) and drone for some amazing pictures.
- Travel Guide: for more information about the sights you may visit I suggest bringing a travel guide.
Conclusion: Best things to do in a day in Mykonos – for cruisers
Mykonos is a magical and vibrant island in Greece that will captivate your heart with its stunning beaches, historic landmarks, and delicious food.
Even with just one day, you can enjoy an unforgettable experience by exploring its hidden gems and watching the sunset paint the white buildings in a warm shade of orange.
One day may not be enough to see the entire island, but this guide will surely help you make the most out of your one day in Mykonos on a cruise! See the famous windmills, the charming town of Little Venice and the impressive churches of Mykonos in just one day.
Headed to Santorini next with your cruise? Check out my one day in Santorini Itinerary.
FAQ: One day in Mykonos
One day in Mykonos is definitely enough to get a taste of the island. Start by exploring the beautiful town of Mykonos with its iconic Greek architecture and breathtaking views. Take a stroll through Little Venice and catch glimpses of the famous windmills and explore the 15th-century Greek orthodox Paraportiani church. If you wish to explore the island more, I suggest staying for at least 5 days.
It greatly depends on what your plans are. If you wish to do some sight seeing and eat a light lunch, you can expect to be spending no more than 50 USD. If you wish for more luxury it can be anywhere from USD 100 and upwards.
Yes, Mykonos Town is walkable. The town is not very big and everything is close by. You can reach the famous windmills in only a couple of steps. From the cruise port to Mykonos town, you might want to catch a cab.
I prefer Santorini over Mykonos. The island is a bit bigger and has more to offer. While Mykonos has some amazing spots, it is mainly attracting party goers and jet setters. Santorini does have a lot more cultural and historical sites to offer.
The best months to go on a cruise to Mykonos are May, June, and September. I have been in April and it was a little bit too chilly to swim. In July and August, it can be too hot and too touristy, so I would not recommend going then.