Beaches

Mykonos’ golden-sand beaches in their formerly unspoilt state were the pride of Greece. Now most are jammed with umbrellas and backed by beach bars, but they do make for a hopping scene that draws floods of beachgoers. Moods range from the simply hectic to the outright snobby, and nudity levels vary.

Without your own wheels, catch buses from Hora or caïques from Ornos and Platys Gialos to further beaches. Mykonos Cruises has an online timetable of its sea-taxi services.

The nearest beaches to Hora were overtaken by the construction of the New Port. That leaves little Agios Stefanos (4km north of Hora), within sight of docking cruise ships. There’s a tiny strip of sand in town, Agia Anna.

About 5km southwest of Hora are family-oriented Agios Ioannis (where Shirley Valentine was filmed) and Kapari. The nearby packed and noisy Ornos and the package-holiday resort of Platys Gialos have boats for the glitzier beaches to the east. In between these two is Psarou, a magnet for the Greek cognoscenti.

Approximately 1km south of Platys Gialos you’ll find Paraga Beach, which has a small gay section. Party people should head about 1km east to famous Paradise, which is not a recognised gay beach but has an action-packed younger scene, a camping resort (www.paradisemykonos.com) and nightlife that doesn’t quit. Down a steep access road, Super Paradise (aka Plintri or Super P) has a fully gay section (including the JackieO’ beach club) and a huge eponymous club.

Mixed and gay-friendly Elia is a long, lovely stretch of sand and is the last caïque stop. A few minutes’ walk west from here is the secluded Agrari.

Further east, Kalafatis is a hub for water sports (including diving and windsurfing), and Lia has a remote, end-of-the-road feel.

North-coast beaches can be exposed to the meltemi (dry northerly wind), but Panormos and Agios Sostis with their golden sand are fairly sheltered and less busy than the south-coast beaches.

For out-of-the-way beaching you’ll need tough wheels to reach the likes Fokos and Mersini on the northeast coast.