Santorini vs Mykonos

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Santorini or Mykonos?

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Santorini vs Mykonos

Santorini or Mykonos? When faced with the dilemma of which Cycladic island in Greece to visit, two popular choices are Mykonos and Santorini. While both islands share much in common — such as their location within a group of over 20 islands that make up the Aegean Sea’s stunning Cyclades chain — each offers its own unique set of attractions for prospective travelers. Be sure to consider all aspects before making your final decision! 

mykonos vs santorini
View of Little Venice in Mykonos Town

Should I go to Santorini or Mykonos?

Mykonos is a vibrant Greek island with an exciting atmosphere and its capital, Mykonos Town, has an undeniable charm that rivals any other town in the Greek islands. Santorini will leave you mesmerized – its remarkable landscapes are some of the most breathtaking sights to behold.


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Visit Santorini for breathtaking sunsets, picturesque views of nature, romantic moments with a loved one, exquisite dining options, wine tasting opportunities in wineries nearby as well as sailing trips and an unforgettable view of its volcanoes.

If that’s not enough then head over to Mykonos where partying never stops! Mykonos beaches are out-of-this-world stunningly beautiful plus there’s always something exciting going on like night clubs dancing, shopping fests just waiting to be explored. Combining both islands into a single trip would make it complete!

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1. Location And Distance

The Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos have become so popular that they receive year-round domestic flights from Athens, Greece plus a few charter flights in the summer season. If you prefer to travel by sea, both destinations are accessible via ferry rides departing from Piraeus’ harbor near Athens. However, if your destination is Santorini, be prepared for a voyage ranging between 5 to 8 hours depending on the speed of your vessel; whereas arriving at Mykonos would take anywhere between 2.5 to 6 hours by fast or slow ferry respectively.

Expert Tip: When visiting Greece, it’s important to be aware of the benefits that slow ferries have over fast ones. These vessels provide not only restaurants and shops, but also outdoor decks for travelers to explore during their journey – something lacking in a hydrofoil or other airfare-style seating option. So don’t just settle for an ordinary trip; take advantage of all the unique features offered on board a slower ferry!

mykonos vs santorini
View of Santorini

2. Best Island for Beaches: Winner – Mykonos


Looking for a beach getaway? Mykonos beaches is the perfect spot! If you dream of beach vacations with your toes in the sand, then look no further than Mykonos. Take a trip to this one-of-a-kind paradise today – you won’t regret it! Whether you’re looking for a gay-friendly beach, an urban beach, a nudist spot to make your own, or the perfect place for some family fun – Mykonos is the ideal destination. Its waters are exceptionally shallow and great for seniors and children alike; I can personally attest that nothing beats strolling along its sandy beaches with no end in sight!

santorini vs mykonos
View of Paradise Beach

Plus, not only will you find tranquility here but also plenty of Mykonos beach clubs if partying’s more your style. With its many golden sandy beaches, there’s something to please everyone. While it is known as a party island, keep Paradise Beach at arm’s length – 4 miles south of the capital, Mykonos Town. Instead rent a car and drive around 9 or 8 miles east/northeast of the Mykonos Town to Lia, Fokos and Elia Beach respectively. These secluded destinations are untouched with no sunbeds in sight; just glorious stretches of sand and pristine water that will take your breath away!

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View of Super Paradise Beach in Mykonos


Let’s face it: Santorini is beautiful but nothing can compare to Mykonos tropical golden sands and crystal clear turquoise waters! Unlike the popular idea of beautiful white-sand beaches characteristic of Greece, Santorini is a volcanic island with black and red sand and rocks. The most iconic beach among them is Red Beach, offering an especially vivid panorama due to its dramatic reddish hue. The Red Beach is in close proximity to Akrotiri‘s Bronze Age archaeological settlement – so make sure it’s included on a day trip itinerary for some added historical context! Also famous are the black sand beaches of Santorini. The island boasts some of the most relaxing beach clubs around, that doesn’t even begin to approach Mykonos’ reputation for wild and crazy parties on their over 20 incredible beaches.

If you decide to explore Santorini beaches, and especially if snorkeling is your thing — due to its incredible underwater rock formations! — then remember to bring aqua socks or waterproof sandals.

Furthermore, don’t be fooled by the seemingly shallow waters of Santorini – they can quickly deepens so that before you know it you may have taken two steps forward without being able to think twice about it!

3. The weather in Santorini and Mykonos: Winner – Tie


Mykonos and Santorini share a very similar climate, with the best weather experienced between late May to early October. Even though Santorini is an island primarily popular for its breathtaking views, visitors can still enjoy plenty of activities year-round during spring or fall seasons. The tourist season on this island generally runs from April through November – making it ideal for travelers who wish to explore all that Santorini has to offer!


While most people journey to Mykonos for its incredible beaches, the island’s offerings are limited from late October through early May. The peak season on this beautiful destination lasts from late May until early October.

4. Things to do: Winner – Santorini


Boasting numerous ancient sites, Greece’s islands are no exception. Santorini’s claim to fame unquestionably lies in its extraordinary volcanic islands, especially the bay of Agios Nikolaos on the petite black rock island of Nea Kamini. Its therapeutic sulphuric yellow waters and hot springs are simply breathtaking! In addition, Paleo Kamini is Santorini’s oldest volcano – it too houses hot springs that make for a truly unforgettable experience.

mykonos vs santorini
View of the Caldera in Santorini

Embark on a boat excursion from Santorini to Nea Kameni, and you’ll be able to explore the moon-like landscape. A 20-minute hike will lead you to the volcano’s heated crater; however, it is best that this journey takes place either in the morning or late afternoon since temperatures can reach unbearable levels during midday hours!


Mykonos is just a two-mile boat voyage with forty minutes of passage to Delos Island—a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most significant archaeological locales in the country! Moreover, folklore states that Leto gave birth to twins Apollo and Artemis on this very island as an outcome from her tryst with Zeus. So if you’re looking for a unique experience combined with historical relevance be sure to visit Delos island when you have the chance!

To avoid the sweltering heat of midday, it is best to visit Delos in the morning. As there isn’t much shade or water available on this ancient island, be sure to bring along a hat and sunscreen, as well as some snacks for your journey- if you don’t want to prepare them yourself then ask your hotel in Mykonos for help!

5. Most Romantic Island: Winner – Santorini


Searching for a romantic getaway? Then you can end your search right here! Santorini has been praised as one of the most captivating places in the world, making it an ideal honeymoon destination. With its breathtaking sunsets and magnificent views, sumptuous cuisine options, and charming villages – what more could you ask for? Allow yourself to be swept away by this picturesque paradise. The breathtaking sunsets over the caldera have become famous worldwide and many luxurious resorts offer beautiful 180° views of these stunning vistas. Couples who desire extravagant experiences such as winery tours or fine dining will find everything they need in abundance here – making it an ideal honeymoon spot for those looking for something extra special!

santorini wedding
Romantic view of Santorini

If you’re searching for a stellar place to appreciate the stunning Mediterranean sunset, then there can be no better destination than Oia’s cliffside village. To ensure that you have enough time to explore all the wonderful restaurants and viewing points, make sure your arrival is ahead of schedule!


From its party-focused reputation, it might come as a surprise that Mykonos is an idyllic destination for couples and the perfect destination for romance, with its breathtaking golden beaches – from cozy getaways to vibrant hubs – that provide unparalleled opportunities for relaxation and admiring a glorious sunset. Though the island has long been considered more of a singles’ haven, don’t let this deter you from enjoying quality time with your special someone! In fact, you and your partner will have even more fun if you travel to Mykonos together.

Plus, some of the world’s most famous celebrities are known to visit this place! If you’re an aficionado of luxury shopping or celebrity-spotting, then there’s no better place than Mykonos!

Enjoy a brief 19-minute taxi ride from the hubbub of Mykonos Town to Agios Sostis beach, and witness an untouched area with crystal blue water, incredible views and the iconic church sporting a cobalt dome. Make your day complete by stopping at Kiki’s Taverna for some mouthwatering dishes such as fresh salads and grilled meats while admiring the picturesque sunset!

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6. Best Food: Winner – Santorini (by a small margin)

Greek cuisine is truly remarkable, no matter the destination within Greece. Nevertheless, if I had to choose one place with extraordinary food that stands out above all others, it would be Santorini. Not only do many of its best restaurants boast incredible views, they also provide an abundance of options – something you don’t find in Mykonos or other parts of Greece! Oh and let’s not forget about the flourishing wineries on this beautiful island – surely a major draw for any visitor!

7. Best island for shopping: Winner – Mykonos

Mykonos is renowned for its exclusive, luxurious brands and celebrities frequenting the area. Some of the most iconic labels in the world have a presence in Mykonos Town!

8. Scenery And Architecture : Winner – Santorini


Santorini’s picturesque villages are perched on the majestic cliffs, offering remarkable views of the volcano and Aegean Sea. With their characteristic curved designs and arched architecture, these stunning settlements feature beautiful blue-domed churches and vibrant coloured houses that perfectly integrate into its natural environment. Many boutique hotels have been designed to blend in harmoniously with Santorini’s captivating landscape.

blue domed churches
View of Santorini blue domed church


For those looking for tranquil and idyllic surroundings, Mykonos is the perfect destination with its golden beaches and Little Venice in Mykonos Town. This stunning spot boasts captivating windmills that make it an ideal place to explore anytime of day or night. Or if you’re seeking more dramatic landscapes with black volcanic sands and picturesque sunsets, then Santorini should be your go-to destination! But if meandering alleyways featuring quaint villages coupled with sandy shores are what you desire, then look no further than Mykonos!

mykonos vs santorini
View of Windmills in Mykonos Town

9. Best island for wine tours: Winner – Santorini


Whether you are looking to combine your travels with wine tasting or any other activity involving vino, come to the stunning Santorini. Boasting one of Europe’s best wine destinations and a vineyard that is the oldest in all of Europe, Santorini provides an experience like no other!

mykonos vs santorini
View of Estate Argiros

Santorini is an unrivaled and often overlooked hotspot for wine lovers the world over. More than 20 wineries show off their wares through tastings, accompanied by breathtaking views and Greek meze that perfectly compliment the local vintages. Countless couples have chosen Santorini as a destination wedding location due to its romantic surroundings — making it one of only ten in the entire world with such a captivating winery museum! Renowned globally for its award-winning Assyrtiko variety of wine, Santorini presents an unforgettable gustatory experience. Additionally, the island’s sweet portwine known as Vinsanto adds to a tantalizing drinking adventure!


With its stunning winery and two smaller ones at Mykonos – it’s no wonder why these Greek Islands are considered some of the finest places in the world to taste wines.

10. Accessibility for seniors or people with disabilities: Winner – Mykonos

Santorini can be an intimidating destination for people with disabilities or seniors given the challenging landscape and villages full of stairs. Fortunately, Mykonos offers a flatter terrain that is perfect for everyone – including children! Of course, there are many stunning places to explore on Santorini as well; however if you fall into either of these two categories then it’s best to stick close to beaches like Perissa, Perivolos or Kamari so that your exploration remains comfortable throughout your vacation.

11. The Off-Season Experience: Winner – Santorini


Experience the breathtaking views and romantic sunsets of Santorini without crowds by planning your trip in either spring or fall. While June, July, and August typically bring more visitors to these islands, you can still expect amazing weather between May and October when it’s a bit less crowded. No matter what time of year you visit though, there are always sights to see!


If you’re after a more authentic experience, Mykonos is best explored in the spring and fall when its streets are quieter as tourists tend to flock here during summertime. During this season, visitors can wander around the island and truly appreciate all of its local charm while still being able to enjoy some shopping or beach time!

12. Cheapest Island: Neither

People may assume that the well-known Greek isles of Santorini and Mykonos are too costly for a vacation, yet they can be enjoyed while on a budget. All you need to do is conduct some research! During off-season, there will be great deals when it comes to accommodation and food options – plus no crowds or long waits in line. You’ll get more privacy this way as well! Whether you’re looking for an affordable holiday adventure or wanting to splurge away during peak season, both Santorini and Mykonos offer something special for everyone.

mykonos vs santorini
Boat Trip in Caldera.

Visiting Both Santorini and Mykonos

If you plan to explore both Mykonos and Santorini, a great option is flying in to one and taking the ferry between them before flying back out of the other.

Summertime travelers are in luck – Santorini to Mykonos flights usually run for 30 minutes and cost between €30-€80. However, if there are no direct flights available during your visit, the ferry is a faster (taking 2-5 hours) and ferry tickets are a more affordable option than flying through Athens at 3 times the price!

For those seeking a convenient and reliable method of transportation between the two islands, the ferry is your ideal solution. In summer months, travelers can expect multiple high-speed ferries each day that traverse from Santorini to Mykonos (and vice versa). The voyage typically takes 2.5 hours with stops in Paros & Ios along the way. Additionally, consider taking a larger Blue Star Ferry from Santorini to Naxos followed by one more brief high-speed ride between Naxos & Mykonos for an even smoother experience!

It’s highly recommended that visitors set aside at least five days on Santorini; not only will it give you plenty of time to get acquainted with its stunning views, but also allows for visiting an active volcano! 

Ultimately, which island you spend more time in should depend on your individual preferences and interests.

Looking for shopping, picturesque beaches, and a chance to potentially mingle with the rich and famous? Then Mykonos may be your ideal destination! It offers some of the best beach experiences during its off-season as well as quieter bars where you can relax or enjoy an exciting nightlife.

If you’re looking for a romantic and beautiful getaway, Santorini is the perfect destination. There’s no shortage of breathtaking sunsets, archaeological sites to explore, plus the nearby island of Delos if you want more! Alternatively, Mykonos can also provide an unforgettable experience with stunning views and plenty to do.

Even though both islands are becoming increasingly popular, you can still find some smaller, budget-friendly family hotels that will warmly welcome you.

Day Trip to Santorini or Mykonos

Doing a day trip from Mykonos to Santorini and vice versa is discouraged due to the limited amount of time you get at your destination. Depending on the ferry schedule, some years in July and August it’s possible to experience 5-7 hours there; however this includes 3 hours each way traveling by high-speed boat. These boats can be very unpleasant during windy days, so if that happens you’ll end up spending more time recovering than exploring! Besides, after all that effort, you will only have a few short hours before having to board again for the ride home.

If you’re eager to see both islands and their respective highlights, I recommend that you spend a few nights on each. Trying to fit in all of the best sights either island has to offer with just an afternoon visit is simply not enough time!

Other Islands besides Santorini and Mykonos?

Alright! We’ve established that these famous Greek islands are the two premier islands in Greece. Their unique views, romantic atmosphere, exceptional beaches, and vibrant nightlife make them a top destination for travelers from around the world. However, if you have already visited these divine places before and desire to experience another Greek island this time – I propose Crete (drum roll please)!

santorini vs mykonos
Panagia Paraportiani in Mykonos Town

If you’re searching for diversity and culture, Crete is the perfect destination. You’ll find a wonderful mix of history, tradition, exquisite landscapes coupled with delicious local cuisine that will surely tantalize your taste buds. Not to mention it’s Greece’s largest island offering plenty of time to explore – but don’t forget that renting a car is essential in order to traverse its vast area! With so much on offer here there truly isn’t anything not to like about this incredible paradise; why wait any longer? Start planning your dream trip today!

Which one is finally the best island: Santorini or Mykonos? 

Combining Santorini and Mykonos would be the perfect getaway for you! A couple of days in Santorini, soaking up its breathtaking scenery, magnificent sunsets, and captivating ambience is a must. Once there, don’t forget to head over to Mykonos afterwards where you can have some fun by the beach while sipping on your favorite cocktails. What an unforgettable trip that promises something special for everyone!

If I could only choose one Greek island to explore, it would undeniably be Santorini. Sure, you will have a wonderful time in Mykonos—but Santorini is truly incomparable. With its captivating views and scenery, amenities like luxury hotels and restaurants, not to mention alluring shopping spots – this paradise must be experienced at least once in your lifetime! From its naturally stunning landscapes to the vibrant culture waiting for discovery around every corner – there’s no denying that Santorini won’t disappoint. Every morning you have the chance to wake up with a breathtaking view of a majestic volcano – why not take advantage?


I sincerely hope my comparison provided you with some valuable insight. If any doubts linger, feel free to contact me at your convenience. Whether it be Mykonos or Santorini, I can guarantee that a fabulous experience awaits! As someone of Greek heritage and culture, this is not merely hearsay; take it from a local. Once in Greece the only real issue will be wanting to stay longer than intended – one trip simply won’t suffice! In conclusion then: Why don’t you go for Santorini first and make sure there’s always something to look forward to by visiting Mykonos next year?

Traveling to 🇬🇷 Greece soon?

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🤿 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.