The hiking experience in Mykonos depends on your expertise. Even though there aren't "set in stone" milestones to define your hiking level, in the following text I will use the following definitions.
- Novice hiker: someone that it's comfortable to walk short distances in well defined trails and can cover less or around 5 miles (8 km) per day.
- Intermediate hiker: a person that it's comfortable to medium distances up to 15 miles (25km) per day, in a variety of trails and weather conditions.
- Expert hiker: a person that can go above 15 miles in a variaty of terain conditions and weather.
The table below summarizes the different levels.
|Level||Miles (Km) / Day||Time / Day|
|Novice||< 5 miles (8 km)||< 1:30|
|Intermediate||5 to 15 miles (8 to 25 km)||1:30 to 4 or 5 hours|
|Expert||> 15 miles (25 km)||> 5 hours|
Is hiking in Mykonos worth it?
Mykonos is a fantastic destination for a novice/amateur hiker for the following reasons.
- It's a small island and really few places are completely isolated. That means it's safe and you can find supplies (water, food, etc) in most of the places.
- Mykonos is generally flat, with a number of hills that are very easy to climb. The highest elevation is at 1,119 ft (340 meters), in comparison, Naxos highest elevation is at 3,290 ft (1000 meters), almost 3 times that of Mykonos.
- Due to its shape and its central location at Kyklades it gives the opportunity for some dramatic photo opportunities.
I would also dare to say that for an experienced hiker Mykonos will be a boring option. A well-trained individual would be able to walk on most of the island in a few days and he will spend most of his time on the side of noisy roads.
Is hiking in Mykonos safe?
Generally talking Mykonos is absolutely safe for hiking. Assuming you don't attempt to hike on days where the temperature is rising above 100 degrees (37.7 Celsius) then there is little to scare you when hiking in Mykonos.
You will have to try hard to find places that you will be completely alone for hours.
Even if you have an unexpected event (like an injury) all you will have to do is pick up your phone (the signal coverage is near 100%) and call for help. Even if you don't have a signal or battery there is a good chance a person will pass from even the most remote places in the next hours since the island is overly developed with villas even in the most remote places.
Which is the best season to go for hiking in Mykonos?
The best seasons to go for hiking in Mykonos island would be in late spring and early autumn.
In the earlier parts of spring (before May) the weather can be still upset, with grey sky and strong chilly winds. Additionally and depending on the Greek orthodox calendar, most business and hotels will be closed before the Greek easter week.
The Orthodox Easter is different each year but the possible date range is April 4 to May 8. For many businesses the influx of Greek visitors for the Easter celebration date signifies the opening of the summer season.
In May and very early of June it's your safer bet to find optimal conditions for hiking and enjoy the smells and colors of the spring or even have warm enough weather to combine your favorite activity with some swimming.
Under no circumstances you should choose to go in the core of the summer (July or August) for hiking in any Greek Island, the hot in the middle of the day can reach dangerous levels.
the autumn is also a great option. The average temperatures drop after the middle of September but they should be pleasurable for hiking. There is an increased possibility to have some rainy days but in general Mykonos is very dry and it doesn't rain often.
Note: the prices of hotels are much lower in spring and autumn than in the summer.
Hiking in the winter season is a lottery, beautiful sunny days are not uncommon but cold, rainy and super windy days are equally possible. Unlike what you might think for Greece, it does have 4 seasons including winter.
Are there dangerous snakes in Mykonos?
Yes there are.
Mykonos, as in most places in Greece and the south of Europe have the common vipers which are venomous. The good news is that there are few of them (a result of the overdevelopment).
The vipers will never attack you without reason, you will need to step in them or threaten them directly. Additionally only one out of three bites will eject poison since the poison is important for them and they will not use it if they can.
Below is a list of things you can do to mitigate the risk to get bitten by a common viper:
- Avoid walking in places where you don't have clear visibility of your steps.
- The viper is having excellent hearing and he will run away from noises so when you are in an uncertain environment make stable steps and give the animal time to go away.
- Wear proper footwear if you are planning to spend a lot of time in a wild environment.
Popular hiking routes on Mykonos
If you are seeking a natural environment, then your options should be mostly on the north and east sides of the island.
The western and southern part of the island is overly developed, and while it still offers some hiking opportunities, it will also be busy and noisy.
Chora - Armenistis Lighthouse
Propably the most popular hiking opportunity, starting from Chora (or Troulos Port) you go north until to reach the iconic lighthouse of Armenistis.
It's about 6 to 7 km from Chora, and you should estimate that you will need 2 to 3 hours. The time depends on your physical condition and how many stops for photos you will make.
The route is easy, with a small steepness, and you will exclusively walk on the side of the road.
Once there, you will have the opportunity for a fantastic photo with the lighthouse, the artistry blue of the Aegean sea, and the island of Tinos in the background.
Chora - Prophet Elias Church (Natural Preserve Area)
If you are looking for something less busy than the first option but still near Chora, then going to discover the Prophet Elias Church is your best bet.
The church is not accessible, and there is a sign that says that it's not legal to enter. But the surrounding environment and the views are what matter.
The steepness is medium, while the view of the gulf on the east side will leave you speechless. Above someplace the area is protected so no houses and cars, only nature.
Starting from Chora you should estimate 3 to 4 hours, alternatively, you can go with a private vehicle as much as the road allows and then walk for 45m to 1h to reach the highest point.
If you a skilled hiker, then you should definitely keep going and follow the road heading to Agios Sostis beach and then visit the Marathi dam as well.
Chora - Marathi Dam
If elevation scares you or/and you want to combine hiking with bird-watching then going to Marathi Dam is for you.
Walking the almost 5km from Chora will take you about 1:30 to 2 hours on the side of the road.
Once there, you can walk around the artificial dam and enjoy the swarms of birds that found a home on its shores.
the following routes might be too far away if you are starting from Chora (>10km), you can use a private vehicle to go closer or the buses to cut the distance and start from Klouvas or Ano Mera.
Discover the chapel of St. Nicolaos
Starting from Ftelias beach, head north for about 2 hours. The steepness is not extreme, but it's not very easy as well.
The views of the gulf on your left side will fascinate you. After leaving the seaside is little to non of development and you will need to improvise a little to discover the chapel.
Once there enjoy the calmness and the peace of mind. The chapel was built by a shipwrecked man who survived and dedicated to the "Saint of the sea" the St. Nicolaos.
Get goosebumps in the Abandoned Mining Barytes
An unforgettable experience which you should not miss. It doesn't offer a lot when it comes to nature but the scenery is impressive.
From Ano Mera it's around 1h:30m of hiking on rugged roads. I will not offer any more information about what to expect once there because I don't want to spoil it. Don't miss it.
Uncover the most hidden beach of the southern part
That's an easy hike with an amazing reward. Starting from Elia Beach or Kalo Livadi Beach you can expect a one-hour hike to find Karapetis Beach, a stunning beach since it haves the quality of the other beaches of the southern part but without any development.
On the map it might look as super easy but I warn you, wear proper footwear and be organized, the road is ragged and full of large and small rocks. Additionally, here I encounter the only snake I found on the island (and it was Ochia, meaning its poisonous).
It's not a good idea to try to go there in flip-flops.