Last updated on April 9th, 2024 at 03:33 pm

Although Mykonos Island is famous for being the ultimate party destination in Greece, we’re happy to share with you an alternative Mykonos in 3 days itinerary. It’s tailor-made for everyone determined to discover the island’s charms away from the glitter and glow of its world-renowned party scene. Just like we did.

The island’s legendary nightlife attracts celebrities and common people from every corner of the planet who flock to Mykonos and pay tons of money for a spot at one of the island’s world-famous clubs.

However, this isn’t our cup of tea. This is why we have kept avoiding Mykonos for years. But at some point, it started to feel wrong never to have seen the most popular island in Greece with our own eyes. So, we went and realised that there are many great things to do in Mykonos in 3 days apart from partying all day.

This is a panoramic shot of Kalo Livadi beach at sunset. There are 3 large beach clubs on the sandy beach. There are also a handful of yachts in the sea.
Beach clubs at Kalo Livadi get loud in the evening

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Understanding Mykonos Party Scene

That’s not to say that we dismiss the island’s identity as one of the world’s best party destinations. Far from that. Mykonos nightlife is a phenomenon of great historical significance and one that has forged the island’s culture over the decades.

Ever since the 60s, Mykonos has attracted celebrities from all over the world who wanted to spend their summer vacation on a breathtakingly beautiful island. Because, at the end of the day, this is what Mykonos is. A beyond-words gorgeous island.

This image shows a busy street in Mykonos Chora in the evening. Many people walk along the street and there is also a huge bougainvillea above them.
Mykonos Old Town gets ready to party

Later on, in the 70s and 80s, the island was among the first tourist destinations that embraced the LGBT community. The latter saw in Mykonos a haven where they could feel free to express themselves while having an amazing time. Somewhere along the way, the wild parties started to happen. The rest is history.

However, there’s so much more to Mykonos than its nightclubs and high-end resorts. Although it does suffer from overtourism, which has brought about a terrible effect on the island’s authentic character because of overbuilding and heavy traffic, the real Mykonos is still there. As long as you know where to look for it.

This is a view of Psarou Beach in Mykonos. The hill above the beach is excessively overbuilt with luxury villas while the sea is abundant in yachts.
Mykonos is one of the most overbuilt islands in Greece

Travel Resources To Help You Plan Your Mykonos Itinerary

Where Is Mykonos

Mykonos is an island of the Cyclades, the complex that occupies the central area of the Aegean Sea in Greece. Mykonos’ perfect location at the very heart of the Cyclades and on the route to the North Aegean Islands, makes it the ideal hub for island hopping. However, its very location has earned Mykonos its nickname The Island of The Winds.

The Best Mykonos in 3 Days Itinerary

From what you must have understood so far, this 3-day Mykonos itinerary is by no means glamour-oriented. It’s also not an itinerary for those who visit Mykonos on a cruise ship. It addresses travellers who want to spend three days exploring the authentic Mykonos while making sure they won’t miss out on its must-sees either.

Therefore, this Mykonos in 3 days itinerary doesn’t make any reference to popular spots like Psarou Beach, Platis Gialos, Paraga Beach or Super Paradise Beach nor does it mention any famous bars or clubs, such as Cavo Paradiso. On the other hand, it’s a guide to help you travel responsibly to Mykonos.

For one thing, we never visited any of these places ourselves. We aim to show you the authentic Mykonos and guide you to its least-known treasures. The ones that made us feel bad for being reluctant to visit the island of Mykonos all this time.

This photo shows two super tiny and dazzlingly white chapels near Agios Sostis Beach in Mykonos.
Blinding white in the middle of nowhere

Day 1: Take in The Unique Ambience of Mykonos Town

No matter the maddening crowds, Mykonos Old Town (or Chora) is worth visiting during your Mykonos in 3 days trip, especially if it’s your first time in Mykonos. Therefore, we would highly recommend spending your very first day in Mykonos exploring the charms of the Old Town and around.

Agios Stefanos Beach

If weather permits, start your day with a refreshing dip in the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. The most pristine beach with easy access from Mykonos Town is Agios Stefanos. It is a long, sandy beach from where you can take glimpses of the Old Town in the distance. What’s more, Agios Stefanos Beach is a great place to watch ferries come and go as the busy New Port of Mykonos is right next door.

The largest part of the beach is free to lay your beach towel on. That said, if you are not keen on getting sunstroke, there are also sunbed and umbrella sets as well as a quaint café-restaurant right on the beach.

This is an image of Agios Stefanos beach. There are quite a few people sunbathing on the sandy beach while a ferry sails towards the island's port next door. In the background, we can see Mykonos Town.
Agios Stefanos Beach

Mykonos Old Town or Chora

Once you have enough of Vitamin Sea (is that even possible?), it’s time to head to the Old Port of Mykonos. From there, you will start a splendid walk around Chora. If you haven’t rented a car or a scooter, you can get to the Old Port from Agios Stefanos Beach either on foot (about 45′) or by bus.

This photo shows a bright red traditional boat in Mykonos Old Port. In the background, Chora looks lovely as the sun goes down.
Mykonos Old Port
From The Old Port To Panagia Paraportiani Church

The Old Port is usually the starting point of any walk around Mykonos Town. Stroll along the waterfront and pass by the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos and the Old Port Beach on your way to one of the most beautiful churches in Greece, Panagia Paraportiani.

This stunning whitewashed church is a complex of five smaller churches. Each of them is dedicated to a different saint. Typical of the wonderful Mykonian architecture, the church is built on the spot where a medieval castle once stood.

This is a close up of Panagia Paraportiani Church at sunset. The all white building has put on a pinkish golden hue from the sun.
Panagia Paraportiani Church
The Maze of Narrow Alleys in The Old Town

Leaving Panagia Paraportiani behind, you can now enter the wonderful maze of narrow streets in the Old Town of Mykonos. Once there, you can’t help but feel that you have stepped inside a real-life postcard of the Greek Islands.

Walking along the narrow streets which are lined with century-old white houses with blue (and the occasional red) shutters is the best way to appreciate the unique Mykonian architecture. What’s more, the Old Town’s whitewashed labyrinth is the setting of Murder in Mykonos, one of the most popular books set in Greece.

This photo shows a whitewashed street in Chora in the evening. There are two women chatting and a couple of cats hanging around outside a shop but other than that the scene is very peaceful.
A surprisingly calm evening in Chora
The Picture-Perfect Windmills

Often dubbed The Island of The Winds, it’s no wonder Mykonos is home to some of the most famous windmills in the Cycladic Islands. Located on a low hill at the south end of Chora, the iconic Windmills of Mykonos offer spectacular views of the Aegean Sea and Little Venice. The perfect time to grab a spot near the windmills is in the late afternoon to enjoy a mesmerising sunset over Little Venice.

This is a close up of two of the famous Mykonos windmills. There is red colour reflecting on their surface because it's sunset.
The windmills at sunset
Little Venice At Sunset

Little Venice is the most recognisable landmark of Mykonos. For good reason. Yes, it does attract outrageously large crowds, particularly at sunset. Yes, probably all the negative things you’ve ever heard about this place are indeed true. But one thing’s for sure. This place is like no other. In terms of beauty but, most of all, in terms of positive vibes.

People sitting on stone benches by the rough sea and enjoy the sunset. A cruise ship and a cargo are in the horizon.
Watching the sunset at Little Venice is one of the best things to do in Mykonos

Little Venice has an inescapably mellow aura that is impossible to put into words. Especially during sunset, when everyone stands in awe to watch the sun flirt with the iconic buildings which seem to be floating in the sea. We couldn’t help it. Little Venice has definitely and effortlessly made its way to the list of places that have a special place in our hearts.

This image shows the row of beautiful buildings of Little Venice at sunset. The walls are painted gold and there is a cruise ship in the background. Watching the sunset at Little Venice is among the things you add to your Mykonos in 3 days itinerary.
The sunset at Little Venice is magical
Matoyianni Street

When it gets dark, it’s time to have a stroll along the most famous street in Mykonos. A short walk from Little Venice, Matoyianni Street is Chora’s main street, lined with designer boutiques and fancy souvenir shops. They all promise a unique shopping experience under the shade of brightly coloured bougainvillaeas. To be honest, we didn’t like the way Matoyianni Street has turned out.

With a strong passion for everything authentic, we almost felt physical pain at how the facades of traditional buildings were quite literally violated by additions such as enormous shopping windows or brightly lit signage. Although Matoyianni Street may seem glamorous to many, it felt quite tasteless to us.

That said, we don’t regret having walked along one of the most famous shopping streets in Europe. One way or another, it is indeed a unique thing to do in Mykonos.

This is a photo of Matoyianni Street in the evening. There are many people walking along the street, which is lined with brightly lit shops.
Matoyianni Street

Day 2: Explore The Off-The-Beaten-Path Side of Mykonos Island

Off-the-beaten-path Mykonos may sound like a joke. You might think that an island with such a long history in tourism couldn’t possibly have any secrets to hide. Yet there are roads less travelled even in Mykonos. We loved exploring every one of them during our mini road trip across the island.

As you’re going to spend a full day exploring the more laid-back part of Mykonos, start in the early morning. Rent a car or, ideally, a scooter for the day. Keep in mind that driving a car in Mykonos means heavy traffic and limited parking space.

If driving is not an option for you, you can discover the authentic side of Mykonos by visiting magnificent beaches and Ano Mera village on this half-day tour.

This is a photo of an unspoilt hill in Mykonos overlooking the sea. There is a ferry in the sea.
Our eyes filled with beauty as we road-tripped across Mykonos
This image shows Katerina leaning on a low stone wall somewhere in the countryside of Mykonos. She is smiling. Her red vespa is parked next to her. In the background there are some old white buildings.
Happy to be driving around Mykonos

Ano Mera

Start your second day on this Mykonos 3-day itinerary in a traditional village in the heart of the island. Ano Mera is the only inland settlement in Mykonos and it features a beautiful main square. However, the village’s ultimate highlight is the 16th-century Monastery of Panagia Tourliani with its impressive architecture.

This is an image of the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani in Ano Mera. It is an all-white building with a red door.
The Monastery of Panagia Tourliani in Ano Mera

Before you leave Ano Mera, make sure you stop at Odos Araxame for a mouthwatering handmade sweet treat or three.

The outdoor seating of Odos Araxame. There are has white chairs and tables at the courtyard at the restaurant's entrance. The courtyard is shaded by a climbing vine.
Odos Araxame restaurant

Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm

A 5-minute drive from Ano Mera Village, Vioma Organic Farm is a family-run estate with a historic vineyard and a kid-friendly farm with lovely animals and organic vegetables. There, you can have a wine tasting of the Aegean Sea grape varieties growing in the vineyard and a farm-to-table experience.

Book a wine and farm tour with wine and food tasting to get a glimpse of the local wine-making traditions and a chance to meet the farm family.

Ano Mera Dam

On your way to one of the remotest beaches in Mykonos, make a stop at the unreal, almost lunar, landscape of the Ano Mera Dam.

Most Greek Islands suffer from droughts. Therefore, there are many dams, especially on the Cyclades Islands. Some of them have blended in with their natural surroundings in such a way that they have become must-sees in their own right. The Ano Mera Dam is one such case.

This image shows the impressive Ano Mera Dam and the small lake it forms in the midst of an almost barren landscape.
Ano Mera Dam

Fokos Beach

If you keep driving on the dirt road that begins near the dam, you will soon find yourselves in one of the most secluded and beautiful beaches in Mykonos. Fokos Beach boasts ridiculously crystal clear waters in an unspoilt setting as there aren’t even any sunbeds or umbrellas. It is the perfect place to enjoy nothing but the sea and the sun.

People were so scarce when we visited that we almost forgot we were still on Mykonos Island. Fokos reminded us more of the beaches in Andros.

This is a photo of Fokos Beach, one of the most pristine beaches you can explore during your 3 days in Mykonos itinerary. The waters are incredibly crystal clear and there are only a couple of people on the beach.
Fokos Beach

Agios Sostis Beach

It is hard to believe that such a long, sandy beach has not been colonised by trendy beach bars (yet). Agios Sostis Beach is one of the most spectacular beaches in Mykonos. Yet this is not the only reason why you should go there.

This is a panoramic shot of the beautiful sandy beach of Agios Sostis.
Agios Sostis Beach

Just a stone’s throw from the beach and hidden from view, you will find one of the island’s best local tavernas. Kiki’s Tavern is hands down the most authentic restaurant to enjoy local food in Mykonos.

Eating at Kiki’s Tavern is a unique experience in its own right. The restaurant has no electricity and the menu is rather limited if you’re vegan or vegetarian. Moreover, no electricity means that the tavern stays open until sunset at the latest.

People waiting outside Kiki's Tavern to be seated.
People waiting outside Kiki’s Tavern

Combine this with the fact that there are not many tables available and you can understand why there are always people queuing up at Kiki’s Tavern. The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations but works on a first-come first-served basis. After all, who needs reservations when they have Vassilis, the multilingual owner, who never forgets a face and always knows whose turn it is to be seated?

However, waiting for a table is not as bad as it sounds as Vassilis keeps filling everyone’s glasses with wine as you wait. In the meantime, you can even swim at the secret tiny bay which lies just a few steps from the restaurant. Just make sure there is one of your party in the queue at all times.

This image shows the tiny beach near Kiki's Tavern. It is a secluded hidden cove with crystal clear blue waters. Less than 10 people are on the beach and in the water.
The tiny beach near Kiki’s Tavern

Armenistis Lighthouse

A full stomach makes a happy heart. So, what better way to end a lovely day at one of the best places to enjoy the sunset? This time head to the splendid Armenistis Lighthouse on the north-western part of the island. The lighthouse was built in 1891 after a terrible ship accident claimed the lives of 11 people.

Nowadays, the lighthouse stands on a beautiful spot overlooking the island of Tinos and the Aegean Sea and offers the opportunity to witness one of the most amazing sunsets on the Cyclades Islands.

This is an image of Armenistis Lighthouse standing gloriously on a hill overlooking the sea.
Visiting Armenistis Lighthouse is one of the top things to do in Mykonos

Day 3: Visit Delos Island & Spend More Beach Time

No trip to Mykonos is complete without a day trip to the nearby island of Delos. This small island is home to one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Except for a handful of people who work at the archaeological site itself, the island is no longer inhabited.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Delos Island is one of the most historical sites in Greece. According to Greek mythology, it was there that the Ancient Greek Gods Apollo and Artemis were born. Nowadays, the once most sacred place in Ancient Greece is a treasure trove of ancient ruins reflecting the glorious past of Delos.

You can either visit Delos on a guided tour to learn all the secrets of Delos Island in the most hassle-free way by booking this day trip or you can buy skip-the-line boat tickets and explore Delos Island at your own pace.

For the remainder of your last day in Mykonos, choose one of the island’s best beaches, such as Lia or Ftelia for water sports and just be happy doing nothing but enjoying the sound of the waves and the gentle touch of the island breeze.

This image shows Lia Beach, one of the best beaches in Mykonos. There are wooden sunbeds and cane umbrellas on the golden sand. The sea is calm and the water has a fantastic blue colour.
Lia Beach

Mykonos Travel Guide

Best Time To Visit Mykonos Island

If you’re wondering when to visit Mykonos, you should avoid the peak season of July and August and the crowds it brings. By far the best time to visit Mykonos is June or September.

However, if you can brace for low sea temperatures, then you should also consider April and May. Besides the Greek Easter holidays, Mykonos is beautiful and quite calm in spring. Similarly, October is also a great time to visit but daylight time is far less than in spring.

This photo shows the quaint Old Port in Mykonos Town which has wonderful views to the Old Town.
The Old Port of Mykonos on a fine June afternoon

How To Get To Mykonos

By Plane

Mykonos International Airport connects the island to, literally, the entire world. Many airlines, including the most popular low-cost ones, operate direct flights to and from Mykonos in the summer months. Aegean Airlines and Sky Express fly to Mykonos all year long. There are also many charter flights to Mykonos during high and peak seasons.

The airport lies just three kilometres from Chora (the island’s main town) which means that you can get there in ten minutes by car. There is also a public bus service that connects the airport to Chora. During the high season, the airport bus can take you to other locations on the island as well. For remote places on the island, it’s better to book an airport or port private transfer.

Book a direct flight to Mykonos here.

By Ferry

Ferries to Mykonos depart from two different ports in Athens: Piraeus and Rafina. Piraeus Port is the best option if you plan to spend a few days in Athens alongside Mykonos, as it’s near downtown Athens. On the other hand, located close to the Athens International Airport, Rafina Port is ideal if you want to skip the hustle and bustle of the Greek capital.

This photo was shot on board Fast Ferries Andros during sunrise.
Sunrise on the ferry from Rafina Port

Journey times differ, depending on which of the two ports you choose. From Piraeus, it takes more than five hours by regular ferry and about two and a half hours by high-speed vessels to get to Mykonos. From Rafina to Mykonos, it’s a four-hour journey on the regular ferry and about two and a half hours by high-speed vessel.

If you’re planning an island-hopping trip, consider adding Andros or Tinos to your itinerary, as the ferry departing from Rafina Port stops at the ports of Andros and Tinos before reaching Mykonos. That’s the best way to experience different kinds of islands on the same trip. Check out our Greece Travel Guide to help you plan a multiday trip.

How To Get Around Mykonos

A great option to explore the island at your own pace is renting a car or a scooter. That said, driving in Mykonos is not as relaxing and carefree as driving on other islands. Traffic can get really crazy and parking space is scarce in Chora and around.

However, if driving is not an option for you, public transportation is the best way to get around Mykonos Island. The local bus can take you from Chora and many other small villages to and from the airport or port as well as to many of the island’s beaches.

This image shows our red vespa posing in front of Ano Mera Dam.
Seeing Mykonos on a Vespa

Where To Stay in Mykonos

Since this article is not about the party scene of Mykonos, our recommendation about where to stay in Mykonos is to find a place away from the Old Town. We stayed at Kalo Livadi Beach near Ano Mera Village. Mykonos is a small island. Therefore, exploring the island using Kalo Livadi as our base was easy.

Aside from luxury hotels, there are also villas ideal for big groups or families. Have a look at the best vacation rentals in Kalo Livadi.

This photo shows Maria and Katerina sipping cocktails in the villa swimming pool. The pool has wonderful sea views.
Living the dream in Mykonos

We always thought that Mykonos wasn’t for us. It’s true. Several other islands have a special place in our hearts that Mykonos could never occupy. Yet, we’re glad we visited Mykonos after all because this trip helped us dismantle the myth that the island is nothing but a nightlife Mecca for party animals.

Especially if you visit outside the peak season, Mykonos can be an amazing destination for beach lovers, road trip enthusiasts and hiking aficionados. We hope you enjoyed our Mykonos in 3 days itinerary as much as we did.

If you’re planning a Greek Island hopping, you may find these articles helpful:
Why Visit Santorini, Top 20 Things To Do & Guide
What To Do in Paros, The Greek Island That Has It All
What To Do in Naxos Greece: 35 Amazing Attractions

IMAGES: Katerina

Disclosure: Fast Ferries kindly offered us complimentary tickets to and from Mykonos. However, as always, we express nothing but our very own and honest opinion about the experience we had.

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