Mykonos or Santorini? Everything you need to know.

Santorini sunset
Santorini sunset

This post is also available in: French

Mykonos and Santorini are among the most popular and beautiful islands not only in Greece but in the world.  White washed houses and blue waters make a  heavenly scenary. A lot of people who visit Greece are often wondering “Which is better Mykonos or Santorini?” In this post I will try to answer  some questions regarding those islands, so that you can decide where you want to go.

Check out my 10 day Greece itinerary that includes Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.

Santorini view of the caldera
Santorini view of the caldera

Mykonos or Santorini where should I go?

How can I  get a ferry from Athens to Mykonos?

You can get a ferry to Mykonos from Athens from two ports. From Piraeus port and from Rafina port.

How long does the trip last between Athens and Mykonos?

From Piraeus port you have two choices the speed boat that will take you to Mykonos in 2h 30m and the regular boat that needs approximately 5 hours to reach Mykonos port.

From Rafina port you again have two choices the speed boat that needs around 2h 15m and the regular boat that will take you to Mykonos in 4h 30m.

If you get sea sickness easily then you should take the regular boat because when there is wind the journey will be tough.

Santorini
Santorini

How much does it cost to go from Athens to Mykonos and vice versa?

One way tickets from Piraeus port to Mykonos by speedboat cost 57,5 € and by regular boat 37€

One way tickets from Rafina port to Mykonos by speedboat cost 52€ and by regular boat 27€

Please note that you might find a small difference in prices depending on the ferry company.

Click here for the ferry schedule and to book your ferry tickets.

Can I fly to Mykonos or Santorini?

Both Mykonos and Santorini have an airport. Both islands are a short flight from Athens.

How can I get from Mykonos to Santorini?

There are a lot of ferries going from Mykonos to Santorini and vice verca.  The ferries doing the itinerary are speed boats and the journey between the two islands takes between 2 and 3 hours depending on the ferry.

How much does it cost the ferry between Mykonos and Santorini ?

The ferry between the two islands cost around 60 € one way depending on the ferry company.

Cruise Ship
Cruise Ship

How can I  get a ferry from Athens to Santorini ?

You can get a ferry to Santorini from Athens Piraeus port.

You might be interested in: How to get from Athens to Santorini by ferry or plane.

How long does the trip last between Athens and Santorini ?

From Piraeus port you have two choices the speed boat that will take you to Santorini approximately  in 5h depending on the company and the regular boat that needs approximately 7 h 30 m to reach Santorini port.

How much does it cost to go from Athens to Santorini and vice versa?

One way tickets from Piraeus port to Santorini by speedboat cost 61.50 € and by regular boat 38.50€

Please note that you might find a small difference in prices depending the ferry company.

Where can I  book ferry tickets between the Greek islands?

In order to book my ferry tickets online and check the schedule I use click here.

Mykonos beach
Mykonos beach

Which island has better beaches Mykonos or Santorini?

Mykonos has better beaches than Santorini, with white sand and crystal clear waters which are considered one of the best in Greece. On the other hand Santorini’s beaches have unique characteristics because of the volcano. In Santorini you can find beaches with black pebbles and a beach with red sand.

You can also check: The best beaches in Mykonos.

Which island has better nightlife Mykonos or Santorini?

Mykonos has a big night scene with numerous clubs and bars for all tastes. It is considered to be a party island. Santorini on the other hand has a couple of bars and clubs but is very quiet compared to Mykonos.

Which island is better to go for a honeymoon Mykonos or Santorini?

Santorini is considered one of the most romantic places in the world making it an ideal place for weddings and honeymooners.

You can also check: The best Greek Islands for couples.

Santorini sunset
Santorini sunset

Which island has a better sunset?

Although the sunset from Mykonos is nice, Santorini’s sunset is considered one of the best in the world. A lot of people gather every in Oia to see the sunset.

If I decide to visit both islands where should I stay more in Mykonos or Santorini?

It depends on what you want to do. If you want to spend most of your time on the beach and clubbing then you should stay longer in Mykonos. If you are interested in culture, scenery, romance and wine you should spend more days in Santorini.

Where to stay in Santorini?

Mid-Range Hotels:

Costa Marina Villas (Fira)

Located just 200 m away from the central square of Fira this guesthouse offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a fridge. The hotel is next to many restaurants, bars, and shops and is a good choice for travelers looking for a budget friendly hotel in Santorini.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or TripAdvisor

Smaragdi Hotel (Perivolos- Perissa)

Situated just 80 m away from Perivolos beach, Smaragdi Hotel offers spacious studios and apartments with a kitchenette, free wi-fi, and air conditioning. Other hotel amenities include a swimming pool with a pool bar and a hot tub. The center of Perissa village with the restaurants, shops, and bars is 800 m away. This is another budget-friendly accommodation option in Santorini.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com orBooking.com

Luxury Hotels:

Astarte Suites (Akrotiri)

Located 12km from Fira and 4km from the archaeological site of Akrotiri, this romantic all-suite hotel is situated on a clifftop and enjoys breathtaking scenic views. Its spacious and modern rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, whirlpool tubs and crystal-speckled ceilings. A complimentary breakfast can be served in-room, while an infinity pool, a bar, and an elegant restaurant are included in its amenities.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Canaves Oia Santorini

Built on the side of a cliff, Canaves is a polished all-suite hotel 10km away from Fira. Within the rooms are complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, minibars, tea and coffee making facilities and balconies overlooking the blue. Free breakfast and parking are available for all guests, as well as access to an infinity pool, restaurant, bar, gym and open-air spa.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Where to stay in Mykonos?

Budget Hotels:

It is difficult to find budget accommodation in Mykonos especially during the high season (July and August). Book as early as possible and try to avoid these months.

Galini Hotel is located in Mykonos Town, 150m away from the beach. It offers basic accommodation with air-conditioning, fringe, and free Wi-Fi.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Manolia View Mykonos is located is located 2 km away from Mykonos New Port. It offers self-catering accommodation with great views of the Aegean Sea.  It offers spacious rooms with a pario or private terrace, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and kitchenette. Other hotel amenities include a swimming pool and a sun patio.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Mid-Range Hotels:

Milena Hotel is located 500 meters away from Mykonos Town and close to the airport. A bus stop is next to the hotel. It offers clean rooms with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi access.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

With Inn is located on the sandy beach of Tourlos, 1 km away from Mykonos port. It offers spacious rooms with sea view, air conditioning, free wi-fi and mini fridge.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Luxury Hotels:

Kouros Hotel & Suites is perfectly located 10 minutes on foot from Mykonos Town this luxurious hotel offers spacious rooms with private terraces overlooking the sea and the town. Hotel amenities include a swimming pool, amazing breakfast, free Wi-Fi, free airport shuttle and parking.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com/ Read my review.

Overlooking the popular Platis Gialos beach Myconian Ambassador Relais & Chateaux Hotel offers stylish rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, excellent spa services, and a gourmet restaurant.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge is a 5-star hotel that offers luxurious sea view suites, an infinity pool, a gourmet restaurant and spa treatments. It is conveniently located in Megali Ammos beach and a 10- minutes walk from Mykonos Town.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

What can I do in Santorini?

There are a lot of things to do and see in Santorini. There are a lot of archaeological sites, the volcano, incredible views, a lot of wineries and art galleries.

Check out the best Santorini tours.

What can I do in Mykonos?

There are a lot of beaches to discover in Mykonos; you can also take a day trip to the nearby island of Dilos which is full of archaeological sites. You can stroll through the alleys of Chora, watch the windmills and have a drink in Little Venice. You can dance all day in the beach bars and all night at the numerous clubs. Check my post: Things to do in Mykonos, and the best Mykonos tours for more inspiration.

Little Venice Mykonos
Little Venice Mykonos

Which island has better hotels Mykonos or Santorini?

Both Mykonos and Santorini have luxurious hotels that can cater your needs. On Santorini the are unique hotels built at the edge of the caldera with the most beautiful views imaginable.

Is Mykonos & Santorini gay-friendly?

Both islands are gay-friendly and especially Mykonos.

Which is the best time to visit Mykonos?

I would say between May and September so that you can enjoy the beaches and nightlife.

Which is the best time to visit Santorini?

Since beaches isn’t a priority you can visit Santorini between April and October.

Both islands are packed in July and August and both are quiet expensive comparing to other Greek islands.

Read here why Autumn is a great time to visit Mykonos and Santorini.

Windmills Mykonos
Windmills Mykonos

I believe that both islands deserve your visit but if you don’t have time for both I would choose Santorini.

Have you ever been to Mykonos or Santorini?  Which island do you like best?

Do you have any other questions regarding your holidays to the islands? Feel free to ask me.

Tip: Traveling to Greece? Don’t forget to buy a travel insurance. Get a quote here.

 

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54 Comments

  • This is a great quick guide for choosing between Santorini or Mykonos. It’s hard to choose but I think I would go for Santorini first.

  • I love them both and it’s very hard to decide but i’d have to say Santorini! Cant go to wrong visiting the greek islands imho…

  • One of my dream trips is islandhopping in Greece. So far I’ve only been to Athens and Crete but would definitely love to see more!

  • Both Mykonos and Santorini look beautiful. Can I go to both?! I love Greek islands and enjoyed travelling through mainland Greece last year. I will go back in the future

  • I’ve been to both islands and prefer Santorini, though I only spent a portion of a day in Mykonos. I would highly recommend to take the ferry to Santorini, but fly back to Athens, rather than fly both ways. The views of the island from the ferry are stunning!

  • Hi Chrissy, I booked my flight to Mykonos for 20-28 of September. do you think the weather and the sea are already not so hot? as I know most bars and beach parties are closed that time? will there be the open ones? and what can you say about crises in Greece? I mean did it influence the prices in Mykonos? (lunch/dinner in tavernas/restaurants, wine ecc). I am little bit stressed about all this things. will appreciate your quick answer! Love from Turkey.

    • Hi Maria, The temperature of the sea is fine at the end of September imagine it;s better than June. There are people in Mykonos in September but it’s not overcrowded like in July and August and of course a lot of places will be open. I am afraid that the Greek crisis didn’t affect Mykonos at all. It reamains an expensive island ut in September things will be a little cheaper. I don’t know your budget but there are a lot of options for food and drink so there are a lot of places that aren’t expensive. Always check the menu before entering a restaurant. I hope I helped you a little. Let me know if you need anything else.

      • oh, thank you for your quick reply! great! actually I was afraid that crisis will affect it in bad way like higher prices then usual. my budget is kind of 100 euro per day. not so much.

        • Hello Maria,
          Happy to help! If your budget doen’t include the hotel it’s ok. The most I have spent on my holidays in Greece per day but not in Mykonos or Santorini was 40 – 50 euros and in many destinations like Crete less.I hope you enjoy your holidays to Mykonos. Make sure you do the trip to Dilos if you are into history.

          • hi again:) it s without hotel. which beaches do you prefer the most? will there still be beach parties in the end of sept?

          • I think that there are beach parties in paradise and super paradise beach especially on the weekends. Mykonos has nice beaches like Ornos, Elia Kato Livadi, Psarou most of Greek and many international celebrities spent their holidays there. There are a lot of bars and clubs in Chora for teh night with plenty of people.

          • Hi again:) it is without hotel. I am still thinking between some options. may be you can recommend a nice place on a budget in Chora or nearby but still with good view?:) and I ll do my best to get to Delos:) thank you again!

          • I am afraid that i wouldn’t reccomend the hotels I stayed in Mykonos but there is an area close to Chora called Ornos (3km) that are some nice places you can stay. You will need transport if you want to go to Chora though.There is the public bus of course. Ornos has a niice beach too.

          • oh, really? I still prefer to stay near the center and go to the beaches during the day. I thought about Nazos Hotel, nearly all comments on tripadvisor are positive ones and its only 320 euros for 7 nights for 2.

          • Chora is a great place to stay I checked Nazos Hotel and it looks ok plus the price is very good for Mykonos! Let me know if you had a nice time!

  • In June we (my wife and two grown children with me) spent 3 nights in Mykonos and 3 nights in Santorini. Third time for each island. We flew from Istanbul after a 4 night stay there. Hard to pick a favorite. Mykonos has the short excursion to Delos- spring for a guide there. We loved Paradise Beach (Tropicana) where you can get a wonderful pork gyro brought to your lounge chair for 2.5 euros plus tip. The atmosphere in town is very fun, particularly after the cruise boats leave and it is not as crowded. Santorini is a photographer’s dream. Eating breakfast overlooking the caldera is a wonderful experience. We rented a car this time. I mentioned to our host at our hotel I was interested in renting a car (with automatic transmission) she said come back to her office in half an hour and one would be there. It was and 5 minutes of paperwork later we had a car. That way we drove to Oia twice for sunsets; Akrotiri for the archeological site- then Red Beach. We also went to Permissa (sp?) and the other beach – begins with a K- We did not stay in Thera but were about 45 minutes away on the rim walk. On our previous trips my wife and I made the rim walk from Thera to Oia. Of all the Greek Islands we chose those two to take our children for the first time as they had not been to any of them and we thought those were the best. My son is into photography. We had a great time

    • Hello Steve! It seems that you had a great time in Mykonos and Santorini. June is a great time to be there not so crowded! I loved Delos as well!

  • HI I am planning to go to Greece with my friends in mid-June. Could you please give some suggestion on an Athens + Santorini + Mykonos itinerary? How many days should we spend in total? And for each city, how many days should we spend? We are planning to go for a week, is that enough?

    Thanks a lot,
    Audrey

    • Hello Audrey thanks for stopping by. Would you like to tell me what you are interested in? Archaeological sites, beaches nightlife so I can help you more? You can go on the contact me page and send me an email so we can speak in private if you want.

  • Hi i am planning to visit santorini in the month of december for my honeymoon. is it good time to visit? also if you can tell me normal temperature in the month of december? how many days one should need to spend if one wants to enjoy the beauty with relaxation. Thanks in advance

    • Hello there and congratulations on your marriage. I am afraid that December is not the best time to visit Santorini. The average temperature is about 10 degrees Celsious but the worst thing are the high winds in winter. Now if you are lucky you make enjoy nice sunny days. Now most of the things are closed during winter, Of course there are a lot of hotels that stay open in Fira, the museums, a couple of wineries and some restaurants. 4 days are enough I think to enjoy the island. Now the good thing about visiting Santorini off season is that you have it on your own and i great for photos.

    • I would say Santorini. It’s a small island with great routes. Don’t forget to hike grom Fira to Oia, one of the most scenic hikes.

    • If you have a lot of days I think you can manage with public passport , during the high season and if you saty somewhere central like Fira in Santorini and Chora in Mykonos

  • Hi, going to Greek islands in July with friends incl a 15yr old son and a friends baby. Is Mykonos a good place to stay over a week (9days?) or would that be too long? Thinking 3 nights Santorini, 4 naxos, 9 Mykonos or should we seperate and Myk to 5 and 4 on Paros?
    Thanks in advance,
    Jodie

  • Hello Jodie, thanks for stopping by. Personally, I find 9 days in Mykonos too much. I suggest that you visit the island of Paros or Naxos as well. Mykonos is more a party, jet set island. In Paros and Naxos, you will have a more original Greek experience.The islands are quieter they have great food, nice beaches and are less expensive than overpriced Mykonos. They are more family friendly islands too. Let me know if you have more questions and enjoy your time in Greece.

  • Hi! I am planning to go visit Athens for 3 days then either Mykonos or Santorini with my sister we’re both in our early 20’s which place would you recommend if we are not into clubbing scenes but we still would like to have fun and spend times in the bright blue beach? also how is the weather going to be like there?

    Thanks in advance,
    Brendan

    • Hello Brendan. Between Mykonos and Santorini I prefer Santorini as it a really unique island. Mykonos on the other hand has nicer beaches. When are you coming? From May till October you can swim in the sea and the weather is generally good.

  • Hi, it’s a great blog with super information. By the coming weekend, we will be in Greece for about 10 nights (4 in Athens, 3 in Mykonos & Santorini each).

    We are 3 families with young kids (2 are 7 and one is 3).

    Suggest me some activities we can do that the young ones will like. We though of going to a beach, windmill, museum, sunset etc. What else do you recommend?

    Thanks for your help.
    Maulik

    • Hello Maulik, Thank you for your kind words. In Athens, there is a fantastic tour that the kids will like called the Mythological tour of Athens that goes to all of Athens major attractions and tells the mythology behind it. All the kids find this nice. KIds will also have fun watching the change of the guards at Syntagma square. Finally in the centre of Athens close to Monastiraki metro station there is a road called Pittaki has a beautiful cafe like the Alice in Wonderland. It is called Little Cook. In Santorini, is not very child-friendly but the kids will have a great time at the beach, especially Monolithos beach and by the pool. The archaeological site of Akrotiri is interesting too. Mykonos has amazing sandy beaches the kids will love (Ornos, Plati Yialos and Agios stefanos are great for kids), you can visit the windmills as well, there is a pelican going around the alleys of Chora in Mykonos, Kids will love him. You can also do a boat excursion as well. There is also a tour in Mykonos that goes to an organic farm and kids spend time with animals and picking vegetables I don’t know from which country you are coming from but It is getting hotter and hotter here so bring light clothes sunscreen and hats.

      • Thank you Chrissy for quick & informative reply.

        Well, I will be traveling from a city that has 44 Celsius degree temperature so definitely I am coming to a cooler place.

        I will keep you posted with what we did & how did it go so that you can recommend to others too.

        Cheers,
        Maulik

  • Hi!
    Great site- very informative! I’m planning a trip with my cousin to mykonos and santorini next June. Do you suggest we do mykonos or santorini first? Trying to minimize travel when we leave. Also, any suggestions on we’re to stay in mykonos, we’re total beach girls but not huge partiers; a happy medium I suppose!

    Thanks!

    • Hello Cynthia, thank you for your comment. I suggest that you visit Santorini first which is farther. By ship, you will need between 5 to 7 and half hours to get there. I suggest that you look into flights from Athens. Ryanair has cheap flights so have a look around March – April next year. You can also return by plane from Mykonos if you want. Again Ryanair flies from there. A boat usually takes between 3 to 5 hours depending again on the type.
      In Mykonos, you can stay in a beach resort then. You can try Ornos which is close to town has a nice beach and many amenities or Platys Gialos and Agios Ioannis.

  • Hi Chrissy, thank your for your post, it was very healpful to plan my trip. I`m planning to visit Athens, Santorini and Mykonos during August, which place is better to stay for a weekend ?

  • Chrissy – this is such a helpful blog! Thanks. My husband and I are thinking about going to Santorini in May. We’ll be coming from Athens and we’re trying to decide between 4 or 5 nights there. Is there anything you’d suggest for food or activities during the day? We like to be active, see great views, go to great wineries, eat at good restaurants, or anything unique or fun to do in the area. We’re not familiar with Santorini, so let us know if there’s a certain area you’d recommend for staying, eating or doing activities. We’re leaning towards staying at nicer hotel since we’re only there a few nights. Thanks!

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