I have previously written about my love for Mykonos, and I am aware that it is known as a destination for the wealthy. However, it is possible to visit the island without spending a lot of money. My intention with this post is to provide tips for enjoying Mykonos on a budget. To begin with, I recommend traveling during the off-season to take advantage of lower prices for flights and accommodations.
Best time to visit Mykonos Affordably
To save money on accommodation prices, it is recommended to avoid visiting Mykonos during the peak Summer tourist season, which runs from mid-June to August. Instead, if you are on a budget and not interested in beach parties, plan your visit for April-May or September-October. September is a better month for swimming in the sea. However, if you are looking to experience Mykonos’ famous cosmopolitan party scene, the best time to visit is the first 15 days of June.
During the Summer months, you can find direct flights from various European city airports to Mykonos on budget airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, and Wizz Air. London Gatwick, Berlin, Budapest, Paris, and Katowice are some of the cities with direct flights. Booking early can get you one-way flights for as low as €20.00. Additionally, Aegean also offers great deals for the short hop over to Mykonos if you can get to Athens cheaply and book early. The airport is located only 3km away from Chora, which is the main town on the island. This means that you can reach it in just 10 minutes by car or 40 minutes on foot. Additionally, there is a public bus service available that connects the airport to Chora.
Getting to Mykonos by ferry
If you’re planning to go to Mykonos, you can book a ferry from Piraeus or Rafina on the mainland. You can also book a ferry from the Cycladic islands of Santorini, Ios, Naxos, and Paros if you’re already island-hopping. It’s recommended to start from the mainland and then travel down the islands in order to save money. If you’re already in Athens, it’s not worth flying to Mykonos because taking the ferry is cheaper. You can buy ferry tickets at a discount if you know your travel dates in advance.
Ferry prices in Greece depend on the length of the journey. Faster boats, such as the ones from Athens with a journey time of 2.5 hours, are more expensive at around €60, while slower boats with a 4.5 hour journey time cost around €30. Journey times can sometimes exceed 5 hours and may turn tedious. However, if you plan your journey right, you can save on a night’s accommodation by sleeping on the ferry.
How to get around Mykonos Affordably
To navigate within the old town of Chora, walking is your only option. But to explore other villages and beaches, you’ll either need to rent a scooter (from €17 per day) or take the bus. The bus service is good, with two terminals that connect Chora with most beaches a few times a day. Keep in mind that not all beaches are covered, and the cost ranges from €1.60 – €3.00 per person for each way.
I have a list of top budget-friendly activities to do in Mykonos:
Check out the Windmills
There are 16 windmills on the island of Mykonos. The most famous group of windmills are called “Kato Myloi,” meaning lower windmills, and there are five of them in Chora. They offer a great view of the sunset. Although they are no longer operational, they used to generate income for the island by producing wheat. You can visit the Bonis Windmill, which has been converted into an Agricultural museum, to learn about the history of the Mykonos Windmills.
See the Sunset in Little Venice
One of the most romantic places in Mykonos is ‘Little Venice’, which is a seafront area with colorful Venetian-style buildings with wooden balconies that are popularly featured on postcards. It is an excellent spot to watch the sunset, and is surrounded by bars and tavernas. However, you can save money by purchasing drinks from the mini-market and enjoying the view and vibrant atmosphere while sitting by the waterfront with your legs hanging over the water.
Hike to Armenistis Lighthouse
You can enjoy stunning views of the sunset by hiking to the historic lighthouse that was constructed in 1891. It is situated on a hilltop in the Fanari area, approximately 6.5km away from the Old Port in Chora. The hike takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes, not including breaks for taking photos.
Check Out the Beautiful Churches
Mykonos Town has 60 chapels and churches, each with charming architecture and great views. Some have blue domes typical of Greek islands while others have red domes. If you can only visit one, go to the Paraportiani Church, the most famous on Mykonos. It is a complex of five churches, with four chapels on the ground and one on the roof. The oldest church dates back to the 14th century.
Get Lost in the Alleyways
Explore the quieter back alleys away from the main tourist areas to discover charming scenes of quaint buildings adorned with blue shutters and vibrant magenta bougainvillea plants. You may also spot sleeping cats and locals conversing on doorsteps. Don’t worry about getting lost, as you will find picturesque surprises at every turn.
Visit the Beaches
To save money on Mykonos, consider purchasing your own sun umbrella from a mini-market or beach shop instead of renting one, as rental fees are expensive. Additionally, you can save on snacks and drinks by purchasing them from the mini-markets instead of the bars.
If you’re looking to visit off-the-beaten-track beaches in Mykonos, some great options are Agios Sostis Beach, which is the most secluded beach on the island but requires a rental car to reach. Fokos Beach is wild and rugged and also nudist-friendly. Meanwhile, Agios Stefanos Beach has small shady coves where you can lay down your beach towel.
Where to Stay in Mykonos Affordably
Although there are many chic boutique hotels on the island, most are located along the coast. However, there are some affordable options available. You can go camping on the beach during the off-season for a few euros per night, or you can choose to stay in one of the island’s budget hotels. Generally, the cost is around 25 to 30 euros per person.
Here are some suggestions:
La Maison Kalogera
This hotel has only four rooms, one being a triple room and another a family suite with a double bed and two sofa beds. This makes it ideal for budget-conscious groups. The hotel is located in the Chora area, where you can easily walk to bakeries, cafes, and restaurants. Although the rooms are basic, they each have their own unique pieces of art.
This hotel, which has a 2-star rating, is conveniently located in the center of Mykonos Town. Despite being close to busy shopping streets and restaurants, it has a peaceful garden and provides excellent service. The staff is welcoming and serves a delicious breakfast.
If you’re in a beautiful location with stunning views, you’ll likely pay more for your food. For example, a souvlaki in Athens may cost 2€ to 3€, but in Mykonos, it can be double that. However, even if you have to pay 12€ for two souvlakis (which sounds expensive), it’s still cheaper than a full meal at a restaurant. Some recommended souvlaki restaurants in Mykonos include Jimmy’s Gyros, Souvlaki Story, and Kalammmakia Ano Mera.
It’s common for a pizza to cost around 20€, which might seem quite expensive. I recommend trying Na’Verace for an authentic Italian pizza. However, I suggest avoiding dining in Little Venice as it can be pricey. In case you plan on cooking for yourself, it’s best to compare prices before purchasing. Some of the mini-marts might charge higher prices, so larger supermarkets are a better option.
If you want to save money, avoid buying alcohol in bars and instead purchase your drinks at supermarkets. Additionally, consider visiting Mex Cocktail Bar as they are known for having the most affordable drinks on the island. At one of the bars in Little Venice, which is considered the most beautiful spot on the island, a cocktail may cost between 10€ to 15€. However, this is the average price for cocktails elsewhere in Greece. Alternatively, you can buy a beer from a supermarket and enjoy it on the beach, where you will still have the same view of the sunset as the patrons at the bar next to you.
Traveling to 🇬🇷 Greece soon?
I recommend these travel resources for Greece that I personally use:
🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Greece. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Greece, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.
🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.
🚙 Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer from the airport and beetween destinations with Welcome Pickups. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.
🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Greece, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Greece. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.
📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.
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