Mykonos

Welcome to the little Cyclades island with the huge reputation.

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Mykonos can be one long beach party, if that's what you want; but it can just as easily be long, sunny days on deserted sands, followed by lazy dinners in seaside tavernas. Whichever way you see it, Mykonos is impossible not to love.

Getting active

Almost every one of Mykonos’ 25 beaches offers some kind of watersports. The island’s iconic windmills are a hint as to how breezy it can get, which is as much of a blessing for today’s windsurfers as it was for 16th-century Venetian millers. Fteliá, tucked into a deep bay on the north coast, is one of the best choices for serious surfing. If you’re still learning the ropes, try slightly calmer Kalafátis in the south.

The local waters are known for excellent diving conditions in early autumn, with good visibility to the sea bed at some sites. Several companies offer snorkelling cruises to uninhabited Rineia and Delos, two of the tiniest Cyclades Islands. They're just a short sail from Mykonos.

And broad, sandy Agios Stéfanos, close to the New Port, has everything from tennis to mini-golf and volleyball on the beach.

Excursions

If you can tear yourself away from the beach, Mykonos is a great base for exploring the Aegean.

Delos The mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis is around an hour away by boat, and its ancient Greek monuments have been given UNESCO World Heritage status. Spend a few minutes staring at the Terrace of Lions and it’s easy to see why. The tiny island packs in some Egyptian and Roman artefacts too, so there are spectacular sights at every turn.

Naxos Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades, and you can reach it by SeaBus in a little under two hours. It’s known for its authentic villages, and is also said to be where Thesseus abandoned Ariadne – so there’s no shortage of ancient myths and local heritage to fill a day here. If you want to delve into the lush countryside, the interior is criss-crossed with hiking trails and cycling routes.

Paros Like all the Cyclades, Paros is scattered with signs of its long history. But here it’s easy to take an active approach to discovering the past. Kayak round the coast to see traditional villages; trek Byzantine trails; climb hills for glimpses of medieval churches; or horse ride on the beach and admire timeless seascapes.