Mykonos is one the Greek Cycladic islands. It is known for its gusty winds, and for its equally raging party scene. However, our Mykonos holiday in August 2014 showed us that it can also be a fantastic location for a family vacation.
Getting to Mykonos:
You can get to Mykonos from Athens by boat (3.5 hours) or by plane (35 minutes). During the summer months, there are direct flights to Mykonos from many European cities such as Berlin, Zurich, Rome, and London. If you are coming from another island, you will need to take a boat.
Getting around Mykonos with Kids:
If you are traveling during peak time to Mykonos, I would suggest not even thinking about depending on public transportation, including taxis, of which there are about 30 on the island. It’s best to rent a car or an ATV (if you have older kids) to ensure convenience and flexibility. Rental cars are easy to find although you may find the prices go up in peak tourist season and if you are looking to drive an automatic (I was). People drive on the right side of the street here and car seats are completely optional, but available. Our rental car was arranged by the hotel, which was very convenient because they dropped the car off to us and allowed us to return it to the port, from where we were taking a ferry to Santorini.
Things to do on Mykonos Holidays with Kids:
Mykonos holidays are all about the beaches. If you are a party parent like I am, you will love that in Mykonos you can amp the party scene up or down, just by visiting a different plage. Here are some of our favorites:
- Agrari Beach: A Greek friend recommended this as a kid-friendly beach, so we went, and indeed it was. With calm waters, water sports, a cafe and bar, and a little playground, it was all we could want for a calm day with the kids. A nice mix of locals and tourists.
- Panormos Beach: This northern beach houses two restaurants and a trendy beach club which to me was the perfect mix for us. It was kid-friendly with bean bags and a long stretch of beach (no water sports), but still enough of a scene for you to feel like you are in Mykonos.
- Super Paradise/Pinky Beach: Right next to each other, these two beaches define Mykonos parties. At Pinky Beach you will pay 25 Euro for a pair of deck chairs for the day and can drink Dom Perignon at your leisure, while at Super Paradise next door, you can dance as hard as any Vegas nightclub at 6 in the evening. Both good options for the party parent. For those looking for a seriously whacky time, check out the scene at famous gay bar Jackie O’s. (Leave the kids on the beach unless they have a thing for drag queens). The restaurant at Pinky Beach is pretty good (expensive and hipster, but good).
The town of Mykonos is called the Chora, and is a fun place to visit, with a host of restaurants, cafes and shops. Due to the intense heat of the summer, shops close between 2 and 5pm but will stay open till 1 in the morning. Little Venice is a particularly dense part of town, packed with all sorts of entertainment. Kids are seen all over the town in the evenings, and then families start departing around 11pm when the party crowd comes in.
If you have a car fiend in your family like I do or if you are beached out temporarily, check out Raceland Kart. Kids can ride with their parents and it’s a super fun time on a Mykonos holiday!
Where to Eat with Kids on Mykonos Holidays:
Walking around the town or the beaches, you will find that there is no dearth of eating options in Mykonos. Here are some we enjoyed:
- Sea Satin Market: Located just under the famous windmills, Sea Satin is best known for its shellfish. Its seaside terrace is a magical place to watch the sunset or enjoy the splashing of the waves when the tide is high. After hours it becomes a crazy party place, complete with table-dancing and plate-breaking so unless you have very gregarious kids, I would get out by 11. Sea Satin is considered one of the best restaurants in Mykonos. Lindsay Lohan was dining there when we visited, if that’s any testament.
- Kalosta Restaurant, Panormas: You wouldn’t hear about this place if you aren’t staying around Panormas, but it’s worth it if you want authentic homestyle Greek cooking, away from the tourists, with an enchanting view. The menu is diverse (they offer a Thai fried rice, which was pretty good!) as well as your grilled favorites such as sea bream and sea urchins.
- Mamalouka: “Eat local” is their tagline and you get the sense that you are, as fresh fish is brought to table after table. I had a lamb with feta in vine leaves which is a dish I will remember for years to come. The setting is enchanting, it’s one of the only large open-air terraces in the town, complete with beautiful palm trees, making you feel like you are in an oasis of sorts.
- Pinky Beach Restaurant: If you fancy something fancy by the beach, head down to the trendy restaurant at Pinky Beach, where serious eye candy serves up fusion and Greek specialties. It’s a cool atmosphere particularly at sunset and they are happy to whip up a simple pasta for the kids if nothing else suits. Plus after, the kids can hang on the beach while mum and dad enjoy a cocktail.
Where to Stay in Mykonos with Kids:
There are many options for hotels in Mykonos. Keep in mind that if you stay in the town, you are susceptible to the noise from the hustle and bustle of daily (and nightly activity). It’s for this reason that we chose a quaint little apartment hotel in Panormas.
Tips for Traveling to Mykonos with Kids:
- Mykonos is, in my experience, the most expensive of the Greek islands. Don’t be shocked if you spend 20 euro on a simple pasta.
- Children are still welcome in Mykonos, despite its reputation as a party town. Your concierge or the internet (with websites like Momaboard) will tell you where it’s not appropriate to take them.
- Most distances in Mykonos are 15-20 minutes. A rental car is your best bet.
- Greek food consists of grilled meats and rice, which most kids enjoy. Since it’s such a touristy town, you can always find a pasta on the menu.