Mykonos: The Gay Insider Travel Guide

Advisor - Randy Marsden
Curated By

Randy Marsden

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  • Greece

  • Mykonos

  • Beaches

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • LGBTQ+ Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Relaxation

  • Outdoors

  • Island-Life

aerial view of people on a beach next to ocean and boats
Curator’s statement

Once the playground of our icons like Jackie O and Grace Kelly, Mykonos still has a lively yet sophisticated energy that comes alive every summer. Whether you are looking for a party scene, a chill beach resort or a little bit of both - Mykonos has you covered.

The Fora Difference

Book with Randy to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Personalized recs

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Mykonos

Rochari Hotel Mykonos

Posh property with an outdoor pool and chic rooms offering ocean views.

Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort, Mykonos

This contemporary oceanside resort in Santa Marina that rooms with outdoor patios and exclusive villas with mini pools or hot tubs that overlook the vibrant Aegaen Sea.

Fora Perks
  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • Breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom, served in "Mykonos Social".

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out, based upon availability.

Katikies Mykonos

Chic boutique hotel in Mykonos boasting three restaurants and two bars.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Advisor - Randy Marsden

Unlock perks by contacting Randy to book your trip.

Things to do in Mykonos

white buildings next to body of water during daytime

Planning Your Days: Mykonos is a party city, so things stay open much later than usual. To maximize each day, plan on heading to the beach by noon and book your lunch at a nearby restaurant or beach club for 3pm. Around sunset you’ll head back to your hotel, and head to a dinner around 9pm. From there you can get lost in the streets of the city either bar hopping or shopping, as most places stay open very late.

Jackie O’ Beach Club: This is my favorite beach club on the island. The staff is very friendly and the style is charming and unique. The beach is made of pebbles, so no sand getting stuck in awkward places! You can reserve a daybed near the pool or on the beach. Lunch at the onsite restaurant is fantastic, offering fresh catches and the tastiest appetizers that come to your table by the jarful. Don’t leave at sunset or you’ll miss Pricilla’s famous drag show (host of Drag Race Italia). After the show, you can dance the night away poolside. Make reservations in advance, especially when traveling in peak months like July-August. If you miss out on a spot, head to the nearby Super Paradise Beach Club.

Elia Beach: The longest beach in Mykonos and one of the most famous gay beaches in the world. There is a lot to do right near the parking lot including daybed rentals, bars & restaurants and water sports. As you head to the far right toward the pride flag you’ll enter a clothing optional area with a much more laid-back atmosphere. Optional is the keyword; there will be a mixed crowd so there is no pressure. There is no need to reserve anything, but bring your towels, chairs and speaker if you want to create your own club atmosphere.

Elysium Hotel Sunset Bar: It’s quite the hike up a very steep hill, but you’ll be rewarded with a killer view of the town, strong drinks and an amazing drag show that starts shortly after sunset. A perfect way to end your day and begin your evening in town.

Sightseeing in town: Explore the never-ending streets that were designed to confuse even the most savvy pirate. Be sure to see the 16th century Venetian Windmills, the Church of Panagia Paraportiani and grab a sunset cocktail on the beautiful Little Venice coast.

XLSIOR Festival: The iconic gay summer party festival happens in August each year since 2009 that draws in 30,000 people from around the world. You can get a “party pass” to see it all, but in my opinion there is so much to do in Mykonos besides these parties. I usually pick one, and the rest of my time is spent at beaches and in town. If you are coming to Mykonos during this festival and are not a partygoer - don’t worry. These events are usually held at various beach clubs, and you’d never notice they are happening in town.

Day Trips from Mykonos

Delos Island: The birthplace of the gods is only a quick ferry ride away. Opt for a day tour that covers your transportation and guide that maximizes your time on this ancient island.

Catamaran Day/Sunset Tours: The ultimate way to explore the untouched areas surrounding Mykonos. Make sure you visit Reina and swim to shore in one of the crystal blue water coves. While there are many tour companies on the island, my go-to is Mykonos Catamaran. Captain Michael and his crew are experts, very easy to communicate with ahead of time and will prepare an amazing dinner onboard, with wine included. You can opt for a private excursion or join their group tours.

Athens: While technically not a day trip, bookending your trip with some time in Athens is fairly easy. When you fly back from Mykonos you can store your luggage or check it in onward to your final destination. From the airport there are city tours or you can grab a taxi/rideshare yourself. The Acropolis, Agora and Museum are all within walking distance when you are in town and can all be seen in a half day.

Places to eat & drink in Mykonos

chairs and tables outside next to stone building

Lunch & Late Night in Mykonos

Kiki’s Tavern: Opens at 12:30 daily, get there early as it takes a while to get in. They serve you free wine while you wait , and the food is well worth it.

Jimmy’s: A late night in town isn’t complete with a stop at Jimmy’s for a legendary (and cheap) gyro.

Saki’s: Massive gyro platters that are a quick and easy meal that doesn’t require reservations. This is my go-to choice for the first night arriving in town.

Dinner in Mykonos

Bakalo: Classic greek diner that is not too expensive, and gay owned.

Interni: Feel like a celebrity as you enter this stunning garden restaurant. Book a late dinner so you can stick around for when the restaurant turns into a party!

Kalita: If you want a garden restaurant that is much lower key, check out this romantic spot. There is usually a pianist playing, and they make an amazing espresso martini.

M Eating: Come here for a gastronomic adventure. Every meal is prepared in a unique and detailed way. I first discovered sous vide lamb at this restaurant, and it is the best preparation I’ve had to this day.

Drinks in Mykonos

JackieO' Bar: not to be confused with the beach club, this is the biggest gay bar in town, right on the water. Stay for the drag shows and watch out for the wild waves that crash up against the outdoor seating area.

Babylon: Located right next to JackieO' Bar, this is a great spot to dance the night away both inside and out.

Porta Bar: A low-key bar that you can hold a conversation in, but don’t worry there is still a dancefloor. This bar will get lively after midnight, but it is usually not as busy as the ones above.

Lola’s: A beautiful yet quirky lounge with an extensive cocktail menu and good music. Attracts an older crowd, but all ages are there.

If you don’t know where to start, there is even a gay night tour to take you to all the favorite spots!

Need to Know

Best Time to Visit:

Mykonos is a seasonal island, so the best time to see it all is June-September, with July-August being the peak in both crowds and heat.

Best Area to Stay: Stay in Mykonos Town (aka Chora), especially if it is your first time. You’ll need some sort of transportation to get to the beaches, but you’ll always end up in town in the evening, and not having to worry about taxis at night is a blessing.

Getting There:

Flights: Mykonos is a 30 minute flight from Athens Airport (ATH) and there are many flights daily at a low cost. During the Summer you can also fly direct from many places in Europe, typically on low cost carriers.

Ferries: These are great for getting between islands, but I don't recommend using a ferry to get here from the mainland. There are fast and standard ferries. The fast ferries are quick but if you are looking for a scenic journey, opt for the standard ferry. lists all of the options available.

Getting Around:

Transfers: Check with your hotel as some offer complimentary transportation to/from the airport and ports.

Rentals: You may also choose to rent a car from the standard global brands like Hertz, but keep in mind that driving on the island involves tight roads, steep hills, and rugged terrain. In the city, you can also choose an ATV or moped. These are easier to navigate the roads with, but have their own downsides like dealing with the dusty roads on your way to a luxe dinner.

Taxis & Car Service: Last time I checked, there are only 25 taxis in the island and there is an app for that. However it’s best to use a local car service that your hotel can help arrange, and to book it in advance.

Bus: Especially if you are staying in town, the public bus can be a great way to hit the beaches. Most buses depart from Fabrika Bus Stop in town.

Boat: If you are looking to hop between the beaches on the southern coast, the Mykonos Water Taxi operates regular service between the major beach areas.

Looking for more travel tips? Check out my Virgin Voyages guide: Guide to Virgin Voyages: The Cruise for Non-Cruisers and hop aboard their newest ship with island hopping itineraries that include overnights in Mykonos.

Advisor - Randy Marsden

Travel Advisor

Randy Marsden

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