Is Mykonos Suitable for Families?
Mykonos is known as a party island, we knew this when we booked our trip back in August. Why Mykonos then I hear you say, well we have 2 young kids and we knew we wouldn’t be out past 9 pm at night, I did my research and the party island doesn’t get going until well after that time, so we wouldn’t really be crossing paths with any of the party goers. Mykonos looked stunning, so we thought we’d give it a try.
I’ve always loved Greece and Mykonos really appealed to me, 50 years ago it was a quiet little fishing village now it’s a luxurious, cosmopolitan holiday destination for the rich and famous! I was curious to see what it was all about.
Only a 4-hour flight from the UK, hot weather, amazing food, beautiful scenery, what’s not to love about Greece. I’ve been to Mainland Greece, Santorini and Zante but I have to say Mykonos was my favorite “island” (Athens is one of my favorite places in the world, if you can combine it with a trip to Mykonos go for it)
Mykonos is situated 93 miles East of Athens in the Aegean sea. Mykonos is a popular cosmopolitan island that is popular with gay travelers and young partying 20 somethings. It is one of the more expensive islands with some rooms costing hundreds a night. The island has something for everyone’s taste and budget and with its sunny climate and stunning white washed buildings its sure to impress everyone.
How to get to Mykonos
Mykonos is a 4-hour flight from the UK or a 35-minute flight from Athens. There is also a ferry you can take from Athens that will cost around the same as a flight if not more expensive and takes 3.5 hours. During peak summer months many European countries offer direct flights to the island.
Where is a family friendly place to stay?
I’d recommend staying away from Mykonos town with kids as you don’t want the booming nightlife to keep you up at night. We stayed at The George Hotel in Platis Gialos, a beach town only 10-minutes bus ride from Mykonos town. The hotel is a fairly small boutique hotel with whitewashed walls, great sized family rooms, a pool, bar and only 5minutes from the beach.
We can’t recommend this place enough. The staff was amazing with our kids, always going out of their way to make a fuss of them or help us with things we need like a kettle in the room for the babies’ bottle. Our son was only 4 months old when we visited Mykonos, so we had the pram with us. The George does have stairs so please be aware if you have mobility issues or a pram like us. Read my more in-depth review here.
Platis Gios is a lovely little place to stay. Restaurants are lined along the boardwalk on the beach making for a beautiful location for dinner in the evening. The beach isn’t overly huge but a great size for families. It is crowded in the summer but there are plenty of hidden gem beaches I will talk about later that you can go to that aren’t overcrowded.
I’ve also heard that Ornos is a great place for families, again located not too far from Mykonos town on a stunning beach. There is a range of small hotels, restaurants, and shop along the harbor.
Things to do with kids
Although Mykonos isn’t known as an island for kids, my 5-year-old loved it. There aren’t many things aimed at kids if any, to be honest, so you have to make your itinerary fun and adapt it to make it interesting for them. Here is a run-down of some of the things you can do with kids that we did, and our son enjoyed…
Explore Mykonos Town
My son absolutely loved exploring the streets of Mykonos town. He was in his own little world running around the cobbled streets. We would stop for ice cream or even better the traditional Greek Gyros! Wow they were good and cheap, something you don’t often say in Mykonos and practical for families who don’t want to sit in restaurants with young kids… we all know how difficult that can be!!
Take the time to stroll the streets, we used both the pram and the baby carrier, and we didn’t have any problems with the pram. We thought it might get a bit difficult with the narrow streets but it wasn’t a problem.
The streets really are like a maze so be sure to drop a pin on google so you know exactly where to get back for the bus! We are so glad we did this, I doubt we would have found the bus stop on the way home if we didn’t.
Watch the sunset in Little Venice
We didn’t realise how much our son would love doing this, he just sat on the edge of the water so relaxed and quite just watching the world go by and the sunset over Little Venice. Such a lovely memory to look back on. Be sure to sit near the windmills for sunset with kids, bit less crowded than near all the restaurants.
Visit the Windmills
There are so many windmills in Mykonos, they are everywhere and so pretty. My son loved counting how many he would see in a day. He was fascinated by the iconic windmills in Little Venice in Mykonos town.
It can be very crowded at the windmills, but we were really lucky and got a break from the crowds for a few pictures. The best time to go with little ones is first thing in the morning but it’s also really lovely to go just before sunset. It can get very windy near the windmills so be careful when near the edge with kids.
Platis Gios beach
We were lucky to stay right near this beach and what a lovely beach it is. There are plenty of beach beds for everyone and if you stay at The George you will get complimentary use of the beds at The Acrogiali hotel.
There are plenty of great restaurants but best for kids, a pizza window selling amazing pizzas. You can get a boat that stops at various other beaches (paradise and super paradise) from the dock here which the kids will love.
We hired a car and went to Ana Mero which is a little town (Mykonos second largest town) with the most stunning monastery. If I’m completely honest my son was not in the slightest bit interested in this town but older children, I’m sure would be this is why I’ve included it. Make sure you visit inside the monastery and light a candle for a loved one, its breathtakingly beautiful. There are some great little gift shops with little nic nacs kids will love.
We came across this place when driving around the island, it’s a quiet beach on the north of the island that is great for swimming. It’s a very quiet beach which is great for the kids, they may even have to themselves to explore if you go early enough.
I’d recommend bringing your own sun shields as the beach doesn’t get much shade which is great with older children but a bit harder with younger children if you don’t have shade, which is what happened with us, so we went into a gorgeous little Greek tavern situated on the beach. You must go for a bite to eat as the food is amazing and such beautiful views from the glassless windows.
The drive up to the beach is quite bumpy and seems to go on forever so beware if you’re in a rental car, go slow!
Sun of Mykonos hotel
This place is worth a quick stop on your travels with the kids. The hotel is so bright and colourful and makes for a great photo opportunity.
My son has taken such an interest in Lighthouses from the ones we have seen on our travels and this one doesn’t disappoint. Standing proud on the cliff tops since 1891, Armenistis lighthouse is located on the North Western tip of Mykonos looking out to Tinos. It’s a great location to watch the sunset.
Church of Paraportiani
Our lady of the side gate is the most photographed church in Mykonos and is incredibly beautiful. It’s actually five churches all in one!! Our son loved exploring this Greek Orthodox church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Its located in Mykonos town and is definitely worth a visit due to the unique architecture. Again, it is a very popular spot, so everyone is after a picture and wants the whole church to themselves, get up early with the kids for this one.
We had a lady who worked in the church insist on standing in most people’s pictures, we had to wait for her to wander inside before we could get a shot.
Best time to visit Mykonos
If you have kids who are in school, then you will be stuck with those dreaded school holidays! If this is the case June, July & August will be the best time to visit Mykonos. We went late August and the temperatures were in the high 70s and sunny every single day. It could be a little chilly at night but nothing a cardigan wouldn’t sort.
October half term is also an option as the weather will still be warm and sunny but colder in the evening. We went to Santorini in October and had fantastic weather, hotel prices will also go down a lot compared to the summer months. If you have younger kids, then I’d say June and early July would be perfect weather and less busy before the high summer season.
Also if you are planning a day in Mykonos town be sure to check the cruise ship schedule, this will tell you what ships are in on what days, so you know when to avoid the town and overcrowding.
How to get around Mykonos with kids
I think the best way to get around Mykonos with kids is to hire a car. We hired a car for the day and it was enough to see the best parts of the island. It is an expensive option at £100 a day (book before you go for better deals) but for us, it was the best way to see everything we wanted to with the kids. We found the roads easy to navigate and not too busy even though it was peak season.
If you don’t fancy hiring a car the buses offer a great option to see some of the island’s hot spots. We only used the bus to get to Mykonos town and learned pretty quickly that we needed to get on at the first stop or we wouldn’t be getting on at all.
The public transport does get very crowded in the summer so can’t be completely relied on. There aren’t that many taxis on the island either so again they can’t be relied on and won’t have car seats for kids.
Where to eat with kids in Mykonos
If you have young kids and don’t want to sit in a small restaurant with nosy kids, then Mykonos town is the place for you. There are plenty of take-away options including delicious gyros that you can eat strolling around the streets or if your kids are into pizza like mine there are plenty of pizza places to grab a slice.
Platis Gios has some lovely restaurants but is more suited to couples with very little places with even a kid’s menu. Avli tou thodori was our favorite place to eat with the kids as they have outdoor seating on the beach with comfortable sofas which the baby fell asleep on allowing us to eat our meals in peace and not worry about the kids making noise.
The food was amazing too and the staff very friendly. Yailo yailo was also another restaurant we ate with the kids but was quite enclosed so if the kids make noise everyone will hear! Gorgeous food with very good-sized portions.
Overall, we loved our family holiday in Mykonos and would recommend it to anyone. Our boys had so much fun exploring, trying different food, meeting the locals and visiting different beaches. As long as your hotel as a nice pool your children will be happy. The Old Town provides lots of little shops for ice-creams and treats to keep them happy. Don’t be put off by the “party island” stereotype, Mykonos is beautiful and you’ll have so many gorgeous family pictures at the end of it.
- Get a car and travel around the island
- Get a central hotel near public transport
- Visit just in early ‘off-season’ to save money
- Off-season is cooler too
- The beaches are amazing
- Take plenty of water & snacks with you from the supermarket
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