We took a one-day cruise from Naxos specifically to visit the island of Delos, but the itinerary also took us to the nearby island of Mykonos for a few hours. We never planned to visit Mykonos, but this short stop was a chance to glimpse another side of Greece.

Aboard the Naxos Star

Our Naxos Star ship had a retro interior, but it served the purpose nicely with a basic snack bar and places to sit both inside and outside on a very windy rear deck. That wind churned the seas more than we expected, and there were occasions where the boat rocked and rolled pretty heavily, blasting the windows and decks with spray.

Immediately after disembarking in Mykonos, we were greeted with beaches and cafes. What a dramatic difference from barren Delos where we’d been only 20 minutes earlier.

The central beach and waterfront walk also gave Mykonos a very different feel from Naxos, where we were staying. Mykonos island is smaller — a population of 10,000 vs 19,000 — and clearly attracts a younger, wealthier set of tourists who are out to impress.

For an island famed for its party scene, Mykonos has a lot of churches, even for Greece. I only took a few dozen photos while we wandered around, but almost half of them include churches, or parts of churches.

Niko’s Taverna

Having read the articles about our fellow Canadian tourists who were shaken down for $410 for two drinks and a dozen oysters by scammers on Mykonos last year, I did a bit of preliminary research on eating options to find something that would resuscitate us after our Delos archaeological adventure, but not bankrupt us or consume the little time we had on the island. Niko’s Taverna was our choice, nothing fancy, just a big classic taverna in a central square with efficient servers who kept things moving despite the crowds.

The overflow seating for Niko’s surrounds another attractive church.

While we were eating, a newlywed couple passed through, fresh from their wedding ceremony, and got a round of applause from the diners.

After we finished eating, we wandered through the Old Port area, encountering things such as this inexplicable Scandinavian Bar and Disco. And some more nice minimalist and photogenic churches, of course.

The attractive streets of the Mykonos Old Port are flatter, bluer versions of the choras in Astypalia and Naxos, and dotted with more higher-end jewellery and specialty boutiques than the other islands.

JackieO’ Cantina

We stumbled on a good view of Little Venice, a strip of colourful buildings and restaurants that directly front the water in a style more typical of parts of Italy than Greece. Anchored offshore was the MS Europa 2 luxury cruise liner.

Another photo stop on any Mykonos-in-a-day circuit is the windmills, highly reminiscent of those on Astypalea, only with thatched roofs instead of red-painted wooden roofs.

Selfie-takers by the windmills

Tucked behind the windmills was a smaller, more rugged beach than the one in the main port. What celebrities have summer villas in those hills? Is that Mick Jagger dining with the Aga Khan again?