“Seby, it's 1am – time to go to the church!”
My Frenchman looked at me funny wondering if my drink had been spiked…
I was serious! In Mykonos, the church is where all the gay boys head to in the evening. Specifically, to the rocks surrounding the Church of Panagia Paraportiani in “Chora” (the main town of Mykonos). ‘Cause right here, on those sacred rocks, you'll find plenty of gay lads, on their knees, deep in worship…!
Mykonos has long been not only one of the top gay destinations in Europe but in the world! This is especially true in August during the XLSIOR Festival when around 30,000 hot gay guys from all over descend on this Greek island to party. XLSIOR is considered by many as a staple in the gay European calendar together with Madrid Pride, Circuit Barcelona and Tel Aviv Pride.
XLSIOR is, of course, just one small side to the gay scene of Mykonos. Whilst it has a worldwide reputation for being a gay party island, we also found a tranquil and really pretty side to it, which is what makes it so appealing to all gay men regardless of interest, budget or age. The beaches here are stunning, with a mix of busy party beaches, nudie beaches and remote, laid-back beaches. In terms of accommodation, there is something for all budgets, from the many lavish luxury hotels, to affordable local guesthouses. Finally, “Chora“, the main town, is where the bulk of the gay scene is, especially Jackie O', Babylon, and the infamous cruising area around the Church of Panagia Paraportiani where I tried to get Seby to visit with me (strictly for research purposes of course!).
We've been to Mykonos for holiday several times, both for partying and for a relaxing beach getaway. We always have a blast every time we come! We've put together this detailed gay guide to Mykonos based on all our many trips here, featuring the best gay beaches, bars, clubs, events and more.
Discover Mykonos on a gay tour
If you want to quickly make new friends, we highly recommend doing one of the Gaily tours. You can choose to discover the best of Mykonos by night with one of their charming and charismatic guides or go on a walking tour and wander through the cute narrow cobblestone streets of Chora town. You'll also meet the most famous (and most photographed!) resident of Mykonos – Petros the Pelican!
The gay area of Mykonos
The bulk of the gay area of Mykonos is in the main town – Chora. Note that despite the island's world-famous gay reputation, there are only a small handful of gay hangouts in Mykonos. Jackie O' and Babylon are the two main ones, along with a few others listed below. What we love about the gay scene of Mykonos is that despite its size, the crowds spill out into the small streets outside creating a big fun nightlife party vibe, similar to the gay scene of Sitges.
And of course, a large chunk of this party crowd usually ends up roaming the nearby cruising area around the Church of Panagia Paraportiani later in the night!
During the day, most of the guys you saw partying the night before will be sleeping off a hangover and or partying/cruising/tanning/showing-off etc on one of the beaches in the south of the island, particularly on either Elia and Super Paradise. Our personal favourite is Elia beach because on the left-hand side it has a party atmosphere, complete with beach bar and lots of speedo-clad guys, whilst on the other end, it's more private, where all the nudists head.
Fancy a nude gay sailing trip?
Nudists listen up! One of the best ways to experience Mykonos AND make a whole bunch of new likeminded friends at the same time is on an all-male gay nude sailing trip with GaySail. The trip starts in Mykonos and cruises to Athens with stopovers at the following islands: Paros, Kitnos, Santorini and Aegina. They guarantee that all their crew are 100% fabulous!
Gay Sail is offering our readers an exclusive 5% discount valid for any cruise booked on their website. Just use the coupon code NOMADICGS5 at checkout.
Gay hotels Mykonos
We always stay in a hotel in Mykonos town (Chora) so that we're close to the gay nightlife. It's also a handy base because it's close to the port, the airport and is also where the public transport starts/finishes.
There are many excellent gay hotel options in Mykonos to choose from. Over the years, we've stayed in a mix of places, from upmarket boutique romantic hotels as well as local guesthouses from back in the days when we were a young gay couple travelling on a budget. We've summarised some of our favourites below, but remember, when it comes to hotels, Mykonos is NOT! It's by far the most expensive place we've been to in Greece.
Why we love it
- Fabulous gay hotel with amazing views
- Holds a nightly gay drag/cabaret show
- Lovely swimming pool and hot tub
- Bar, restaurant and gym on-site
Elysium is THE gay resort in Mykonos.
Most guys will be booking their room here. Put it this way, Elysium ticks all the gay boxes: It's well located right in the heart of the main town, walking distance to the gay bars.
It also has really pretty airy rooms, an onsite gym, rooftop bar for sunset cocktails and large pool party area (complete with hot tub!).
Elysium is also home to the hilarious Sunset Cabaret drag show, which takes place every evening.
The gay resort is perched on a hill overlooking Mykonos town, hence the famous panoramic sunset view everyone talks about: this is the west side of the island, so you're pretty much guaranteed a magnificent sundown every evening from the rooftop. If ever Seby and I argued during our holiday (it happens a lot, the guy's a total drama queen…!), bringing him here for a romantic sunset cocktail always did the trick to kiss and make up!
The bedrooms at the Elysium are simply sumptuous! They are spacious, usually with a private balcony. For us, there's nothing better than having your own personal balcony area to munch away your breakfast in peace when nursing off a Mykonos hangover!
As this is the main “Str8 friendly hotel” in Mykonos, rooms quickly get snapped up during the busy June to September period so we highly recommend booking well in advance to avoid disappointment.
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.
Why we love it
- Luxury five-star hotel with stunning views
- Most suites have private pools or hot tubs
- Gorgeous infinity pool and aquarium bar
- Delicious restaurant and pampering spa
It's got a weird name but Cavo Tagoo is one of the most luxurious and gay friendly romantic places to stay on Mykonos – we absolutely love it!
You definitely feel like a celebrity staying here – five-star luxury with fantastic service! The gay friendly hotel is built into a cliff side so you can enjoy stunning views over the Mediterranean. Many of the rooms, suites and villas even have private pools or hot tubs!
The ultimate Mykonos Instagram bucket list item to look out for here: the out-of-this-world cave pool!
I went overboard snapping away at Cavo Tagoo's infinity pool that at one stage Seby threw my phone into the water from his floating sun lounger, reminding me of the many problems that social media addiction can cause… A few cocktails from the aquarium bar was, however, enough to calm my hot-headed Frenchman…
In terms of location, Cavo Tagoo is a short walk to the main part of Mykonos town, but they offer guests a free shuttle bus along with a free pickup and drop-off to the airport. If you need pampering, the Golden Spa offers plenty of treatments including chromotherapy! Never heard of it? Neither had we: it's light therapy, which (amongst many other benefits) helps the body adjust to jet lag. Other perks of Cavo Tagoo include a large, modern fitness centre and an uh-maaaazing buffet breakfast with so much choice!
The best way to say “I Love You!”
It's almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream…Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully…We do not remember days, we remember moments…As long as the sun does not set in your mind, darkness will be nothing but a weak shadow in your life…
…whichever cheesy caption you go with, this is the best sunset cruise in Mykonos that we recommend to get your perfect Instagram shot!
Why we love it
- Lovely family-run hotel
- Excellent location in centre of town
- Beautiful swimming pool and pool bar
- Restaurant, spa and wellness centre on-site
Another gay gem, which isn't quite as pricey as Elysium or Cavo Tagoo.
The Rochari Hotel is owned by the Kousathanas family who have been running it as a gay haven since opening in 1976. As such, it felt more like we were staying with our Greek family rather than in a hotel, which we loved!
The rooms here aren't as lush as the Elysium and Cavo Tagoo, but the setting is just as impressive.
Most rooms offer a panoramic sea view, ours was Room 106 which had an exquisite view!.
If you want to splurge, we recommend booking one of the suites which have their own Jacuzzi in the private balcony. It's perfect for a honeymooning couple, or a group of up to 5 friends sharing to spread the cost, which is what we once did.
The Rochari hotel pool area is rife with hot muscle-mary speedo-clad bodies during the peak months: if you want a break from Elia beach, we recommend hanging out here during the day for a slice of all that gay beach party action! They also have a gym and a Hammam, which gets quite cruisy in the evening.
In terms of location, it's walking distance to the gay bars and the main port. There are lots of restaurants nearby, including the on-site (reasonably priced!) restaurant which we recommend trying for traditional Greek fare.
Why we love it
- Stylish “design hostel”
- Right next to the heart of Mykonos town
- Rooftop infinity pool and bar
- Excellent budget choice with little extras included
For LGBTQ budget travellers, we recommend checking out MyCocoon. It's one of the most impressive hostels we've ever stayed at.
Not only is MyCocoon the only hostel on Mykonos, it's a “design hostel”. We found it to be super hip, stylish, yet soothing, minimal and cosy.
And the bonus? Despite being a hostel, it also has a rooftop infinity pool with poolside bar – the ideal spot to meet other gay travellers.
We found everything to be impeccably clean at MyCocoon (which isn't always the case at other hostels we've stayed at!). There is plenty of storage space in the rooms along with charging sockets beside each bed. We love the little details, like how each guest gets a towel, plus a little kit which includes an eye-mask and ear-plugs, free of charge.
In terms of location, it's very central, towards the northern end of Mykonos' main town. It's around 10 minutes walking distance to the main gay bars and a few blocks away from the port. There is a small convenience store directly below – a blessing when you need to buy drinking water to help a precious Seby nurse his hangover…
Best gay beaches on Mykonos
The gay beaches of Mykonos are located on the southern tip of the island, which you can reach from Chora, either by public bus/boat (around 1 hour) or rent a car/moped (30 mins drive).
The main beaches that the gay crowds head to are Super Paradise, then east to Elia (one of the most famous gay beaches in the world). Further east from Elia is Agrari, which pulls in the gay boys but starts to become more remote. Continue on from Agrari you reach Kalafatis which was the most remote of all the gay beaches we visited. We've put the beaches in this order, finishing with a new hidden gem we discovered in the northern side of the island called Panormos beach.
Super Paradise Beach
Super Paradise used to be the sole exclusive gay beach of Mykonos, but today draws quite a mixed crowd. The far end is the gayest part, especially after 4pm around the Jackie O’ Beach Club and the Super Paradise Club. During the summer months, the beach clubs usually host some of the best gay parties – the hot muscly chiselled beach boys will no doubt be handing out flyers for these during the day.
We'll be honest, this used to be the best gay beach for us in Mykonos when we first started coming here many (many!) years ago but more recently it has become overrun with straight crowds and families. Now we usually skip Super Paradise and head straight over to Elia beach.
Elia is not only the most popular and largest gay beach on Mykonos island, it's one of our favourite gay beaches in Europe. We love it here! There is always a convivial vibe, full of hot guys of all shapes and sizes. On the one side is a beach bar with restaurant, where all the action congregates (this is where you're gonna get all your drinks from). Towards the other end, things are more chilled, more nudey and more cruisey!
The only downside is that its popularity has caught on, so each year we see more and more straight crowds and families spilling over here from the other beaches, particularly in July/August. Put it this way, the further to the end of the beach you go, the gayer it becomes!
Agrari beach is the next beach along from Elia. A rocky outcrop separates the two (where a lot of hanky panky goes on!). As Elia beach becomes more popular, more and more gay guys head to Agrari. As it's more low key and remote, it's also a nudist haven. The sand on Agrari beach is a bit more coarse than on Elia, but as Elia grows more popular each year, we think this is the next big gay beach in Mykonos to head to.
We suggest basing yourself at the far end of Elia beach which borders Agrari beach and head here if it gets too crowded. In terms of facilities, it starts to get remote here, but there is a restaurant at the Agrari Hotel to get food and drinks from.
Kalafatis is one of the more remote beaches we love coming to when we want to completely avoid the party crowds on Elia and Super Paradise. Kalafatis is located further east from Elia and Agrari beaches and has a long sandy stretch. The public bus does come here, but only a few times a day, which means it draws far fewer crowds – part of its charm we think! However, if you want to come here, we strongly advise renting your own car/moped and avoiding the public bus.
Also note, the wind can get quite strong over here, which is ideal for windsurfers. Luckily the beach is protected from the wind by a line of pine trees, so you can sunbathe without fearing loads of sand blowing all over you. And of course, with all those pine trees creating lots of privacy, nudism and other wonderful outdoor activities discretely take place along Kalafatis beach!
Panormos is the only gay beach of Mykonos not in the south of the island. It is located 7km north from the main town. The public bus recently started coming here, which led to increased interest in Panormos beach. We found that the straight crowds and families tend to stick to the entrance side of Panormos where all the umbrellas and sun-beds are. If you continue heading to the far end of this beach it gets completely remote with lots of nudism.
We recommend coming here as an alternative to the other beaches, particularly when there is a strong southerly wind creating waves in the south.
Gay beach clubs
The best gay beach club in Mykonos is, of course: The Nomadic Boys Beach Club!
That's right, we love to grab a few drinks from the main town, pack Seby's wireless speaker, obligatory speedos, a few rainbow flags and head over to Elia with some friends, and voila, our very own gay beach club!
But if you miss out on The Nomadic Boys Beach Club(!) the main one to check out is Jackie O's. If you're heading to Mykonos during XLSIOR in August, pick any beach club along Super Paradise or Elia and they will very likely be hosting a gay event.
Jackie O' Beach club
The Jackie O' beach club is the reason why Super Paradise Beach remains a gay beach hub in Mykonos. It's a large 150-seat restaurant with an open bar, sizeable pool and Jacuzzi – just imagine the many gay pool parties that take place here every summer…! Pool parties aside, the Jackie O' beach club is probably one of the happening gay hangouts in Mykonos during the day when everyone comes to the beach to sleep off their hangover and tan.
Gay beach clubs during XLSIOR
There isn't an official XLSIOR beach club, but we've included it here because if you're heading to Mykonos during this big gay festival in August, then you can pretty much guarantee that every beach club surrounding Elia and Super Paradise will be catering to the large gay crowd with their own LGBTQ targetted events. Otherwise, check the XLSIOR website for details of their parties, which take place at different beach clubs around the island like Cavo Paradiso, Ftelia, Zenit and the Pinky Beach Club.
Gay bars in Mykonos
The gay scene of Mykonos is small. Remember this is a small island of no more than around 10,000 habitants, so don't come expecting a massive gay scene heaving with bars and clubs like you'd find in Fort Lauderdale or Berlin! Despite this, Mykonos packs a punch with the handful of gay bars it has. Note: Mykonos is very seasonal – assume most of these places are only open in the summer months from around May to October.
For first-timers to Mykonos, solo gay travellers or LGBTQ travellers who want to quickly make new friends, we highly recommend doing a gay night tour.
Former First Lady (and major gay icon) Jacky Kennedy Onassis famously visited Mykonos back in 1961 and fell in love with the island. She returned every summer, bringing with her a troupe of gay fans each year, turning Mykonos into the LGBTQ mecca it has now become. So strong was her mark on the Mykonos gay scene that this awesome bar is named after her.
Jackie O' is, today, the main gay bar of Mykonos and definitely our favourite. We especially love watching the drag shows here which happen every evening. They crack us up every time! Most come to Jackie O' to come the evening and will then head over to Babylon next door to dance the night away.
Elysium is the most famous gay hotel on Mykonos. The Elysium Sunset Bar, one of the hottest gay hangouts. Every evening from around 8pm, the Elysium bar hosts its “Sunset Cabaret Show” with hysterical international drag queens, handsome GoGo dancers and a live DJ set.
As well as being a fun gay night out in Mykonos, it's one of our favourite spots to watch the sunset early in the evening before things heat up here. Due to its large pool area, the Elysium Sunset Bar becomes one of the main gay pool party hotspots during XLSIOR.
Porta is a more lowkey chic gay bar in Mykonos, the sort of place to come for a cocktail in a chilled environment while the party animals are getting warmed up in Jackie O's. The music sets the atmosphere beautifully – a mix of jazz with some upbeat dance tracks thrown in.
We like coming to Porta as a sort of respite from the heaving party scene. Although having said that, Porta does get quite busy from around 1am, especially in the summer months.
A cutesy quaint gay bar in Mykonos we recommend checking out – if anything, for the very cute and friendly staff who make delicious Espresso Martinis! Dimitris and his partner Gilles are the owners who are the heart and soul of Lola, welcoming everyone with open arms, making it feel more like one big happy gay family!
Although the crowd is predominantly over 40s, we recommend Lola to people who want to make new friends in Mykonos. It's always a warm and personable atmosphere here which is hard to resist.
We love this small resto/bar because of the picturesque balcony area. It's our little hidden gem we share with you if you're looking for a place to impress your Grindr date! It's one of our favourite spots for dinner and/or a romantic drink because of the backdrop of the Aegean sea behind you.
Although not exclusively a gay bar, Kastro's attracts a lot of gay couples like us who are looking for some downtime. The food at Kastro's is also amazingly good and definitely worth trying out.
Gay clubs in Mykonos
The bulk of the gay boys will hang out at Jackie O' bar first, then move on to Babylon to dance. Then as the night draws in, the gays slowly gravitate from the Babylon dance floor over to the infamous Church cruising ground next door!
There are a handful of other gay parties happening across Mykonos, especially during XLSIOR. Otherwise, most of the bars above have a late licence and will morph into a dancing venue later in the night, staying open till sunrise. We've set out the main gay clubs of Mykonos below. Our big tip for first-timers and solo gay travellers to Mykonos is to join a gay scene nightlife tour to get the most out of your holiday.
Babylon is the most popular gay club of Mykonos, located next door to Jackie O’. We always have a ball here – there's always a lively, fun atmosphere going strong until around 6am. Inside there is a dancing area with drag shows and GoGo dancers. Outside it has a really pretty terrace to hang out (complete with ocean spray!) where you can people-watch and gossip about who's gone to the Church cruising ground next door!
During XLSIOR, Babylon hosts some of the best gay-themed parties. Whether you come to Babylon during XLSIOR or at any other time, we can definitely guarantee you'll have a really fun night out here!
Also called @54 or 54Bar, this is a lounge, terrace, bar and club, attached to the TownHouse boutique hotel. Whilst we love coming here for a few romantic sunset cocktails on their terrace, for us, the real highlight of At54 is their pop diva club nights. We love to boogie to Kylie, Britney and Abba, and At54 gives us that dose of gay pop disco we so crave on our holiday!
At54 also give us our dose of Greek pop gay anthems from the most famous local divas like Anna Vissi, Elena Paparizou, Tamta and Eleni Foureira. And if one of those Greek divas are in town, this is the spot they're likely to perform just like Kelly Kaltsi did in 2016.
This is THE famous mega-club of Mykonos and often rated as one of the best in the world. It is located just above Paradise Beach (ie the beach on the west side of Super Paradise Beach), perched up high on a 150-foot high cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. During the summer months, Cavo Paradiso hosts some of the biggest parties, which reminded us of some of the mega-club parties in Ibiza. The crowd is usually a mix of both gay and straight guys – and those in between!
If there's a big gay party happening on Mykonos, such as the WE Circuit Party, then it's likely to be at Cavo Paradiso. Our advice is to be on the lookout for the (oiled-up stuff-muffin perfectly-chiselled) GoGo dancer boys giving out flyers and discount bands on the beach during the day.
XLSIOR and other gay parties in Mykonos
During the peak summer months, there are always large ad hoc parties happening throughout Mykonos at various venues such as the Fou Club, Zenit and others. The biggest ones will be happening during the XLSIOR festival in August (like WE at Cavo Paradiso mentioned above).
The best advice is to look out for the hot speedo-clad GoGo boys who will be advertising any parties during the day at Super Paradise and Elia beach.
The best gay parties on Mykonos
XLSIOR is the mama of all gay parties in Mykonos!
This is a week-long festival every August, which is also the height of the summer peak season. It's massive – one of the most famous gay events in Europe, and in our humble opinion, the world! Just imagine – 30,000 speedo-clad gays all descend on Mykonos every August to party in the sunshine. The bulk of these guys have probably just been to the Barcelona Circuit parties which take place in the preceding weeks to XLSIOR.
Highlights of XLSIOR to look out for include the opening pool party at the Elysium hotel as well as the many parties at clubs like Cavo Paradiso, which usually spill out on to the beach.
Gay cruising in Mykonos
The main cruising spot is just outside the Paraportiani Church in the main town. Yes, a church! We also gagged when we first found this out…!
Otherwise, pick any of the remote nude-friendly beaches and they'll be a private area where lots of mischief happens. Here are some of the more popular gay cruising areas in Mykonos:
Late at night, the rock area just behind the church is a notorious cruising ground. It's also a sight to behold – more for the irony of this happening just by a church! Careful on those rocks though, they can get quite slippery. Paraportiani is located in the main town, Chora.
As you approach Elia beach from Super Paradise, keep walking to the other end, away from all the sunbeds (where the straight crowd hangs out). The far end is the gay nudey part. If you continue over to the rocky area just after this, you'll quickly locate the spot where all the shenanigans happen!
Agrari beach is located next to Elia and is more relaxed with fewer crowds. The further along Agrari beach you head, the quieter and more nudey it gets. In the rocky and foresty areas around it is where all the gay boys go to play.
Paraga is a small rocky beach in the southern side of Mykonos. Not one of our favourite beaches to be honest as we prefer sandy beaches. But for gay cruising, the rocks on the southern end of Paraga is where you'll want to head.
Gay friendly restaurants in Mykonos
Mykonos has lots of excellent restaurants, whether you want a late-night souvlaki, or guzzle a few retsinas with some mezedes. We've set out the main gay restaurants of Mykonos below, including a few gay friendly favourites we think you should have on your radar when heading over:
The Jackie O' bar in the Chora was so popular that they decided to expand, opening a gay beach club and restaurant at Super Paradise beach. Not only can you enjoy the beach here, there's also a pool, Jacuzzi, bar and restaurant. We love coming to the restaurant in between sunning and swimming on the beach. Perched above the beach you can dine on a huge variety of sumptuous seafood dishes along with flavourful salads, pasta and fresh fish. There's even a cigar menu to end off your meal – yes, a cigar menu…this is the first time we've ever seen a cigar menu in a restaurant! If you come for dinner, make sure you also stick around for the drag show afterwards.
We've already mentioned Elysium as a place to stay and a place for a drink, but it's worth mentioning again as a restaurant as well, trust us! The resto/bar in the gay Elysium hotel is highly rated for its food, which you can, of course, enjoy alongside the stunning views. They serve simple yummy sandwiches and burgers along with ‘fancier' dishes. We especially enjoyed the prosciutto and melon salad, as well as some super-fresh seafood – but the gay ambience is the real drawcard here. If you come for dinner you have to stay for the nightly drag show, a couple of cocktails and, of course, the jaw-droppingly stunning sunset view!
Noa is one of the most highly-rated Greek restaurants on the whole island. We love to come here when we're craving some authentic Greek food, especially Stefan – this is, after all, staple comfort food for him. Noa attracts a mixed crowd including lots of gay boys because it is a few minutes walking distance to the gay bars. Not only is the restaurant gorgeous, with amazing views, but the food here is sooooo goood! We could have stuffed ourselves with gyros, kebabs, lamb chops, grilled octopus, souvlakis, tzatziki and baklava all day long, but then we'd need to roll back home! As excellent as Noa restaurant is, we also like the fact that it's not too expensive either (at least for Mykonos standards!).
Lalala is one of the most popular places in Mykonos to go for a gay brunch! We certainly rate it as our favourite breakfast/brunch spot. Why? Their pancakes are famous for being the best on Mykonos (trust us!), the coffee is superb and if you want something a little healthier, we recommend the Greek yoghurt with fruit and honey. Like Noa, Lalala is close to the gay bars and hotels in Chora, which makes it a popular choice for the gay boys looking for a place to grab a bite to eat before heading down to Elia beach. It's owned and run by two (super cute!) brothers, who are just the loveliest guys you'll ever meet!
Top things to do in Mykonos
Tired of partying and want to do something different? For us, we always welcome a cultural injection whenever we're holidaying in Mykonos. Beyond the gay bubble, Mykonos is actually a really pretty Greek island to discover, with ubiquitous classic white buildings set against the blue sky and turquoise waters, 16-century windmills and gorgeous ancient Churches. Yes, the infamous Paraportiani Church maybe a cruising area at night, but during the day it is, in fact, an 800-year old cultural gem that we recommend you check out!
We've set out some of the main highlights of Mykonos to inspire you. We've also suggested a few tours for each, some are gay, others mixed.
Explore Mykonos town – Chora
The number-one thing all travellers to Mykonos will (and should) do is, explore Chora. Chora is Greek for “town” and is a way to specify whether you're talking about the island Mykonos or the main town which is also confusingly called, ‘Mykonos'! Here you will find picturesque white buildings (think Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia), the famous windmills, the main harbour and the pretty area known as Little Venice. If it's your first time on Mykonos, we highly recommend joining this gay tour which will take you to all the main sights, and, bring you face to face with Mykonos' most famous resident: Pedro the Pelican! Doing a gay tour is also a fantastic way to make a fantastic new group of friends who you can then party with for the rest of your trip.
Explore Delos Island
Right next to Mykonos is another small island called Delos. It is considered one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in the whole of Greece. According to Ancient Greek mythology, Delos Island was the birthplace of Zeus two children: Apollo (the God of sun and music) and Artemis (the Goddess of hunting and chastity). Today Delos is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site and in our opinion, a very worthwhile day-trip from Mykonos in order to explore the archaeological remains of this sacred place. There's a museum filled with artefacts from all around the island, but just walking around is like being in an open-air museum. Also, look out for the famous ᑭhalluʂ column at the Terrace of the Lions. It's literally half of a (giant!) pҽղìs perched atop the column!
Discover a more authentic Mykonos
For something completely different, away from the crowds, we recommend this authentic Mykonos tour. It's easy to think that Mykonos only exists for the large swathes of foreigners that visit in the summer season, but there is in fact a large local community living on the island throughout the year (honestly, this surprised us as the island is super touristy, crowded and expensive!) This tour includes visits to remote villages like Ano Mera, hidden harbours like St Ioannis port and secret secluded beaches. One of the highlights for us on this tour was visiting the Mykonian Spiti farm where we got the chance to try a bit of local cooking and lots of wine tasting.
Go island hopping
Most visitors will include Mykonos as part of an island-hopping adventure in the Greek islands. We definitely agree that sailing between the Greek islands is a top Bucket List must-do item! Other nearby highlights in the Cyclades include Santorini, Paros, Naxos and Ios. If you're already in Mykonos, we suggest joining a full-day sailing excursion on a catamaran to visit the best beaches on Delos and Rhenia islands. The catamaran also passes lots of beaches, which he can stop off at if the group wants – these include Agios Ioannis, Ornos, Psarou, Platys Gualos, Paraga, Paradise and Super Paradise. This tour also includes the chance to go snorkelling and stand-up paddleboarding.
Do a romantic sunset cruise
Another great idea to impress your date or if you're a couple visiting Mykonos and want to celebrate with something special is to go on a romantic sunset cruise. This five-hour cruise includes unlimited drinks and a light snack, as well as lots of stops for swimming along the way. You'll get to visit many of the island's best beaches, go swimming and snorkelling or just work on your tan. Lying in the sun on a catamaran is a very relaxing way to spend some time together, and on the way back to Mykonos you'll get to enjoy the stunning colours as the sun sinks back below the waves. As I said above, when Seby and I argue, a few drinks and a stunning sunset backdrop is usually enough to win him over!
Plan your trip
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your trip to Mykonos. Read on to find out everything we think gay travellers should know before heading to Mykonos:
How to get to Mykonos: You can either take a 5.5-hour ferry from Athens to Mykonos or fly directly to Mykonos airport from Athens and most other destinations in Europe with budget airlines like Easyjet. The easiest way to get from the port or airport to your accommodation in Mykonos is by booking a private transfer with Welcome Pickups. We love their services because they provide professional English-speaking drivers to whisk you straight to your hotel so you don't have to juggle your luggage on public transport.
Visa requirements for Greece: Many visitors to Mykonos will not need a visa to enter Greece and stay as a tourist for up to 90 days. If you come from another country in the EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United States then you won't need a visa, but make sure you check your personal visa requirements before booking anything.
Getting around: The main town (Chora) of Mykonos is a vehicle-free zone, so you will only be able to explore it by walking – which simply adds to its charm as far as we're concerned! To explore the rest of the island you can use buses, taxis and water taxis. Here is a more detailed guide on getting around Mykonos.
Power Plugs: Power plug sockets type C and F are used on Mykonos and the rest of Greece (ie they have 2 round pins). These are also compatible with plugs for type E. If you're travelling from within Europe you shouldn't have a problem, but travellers from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia will need to bring a travel adaptor with them.
Travel insurance: It doesn't matter how well you plan and prepare, sometimes things just go wrong when travelling. We recommend all travellers to Mykonos organise travel insurance so you're protected against things like accident, illness or cancelled flights. We've been using WorldNomads Travel Insurance for years and love them. They provide affordable and comprehensive cover, plus it's easy to make a claim online when/if you need to.
Safety and Security: Mykonos is a very safe destination, but it's always possible you may encounter danger when travelling and need immediate assistance. We like to use CloseCircle's ‘virtual bodyguard' app when we travel because it provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated and offer anything from advice to evacuation in extreme cases. Find out more about CloseCircle in our post on how to stay safe while travelling.
Vaccinations: All travellers to Mykonos should ensure they are up to date with routine vaccinations for measles, mumps, chickenpox etc. Depending on where else you might be visiting in Greece and what you might be doing you may also need vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B or rabies. Make sure you check the CDC website and speak to your doctor before planning your trip.
Currency: The currency used in Mykonos is the Euro, just like the rest of Greece and the 18 other countries that are part of the European Union. The symbol for the euro is € and $1 US converts to about 90 euro cents while £1 is worth around €1.17.
Tipping culture: Since Greece as a whole (and Mykonos in particular) are popular tourist destinations, tipping is widely expected as a reward for good service. Some restaurants may include the tip on the bill so don't tip on top of that. Generally, few euros or ten percent of a bill is a normal amount to tip for good service. You can read more about tipping in Greece here.
Internet access: Free WiFi is available at nearly every hotel, restaurant, cafe and bar on Mykonos. If you will need a reliable connection for work or want to be able to connect multiple devices, you can organise a portable WiFi device to use during your trip.
Accommodation: For more gorgeous accommodation options on Mykonos, check out Booking.com. We always use them to find places to stay as they have a huge range of properties at the best prices, often with free cancellation included. The online booking process is simple to use and their 24/7 online support is also excellent.
Sightseeing and adventure: There are plenty more exciting things to see and do on Mykonos besides what we've mentioned in this guide. We like to use GetYourGuide to plan our adventures since they have many wonderful options, an easy to use online booking system and 24/7 online customer support.
When to visit: The peak period is the last 2 weeks of August during the big gay Xlsior Festival, however, the island is packed with family tourists as well, so consider coming in September when children go back to school. Between October and April many hotels and restaurants close, plus the weather is much colder, so it's not an ideal time to visit.
Gay map of Mykonos
This is our gay map of Mykonos to show you where everything we've mentioned in this article is located. Use it to find out where all the best gay friendly hotels, bars and activities are for your own visit to Mykonos!
For more inspiration:
- For more accommodation options check out these hotels in Mykonos
- Read why we rate Mykonos as one of the best gay travel places in the world
- These are the best gay beaches in Italy if you're heading there after Greece
- As well as the best gay beaches throughout Europe
- Here's our guide to the best gay beaches in Barcelona
- Find out what it's like to attend Gay Pride in Barcelona
- As well as the best Gay Pride events in Spain
- Get inspired by these cool Gay Pride outfit ideas
- And don't attend anything without packing these must-have Gay Pride accessories!