Written by our local expert Nick
Nick is is digital nomad originally from Athens, Greece. You will now find him exploring the Greek islands, Bulgaria and beyond.
Should you visit Crete or Mykonos? These are two of the most famous Greek islands, and both pack a punch.
This guide shares detailed travel tips about weighing up Mykonos Island vs. The Island of Crete. We cover the best places to go, top attractions, and the day trip ideas for these Aegean Sea beauties.
Are you in a rush and just want to know how to choose between Mykonos or Crete? Here is what we think you should know:
Glamorous beaches & chic boutiques
Mountainous landscapes & forests
Hiking, exploring & trekking
Excellent party & nightlife scene
Home to historical & UNESCO sites
Known as the Ibiza of Greece
Still great in the low season
Are you dreaming of a Greek island adventure but can’t decide between Crete and Mykonos? With their stunning beaches, rich history, and vibrant nightlife scenes, both islands offer plenty to see and do. But which one suits your personality better?
In this blog post, we’ll compare the two destinations side by side to help you make an informed decision. So pack your bags and prepare for a virtual tour of these two Greek paradises!
Keep reading below for our in-depth analysis on weighing up Mykonos vs. Crete.
Crete is Greece’s biggest island and has a more rugged landscape with mountains and forests. It’s perfect for those who want to explore and hike. There are also plenty of historical sites to visit, such as the Minoan Palace of Knossos.
Mykonos is a small island with a more cosmopolitan feel. It’s known for its glamorous beaches, chic boutiques, and lively nightlife. If you want to party and be pampered, Mykonos is the place for you.
Because it’s such a popular tourist destination, Mykonos can be quite crowded during high season
The island is also quite expensive, so if you’re on a budget, you may want to consider another destination
What To See On Mykonos
There’s no shortage of things to see on Mykonos. The island is home to several beaches, including the popular Paradise Beach. Mykonos also has several historical and cultural attractions, such as the windmills of Little Venice and the Archaeological Museum. And for those who want to shop, there are plenty of boutique stores and art galleries to explore.
The Windmills of Mykonos: These iconic windmills are some of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. They were once used as power mills, but today, they stand as a symbol of Mykonos’ rich history.
The Beaches of Mykonos: With over 30 beaches to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to relax on this Greek island. From the party beaches of Paradise and Super Paradise to the more secluded beaches of Agios Sostis and Elia, there’s something for everyone.
The Town of Mykonos: Explore the charming streets and whitewashed stone houses of Mykonos Town, the island’s capital. Don’t miss the Little Venice district, where you can watch the sunset with a drink in hand.
Crete Or Mykonos: Which Island Suits Your Personality Better?
When it comes to choosing between Crete and Mykonos, it all comes down to your personality. Do you crave long walks on the beach, or are you looking for a lively nightlife scene? Would you prefer to relax in a secluded villa or rather be in the thick of the action?
If you’re the type of person who likes to be constantly surrounded by people and activities, then Mykonos is probably the better choice for you. This party island is world-famous for its nightlife, with clubs and bars that stay open until the early morning hours.
There’s also plenty to keep you occupied during the daytime, from exploring windmills and churches to lounging on one of the island’s many beaches.
And while there are plenty of beaches to enjoy, there are also many other attractions such as ancient ruins and museums. If you want to escape the crowds, there are plenty of secluded spots on Crete where you can relax in peace.
Airports On Crete & Mykonos
Both Mykonos and Crete have airports that serve as gateways to the islands:
Airports on Mykonos
Mykonos International Airport (JMK): the Mykonos airport is located near Chora, the main town of Mykonos; caters to both domestic and international flights and is quite busy during the summer months
Airports on Crete
Heraklion International Airport (HER), also known as Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, is located near Heraklion, the capital of Crete; the primary airport on Crete and the second busiest in Greece, offering numerous domestic and international flights
Chania International Airport (CHQ), also known as Ioannis Daskalogiannis Airport, located near Chania, the second largest city on Crete, serves both domestic and international flights, with increased traffic during the tourist season
Transport To Crete & Mykonos
Mykonos and Crete, two jewels in the Aegean Sea, offer quintessential Greek destination experiences with stunning sea views and rich cultural heritage. Getting to these islands, whether from each other or from the Greek mainland, can be a delightful part of your journey.
From the Greek Mainland
Direct flights: both Mykonos and Crete have airports with direct flights from Athens and other major cities. This is one of the fastest ways to reach these islands
Ferry: for those who prefer sea travel, the main ferry port in Piraeus, Athens, offers regular ferry connections to both destinations. The type of vessel varies from standard ferries to high-speed catamarans, catering to different preferences and budgets
Travel Between Mykonos and Crete
Port of Heraklion: on Crete, the Port of Heraklion is a major hub for ferries traveling to and from Mykonos. This ferry route connects two of Greece’s most beloved islands
Ferry route and connections: while there might not be direct ferry connections every day, services are frequent during the tourist season. The journey offers a spectacular sea view, making the trip between Mykonos and Crete more than just a transfer
Type of vessel: depending on the type of vessel and the specific ferry route, the journey can vary in duration. High-speed ferries offer quicker travel but may be more expensive than conventional ferries
Always check the latest schedules, as ferry connections and flight times can vary depending on the season
Consider the type of vessel when booking ferries, as high-speed options offer a quicker but often more costly journey
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Sandy Beaches On Mykonos & Crete
Both Mykonos and Crete have sandy beaches, which are among their main attractions in the summer months.
Sandy Beaches on Mykonos
Psarou Beach: known for its luxurious atmosphere and popular with celebrities
Paradise Beach: famous for its party scene and beach clubs
Super Paradise Beach: another popular spot for party-goers, with a lively atmosphere
Elia Beach: the largest beach on the island, known for its clear waters and relaxed vibe
Ornos Beach: a family-friendly beach with a lot of facilities and restaurants nearby
Sandy Beaches on Crete
Elafonissi Beach: known for its pinkish sand and shallow turquoise waters
Balos Lagoon: famous for its exotic scenery and clear, shallow waters
Falassarna Beach: a long sandy beach known for its clear waters and beautiful sunsets
Vai Beach: famous for its palm forest and golden sand
Preveli Beach: known for its river, palm trees, and a sandy beach area
Whether it’s Crete’s dramatic landscape or Mykonos’s buzzing nightlife, both locations offer something unique for travelers looking to explore Greece. Consider your personal preferences and lifestyle when choosing which Greek paradise suits you best!
No matter where you end up, be sure to relax, enjoy some delicious food, and take in all that these two beautiful islands have to offer.