Mykonos is a honeymooner’s dream with fabulous beaches, iconic windmills and white-washed buildings. However, food travelers have plenty of reasons to visit the Greek island too. Read on to discover seven Mykonos food experiences that you won’t want to miss during your big fat Greek food trip.
Ask ten people where they want to visit in Greece and several will surely say Mykonos. We get it. Mykonos is a gorgeous island romanticized in movies like Shirley Valentine. We dreamed of visiting Mykonos ourselves.
This dream became a reality after we booked an apartment in Athens. That’s when we planned a trip to Greece’s Island of the Winds.
When our dream came to fruition, we joined the crowds at top Mykonos attractions. We photographed the island’s famous windmills and strolled around its winding cobblestone streets. We also watched an epic sunset on a Mykonos beach, a truly magical experience.
We’re not exaggerating about the crowds. Like other hot European destinations, Mykonos has an overtourism challenge with travelers arriving daily on planes, ferries and huge cruise ships.
When considering the quaint size of the island’s central town, seeing large ships come to port looks like the Empire State Building being plopped onto Laramie in Wyoming.
Although we visited Mykonos during the shoulder season, the compact island temporarily swarmed with tourists when cruises docked their ships in Mykonos for the afternoon. We can only imagine with horror how crowded the island must get during the height of the summer season when more of the crowd lingers into the night.
Book your Mykonos trip in the spring or autumn when you can enjoy pleasant weather without big crowds.
Food in Mykonos
When we weren’t busy checking off our list of the most popular things to do in Mykonos, we spent our time exploring the Aegean island’s culinary charms. Since we adore Greek food, eating well in Mykonos was our number one priority.
→ Click here to discover the best food to eat in Greece.
As we quickly discovered, the people in Mykonos eat very well. Artisans produce local specialties like louza (spicy cured pork) and kopanisti (spicy soft cheese). Add a bottle or two of local Assyrtiko wine and it’s a party.
The best places to eat in Mykonos serve octopus and squid plucked from the sea that day. This same crystal-clear water provides access to spiny lobster, red mullet, prawns and other fruits de mer. In Mykonos, the seafood choices are amazing.
Holiday goers have the difficult choice of deciding where to eat in Mykonos. Choices include modern restaurants and casual seaside tavernas. Menu prices skew high on the island, which is to be expected in this Greek oasis.
Cruisers will likely be satisfied to eat at a Mykonos restaurant and return to the ship. However, adventurous food travelers will want to dig deeper. At least that’s what we did when we visited Mykonos for our first time.
Top Mykonos Food Experiences
Although our first visit was brief, we packed a lot of food tripping into our Mykonos itinerary. If you’re like us and only have two or three days in Mykonos, we recommend you do the following fun food activities:
1. Eat Greek Food
Since Mykonos is in Greece, expect to eat a lot of the national cuisine. Blessed by its location, cooks prepare food with ingredients like fresh vegetables and feta cheese. Oh, how we love feta cheese.
However, some Greek food is better than others. In Mykonos, you should eat as many classic Greek dishes as possible including gooey eggplant-laden moussaka and cheesy pan-fried saganaki.
Lunchtime is a great time to check out Mykonos cheap eats options. We recommend eating souvlaki and gyros – the ultimate Greek fast food.
During our stay in Mykonos, we ate Greek souvlaki at Kalamaki Mykonos. Filled with charred meat and creamy tzatziki, these souvlaki sandwiches were winners, stuffed with thick, starchy french fries. Daryl was so filled with Greek bliss that he did a dance to pay the bill.
→ Click here to read our Athens souvlaki guide.
2. Stay at a Mykonos Villa with a Private Chef
Mykonos is the perfect destination for fulfilling the fantasy of staying at a luxury villa with all the requisite bells and whistles. Not only do numerous Mykonos villas offer spectacular views and luxurious accommodations, but many come with special perks.
During our visit, we stayed at Villa Hurmuses. This accommodation provides a private chef for guests who stay at the five-apartment luxury villa. In our opinion, a private is an ideal perk for food travelers.
Located on a rocky cliff, Villa Hurmuses offers amazing views of both the Aegean Sea and Mykonos Town. However, much of the villa’s magic happens in the kitchen where a private chef prepares traditional Greek food for guests each morning.
During our stay, we started our mornings with spinach pie, eggs, juice and yogurt. Fresh coffee with milk completed these morning meals.
For an additional charge, the chef can also prepare lunch and dinner. Not only are these meals more intimate than dining at Mykonos restaurants, but the food options are authentic and well-prepared.
Our hungry group of seven feasted on octopus, calamari and chicken as well enough side dishes to fill the spacious dining room table. We washed it all down with as much Greek wine as we wanted, happy to know that we didn’t have to find transportation back to our villa.
The private chef is just one part of the Villa Hurmuses experience. The villa offers other additional perks like a private pool, cocktail bar and outdoor barbecue.
The villa has numerous private spaces where guests can relax and enjoy the Mykonos views alone or with a special person. For busy food travelers, these quiet moments may be the most memorable of the entire trip.
3. Shop for Edible Mykonos Souvenirs
Shoppers will find plenty to buy in Mykonos from colorful scarves to cat magnets. While some visitors choose to buy small replicas of the island’s famous windmills as Mykonos souvenirs, we prefer to shop for edible souvenirs when we travel.
Food travelers like us will find plenty to buy in Mykonos. Items like honey, olive oil and dried oregano travel well assuming they’re well-wrapped prior to packing. These edible souvenirs make great gifts too.
Be careful with Mykonos food like louza if you’re returning to a country that doesn’t allow you to bring back meat or produce.
4. Visit a Mykonos Winery
The best place to drink wine produced in Mykonos is on the island itself. Although wineries on the Greek island produce wine with grape varietals like Agiannitis, Asyrtiko, Athiri and Mandilari, most Mykonos wine never exits the island’s port.
Visiting a winery like Mykonos Vioma offers the ultimate Mykonos wine experience. Established in 1994, this progressive winery produces organic wine without pesticides or herbicides. These winemakers cultivate grapes that don’t require much water and harvest them from mid-August until early September.
During our visit at Mykonos Vioma, Dimitra Asimomyti graciously served us tastes of her family’s organic wine along with a feast of local Mykonos products like louza (cured meat), kopanisti (spicy cheese) and olives. We also nibbled on horiatiki (Greek salad) and mostra (large crouton-like barley rusks topped with tomato and feta cheese) while we sipped both red and white wine.
The idyllic vineyard was an ideal spot to learn about Mykonos wine and eat local food specialties. We ended the experience with dessert wine that the winery produces by drying grapes in the sun for 20 days before crushing them into sweet liquid gold.
Make an advance appointment to visit Mykonos Vioma. You don’t want to miss out on this unique Mykonos food experience.
5. Burn Off Calories during a Bike Tour
Contrary to popular belief, food travel isn’t just about eating. Exploration is an important component of any successful food trip.
While in Mykonos, we spent a fun afternoon on a Fokos tour with Yummy Pedals. Designed for beginners and average bike riders, this fun bike tour took us on a scenic route filled with Mykonian churches and breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.
Although we stopped for a sweet treat at the beach, we still got in some great exercise while viewing the Mykonos countryside.
And the best part? We ended the 10k bike ride at Mykonos Vioma (see above). As it turns out, our tour guide was none other than Dimitra Asimomyti, a member of the family that owns the winery. She’s quite the multi-tasker!
Advanced cyclists can schedule more adventurous bike tours including a wind turbine tour that offers spectacular views of the island’s northern coastline.
6. Enjoy a Picnic on a Chartered Yacht
Taking a private cruise may be the ultimate activity for food travelers in Mykonos – if not all of Greece. There aren’t many better things in life than sailing on the Aegean Sea while eating a mini-feast and drinking Greek wine.
The views didn’t stop during our half-day cruise with Mykonos on Board. Captain Artemios Zaranis met us at Agios Ioannis before expertly navigating the spacious yacht past the archaeologically-rich Delos island.
We later stopped at picturesque Rhenia island where those brave enough to dip into the chilly turquoise sea could take a quick swim. Disclosure – we were not among the brave swimmers.
Believing that Greek history is like a fairy tale, Zaaranis wove fascinating tales during our leisurely afternoon on the Aegean. He also served us a smorgasbord of smoked fish, grilled chicken, cured ham and fresh cheese. In other words, he was a wonderful host.
We literally had to pinch ourselves multiple times throughout the day. Sipping wine while sailing on the Aegean sea is bucket list-worthy, and this cruise did not disappoint.
7. Toast the Sunset with Greek Wine
Ironically, one of the most special things to do in Mykonos doesn’t cost a thing.
Everybody can and should watch the sun kiss the sea in a nightly performance that requires no reservations. Sunset seekers head to Mykonos’ Little Venice and fill beaches in their quest to find the perfect viewing spot. However, savvy travelers take the sunset experience one step further…
As it turns out, sipping wine while watching a Mykonos sunset heightens the enjoyment by a factor of a million. This rule applies in Mykonos whether you watch the sunset on the beach or at the windmills.
We recommend opening a bottle of crisp Greek wine and toasting the sunset with a hearty “Yamas” while clinking glasses. Doing this multiple times will result in more smiles than clinks.
Be sure to make the toast with a bottle of wine produced in Mykonos, Greece’s remarkable paradise. Despite its crowds and hype, the island retains world-class magic that doesn’t disappoint.
How to Get to Mykonos
Ferries sail to Mykonos from Athens as well as from islands like Santorini, Crete and Paros. Since taking a ferry from Athens to Mykonos takes up to five hours, many people including us choose to fly instead. Fights to Mykonos from Athens take 35 minutes.
We recommend using a transfer service like Golden Transfer to travel longer distances on the island. Depending on your hotel’s location, you should be able to walk to most Mykonos restaurants and shops.
Plan Your Mykonos Trip
Be sure to plan ahead since Mykonos is popular during the summer months. Plus, the more you plan in advance, the more time you’ll have to enjoy paradise.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.