Ibiza vs. Mykonos: the ultimate battle of the European islands! Gorgeous beaches, delicious food and fabulous clubs make them hot destinations (no pun intended) for those looking for a little fun in the sun. And while they do have many similarities, they’re also unique in their own way. I’ve visited each city, multiple times, which has given me the chance to really compare the two inside and out. Because of this, I decided to create a quick guide should any of you be considering the Mediterranean isles for a future vacation.
Ibiza is mostly known for its swanky resorts and thumping all-day and all-night club scene (who needs sleep anyway?). Pacha and Hï are among the most famous establishments, hosting many globally renowned DJs and artists. Mykonos, although much smaller in size, has often been described as the Ibiza of Greece (or maybe it’s the other way around and Ibiza is the Mykonos of Spain? 😜). The city, too, boasts a number of remarkable bars, restaurants and boutique hotels.
What are some must-do activities?
Mykonos is an adorable and totally walkable city (in comfortable shoes though, heels are impossible). I love exploring the different parts of the small island and even doing some cruising when it’s not too windy. There are plenty of shopping spots, ranging from stylish boutiques to high-end jewellery stores to pop-ups with local vendors- these were my favourite. Of course, there are also non-stop parties (cue the Lindsey Lohan dance), but it can be a relaxing place to visit if you want it to be!
To me, Ibiza is perfect for a long weekend with a group of friends. There’s plenty of music and dancing, and the Black Coffee Party every Saturday at Hï Ibiza is something I can’t even explain. It’s almost other-worldly! Checking out Formentera Island is a great daytime activity, and the yoga scene is also surprisingly pretty good here. There’s a restaurant called Beachhouse that actually offers free morning sessions- perfect for clearing your mind after a long night!
Where to dine and drink?
I would say that I prefer the food in Mykonos over Ibiza. And although paella is one of my favourite dishes, I would definitely recommend trying a lot of the authentic Greek food they have to offer! Sea Satin is one of my favourite restaurants, and it’s huge, so there’s no need to book a table ahead of time. Prices are also very reasonable, which is a huge plus. Principote Panormo is another good spot, with sun-beds, white crochet umbrellas and rustic décor. For more of a romantic dinner, Koursaros has an amazing view and a relaxing ambience.
While visiting Ibiza, I always go to restaurants for the atmosphere rather than the food. Lio and Cipriani, for example, are great places if you want to see people and be seen. I do also love Es Moli de Sal in Formentera, as the views there are breathtaking, and the seafood is really fresh. La Paloma is a sweet little café and bakery in San Lorenzo, a little village in the middle of the island, that’s great for grabbing a cup of coffee and a quick pastry in the morning.
How to pack wisely?
Both islands are warm during the day but can get a bit chilly and windy at night. A light jacket and a pair of cowboy boots for when the sun sets will do! Mykonos is a casual spot, and when I’m there I mostly wear sandals and shorts. Due to the rocky terrain, I wear Spartiates, as I find that they’ way sexier than regular flip flops but still comfortable. Bring lots of swimwear of course, a glam pair of sunnies (especially if you plan to party until sunrise) and a cute crossbody bag for hitting the town at night!
In Ibiza, you can dress however you want without fear of judgment. You’ll see a wide range of styles here, so it really all comes down to personal preference. I’ve proudly rocked (again, no pun intended) a pair of my favourite Levis shorts that I scooped up from a charity shop with knee-high boots and a band t-shirt! I’m not very tall (I’m 5’3”), so I do like to be able to wear heels if I want to. I’d suggest bringing along a cute headband if you plan to do a lot of dancing!💃 And the sunrise sunnies here, too!
What’s it like getting there?
Ibiza is more connected and established than Mykonos is, and has a huge airport. There are tons of flights going in and out each day, so you can often find them for cheap. Mykonos airport, on the other hand, is the tiniest I have ever seen in my life (I have never been to St. Bart lol). And just a heads up- it can be a bit stressful. Flights are full most of the time and often delayed. If you do decide to visit, I would suggest planning travel arrangements ahead of time. Ibiza is a place that can be booked more last-minute on a whim. If there is one thing that’s equally terrible across both islands, that’s finding a dang taxi!
Which place do I recommend?
The main difference between the two islands is that Ibiza has been a popular destination since the late 1960s, while Mykonos only started to flourish in the late 1980s. However, it’s really only started to peak in the last couple of years, so it’s the ideal time to go! I would definitely go back to both destinations, but If I travel back to Ibiza again it would probably be to attend a party of my favourite DJ (maybe Black Coffee again). My recommendation would be to go to Mykonos for a week and Ibiza for a weekend. Mykonos is a bit cleaner and Ibiza can get a bit dirty in mid-August when the tourists flock. Both places are accommodating, but I will say that the Greeks are very, very warm and inviting. You’ll feel right at home in Mykonos. The most Instagrammed hotel there is Cavo Tagoo. Unfortunately, I’ve never had a chance to stay, as it’s always booked. Let me know if you have any luck!
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