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The popular Greek island of Mykonos is well-known for its youthful crowds, but it can also be a great place for families. The bright white of Mykonos town with its stoic windmills will charm you while its lovely beaches will tempt you to come back for another swim. The island is relaxing and makes for a great family getaway.
Getting to Mykonos
We arrived here from Athens via ferry. It took about 5 hours. We decided to book a cabin and it was worth it for us as the kids were able to relax on the beds and we had our own bathroom. I also gave our kids and myself travel sickness medicine. We read beforehand that the food on the ferry was pricey and not great. However, the pricing was the same as other cafes in Athens and the pastries were all hot, fresh and delicious. Our kids loved the spanokopita (cheese and spinach pies). We booked everything ahead of time with Blue Star Ferry and we felt it was quite organized and everything went smoothly. For my advice on taking ferries in Greece with kids click here.
There are two ports in Mykonos- the New Port and the Old Port. Many of the large ferries arrive in the New Port which is a couple kilometers outside of town. Some hotels and accommodations will organise a taxi or shuttle for you. Ours did not, once we arrived at the port we had to hustle to get a taxi-- there are not many taxis on the island.
However, when we left Mykonos, we took a small boat from the Old Port to the New Port. This was a very convenient and stress free way of reaching the port.
Mykonos town (Chora)
Mykonos town has the typical Cycladic tight streets with white-washed buildings and blue trimmings that are much adored by tourists. The narrow lane ways are full of tourist shops, restaurants and cafes. Along the water is the famous Little Venice of Mykonos where the cafes and restaurants are on the water’s edge.
The windmills are a testament to its history of milling and were once an important income source. These iconic windmills are worth the steps and effort it takes to get to them as they are beautiful perched over the edge of the city.
There is also a windmill museum. The Bonis Windmill is part of an outdoor agricultural museum. You can visit the outside anytime of the day, but to enter the windmill you will have to visit between June-September between 4-8pm. The view from the windmill of Mykonos town and the sea is magnificent. While it is an uphill walk, the mill and the views are worth the effort.
Delos is a small island off the coast of Mykonos. It was once one of Greece's most important religious centres and according to Greek mythology is the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. If you would like to see the beautiful mosaics and visit the many temples and former houses on this island you will need to take a boat from the old port. After having just visited historic Athens, we decided not to go to Delos. Perhaps, it was our loss; however, if you choose to go keep in mind that there is very little shade on the island, so you will need hats, sunglasses, lots of sunscreen, water, and snacks. For some helpful practical information on visiting Delos go here.
Prams & Strollers
Mykonos city has cobblestones and steps everywhere, I personally would wait until the kids are out of prams before visiting as I think the family will enjoy the experience more.
However, if you are planning on visiting with a young one, I would try to find accomodation that is as close to the Mykonos town as you can afford, that way you can even take the baby carrier. Or, you could stay in one of the islands many resorts and then visit Mykonos city for the day.
Recommended by a local, Ornos beach is the closest beach to Chora (the main city) and is easy to get to by bus. We visited the area in September and found using the buses convenient and inexpensive. However, in peak season these could get busier and you may have to wait a bit. I would recommend leaving earlier in the morning and then coming back earlier, so you are not leaving with the crowds. There is a small taxi rank in Mykonos which we took on our first visit to Ornos beach. It was completely empty of taxis, we waited a little bit before we called the taxi service and after 10-15 minutes a taxi came. We found the process to be inconvenient, so we only used the buses after that.
Ornos beach sits in a bay, so the waves are calm and gentle. Our kids absolutely loved every minute they spent in the calm waters here. While we are not normally beach people, we enjoyed the creature comforts the beach here offered. We rented two chairs and umbrella from Kuzina restaurant. You can then order food and drinks from their menu from staff. There is also a sit down restaurant which is where the clean bathrooms are located. The first thing I think of when we are in any location is where are the bathrooms. It felt like a real luxury to have all these modern conveniences on the beach. This is not a budget option, but we really enjoyed our day more. I know some families like to immerse themselves more in less touristy beaches and there are plenty of those on Mykonos to accommodate those families, but the gentle waters and modern conveniences had us hooked on Ornos beach. There are areas on Ornos beach though for those who want to lay on the sand without paying for the chairs and umbrellas,
Ice-Cream in Mykonos Town
I have to recommend the delicious ice-cream of Trio Bambini. If you are lucky they will have an ice-cream based on the famous Greek dessert “kataifi” which is like a baklava with shredded pastry, which is then blended into a vanilla ice-cream. It is a wonderful treat to try out. My family said their other ice-creams were also delicious, but I only ate this one flavour!
Greek restaurants offer all kinds of options that kid-friendly. We were often told of the pizza and pasta options that were offered. Luckily, our kids were up for a bit of taste adventure as we travelled around. First of all, our kids love Greek food and they love kebab. Pretty much every meal out had us sharing a plate kebab and Greek salad; however, the condition was that they also had to try out another dish of our choosing. Some of the plates were winners others weren’t, but it was about experiencing a wider variety of different food which is always a win for us. To enjoy a wider variety of food we would order a mix of appetisers and mains for the family to share. This worked great especially if someone didn’t like something.
We were quite spoiled in Mykonos as our accommodation was a small traditional home that had a stunning terrace with views over the city, so each night we sat outside and ate souvlaki sandwiches while watching the sun go down over Mykonos town. At night you could see the lights of the cruise ships and Mykonos town twinkling. It was a dream and our daughters loved it.
From the tight cobbled laneways to the bustling beaches Mykonos is a great place to spend some time when you are planning a Greek island adventure.
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