Even in the heart of the winter, Mykonos is a place like no other in Greece. This includes the mild weather, the amazing natural beauties, the legendary historical sites, the festivities that surround the New Year celebrations and the restless vibe that lies within the beautiful island’s DNA, even during its quietest moments.
There is a popular Greek song, saying that “it’s never cold in Greece, it has never been”; which is more than partly true. The average temperature in January —traditionally the coldest month of the year— is 11 °C! In December 2022 and December 2023 temperatures rose up to 27 degrees (!), leading to many people enjoying swims in the sea. Eventually it will get much colder but snowing is extremely rare and, if it does happen, it will surely make the headlines! There might be some rain, but judging from the dryness of the landscape, precipitation is not abundant. Typically, grey skies last for a very few days and the sun shines again, creating opportunities for outdoor activities. The only possible freezing factor is the occasional strong northern winds, which, fortunately, do not last very long.
Many believe that from the end of October until late March, the nightlife in Mykonos comes to a complete standstill. However, Greeks love celebrating life in every way. During the high season, their job is to bring joy to the massive crowds of guests visiting the island for fun. In the winter, they are having fun among their own community in bars, restaurants, and tavernas with live music. If you happen to pass by, they will welcome you warmly, and soon you will be surrounded by openhearted locals singing, drinking, dancing, and offering you the authentic Greek “kefi” (having fun) experience.
Mykonos is home to some of the best restaurants and tavernas in Greece, serving a range from classic Greek dishes to the most upscale cuisine. Normally, the exclusive, high-end restaurants are closed during the off-season, but you can still enjoy the mouthwatering Greek recipes at a few tavernas in Chora and in Ano Mera. There, you will be treated to exceptional menu selections, such as savory local cheeses, winter salads, homemade sausages, and delicious soups. You will also find the most traditional and emblematic dishes, such as moussaka (made with ground beef, eggplant and potatoes), spanakopita (pastry filled with spinach, herbs and feta cheese), and cabbage-dolma (filled with minced meat and rice). As for dessert, don’t miss the baklava, made from filo pastry, honey, and nuts. During January, savor the famous Vasilopita, a special cake made in every bakery and household, with a coin, called “Flouri”, secretly hidden inside it. On
New Year’s Eve the head of the family cuts the cake, after blessing it with the sign of the Cross, and offers a piece to each member of the family and guest. The lucky one who finds the Flouri is expected to have a very fortunate year!
Mykonos is equipped with an international airport, but during the winter, most flights are connected to Athens, the Greek capital. There are also ferries that operate daily between the port of Rafina (near Athens) and Mykonos, with the exception of some days during the winter when the fierce winds don’t allow any kind of sailing.