Deciding Between Mykonos and Santorini

Ah, the Greek Islands – sun-drenched landscapes, turquoise waters, and ancient charm. But when it comes to Mykonos and Santorini, two of the most famous islands, choosing the perfect one can be daunting. Which one is right for your travel style? Below we consider the vibe (atmosphere), pros, cons and key questions to consider when deciding between these two incredible islands.


What can you expect from a stay on Mykonos? Think endless stretches of golden sand, vibrant beach clubs pulsing with music, and cosmopolitan charm. Mykonos caters to the social butterfly: those seeking lively nightlife, trendy boutiques, and the chance to rub shoulders with celebrities.

waves and windmills in Mykonos Greece

Imagine yourself indulging in champagne showers at Paradise Beach, dancing into the sunrise at Super Paradise, or exploring the narrow, whitewashed alleys of Mykonos Town. Mykonos offers charming Mykonos Town, windmills, and scenic coastal walks. This island perfectly caters to diverse interests, whether you want to relax on golden beaches, indulge in luxurious spas, explore Delos Island’s ancient ruins, or hit the vibrant nightlife scene.


  • Perfect for short trips 3-4 days
  • Flatter landscape – better for those with mobility concerns
  • Lots of variety available
  • Soft-sand golden beaches


  • Not as dramatic scenery as Santorini
  • Fewer activities are available in the off-season – most of the island is closed.
  • Not very many wineries to enjoy

Questions to Ask When Considering a Mykonos Vacation

Who am I traveling With? – Mykonos is perfect for families, large friend groups with diverse interests, and multi-generational trips or folks with mobility concerns.

How do I feel about Crowds? – In the quieter “shoulder” season you can actually escape the crowds on Mykonos. The slightly wider streets and larger island also offer some crowd relief, so if crowds aren’t your thing Mykonos is the best option.

Do I want an Active Adventure or More Relaxation Time? – Mykonos offers more relaxing on soft sand beaches, go with the flow vibes. There is a greater focus on wandering, relaxing and indulging.

[Photo Credits: Courtney via Shared Adventures Travel]


What can you expect from an adventure to Santorini? Picture dramatic cliffsides crowned by whitewashed villages, breathtaking volcanic landscapes, and panoramic views that melt your heart. Santorini entices the romantic soul: those yearning for candlelit dinners with caldera views, intimate sunset strolls through Oia’s charming streets, and exploring ancient ruins steeped in myth.

A happy couple with the white washed walls and blue domes of Santorini Greece behind them

Witness the fiery magic of the sunset, sail around the volcanic caldera, or indulge in a wine tasting amidst the vineyards. Santorini offers volcanic hikes, wine tastings, boat tours, and cultural immersion. It’s the perfect destination for outdoor adventures.


  • Unbelievably stunning dramatic views and vistas
  • Perfect for hiking and outdoorsy activities
  • Romantic atmosphere which caters to honeymooners and couples
  • Over 20 wineries to enjoy
  • Plenty to do and see – could easily spend a week on the island


  • Lots of hills and stairs – challenging for those with mobility concerns
  • Longer tourist season – expect to find crowds from early April – November
  • Volcanic pebble, rocky, or course sand beaches

Questions to Ask When Considering a Santorini Vacation

How much Time do I have? – There’s enough to do to spend a whole week here and you can take your time to enjoy Santorini. It’s worth spending more than a few days, if budget permits.

sunset over the ocean santorini greece

Do I want an Active Adventure or More Relaxation Time? – You can, of course, spend time relaxing on Santorini but with its dramatic cliffs and volcanic landscape it’s great for active travelers who enjoy hills, stairs, hiking and water adventures like kayak and boating.

How do I feel about Crowds? – Santorini is well known and its narrow streets don’t offer a lot of breathing room. While the shoulder season is less crowded there will almost always be crowds. But, as Santorini makes an effort to become a year-round destination, more hotels and activities are available in the cooler months. (The only thing you won’t find open in winter is beach clubs/ pools)

[ Photo Credits: Alicia & Jay via Shared Adventures Travel – read about their family adventure to Greece here! / Christina via Shared Adventures Travel]

No matter which famous island destination you choose – you’re sure to have an incredible time soaking up the sunshine and beautiful Greek culture! If you’re ready to start planning your Greek Island Adventure – or want to find out about some hidden-gem island options — let us know!


You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)