You will be spoilt for choice when visiting the Greek islands. Though you have several island groups to choose from, the Cyclades will probably speak to your imagination most, which is how you found this blogpost. In this blogpost I will compare Mykonos, Santorini, Milos and Paros and list the advantages and disadvantages of each island, so you know which choice to make when you go to Greece. It is impossible to make a bad choice though, as all the islands are absolutely amazing!


I loved Mykonos most for its bougainvillea covered cobblestone streets in Mykonos town. The bougainvillea in Mykonos is most abundant of all four islands. I loved wandering through Mykonos town and admiring all the red and pink overgrown facades. Mykonos town is incredibly charming and you can do great shopping here (boutique style) and the dining is fabulous as well. There are so many charming restaurants, serving modern Greek food in a great ambiance. Mykonos is the best island if you want to do some partying, as bar culture is pretty much absent in romantic Santorini and quiet Milos. We did a sailing trip to nearby island Delos and enjoyed the chrystal clear blue water and the ancient ruins. Mykonos is full of windmills, with the Kato windmills being the most famous sight of the island. I personally found that they added a nice historic perspective and was impressed by how well they are maintained. The downside to Mykonos is that it can be incredibly overpriced. It can be difficult to find a budget accommodation, even though we succeeded in that. The Cavoo Tagoo hotel is one of the most expensive hotels in Greece and situated just outside of Mykonos town. Locations with a lot of luxury accommodation attract a sort of people that loves to flaunt their wealth and that is something you have to put up with. We didn’t go to the most expensive beach bars such as Nammos or Scorpios, as we weren’t interested in paying over € 150 for a designer beachbed. But you will run into many people who don’t mind spending those amounts. You can go to cheaper beachbars but it will still be a very expensive beach day. We were lucky that we had a very good Airbnb host, who had many great recommendations that were a bit more low key and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this beautiful island.


Santorini is the most scenic island of the four, especially Oia takes the crown for being one of the most photogenic places I have ever been. My mother cannot be easily impressed but she also saw what a special place Santorini is. The whitewashed villages contrast so lovely with the sea, you will have breathtaking views everywhere you look. Oia gets even more beautiful during the sunset, when the pink skies start reflecting on the white houses. It probably is the most famous sunset in the world. The case with scenic locations is that they usually come with crowds, which of course is also the case in Santorini. Oia can get incredibly busy during the day, but even worse at sunset (even the cruises stay for sunset). If you hate crowds or stairs, you should not visit Santorini. Santorini can be very expensive too, however there are some ways to save money in accomodation such as staying just outside of Oia or visiting in the shoulder season. Because Santorini attracts a very diverse crowd, I found the other activities less overpriced than in Mykonos. You can choose to treat yourself to a very expensive sunset menu, or eat in a less touristy restaurant just off the main strip. Boat tours from Santorini are a little less interesting than in Mykonos and Milos and you will find that the water is more deep blue than crystal clear aqua blue.


I decided to visit Milos after having seen pictures of Sarakiniko beach, a beach with a moonscape. You will find interesting, hidden, beaches everywhere around Milos. The island is relatively undiscovered and therefore you can have the main sights to yourself if you visit in the shoulder season. You can get much better price-value for accomodation and food and will not find expensive beachbars. Milos is lovely low-key, though it features incredibly clear waters! You can do wonderful sailing daytrips to the Kleftiko caves, in which you can even swim, or to neighboring Kimolos. Milos is less developed than the other islands, so you will be less spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants. The capital Plaka is a super cute town, but it is very small and only features a few restaurants (and not all of them are good). When we visited in May not all boattours were available yet and it was not possible yet to rent a boat on the beach nearby Kleftiko. Sarakiniko and Kleftiko are the real showstoppers of the islands, while the towns are cute but cannot measure up to the other islands.


Paros is the latest Cyclades island that I visited, and again I really loved it and was very impressed. I found Santorini a bit more scenic, as all the towns are located right on the cliffs, which is not the case in Paros. However the towns are incredibly cute, Naoussa and Parikia definitely measure up to Mykonos Town. The towns are incredibly well maintained and freshly painted, lots of bougainvillea popping up and you can have dinner in the most charming alleyways and plazas. Paros still felt like a hidden gem in May and we did not encounter crowds at all, which was lovely. It definitely isn’t a cheap island and you can find lots of luxury boutique style accomodation, but prices are much better than Mykonos. Paros is sometimes dubbed as the new Santorini, but it reminded me much more of Mykonos. If you are looking for a great beach: Kolymbithres is a very special beach, with beautiful rocks as your entrance to the shallow water. When it comes to nature Milos is a bit more interesting, but I did prefer the villages and restaurants of Paros.

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