This collection of local spots in Mykonos will surprise many people who think of the Greek island as nothing but high-end boutiques, swanky restaurants and fancy hotels with infinity pools overlooking the beach. There’s another side to this multidimensional island – one that only the locals and the most committed explorers of the island know.

    Mykonos offers many authentic and unknown places for those who wish to get to know it better without spending a lot of money and getting lost amidst swarms of tourists. Read on to discover hidden gems in Mykonos that only locals know.

    1

    Cine Manto

    Watch classic movies under the moonlit Aegean sky

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Unusual

    An open-air cinema in the centre of Mykonos Town, Cine Manto helps keep alive a summer pastime that has been a favourite with Greeks since the 1960s: watching movies under the star-lit sky. You can also head to this garden at any time of the day – enjoy a coffee and walk around admiring the unique paintings and colourful sculptures in the daytime.

    Once the sun sets, grab a table, order some tsipouro (local brandy) and grilled mezedes (meze), and sit back to watch old Hollywood classics, all while breathing in the aromas of jasmine and gardenia.

    Location: Mykonos Town, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

    Open: May–December: daily from 9 am to 3 am

    Phone: +30 2289 026165

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    2

    Kapari beach

    Enjoy an intimate experience at this hidden beach

    • Budget
    • Unusual

    Kapari is a secluded beach that offers a great alternative to the party beaches that have come to define Mykonos. Located on the west side of the island, behind Agios Ioannis, it used to be a well-preserved secret among locals. Even though it’s no longer a secret, it is still rather quiet given it is not reachable by car or bus.

    If you’re visiting Kapari, you should be well prepared: wear trainers for your trek on the narrow dirt paths to reach it. Bring your own umbrella, snacks and drinks as there are no amenities on the beach. Stay until the sunset for a spectacular view of the holy Delos Island.

    Location: Agios Ioannis, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

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    photo by Tobin (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Islet of Baos

    Learn the myths of this tiny Cycladic islet

    • History
    • Unusual

    The islet of Agios Georgios (or Baos Islet) is one of several tiny islands that surround and belong to the Mykonos municipally. Located around 670 km northwest of Mykonos Town, the island has only a few houses and a chapel dedicated to St. George. The chapel was built in honour of George Baos, a Myconian pirate that used the islet as an attack base during the Orlov revolt.

    Local legend has it that Agios Georgios is where they used to exile vrikolakas (Greek vampires) from Mykonos, as being surrounded by saltwater meant that they would not be able to escape. Take a boat to Baos and spend the day wandering around, taking in the history, myths and legends.

    Location: Agios Georgios, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

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    4

    Pagka market

    Get a feel of the real Mykonos at this local market

    • Shoppers
    • History

    Pagka ('bench' in Greek) is a local fishermen and farmers’ market that offers an authentic Mykonian shopping experience. Sellers gather at the Old Port in Mykonos Town early each morning, before other businesses open for the day, to arrange their catch and produce on large marble slab benches. Locals go there not only to procure the freshest fish, fruits and vegetables, but also to chat and catch up on community gossip, creating a lively, buzzing atmosphere that will give you a glimpse into the real Mykonos.

    Location: Old Port, Mykonos Town, Mykonos 846 00, Greece

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 7 am to 2 pm (closed on Sundays)

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    5

    Gioras’ wood bakery

    Watch this family of bakers create pastry masterpieces

    Gioras’ is a traditional wood-fired bakery in Mykonos Town. Housed in what is rumoured to be the second-oldest building on the island, Gioras’ is a family business that has been in operation since the 18th century. Follow your nose down Basoula Ignatiou lane and walk straight into this rustic, old-school bakery for breakfast or brunch. The vibe inside is decidedly cosy – you can even watch the bakers knead their masterpieces right in front of you. For a truly local experience, order a Freddo cappuccino and an amigdaloto, a delicious almond cookie and Gioras’ speciality.

    Location: Agiou Efthimiou, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +30 2289 027784

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    6

    Tragonisi caverns

    Spend a day marveling at this rocky island’s landscape

    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Tragonisi, also known as Dragonisi, is one of the many tiny, uninhabited rocky islands that surround Mykonos. Located around 16 km the east of Mykonos, it's often overlooked by many tourists. With its many caverns, caves and crystal blue waters, it's home to many rare marine species. 

    Travel to Tragonisi by boat to dive inside its caves and see the yellow sea anemones that are exclusively found in this part of Greece. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see the rare Mediterranean monk seal.

    Location: Tragonisi, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

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    7

    Agios Panteleimonas monastery

    Get your medieval architecture fix at Agios Panteleimonas

    • History
    • Budget
    • Unusual

    Agios Panteleimonas is a 17th-century fortified monastery on the rural village of Marathi, around 3 km northeast of Mykonos Town. While there are plenty of churches and monasteries in Mykonos, this one stands out with its well-preserved medieval architecture, castle-like features, and beautiful chancel with wood carvings.

    One of the best times to visit Agios Panteleimonas is on 27th July, when the monastery celebrates its homonymous saint. During this day, there's a large festival with lots of singing, dancing, and local food and drinks, showcasing the best of Greek hospitality.

    Location: Marathi, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 7 pm

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    8

    Tirokomio Mykonou Dairy Factory

    Try a selection of delicious cheeses

    Tirokomio Mykonou is a family-owned dairy factory that’s a highlight for foodies visiting Mykonos, making you feel like you’ve discovered one of its best secrets. As you make your way up to Palaiokastro in Ano Mera, you’ll see the factory’s own cattle grazing on the hills.

    Tirokomio Mykonou has a reputation for making the best kopanisti (a spicy soft cheese) in the Cyclades. Don’t leave without trying a slice of tirovolia cheese, which is traditionally made by Myconian housewives.

    Location: Palaiokastro, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)

    Phone: +30 22890 71813

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    9

    Barite mines

    Take impressive photos at the abandoned mines

    • Budget
    • Unusual

    Once a hub of industrial activity on Mykonos, the now-abandoned Barite mines form an impressive dystopian site worth visiting. A company called Mykobar founded the mines on the northeastern part of the island in the 1950s to extract barite, a colourless mineral, which brought development and prosperity to the island.

    The Barite mines were shut down in the early 1980s, but the machinery and buildings were left behind to slowly crumble and decompose under the strong Cycladic sun. The result is an eerie landscape that's dubbed “the Chernobyl of the Aegean”.

    Location: Kalafati, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

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    10

    Portes

    Add a touch of history to your trip

    • History
    • Budget

    Portes comprises 2 Hellenistic towers right above Platis Gialos. Often overlooked by tourists too busy booking trips to Delos, these structures attest to the existence of a very old defence system that protected the island’s settlements. 

    This Stonehenge-like monument is made of large granite blocks that still stand strong to this day. A visit to Portes can take you back in time, with its towering sight making an excellent backdrop for photos, too. 

    Location: Platis Gialos, Mykonos, 846 00, Greece

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    Olga Kousi | Contributing Writer

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