Mykonos is one of Greece’s most exciting and charming islands to visit. Aside from being known as a lively holiday destination with a vibrant, perhaps infamous nightlife in certain areas of the main town of Mykonos and along some of the beaches, the island is also home to rustic villages, quiet areas of coastline and a long history that dates far back to ancient times.
It’s an island with two sides: you can spend your day exploring winding country roads before spending the evenings and night time eating and drinking into the early hours of the morning.
There are plenty of day trip opportunities from the bustling Mykonos Town on the west coast across the rest of the island.
There are beaches, Greek temples, historic churches, quaint farms and idyllic hamlets to be found. Mykonos is located in the heart of the Aegean Sea and once you have explored all that the island has to offer, then there are plenty of other beautiful Greek islands to be found nearby.
It’s easy to take a quick ferry trip to Syros, Tinos, Paros and Naxos to name just a few of the many islands that are just a day trip away from Mykonos.
1. Rhenia Island
Rhenia Island is one of the closest of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea and makes for a popular day trip from Mykonos. This is a completely uninhabited island, and compared to the busy streets and beaches of Mykonos, it’s a welcome retreat of peace and solitude.
The best ways to experience this little piece of Greek paradise are to join a boat tour or to hire a yacht. Bask in the sun on the short journey across the blissful waters before enjoying the sight of this deserted island in all its glory.
Boat captains will guide you around the coast of Rhenia, stopping by secluded beaches and in little-known bays for you to snorkel and to explore the interior.
Recommended tour: Yacht Cruise to Rhenia Island & Guided Tour of Delos
Closer to Mykonos and separated from nearby Rhenia by a small strait, Delos is one of the most legendary islands in Greek history.
This beautiful island is not only the site of rugged, Grecian scenery and sandy beaches, but it’s home to one of the most important archaeological finds in the Aegean.
Delos is steeped in myth. In ancient times, this was thought to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, two powerful Greek gods.
The island has been a sacred place for millennia, and today, as well as being an important site for tourists, is also an incredibly important historical site for researchers and archaeologists who continue to excavate the many temples and religious ruins that have been unearthed here.
Take a boat from Mykonos, and enjoy both the beauty and the history of Delos on an unforgettable day trip to the island.
Recommended tour: Yacht Cruise to Rhenia Island & Guided Tour of Delos
3. Little Venice
Little Venice is one of the most charming and pleasant areas to visit in Mykonos. Found on the edge of the town of Mykonos itself, this makes for a very easy day trip. Indeed, you could even choose to stay here during your trip to the island.
Named for its similarity to the Italian city of the same name, this is a ramshackle collection of colourful buildings that line the waterfront.
Overlooking the waters of the Aegean, there are some lovely restaurants and attractive bars and cafes where you can laze the day away, simply taking in the magnificent views and waiting for the fiery display in the sky when the sun sets.
4. Mykonos Windmills
Close to Little Venice is the wonderfully scenic sight of the Mykonos Windmills.
This man-made attraction has become not only an iconic feature of the island but a hugely Instagrammable location too.
The majesty of the windmills overlooking the ocean seems to strike a chord with visitors, and you will find plenty of tourists here as the sun goes down, making the most of the colourful light over this perfect, rural scene.
Recommended tour: Mykonos Walking Tour
5. Armenistis Lighthouse
Another spectacular sight that is perhaps as sought after for its Instagram potential as it is for its own intrinsic aesthetics is the Armenistis Lighthouse.
Found on the northern tip of the island, this tall lighthouse overlooks the strait that separates Mykonos from the neighbouring island of Tinos.
The lighthouse has been in operation since 1891 and continues to light the passage even today.
The views from the end of the small peninsula where it’s located are absolutely spectacular, and you can see for miles across the sea towards the surrounding islands.
Available tour: Armenistis Lighthouse Visit
6. Agios Stefanos
Found halfway between Mykonos Town and the Armenistis Lighthouse in the north of the island, is the seaside village of Agios Stefanos.
This is a wonderful place to spend the day, although in the peak summer season it can get very busy.
Don’t let this stop you visiting, however, as the beach here is one of the most beautiful on the island and there are plenty of facilities lining the coast, from restaurants and bars to tour providers, making it an easy place to spend time.
The village itself is a winding maze of rustic houses, hotels and shops spread across the hillsides.
7. Ano Mera
Ano Mera is a small town that’s found almost exactly in the centre of the island. Away from the coast, a visit here is a trip to the rural heart of Mykonos.
It’s a different scene to the sandy beaches and resorts of the coast and is about as authentic a town as you can still find on the island.
Those looking for a party best stay away, but those looking for charming local eateries, laid-back cafes and idyllic, rural scenes should definitely call in at Ano Mera.
8. Mykonian Spiti Farm
In rural Mykonos, you have the opportunity to experience traditional island life as it has been for centuries.
At the Mykonian Spiti Farm, you can enjoy not only pastoral landscapes in the rugged hills but you also can learn about the island’s history, culture, religion and more from the farmers and locals themselves.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in the Mykonian way of life and to see more of the island than just the sun and the sand.
9. Agio Sostis
Hidden away in a secluded bay on the northern edge of the island is the spectacular beach of Agio Sostis.
Golden sands are fringed by beautiful blue waters that stretch across to rugged coastline.
Ago Sostis is a quiet place to visit, even in the height of summer, because the isolated location ensures that this is still one of the few guarded secrets left on Mykonos.
The quaint village by the beach has a few shops and restaurants, and you can expect to find a more authentic feel here than on many of the more popular resort-style beaches located closer to Mykonos Town.
Kalafati is a village on the southern shore of the island which is renowned for its excellent beach.
There are a few hotels, restaurants and bars along the coast here but it’s nowhere near as developed as Mykonos Town. This means that this is still a relatively secluded and quiet place to spend the day. Lounge on the beach or take on some water sports in the sea.
11. Kalo Livadi
Also found on the southern shore, a few kilometres closer to Mykonos Town than nearby Kalafati, is the beautiful beach of Kalo Livadi.
This is one of the more popular locations in the south of the island and in summer you will find that it can be crowded.
For those visiting Mykonos to experience the nightlife and parties though, Kalo Livadi is a great place to be.
Naxos is the large island that’s found directly to the south of Mykonos, just 45 minutes away by ferry across the Aegean Sea.
This is one of the most impressive islands in the region and it makes for an excellent day trip.
There are some wonderful villages along the coast and inland, and it almost feels as if you are stepping back in time a few decades, or even a few hundred years. Compared to the more touristy islands, Naxos has barely been developed at all.
Syros is a short ferry ride to the west of Mykonos and can be easily explored on a day trip.
The small island is not a favourite amongst tourists, and it’s difficult to understand why because it’s every bit as beautiful as anywhere else in the Aegean.
It does make it a more authentic place to explore and an opportunity to experience contemporary Greek island culture.
Tinos is the island you can see if you head to the northern tip of Mykonos and look out over the sea.
This large island is just a short ferry ride away and makes for a great place to spend the day exploring.
Tinos has some great beaches and scenery, alongside a rural population that still remains authentically Greek in character.
Paros is an island to the south west of Mykonos and is just across the water from Naxos.
This is one of the most scenic islands in the Aegean Sea, and you can spend all day exploring the multitude of beaches and idyllic villages that are found along the extensive coastline of Paros.