Mykonos, the most famous destination of all the Greek islands after Santorini, offers many sights and a variety of beaches, as well as nightlife. You can have the time of your life in Mykonos, but you can also hop on many islands near Mykonos and tour around.
Its location is ideal for such expeditions, as it is quite central and surrounded by many islands. Some of them are quite close for a day trip as well! For Delos, Syros, Tinos, Andros but also Naxos, Paros, and the popular Santorini, there are daily direct ferry connections with relatively short traveling time, which are perfect island-hopping destinations to experience more of the Cyclades in a single summer!
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7 Islands to Visit Near Mykonos
The mythological island of Delos has a long history since antiquity, being the birthplace of god Apollo, and a sacred island, where religious and spiritual ceremonies took place back in the 1st millennium B.C.
From Doric temples to markets and a large amphitheater, Delos is the ultimate ancient sight-seeing island, which offers a wide range of activities for the enthusiasts of Ancient Greek history and Mythology. The Ancient Theatre of Delos is one of the few marble-built theatres of Greece, whose construction dates as back as 314 B.C.
There is also an interesting Archaeological Museum with exhibits of Delos Mosaics, pottery, and jewelry from various centuries. Make sure to visit the House of Cleopatra and Isis as well, to get to know the island’s influence from Egyptian culture.
The summit of Cynthus
Probably the old acropolis of the ancient Delos, this mountain that decorates the island is 150 meters high, and surely worth the hike. Even there, you will find more ruins and fragments of the ancient past, while enjoying the view of the Aegean Sea in the background.
How to get to Delos
Ferries leave from Mykonos old port. There is a ticket booth selling tickets that cost 20 euros for a return boat trip (they do not include the entrance to the archaeological site). A guided tour is also a good idea to make the most of your visit. The journey time between Mykonos and Delos is 30 to 45 min.
Known as the Nymph of the Aegean Sea, Syros is an elegant gem decorated with vibrant Venetian architecture, beautiful colors and textures, and amazing inland towns and villages. It’s an island for a laid-back vacation, to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Greek Cycladic islands without fuss and crowds. It’s ideal for couples and families who wish to enjoy the Greek sun unbothered.
Reaching Syros by ferry will take you directly to Ermoupoli. Once you disembark, you’ll understand why it is thought of as one of the most stunning inland places of the Cyclades. Neoclassical buildings in natural, earthly colors, Venetian influence combined with Cycladic elements are all you see around you.
Don’t forget to visit Miaouli square, which hosts the Municipal palace with classical details. Following on the Venetian influence, Ermoupoli also has a theatre based on La Scala of Milan, called Apollo theatre. In Ermoupoli, you can also simply stroll around or enjoy coffee and dinner in its hospitable cobble-alleys.
The most popular of all beaches of Syros, Galissas beach will take your breath away. Located only 5 km away from Ermoupoli, this beach is fully organized and offers you all the amenities you could possibly need. Famous also as a water sports spot, the beach is ideal for windsurfing. The beach is sandy with turquoise waters, but there are also trees ashore, which can provide shade from the hot summer sun of Greece.
How to get to Syros from Mykonos
The ferry leaves from the new port in Mykonos Town. Fast ferries take between 30 to 40 min to reach Syros and regular ferries (cheaper option) take 1 hour and 15 min. Prices start at 11 euros p.p. for a one-way trip.
The most spiritual and religious island of the Aegean for Christians, Tinos is sacred for most but beautiful for tourism as well. It is also the island most close to Mykonos, located only 10 nautical miles, which is 20 km. Here’s what you can do in Tinos.
The Chora of Tinos
The capital of the island and the harbor as well, the Chora of Tinos is spiritual and artistic, with many galleries and traditional architecture. The Church of Panagia Evangelistria, also known as Our Lady of Tinos, is by far the most prominent sight. A sacred shrine built to protect the infirm, the shrine of the Virgin Mary is visited by countless believers to pray to the island’s miraculous nature. Architecturally, the church is beautiful and surely worth a visit.
Agios Markos Kionia beach
Situated only 3 km away from Chora, this small cove looks like it’s isolated and far away from any point of civilization. Shallow waters that look like a pool, protected from the strong winds from the natural cove, are inviting to take a dive in and leisurely spend the day. The place offers amenities such as beach bars, restaurants, and sunbeds/umbrellas, yet there are spots you can head to and sunbathe isolated from the crowds.
How to get to Tinos from Mykonos
The ferry leaves from the new port in Mykonos Town. Fast ferries take between 20 min to reach Tinos and regular ferries (cheaper option) take 35 min. Prices start at 7,50 euros p.p. for a one-way trip.
Alternatively, you can book a guided tour to Tinos island from Mykonos that includes return ferry tickets and a full-day guided coach tour.
Naxos is yet another of the islands close to Mykonos and the largest of the Cyclades. Known for its stunning beaches, amazing Cycladic architecture, and archaeological interest, this mountainous, untamed island never disappoints! With a vibrant nightlife and rich tradition at the same time, Naxos caters to the needs of every traveler.
The most known and celebrated sight of the island is Portara. It is the temple of Apollo, the ancient Greek god of music, arts, and sunlight. The remains are practically this massive doorway— literally named as such in Greek. Sunsets in Portara are a truly unique experience. Catching the sun setting between the marble door frames is priceless. It is built on a promontory, which is connected to the mainland of Chora by a stone path, perfect for evening strolls.
The Old Town and the Castle in Chora
Apart from the wonderful Cycladic architecture which you can see in Chora, with white-washed houses and blue windows and doors, the town has a ‘hidden’ and priceless spot. That is no other than the old Venetian town with its Castle, called Kastro in Greek. Centuries old, the castle is the jewel of the beautiful Chora, giving it air from another era. You can visit the citadel and explore it behind its walls, and make sure to also pay a visit to the Venetian and the Archeological Museum.
Agios Prokopios is a beach chosen by many visitors of Naxos, as it is ideal, being only a short trip from the town of Naxos, namely, only 5 to 6 km. The turquoise waters have been awarded many times, and its sandy shore is perfect for leisure activities and families. Agios Prokopios is usually very crowded, but it offers all the amenities one could possibly need, including sunbeds and umbrellas, beach bars, and easy transportation to and from the beach.
How to get to Naxos from Mykonos
The ferry leaves from the new port in Mykonos Town. Fast ferries take between 40 min to reach Naxos and regular ferries (cheaper option) take 1 hour and 15 min. Prices start at 30 euros p.p. for a one-way trip.
Cosmopolitan and picturesque, Paros is a destination popular to every traveler type. Less mountainous than its neighboring Naxos, Paros also has stunning beaches, accessible by a quite new road network, and a better nightlife. Partying isn’t as wild as in Mykonos, but there are various bars and clubs to dance and drink, while the boutiques of the town and the beautiful alleys make it very ‘trendy’.
Although the capital of the island is Paroikia, Naoussa is much more attractive, with more traditional buildings, narrow alleys with bougainvillea, and boutiques for window-shopping. Traditional but contemporary as well, the village has a unique beauty and many places to visit, including taverns and ouzeries, churches, and golden sandy beaches nearby.
The most awe-inspiring beach of Paros is Kolymbithres, whose name literally translates to “swimming pools” in Greek. It is situated in Naoussa bay, only 4.6 km away from the center of the village. This semi-organized beach offers amenities such as sunbeds, umbrellas, and a bar, and yet it maintains its wild landscape of various rocks surrounding the cove and setting its limits. Swimming in its crystal-clear waters is an amazing experience.
How to get from Mykonos to Paros
The ferry leaves from the new port in Mykonos Town. Fast ferries take between 45 min to reach Paros and regular ferries (cheaper option) take 1 hour and 30 min. Prices start at 30 euros p.p. for a one-way trip.
The volcanic island of Santorini is the second most popular destination, and luckily, also one of the islands close to Mykonos, located only 64 nautical miles away. Its beauty is so extraterrestrial it sometimes resembles a moonscape. Also known as Thira, the island is part of an active volcano whose crater is under the sea, so many people believe that this makes it all the more precious and worthy of a visit. Here’s what to do there.
The beautiful center of the island, Fira is like a town that climbed on top of a Caldera and settled there. The stunning views and the traditional white-washed houses create a sharp contrast with the rocky, out-of-this-world landscape of the volcanic island. Nightlife in Fira is lively, and there are many bars and restaurants to enjoy the view. If you are in the mood, there is also the Museum of Prehistoric Thera.
Sunset in Oia
The most famous sight in Santorini is nothing else but the wonderful sunsets. Most tourists flock to the best spots to watch a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The best spots to watch it is in Oia Castle, known as the Panoramic View Lookout and next to the Three Blue Domes of Santorini.
Tip: Whatever you choose, plan it way before and arrive here early. Also, Santorini is not recommended for a day trip. You should at least spend a night there.
How to get from Mykonos to Santorini
The ferry leaves from the new port in Mykonos Town. It takes between 2 and 3 hours to reach Santorini depending on the ferry company. Prices start at 56 euros p.p. for a one-way trip.
Alternatively, you can book a Helicopter Transfer between Mykonos & Santorini.
Andros, the beautiful, mythological, and historical island is also the northernmost island of the Cyclades, located only 10 km away from Evia. Mountainous but filled with vines, Andros has sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and it combines everything. Find out which places to visit while island hopping from Mykonos.
The beautiful Chora of Andros
The capital of the island and the most outstanding of the villages, the Chora of Andros with its mixture of architecture, is the place to visit once you get there. The buildings of the central Chora are a mixture of Byzantine, Ottoman, and Venetian architecture, making its outlook completely unique, although still so Cycladic.
Built on the tip of the peninsula, it has a stunning view and taverns, bars, and cafes to enjoy it. If you have time, you can also find the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to pay a visit and explore the rich history of the island.
Tis Grias to Pidima
Arguably the most famous beach of Andros, ‘Tis Grias to Pidima’ is the perfect spot to enjoy the Aegean Sea and dive into its beauty. It’s a small, sandy cove with a rock formation on its shallow waters that makes it so magnificent, and perfect for photos, as well.
Tip: If you visit the beach, bring your umbrella and snacks, as there is no shade on this beach and it’s not organized.
How to get from Mykonos to Andros
The ferry leaves from the new port in Mykonos Town. Fast ferries take between 1 hour and 20 min to reach Andros and regular ferries (cheaper option) take 2 hours and 20 min. Prices start at 16 euros p.p. for a one-way trip.