Greetings Internet Stranger, and welcome to a one day in Mykonos itinerary! Mykonos is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. Unfortunately everyone and his cousin knows about this, so Mykonos is invariably stuffed to its adorable blue-and-white gills with tourists every summer. But that’s why you came to this blog! I can show you where to avoid the crowds as much as humanly possible in Mykonos and still get some adorbs photos. Let’s go!
One Day in Mykonos Itinerary
What to Pack?
You’ll need comfy shoes for all the walking we’re going to do today on our One Day in Mykonos Itinerary. If it’s summertime, I love my special pink Birkenstocks. These aren’t your grandpappy’s Birkenstocks anymore. They come in every shade, and I always get compliments on my electric magenta shoes.
Greece is hot in the summer, so don’t forget the sunscreen. My favorite is the Neutrogena spray bottle because it’s so easy to apply. And as a solo traveler, I can actually use it myself on my own back. I just put it in my purse and re-apply throughout the day.
Finally, if you’re American or from the UK, you need a universal adapter if you’re going to plug in electronics. European electrical outlets don’t work with American or British plugs. I suggest the NEWVANGA travel adapter. It’s usable with any electrical outlet in the world, so you won’t need to keep buying new adapters. I always carry two with me, just in case something happens to one.
One Day in Mykonos Itinerary
Morning: Visit Delos
If you want to get away from the crowds in Mykonos, the best way to do it is by visiting the sacred island of Delos, just off the coast. It’s an easy trip by ferry. It was even easier for me to get there because I was visiting Mykonos on a cruise, so I went on a Royal Caribbean shore excursion. There will be plenty of tourists here, but Delos is so large and flat that you’ll feel like you’re all by yourself at times.
I don’t want to spoil all of Delos’s mystical secrets, but I do want to spoil…
Approximately Top 5: Delos
1) The Ferry Ride
The fun-filled one day in Mykonos itinerary starts with a ferry ride from Mykonos to Delos. The views are gorgeous, but keep in mind that it’s rocky as all get out. If you are seasick, bring some medicine. I was fine, but one poor gentlemen I knew from the the cruise ship turned so pea green from the motion, I thought he was going to hwarf his breakfast buffet all over the ship.
If you take the ferry as part of a cruise ship shore excursion, the trip will be included in the price. If not, you’ll have to get tickets on your own. The boat for Delos leaves three different times during the morning and costs less than 20 Euros. Be sure to check the schedule.
2) The First National Bank of Greece
Of course you can see the ruins of Delos on your own, but it’s more fun to explore them with a guide. She’ll teach you tons of fun facts you wouldn’t be able to learn on your own. Our guide, whom I shall call Helen, told us that Delos is sacred because it’s supposedly the place where the twin gods Apollo and Artemis were born. How many places in Greece can claim to be a place where even one Major Olympian was born, let alone two? I’m thinking 12, max.
Helen told us that Delos was famous as a trading city in the ancient world, and it even became the first banking center in Greece. (Pro Tip: Do not make jokes about how the Greek economy was all downhill from there, unless you happen to be Greek yourself. Literally no one will appreciate it.)
3) House of Dionysus
There are so many famous intact mosaics on the island of Delos, but the most famous is probably the mosaic in the House of Dionysus, the god of wine. Here he is depicted with giant wings, riding a tiger, holding a massive spear, and surrounded by grapes and wine cups. Dionysus knew how to live, let me tell you! I wish this were a typical Saturday night for me.
Some of you might be wondering why there would be a wine and tiger fest happening on a sacred island, but keep in mind that the Greeks didn’t think there was anything strange about combining sacred places with physical pleasure. Our guide even showed us where a brothel used to be on the island, but I can’t show you a picture of what the sign looked like because this is a family blog.
4) Lion Statues
You can’t have a one day in Mykonos itinerary without getting to know these famous lion statues. These lions were created to guard the shrine of Apollo. (Not sure why they didn’t also guard the Shrine of Artemis. Are they sexist lions?)
But in fact, these aren’t the original lions because the water and wind on Delos was damaging them too much. So they put the real ones in the Archaelogical Museum and just left these fakies on display outside. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking their picture! I mean, the Statue of Liberty in Las Vegas is a replica too, but that doesn’t stop people from photographing it.
5) Archaelogical Museum
After your outdoor tour is over, if you chose to take one, you’ll get some free time to explore. Don’t miss the Archaeological Museum on Delos, where you can see the real, weather-beaten, sexist lions. Admission to the museum is included with the 12 Euro (as of this writing) admission to the Archaeological Museum, so there’s no excuse not to stop in.
Oddly enough, many of the signs are in Greek and French only, not English. Fortunately yours truly is fluent in French, so I got to learn all the bizarre archaeological secrets the museum is attempting to hide from the English-speaking world.
Unfortunately, the lions threatened to eat me if I shared the secrets with you! Maybe I’ll be able to escape their wrath next time!
One Day in Mykonos Itinerary
Afternoon: Explore Mykonos!
Now that we’ve got the serious historical stuff about flying men riding tigers and brothels out of the way, it’s time for the fun and games part of our tour! Make sure you leave a few hours after you get off the ferry from Delos to explore the gorgeous blue and white town by the Mykonos port. Yes, it’s more full of tourists than a man-eating lion let loose in Times Square. But you’ll be able to avoid at least some of them with…
Three Fun Facts: Mykonos
1) How Do I Avoid the Crowds?
Well, you might be looking at the photo above and thinking…those crowds don’t look so bad. Well, wait til you get a load of this!
Yikes, right? Well, the best trick I have to get away from crowds is to walk. It’s well known that crowds are lazy and don’t like to use their legs. So if you walk closer to the windmills, you’ll be further away from the folks who simple couldn’t be bothered. Similarly, walk around into little side streets and you’ll be almost by yourself.
Well, except for the cats. Mykonos is as full of cats as my apartment will be when I am a crazy old spinster. I assume this is out of respect to the lions of Delos–maybe the presence of the cats stops the lions from attacking Mykonos.
2) Why is Mykonos So Popular?
Well, just look at this photo! Mykonos has spectacular beaches and adorable blue and white houses that make the whole island look like something out of a fairy tale. It’s like having an entire island covered with the Greek flag. OPA!
You’ll know you’re getting away from the crowds when you find blue and white houses with absolutely no people in front of them. That’s when you can start snapping away. Get ready for a world class Instagram account, ladies and germs!
See! Still no people! We win at Mykonos! Opa!
3) What is There to Do in Mykonos?
Shopping, for one thing! The restaurants in Mykonos were way too crowded for lunch, but since it was a hot day, I decided to indulge in my favorite thing for summertime lunch: ice cream! I suggest stopping at I Scream (not a typo) for some amazing gelato. Do as the Italians do and get two different flavors. Unless there’s a house specialty, I always get my favorite order: hazelnut and strawberry. Having a go-to ice cream order is just as important as having a go-to cocktail order if you want to be a sophisticated world traveler.
Mykonos also impressed me when it came to shopping because most touristy places are full of chain stores with mass-produced junk. But Mykonos has a lot of stores with handmade goods by locals. Just wander about until you find the perfect souvenir. (For me this was earrings decorated with watermelons made by a local artist
One Day in Mykonos Itinerary
Evening: Relax on the Cruise Ship
Ordinarily, this is the point in the one day in Mykonos itinerary when I would tell you all about the best restaurants in town or where to catch an amazing concert of Greek music. Opa! But since I visited Mykonos on a Royal Caribbean shore excursion, instead I will have to suggest that you have an amazing evening relaxing on board the ship.
Kick back with a mystery novel and a cocktail, enjoy a free magic show, and feast on freshly made sushi at Izumi, the Japanese restaurant on board Royal Caribbean ships. At night, go to sleep and dream of the cats of Mykonos, both big and small.
That’s a Perfect One Day in Mykonos Itinerary!
What would you do on a perfect one day in Mykonos itinerary? Why are there so many cats in Mykonos? And is now an appropriate time to make jokes about Greek banks, or is it still too soon? Please leave your thoughts below!
Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have a one day in Mykonos itinerary.