A Local's Guide To Mykonos, Greece

Maro Zouganeli

‘Dance, drink, never sleep’: that’s the ultimate slogan of Mykonos written on souvenir T-shirts. However, behind the crazy parties, the expensive restaurants and the five-star hotels, the island still features charming traditions and hidden, less-known spots to enjoy. Here are the top 5 things to discover that will make you feel like a real Mykonian.

Ano Mera

A Tour Around Ano Mera

Eight kilometers away from Mykonos Town and in total contrast to the center’s hustle-and-bustle, Ano Mera is a low profile village visitors will enjoy exploring. The residents have their own land and animals and usually cultivate their own products. In the main square is the impressive monastery of Panagia Tourliani, built in the 15th century by two monks who arrived to Mykonos from Paros. Grand, yet simple, on the outside with impressive wood carvings by Florentine craftsmen on the inside, this famous monastery is the heart of Ano Mera. Also in the square are small restaurants, with one popular spot being Steki Proedrou, offering delicious dishes made with local meats.

Panighiri: The Best Fest Ever

One thing you can’t help noticing in Mykonos is the number of churches that appear almost everywhere. In old times, each family would create a little church, near their homes, dedicated to a particular saint. Today, the saints are celebrated on designated name days around the churches with parties featuring lots of food, drinks, sweets and music. This local festival, called ‘panighiri,’ is famous on all the Greek islands, with many events taking place during the summer. Delos, the small island near Mykonos famous for being one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece, features a popular ‘panighiri’ — with dancing by the sea — that many Mykonians not only love to visit but also show-off to visitors.

Bay at Delos

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article