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Santorini or Mykonos - Greece

One of the most common questions people ask when they're planning a visit to the Greek Islands is whether to go to Santorini or Mykonos.

Ideally, if you have at least six days, I’d recommend that you combine the two and spend two or three nights in each one because they really compliment each other quite nicely.

But, if that’s just not possible for this trip, then deciding between the two will ultimately come down to what your interests are and how you’d like to spend your time.

Santorini Mykonos Greece Europe EverAfter Travel

First, some of the similarities.

  • Both are among the most beautiful islands in Greece

  • Both are very popular with tourists and can be expensive and crowded

  • Both have an international airport with non-stop flights from cities like: Athens, Rome, London and Amsterdam

  • Both basically shutdown during low season in the winter; high season for both is June through early September

  • Both have the classic white-washed buildings that Greece is known for

  • Both have excellent restaurants to choose from

And now, some of the differences.

Better island for beaches: Mykonos

Mykonos has gorgeous sandy beaches whereas Santorini’s beaches are made mostly of dark volcanic pebbles mixed with sand.

While the beaches in Santorini are beloved for their uniqueness, if you’re a beach bum looking to spend a lot of time relaxing on a sandy beach, then Mykonos is the island for you.

Better island for scenery: Santorini

Santorini offers some of the most stunning views in the world. Cliff-top villages overlooking the caldera offer spectacular views of the sea and one-of-a-kind sunsets. Being at sea level, the views you’ll find in Mykonos are much less dramatic.

If being surrounded by magnificent views is high on your priority list, then you’ll be in heaven in Santorini.

Better island for shopping: Mykonos

Mykonos is known for its designer stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. In comparison, you won’t find the same type of luxury, high-end options in Santorini, which has more locally-owned boutiques selling souvenirs and crafts.

If you love the idea of strolling through a maze of picturesque cobblestone streets filled with shops – and possibly a celebrity sighting along the way – then Matoyianni Street in Mykonos is where you want to be.

Better island for sightseeing: Santorini

Santorini has more to see and do than Mykonos. You can visit one of the many wineries on the island, hike from Fira to Oia, take a boat tour of the volcano, visit one of the local villages or the archaeological site of Ancient Akrotiri, and more.

There are some fascinating places to explore in Mykonos too, like taking a day trip to the island of Delos, but if you’re wanting to have a larger variety of activities to choose from, then you’ll find them in Santorini.

Better island for nightlife: Mykonos

Mykonos is famous for its vibrant nightlife scene. Some of the best DJ’s in the world perform here – starting with beach parties during the day and often still going strong long after the sun goes down.

If hitting the clubs and doing some dancing is the vibe you're after, then you won't be disappointed in Mykonos.

Better island for romance: Santorini

Santorini is considered one of the most romantic destinations in the world. With its unrivaled views around every corner and iconic sunsets, it’s easy to see why Santorini continues to be a top choice for those looking for a romantic getaway – especially honeymooners.

You can definitely enjoy yourselves as a couple in Mykonos as well, but if you’re looking to relax and spend some quality time with the one you love, then there’s no better place to do it than Santorini.

Both of these islands are truly beyond wonderful, but if you were short on time, which one would you choose - Santorini or Mykonos? I'd love to hear what you think!

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Planning guide created by destination wedding travel agent in Rogers, MN.

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