Santorini and Mykonos are two of the most popular Greek Islands, and it’s easy to see why. I’ve been lucky enough to go to Santorini & Mykonos last summer then back again to Mykonos last month. Santorini & Mykonos have probably been my most requested destinations so it was about time I got y’all a proper City Guide!
Both of the islands offer such different experiences of Greece’s beautiful Aegean Islands! Santorini is a more romantic destination and a slower speed. It’s more of a honeymooner’s island as Oia is perched-up high on the island offering insane & iconic views. It’s a place you can truly be a lounge lizard by day at an infinity pool and enjoy the island’s history by exploring ruins or climbing the volcano.
Mykonos, known for its beach clubs and nightlife, is the Ibiza of Greece. Its crowd is a bit younger and looking to have a good time. If you’re not hanging out at a beach club by day, you can keep busy by getting lost shopping in town. You won’t need any rental transportation in Santorini, but I’d recommend getting an ATV, scooter or the smallest car (for parking) while in Mykonos as some of the beach clubs and restaurants are a 15-30minute drive across the island.
- San Giorgio – Would be my first recommendation for a stay in Mykonos. The vibe is a mix of minimal Greek and Tulum-inspired that’s blended perfectly. The service was spectacular and I looked forward to the lavish breakfast buffet (pictured above) every day. Located about 10 minutes from the city on Paraga Beach.
- Bill & Coo – Located walking distance from the city. If you don’t end up staying here, it’s a great place to grab sundowners at.
- Caesar’s – I fell in love with this little spot. Great for lunch or dinner they serve elevated Greek comfort food.
- Kiki’s Tavern – Such a must. This traditional Greek restaurant used to have no electricity and the word got out how good the food was. The wait can easily be over 2 hours because of the limited seating. They offer rose as you wait in line and there is maybe my favorite beach right next to the restaurant. You have to take turns swimming as somebody from your party has to stay in line. The doors open at 12:30pm, Brett and I went at 11:30am to secure a spot and make sure we were in the first sitting. Best experience and octopus I’ve ever had!
- Tasos Tavern – Great for lunch, located on Paraga beach (Between Scorpio’s and San Giorgio)
- Bowl Cafe – Cute Aussie cafe for a healthy breakfast or brunch.
- Kalita – High-end Greek fare, but not unreasonably priced. I love the patio area at night!
- Interni – Gorgeous spot for dinner!
- Ling Ling – From the Hakkasan group, a Cantonese restaurant with small plates and fantastic cocktails.
- Remezzo – Great seafood for dinner!
- Roca Cookery – Romantic spot for dinner!
- 180º Sunset Bar – Horrible name, but a great spot to get cocktails and watch the sunset! Located in the Mykonos Castle Hotel
- Pepper – Solid lunch spot
- Spilia – I’m only including this to tell you not to go here. It had been recommended to me by everyone who had gone to Mykonos before. We didn’t get to go last year so it was high on my list this time around. Yes, the view is great – I’ll give it that – but Brett and I were so disappointed halfway through our meal that we pulled-up TripAdvisor to find that it was flooded with one-star reviews. Apparently, it’s changed management or gotten sloppy over the years.
- Marenga Milk Bar – cute coffee shop
Beach Clubs: for all beach clubs, make sure to have reservations as most don’t accept walk-ins!
- Scorpios – This is one of my favorite spots, it’s a lifestyle. Owned by the same people who have San Giorgio, the vibe is again Tulum-inspired meets chic Greek. It’s a tranquil and vibey spot during the day and turns up at night. They also have and one of my favorite dinners on the island.
- Alemagou Beach Bar
- Ftelia Beach Club – This is a new-er beach club as it wasn’t here last year. It’s a great place for lunch and an afternoon beach hang. It’s located on the same beach as Alamagou and fun to watch the windsurfers and kitesurfers in the cove.
- Principote – I would say this is one of my favorites and when I think of rich Europeans throwing down for magnums of rose, this spot comes to mind. If you make it to Kiki’s Tavern for lunch, I would aim to go here after as they are quite close.
- Jackie O’s – With a bar in the city and a beach club on Paradise Beach, this is such a fun spot that always has good energy and great music. Be sure to catch an iconic drag show here!
- Windmills of Kato Mili – Iconic windmills on the edge of town
If you’re visiting Mykonos during peak season, the traffic on the island can get pretty hairy. Mixing day drinking at a beach club or out at night and driving is never the move – but can sometimes feel like the only option in Mykonos. Here are two ride-share apps that are used on the island that we used: Aegean Taxi and iMove Taxi. I’d highly recommend downloading these apps before your trip (they also work in Santorini, too!)
- Katakies Hotel – Located on Oia.
- Canaves Oia – Located on Oia.
- Istoria Hotel – Minimal design-forward hotel located on Perivolos beach, about 40minutes from Oia.
- Sunset Ammoundi Taverna – A must for lunch. The restaurant is located right on the water as the fishermen are coming in & out. If you go with a fish option (recommended!) you’ll get the opportunity to go point out which fish you’d like – caught that same day!
- Sphinx Wine Restaurant – Romantic Greek restaurant with a great wine list
- Melitini – Greek Tapas
- Ambrosia – Upscale romantic dinner spot ($$$)
- 1500 BC – Casual seafood restaurant ~ perfect for lunch
- Forty-one 41 – if you find yourself on Perivolos, this upscale Greek restaurant is right on the beach and perfect for dinner
- Tango Bar – Fun cocktail bar with great views
- Casablanca Soul Bar – Bar with small dancefloor and DJ booth
- Byzantine Castle Ruins – Stunning views of Santorini and one of the highest places on the island! It can get pretty crowded with tourists, but great photo opportunities!
- Hike the volcano – If you’re looking to do an adventurous activity on the island, a hike to the island volcano. You can rent a boat and get to the center for a half-day adventure.
- Atlantis Bookstore – a charming little book shop with a great range of books in several languages!
Have you visited Santorini or Mykonos before? Let me know your thoughts and if you have any favorite spots. And have you been to any other of the Greek Islands? I can’t way to go back and also explore some more remote islands in the Aegean!