It was the beaches that first attracted visitors to Mykonos and they remain the major draw, though their character has shifted from unspoiled strands of golden sand to some of the most rollicking party spots in the Mediterranean.
Still, you can find a beach on the island to suit almost any mood. Some Mykonos beaches are calm escapes for families, while others are good for clubbing past dawn. There are more than 20 to choose from and even in the heaving peak season in August, you can still find a patch of sand away from the crowds.
At most Mykonos beaches, you’ll find sun loungers and tavernas that are open from April through October. The most popular beaches have watersports operators, and along the south coast, the beaches are linked by small boats known as caïques, so you can easily hop around to suit your mood. About half the island’s beaches can be reached from the main town, Hora, by bus.
Most beaches have clothing-optional areas, and some sections of beaches are popular hangouts for the LGBTQI+ community. You can hit the sand for free, but you'll need to pay for parking, sun-loungers and the clubs. Here’s our pick of the 14 best beaches on Mykonos.
The closest decent chunk of sand to Hora, Megali Ammos Beach is backed by myriad resorts and tavernas. It gets busy from May to October but still offers decent swimming and plenty of sun loungers on the sand. It’s a 10-minute walk south of Hora's famous windmills along a busy road, which may dampen the appeal slightly for families not staying close by.
Close to Hora but often uncrowded, Agios Ioannis Beach has a narrow strip of sand and a line of shady tavernas offering excellent lunches and drinks to those lounging on the sand. Parts of the hit 1989 movie Shirley Valentine were filmed here. At the west end, follow a short dirt path to find a small secluded cove enclosing pretty Kapari Beach. There's a handy bus service from the island capital.
The most family-friendly choice on the island, Ornos Beach has a string of tavernas and gentle waves. It’s the western hub for the boats linking the south coast beaches, so it can get crowded in summer, but that means more potential playmates for the kids. There's a bus service from Hora or you can walk, which takes about 30 minutes.
The sort of beach you might want to dress up for, Psarou Beach has a luxe club scene and lots of high-end boutiques. It’s where you go when being seen is more important than what you see — although the people-watching is unmatched. That said, the sand is fine and the water warm.
Featuring a long swath of golden sand, Platys Gialos Beach is a popular all-arounder. It has good tavernas, a family-friendly buzz and plenty of ways to keep busy. It's a quick bus ride from Hora and linked by regular boats to other south coast beaches. Rent some gear from the excellent watersports center and take a refreshing plunge.
The south coast cove at Paraga Beach is one of Mykonos’s main party beaches, and the party rages till sunrise in season. The clubs have varying personalities, from chilled to manic, with Kalua dominating the scene. It’s linked by bus to Hora and you can reach nearby beaches by foot or boat.
Paradise Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the Mediterranean. Many first-time visitors drop their backpacks at their hostel, head straight here and never leave. The partying barely pauses day and night – superclub Cavo Paradiso attracts plenty of superstar DJs. Buses connect to Hora while south coast boats run east and west.
As if paradise wasn’t enough, there’s also Super Paradise, home to some of the island’s most raucous (and expensive) clubs. It’s the most popular beach on Mykonos with the LGBTQI+ community and lies on a deep and beautiful cove. The clubs run buses to and from Hora, or you can find your own way here by following the crowds along a tangle of dirt roads or taking one of the south coast boats.
One of the largest strips of sand on Mykonos, Elia Beach is somewhat isolated, so it rarely feels busy, except at the very peak of the season in August. A string of waterfront tavernas enjoy fine views out to the open Aegean. A small cove at the west end flies a rainbow flag and is a popular spot for LGBTQI+ sunseekers. Buses link Elia to Hora, and it marks the eastern end of the small boat service linking the south coast beaches.
A 15-minute walk west of Elia Beach, Agrari Beach has sand that’s whiter than most and a refreshingly laid-back vibe. Visitors are a chilled-out bunch, enjoying drinks from a single beachside taverna. There’s no bus service but the beach is on the south coast boat route. Come here to swim, sunbathe and relax away from the noisy parties.
Near a patch of water popular with windsurfers, Kalafatis Beach is a mix of sand and pebbles that's far enough away from the action to never attract large crowds. The swimming is excellent and watersports here include snorkeling and jet-skiing. Get here by bus from Hora.
Follow a gentle dirt road downhill to reach Fokos Beach on the isolated (by Mykonos standards) northeast coast. It’s never busy but it does boast a justifiably popular taverna that makes the trip worthwhile all by itself. You'll need to get here using your own wheels or a taxi.
Just a short jaunt around the headland east of Fokos Beach, Mersini Beach is easily the quietest beach on Mykonos. Services are scant but the sand and sea are top-notch. You'll have to navigate an unpaved road to get here.
You’ll need your own wheels to reach Agios Sostis Beach, a highlight of the north coast. Adventurous families will enjoy the calm water in the cove, but you'll need to bring what you’ll need for the day, as other than the excellent taverna above the sand, there are no services. The drive down is a bit perilous; those with regular rental cars may want to think twice about the descent, but scooters will do fine.
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