Some people plan a getaway for New Year’s, but what could be better than an already-built vacation spot? And, yes, Mykonos won’t probably be the first option to come to mind when thinking of a winter holiday destination. But, expect to be pleasantly surprised to know that Mykonos is, indeed, one of the most exotic places to ring in the coming year! Famous for its nightlife, stunning coastline, natural beauty, friendly local community, and ultimate luxury year-round, Mykonos welcomes visitors during the festive season with a plethora of Greek traditions and New Year’s Eve customs. Want a small taste of the overwhelming appeal of wintertime Mykonos?
Discovering a new precious facet of Mykonos!
Don’t come to Mykonos around Christmas and anticipate excessively large crowds and loud parties. This is the time of the year when things slow down significantly, compared to the high summer season, revealing Mykonos’ true colours. But, life on the island is merely put on hold after the last September tourists fly back home. On the contrary, this is when you will find plenty of Mykonos lovers wandering through the cobbled streets and waterfront, including authors and artists that have made the Queen of the Cyclades their home. And, if you ask them, they’ll surely provide a long list of things to do in Mykonos in mid-winter and the festive season. Indeed, plenty of warm and sunny days still call for long strolls on the idyllic beaches, up the Windmills hill, or the Old Harbour.
To enhance this adventure even more, do consider a hot cup of coffee or tea at a Little Venice coffee shop or a delicious lunch in a scenic seaside tavern serving fresh fish and giving yourself ultimate pampering with a relaxing massage or cosmetic treatment at your luxury hotel spa!
Christmas and New Year’s Eve events in Mykonos
The first thing you’ll notice upon your arrival, even before you step foot on the island yet, are the lit-up fishing boats at the harbour. Being islanders, the Mykoneas (as all other Greek island residents) decorate boats rather than Christmas trees to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. You may see some houses or elegant hotels keeping up with the Christmas tree tradition. Nevertheless, the majority of households and businesses in Mykonos put colourful lamps and flags on small boat models.
Now, if you come on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, you’ll see many children swarming the streets, asking homeowners whether they want to hear the Christmas or New Year carols. If they say “yes”, the children will sing beautiful local carols (sometimes accompanied by a musical instrument) and get money or house treats in return!
The town and village squares are full of lights while light shows and fireworks displays take place as the current year is about to expire. Local bands and musicians play bagpipes, violins, and other traditional musical instruments, inviting people to dance to the rhythms of Cycladic vibes.
The same party and celebratory ambiance are also provided at the stylish 5* hotels still open in Mykonos. In this case, you can enjoy from private dining overlooking picturesque views of the Aegean Sea next to a fireplace to special New Year’s festivities at in-house bar-restaurants, including authentic Mykonos tastes, live Greek music, midnight champagne toasts, and dancing till the early morning hours.
As for the aromas that fill the atmosphere all this time, they come from homemade sweets. Word of advice? Do not leave the island without having tasted the traditional kourambiedes (butter biscuits with almond flakes and lots of icing sugar on top) or the honey-syrup-dipped biscuits called melomakarona! You can thank us later!
Whether you are looking for a low-key holiday time in Mykonos (there’s plenty of beautiful scenery to take in and many options to explore ancient Greece without the summer crowds) or a more vibrant festive season with glam and partying tunes, Mykonos won’t disappoint you for sure.
The countdown is on! Happy New Year!