Mykonos is a very small and beautiful island. We had an amazing time there but I have a lot to say about the transportation ways in Mykonos. Me and my friends spend a lot of time beforehand googling how to get here and there in Mykonos and even though it was super helpful, nothing could prepare us for the reality.
From what we googled and information we got from our host Maria, there are several ways of transportation in Mykonos.
Number 1.- Public transportation – Buses.
I never experienced anything as crazy as Balkan public buses and I am from Slovakia.
So basically it works like this:
There are like 3-4 busses with some regular course- usually with 2 stops – from point A to point B. It cost around 2 euros to get from point A to point B. Less if your journey with them is shorter but I’ll get to that.
Where can you get by each bus is usually written on the front of the bus, but the drivers keep shouting it all the time anyway. They all speak English, or enough for you to understand the keywords you need to know in order to travel around Mykonos by bus.
If by any chance you want to get on or off the bus at any point during that ride, all you have to do is ask.
Literally. You have to go through the whole bus to the driver and ask him to stop driving.
For example, if you see your apartment in the distance you can just say something and get off right in front of your door.
My anxious ass couldn’t cope with that. My whole life I’ve been taught not to disturb drivers whilst driving and here in Mykonos you’re supposed to do just that.
And if you’re walking around and see a bus you want to hop on, you just have to wave and if he by any chance sees you, or he has a spot for you on his bus he’s gonna stop for you.
Another ridiculous thing is the time schedule.
There are some time schedules that should be followed obviously.
But another even more ridiculous thing is that the traffic in Mykonos is truly terrible so there is a 99% chance the bus is gonna be late.
It’s manageable when you’re traveling from the start-stop. But if you want to hop on somewhere in between, you have no idea when will the bus drive by. Or if he’s even on his way or already passed you by. You just have to wait and hope.
Good thing no one is in a hurry when they’re on a Mykonos holiday. Everyone was so chill about it.
I had to ask out host several times if I understood correctly and we’re really supposed to just stand before our apartment and wait for some bus that’s gonna come whenever and take us to the beach.
It really is like that. And no one saw anything wrong or weird with that.
All of the streets of Mykonos and roads as well are quite narrow. Most of the time I was staring with amazement at how easily were those big ass busses driving around.
Well, driving is a bit of an exaggeration.
At most popular evening hours where the crowds were swarming towards Fabrika– the Mykonos center, a place where the fun is, it was more like standing still and moving in agonizingly slow peace. Beautiful break light display everywhere though.
Funnily enough, the busses in Mykonos have 2 types of horns.
One brutal one is for the cars blocking the way or something.
The other gentle one is for the common pedestrians walking on the road along with the cars, to make them move but not startle to death when they honk at them.
Number 2. – Taxi.
There are 3 ways to get a taxi in Mykonos.
You can call, obviously. There are random taxi numbers all over most crowded or most popular places. There are also taxi stops at places like the airport where you just step in the line of people already waiting and you’ll be assigned a taxi when your turn comes.
Speaking from experiences- when a full plane land and all of the people are trying to get to their places, prepare to wait a long while. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a taxi or a bus. No one knows what’s going so I guarantee you there will be chaos and most of the taxis will be preoccupied.
We were waiting for the bus for like 20 minutes, boarding took another 20min, but when we were finally leaving there were still like 40 people waiting for their taxi.
The third option on how to get a taxi is to just stand there, looking lost and helpless and there is a high chance someone would come and ask if you’re looking for a taxi. Most likely taxi driver himself.
This happened but I guess it only works if you’re a young female.
Me and my friends didn’t use a taxi at all mostly for the price.
It costs around 20 euros to get around. Might not be much but I think it is when the drive itself is like 5 minutes and my plane ticket to Mykonos costs 30. Bear in mind that most of the time you’re just stuck in traffic and you could literally walk the same distance in the same amount of time for free. But it’s all about the preferences.
There is also an option of a boat taxi but I can’t tell you much about it as we didn’t use it at all. It’s connecting different beaches over the island, but we were pretty happy with the one we were at.
Number 3. – Rent a car/ bike
Mykonos is overflowing with places you can rent either bike, four-wheeler, or a car. From what we heard from our host, it’s better and cheaper to rent one in advance, but you can just walk in and get one if it’s available.
We didn’t though, but it seemed like half of the island did.
Honestly, I have never seen so many parked bikes as I did right in front of the famous Mykonos windmills.
I firmly believe Mykonoses terrible traffic is due to the tourist renting the car and driving around in uncommon places. It’s only natural to be cautious – it’s not your car, you’re in Greece or you might not be that experienced driver.
All of this resulted in several miles-long traffic jams every single night we were there.
People were just trying to find a place to park closes to the city center and even though there were people trying to regulate the cars and bikes, it was a mess anyway. And to that mess, there were a bunch of people walking right through.
Funnily this only upset the tourist.
You could see so many people sitting in a car clearly pissed off and cursing in their own language. Lots of honking too.
But native greeks from Mykonos couldn’t give less fuck.
I totally adore their mentality. We literally witnessed 2 cars passing each other from opposite directions suddenly stopping somewhere near the city center crossroad. The drivers knew each other so they greeted one another through their windows and stayed like that for several minutes chatting in greek. It was amazing.
Number 4.- Walk
The option me and my friends used most of the time. Again Mykonos is a very small island but I understand this option is not attractive to everyone.
Our apartment was up the hill- therefore the amazing view. The city center Fabrika was around 20 minutes walk down the hill, beach 20 minutes down the other side of the same hill. Walk up was more challenging but nothing we couldn’t handle.
We went to the Fabrika every night and at least half of our walk was along with traffic jam full of mostly rented cars, bikes, and one poor bus trying to get in.
I can’t even count how many honks and shouts we got on those walks.
Compliments, whistles, catcalling but not a single one offered us a ride. Rude.
What we didn’t count on was how windy it would be.
Me and my friends love to do just backpack trips- therefore our wardrobe for Mykonos considered of summer dresses mostly. Easiest to pack.
But that’s not the best idea with the Mykonos strong wind. So we ended up either holding our dresses in place all the time so we keep our dignity and panties hidden, or we just wore shorts underneath the dresses. Either way, we got way more catcalls every time our dresses got blown up.
We walked all the time but the 3 weird and unsuccessful bus rides.
The first one was from the airport to our apartment. We were supposed to get from the airport to Fabrika by one bus, get out, get in another bus with Ornos beach direction. Google maps said our apartment is a 20-minute walk from the airport but we took the bus anyway and we regretted it later.
This specific bus took most of the passengers from our plane on, so it took so long for everyone to get their luggage in, buy tickets and find a place to sit. There were no more places to sit and many passengers had to just stand in that hot weather and with a face mask on. Unpleasant but manageable.
What we didn’t realize was that we’re not going straight to Fabrika but we’ll be having a stop at Newport – to take on tourists that came in by boat and were heading to Fabrika as well. The bus was so full it was unbearable. With all of these delays, we missed our next bus from Fabrika to Ornos. The next one was supposed to arrive in over 30 minutes and google maps said our apartment is 20 minutes walk again but by a different road.
We said fuck it we’re not waiting we’ll walk there.
The second attempt was to get from Ornos beach to our apartment. Of course, 2 busses arrived at the same time to the beach and we had no idea which one was ours. That was the easier part, but when we were driving past our apartment and one of us had to gather the courage to come up to the driver and ask them to stop, we realized we’re a bunch of chickens and we would rather drive to the other side than do something like that. Luckily there was this old greek who was getting off few minutes after our apartment so we played along and pretended we wanted to get off there as well.
The third time’s the charm and finally, we had a normal bus ride from Fabrika to the airport on our way back home.
Mykonos transportation is here to teach you to not be so uptight.
It is what it is. You’re in Mykonos so just enjoy.