Short distances and quick journey times make getting around the compact Aegean island of Mykonos easy.
Cheap options are many: a useful bus network runs during the tourist season with frequent service and low fares, while small boats connect many of the most popular beaches on the south coast.
For maximum flexibility, you can hire a motorbike or car, although parking poses a challenge come July and August, especially at the more popular beaches where parking spots are few and fees are high. Although taxis are not plentiful, various other options mean that you can get around Mykonos without the hassle and expense of renting a car.
A comprehensive network of buses covers Mykonos. Operated by the national cooperative KTEL, services run reasonably frequently throughout the day; you can get to most important places on the island, including the airport, for about €2 ($2.30; fares vary slightly depending on the distance of the trip). Buses depart from two stations in the main town of Hora: Fabrika is just south of the old town, while Old Port is 500m north of the center. Travel times are short: the trip from New Port (where large ferries dock) or the airport to Hora takes under 20 minutes.
Despite journeys being measured in minutes, the buses are those typically found on long-distance coach services, complete with just one narrow entry door. This only compounds the crush of riders in summer when demand easily outstrips the supply of seats and you may have to wait a while for a free space.
Routes serving the party beaches and their nocturnal clubs may run until 2am in summer. Note that service to the north and east coasts is sparse or nonexistent.
It’s simple to rent a car on Mykonos, either from a well-known firm or one of several local vendors. Arrange well in advance in the peak summer months or expect to be left carless when demand outstrips supply. For a spontaneous rental of a day or two, it may be easiest to hire a car through your accommodation.
A car gives you full freedom to explore all of Mykonos – though there are drawbacks, especially in summer. The relatively short drives along the island’s limited road network can be harrowing due to narrow lanes, cliffside plunges and incessant peak-season traffic. Parking is also stressful in Hora and at the beaches; expect hefty fines if you decide to leave your car in an unapproved spot. Additionally, some of the more remote beaches are accessible only by dirt tracks not recommended for a non-4WD automobile.
A good strategy is to rent a car for just one day to fully explore the compact island, sparing you the attendant hassles for the remainder of your trip.
Motorbike or scooter
Buzzing about Mykonos on two wheels is an excellent alternative to driving a car, as the narrow roads are less of an issue and parking is much easier. Businesses renting motorbikes or scooters are plentiful – but non-EU residents should note a crucial caveat: you’ll need a motorcycle or motorbike license valid in your home country.
Twisting, hilly roads and very narrow lanes with myriad blind curves make bike riding a challenge on Mykonos. And that’s before you add in drivers maniacally speeding to make up for time spent stalled in traffic. All this doesn’t deter everyone, and you’ll find multiple places to rent bikes. If you want to leave the choice of a safe and interesting back road to the experts, consider joining a bike tour. Yummy Pedals offers a range of routes for various fitness levels and interests.
With hordes of holidaymakers descending on the island, taxis are expensive on Mykonos. You’ll find taxi stands at the airport, in Hora and at the ferry ports. Relatively short trips can cost €15-25 ($18-29), and in high season taxis are in short supply and waits can be long. If you want certainty for an added surcharge, you can try booking a taxi in advance. Most places to stay will pick you up at the ferry ports or airport for about €10 ($12) if you arrange your ride in advance.
Uber and other ride-share apps are not available on the island.
Small boats (caïques) operate a water taxi service in summer linking the most popular beaches on the south coast. Service runs hourly going east from Ornos to Elia from about 10am until 4pm. Return service going west runs from around noon until 5:30pm. Beach stops include Platys Gialos, Paraga, Paradise, Super Paradise and Agrari. Fares cost €10 ($12) for one hop or €20 ($24) for an all-day pass.
In town, the Mykonos Sea Bus runs a super convenient and speedy service linking New Port (where large ferries dock) with Hora’s Old Port (some fast ferries plus local buses) and the old town. Summer service runs every 30 minutes from 7:30am until 11:30pm and costs only €2 ($2.30).
Getting around by foot on Mykonos is viable for the beaches and holiday rentals close to Hora such as Tourlos and Megali Ammos. It’s also possible to walk between the south coast beaches from Ornos in the west to Super Paradise; the beach walk between Platys Gialos Beach and Paradise Beach is even an island highlight. Elsewhere, however, a lack of long-distance trails and the narrow, busy roads makes counting on your own two feet to get around not recommended.
Accessible transportation in Mykonos
Accessible transportation is very limited on Mykonos. Neither public buses nor taxis have wheelchair access. Steep stone stairs abound, walkways are not friendly to people with reduced mobility and crowds jam the lanes and alleys of Hora.
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