Sure, Mykonos offers a plethora of things to do and places to visit that can make any traveller sigh with pleasure. However, there is still much more to discover on the neighbouring isles and all within a one-hour trip ferry or hydrofoil. These nearby day trip destinations provide idyllic escapes and plenty of charm for those who are looking for a break from the island’s renowned party atmosphere.
The island of Delos
The island of Delos is one of the most popular day trip destinations from Mykonos. This small dot in the Greek Cyclades group of islands is the place to go for both history and mythology enthusiasts to take a look at the reputed birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Legends aside, this uninhabited island is one vast archaeological site where you will experience the sacred temples of Apollo, Artemis, and Hera.
There are also magnificent ruins of altars and tombs as well as numerous standing ionic pillars scattered around the area. The house of Dionysius and the House of the Dolphins are also worth exploring for their splendid mosaics. Other must-see sites include the Sacred Lake, the Minoan Fountain and the Terrace of the Lions, to name a few. Delos takes about 30 minutes by ferry from Mykonos.
The island of Tinos
For a romantic day trip from Mykonos, hop on a hydrofoil and get to the island of Tinos in just 15 minutes! If you take the ferry, you will be there in about 40 minutes so not too bad at all. Tinos is home to hundreds of lovely churches and a famous pilgrimage site for the miraculous Church of Virgin Mary Megalochari. Even if you do not believe in miraculous idols, the church is worth checking out for its lovely architecture.
The island is also a favourite jaunt for its picture-perfect villages, clinging to the picturesque mountainous terrain, such as Pyrgos, Volax and Dyo Choria. The beaches of Kionia, Agios Romanos, Agios Sostis and Agios Fokas are also favourite hang-outs of day trippers in the area. If you go for a scenic drive, you will find various intricately designed white structures – these are dovecotes. They are usually adorned with geometric patterns which serve as perfect resting places for the area’s many doves.
Next up is Syros, which is ideal for those who are on the lookout for the less travelled route. Although it is the seat of government for the entire Cyclades, it is one of the least touristy places to visit. It takes about 1 hour and a half by normal ferry from Mykonos but you can easily reduce travel time to an hour if you take the hydrofoil. Syros’ capital, Ermoupolis, enchants visitors with its marvellous Neoclassical and Venetian architecture.
You can enjoy lazy strolls around the beautiful Miaouli Square and marvel at its exquisite design, which is best admired from any of the site’s many elegant cafes and restaurants. Of course, you do not want to miss the imposing Town Hall right smack at the heart of the plaza. For breathtaking views of Ermoupolis and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea, go for a walk uphill, all the way to the quarter of Ano Syros where you can take in a gorgeous panoramic view of the island and also visit the spectacular Church of Resurrection.