Between its postcard-perfect white villas, dreamy blue water, and amazing LGBTQ+ events, Mykonos looks too good to be true.

But this island paradise is real, and its queer scene is thriving. Its community quieted for a bit in the early to mid-2010s, but a new generation of travelers has reclaimed Mykonos, perhaps the most famous of the Cyclades—a chain of Greek islands between Athens and Crete in the Aegean Sea. You’ll find most of the island’s activity in Mykonos Town, where the streets are charmingly narrow—if you’re feeling adventurous, try navigating these on a rented moped—and the mindset is anything but! Around Mykonos Town’s “gay square” near the Little Venice neighborhood, welcoming LGBTQ+ bars and clubs are the norm, not the exception, so expect fabulous drag performances and a fabulous party atmosphere that can last from 10 pm to sunrise! XLSIOR (also gay pride here) draws an international crowd of 30,000 music lovers in late August, ending summer with a bang. Keep in mind that Mykonos definitely has an off-season (don’t we all, darling?), so from October to April, some of these hot spots take a break. The upside to the off-season? Accommodations can be easier to find and less expensive.

By day, hit the beach! Elia, Paranga, and Super Paradise are the main community beaches on the south coast, each accessible by boat service from Platys Gialos beach. Paranga and Super Paradise are party hot spots, lined with gay bars and tavernas playing loud, danceable music, while Elia is a little quieter... apart from its jet skis! You can’t go wrong at any of the island’s 30+ beaches popular with friendly sunbathers. Bathing suits are optional here, and so are tan lines! We are fans of Panormos Beach and is a perfect spot, with a good amount of LGBTQ+ sun lovers. Of course, remember to bring sunscreen: from spring to mid-fall, the Cyclades enjoy warm, sun-drenched weather tempered by summer breezes. The sunny paradise of Mykonos is just a 30-minute flight from Athens. If you’re running on island time, opt for the 5-hour ferry ride from the port of Piraeus in Athens, which leaves you plenty of time to get close to a new friend! Afterwards, check out all the best gay bars in Mykonos and experience island dance life.

Mykonos caters to the epicurean in all of us, with a smorgasbord of dining options that promise to tantalize your taste buds. From quaint, hidden tavernas serving up traditional Greek delights to avant-garde eateries that redefine culinary boundaries, every meal is a celebration of flavor and flair. Make sure to try Lazarakia (sweet spice breads known as little Lazarus), Amygdalota (chewy almond cookies that are delicious!), and kafematika (Sausages with black-eyed beans that are sun-dried). Be sure to savor the other local specialties - the fresher-than-fresh seafood and the sinfully sweet baklava will have you coming back for seconds (and thirds!).

However you get to Mykonos, save time for sunset snapshots of the town’s iconic windmills, themselves overlooking the picturesque Little Venice. Head inland to the village of Ano Mera and admire the Panagia Tourliani, a 16th-century monastery with whitewashed walls set off by cerulean skies.

Mykonos is easily one of the prettiest spots you’ll ever visit (seriously, it’s one place that looks just as perfect as its photos—rather like Maria Callas). With its accepting community spirit, Mykonos’s beauty goes way deeper than a pretty face. Let your hair down, dance, eat, and enjoy all the magic that can be found in Mykonos.

View the index of more than just the best LGBTQ events + gay bars in Mykonos, Greece

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