Crete vs. Mykonos – Which Greek Island to Visit This Summer?

Crete vs Mykonos – experiencing this dilemma when choosing your next summer vacation destination might be difficult because both islands are more than attractive. Both have a significant place in Greek history, beautiful beaches, numerous amenities, and exclusive accommodation. Learn more about different aspects defining these islands and decide which one is more attractive to you, depending on your personal interests and expectations.

Mykonos Is More Expensive But Is Also One of the Most Exclusive Travel Destinations

When comparing Mykonos vs Crete, travel expenses might be one of the first things on your mind. However, if you’re getting here from Europe, you can find many cheap flights, and whether you take a plane or a ferry from Athens – about €100 per person should be more than enough if you book on time.

The length of your ferry trip from Athens, on the other hand, can be much longer if you’re going to Crete (from 7 to 12 hours, but you can rent a cabin with a bed). When going to Mykonos from Athens, you’ll need 3 to 5 hours by ferry, which might be more convenient if you travel with young children.

Both Islands Are Pretty, But Where You’ll Spend More on Accommodation?

When it comes to accommodation, Mykonos is a more expensive option, especially if you look at some popular hotels. Crete is cheaper in most categories, but it also attracts a different crowd – ones looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, while Mykonos attracts celebrities looking for more upscale accommodation and restaurants.

Some reviews show that, on average, a person spends about €120 per day on Mykonos, while on Crete, it spends €80. The prices of transportation, food, and drinks are about the same, but accommodation and entertainment make the biggest difference when it comes to spending. Tourists on Mykonos often rent private luxury villas for even bigger comfort.

Hotel in Mykonos
Accommodation in Mykonos island can cost you much more than in Crete

Crete Is Much Bigger, and You’ll Need More Time to Explore It Properly

One of the biggest and most noticeable differences is in the size of these two islands. Crete is actually almost 100 times bigger than Mykonos and has a permanent population of about 650,000. It is lively year-round, while the most exciting time to visit Mykonos is during the summer season, especially if you look for parties.

The second important difference is the location of these two places – Mykonos belongs to Cyclades (a group of islands), while Crete is a standalone island located in the south of Greece. They aren’t close to each other, so it could be difficult to include both in the same island hopping tour but not impossible. That’s the main reason people usually have a dilemma between these two. They are not as close as Mykonos and Santorini, for example.

Mykonos vs Crete – Both Islands Have Typical Greek Beaches

One of the best things when it comes to islands in Greece is that the majority of them offer beautiful, tropical beaches with soft white sand and crystal clear water you will definitely like. The main difference between these two islands is that Crete has more than a hundred beaches, while Mykonos has about 30 of them. If you want to see a particular one on Crete, depending on your starting point, driving to it might take hours.

On the other hand, on Mykonos, you can get basically everywhere in less than 30 minutes, especially if you rent a car. Some of the famous beaches in Crete are Elafonisi and Vai, but driving from one to another can last about 6 hours. This can be an issue if you travel for a vacation of only a few days. The most popular beaches on Mykonos you would want to see during your stay are:

  • Ornos Beach,
  • Lia Beach,
  • Paradise and Super Paradise Beaches,
  • Agios Ioannis Beach.

Nightlife Is the Highlight of Mykonos Island

Although Crete has a fair share of party places, if you’re looking for an exciting party atmosphere, it is definitely a better decision to travel to Mykonos – an absolute winner when it comes to nightlife in the whole of Greece. This place is known worldwide for its iconic beach bars and wild parties. Although you can get the same vibes at a few spots on Crete, Mykonos is still one of the top party destinations in Europe. Crete is more suitable for people looking for a place to relax and enjoy chilling at some quiet beaches with their families.

Voulisma beach, Crete
Both places offer tropical beaches with white sand and crystal clear water you will love

Both Greek Islands Have a Rich History, But Crete Takes the Win in This Category

While Mykonos nightlife is hard to beat, Crete is one of the top historically significant destinations in Greece. No matter where you head to, you’ll find some popular historical sites, and Knossos and Festos are the most important ones on Crete. The Palace of Knossos is famous for its place in Greek mythology, the legends about King Minos, and the Minotaur. This is one of the historical sites you definitely don’t want to miss, and if you want to find out more, head to the Archeological Museum in Heraklion.

Knossos palace, Crete
If on Crete, don’t skip visiting Knossos

If You Can’t Choose a Winner in the Crete vs Mykonos Duel, You Should Visit Both

Now that you know all the differences and main advantages, it might be even more interesting to learn all about them in person. That is why it is highly recommended that if you like Greece and have enough time and resources, you visit both of these places and decide for yourself which one will have your heart. 5 days on Mykonos might be enough, so play your itinerary carefully and find enough time to visit both of these gems.