Last updated on January 13, 2023 by Wandering our World
Mykonos and Ibiza are famed around the world as two of the hottest party islands on the planet. Popular with celebrities, younger generations, and party-loving people, both of these islands boast beautiful beaches, fabulous resorts, and exciting entertainment.
If you want to party all day and all night, you’re sure to have the time of your life at either one of these amazing islands. But, if you only have time to visit one of either Mykonos or Ibiza, which place should you choose?
Well, it won’t be an easy choice! These islands have lots in common, and it can be tricky to pick between them. However, there are a few key differences between Mykonos and Ibiza that might just sway the argument one way or another, depending on your tastes and lifestyle.
For starters, Ibiza is significantly larger, with enough space to cover Mykonos more than six times! Since it’s so much bigger, Ibiza has more accommodation options, a diverse selection of things to do., and is arguably the better nightlife destination.
Mykonos, meanwhile, has its own unique quirks, like the distinctive Cycladic architecture, luxury boutiques, world-class resorts, and Mediterranean cuisine. It feels more romantic than Ibiza, and the water and beaches are arguably more beautiful.
But there are plenty more things that separate these two islands!
Which is why we’ll use our knowledge to compare their beaches, nightlife, food, accommodation, which is cheaper and more. By the end we’re sure you will know which one you’d like to visit!
- A Quick Overview
- Which Is Easier To Get To?
- Which Is Better For Nightlife?
- Which Is Better For Beaches?
- Which Is Best For Activities?
- Which Has the Best Places to Stay?
- Where You Should Stay According To Your Budget
- Which Is Cheaper?
- Which Has The Best Food?
- Which Is Easier To Get Around?
- Which Is The Better Choice?
A Quick Overview Of Mykonos vs Ibiza
Mykonos: A Quick Overview
Mykonos is one of the many Greek islands that form the Cyclades group. It’s situated in the Aegean Sea, not far from neighboring islands like Paros and Naxos.
Covering 33 square miles (85 square kilometers) of land, Mykonos has a fascinating past – it was once part of the Byzantine Empire and played a key part in the Greek revolution.
These days, however, the island is best-known as a touristic destination, famed for its clubs and parties, as well as its LGBT+ scene.
Vibrant nightlife is one of the main draws of Mykonos, but, just like other islands around Greece, this place also has interesting historic landmarks, distinctive whitewashed residential homes, an iconic series of windmills sitting above the main town, and some lovely beaches spread out along its rugged coastline.
Ibiza: A Quick Overview
Ibiza is a Spanish island situated in the Mediterranean Sea, around 81 miles away from the mainland. It covers a total of 220 square miles, or 571 square kilometers, and it’s the third largest of the Balearic island group.
The island’s history dates back over 2,000 years, but recent decades have seen it emerge as one of the prime party and nightlife destinations in Europe, with many of the world’s most famous DJs performing here each year – Ibiza has even earned the nickname of “Party Capital of the World”.
But, just like with Mykonos, there’s more to Ibiza than just clubs and bars.
Many parts of the island are classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like the historic Renaissance walls in Ibiza City and the fascinating Sa Caleta archaeological site, which dates back to the days of the island’s earliest Phoenician settlers.
Which Is Easier To Get To?
Mykonos and Ibiza are more than 1,000 miles apart, in totally different areas of Europe. This is something to take into account when trying to decide between them, as it might be easier for you to get one over the other.
In general, Mykonos is a very accessible place. It has its own airport, and there are plenty of direct routes onto the island from major cities around Europe, like Paris, London, Rome, and Madrid.
Many European travelers can fly here directly, while those coming from further away will have to get a connecting flight, usually from Athens.
It’s also possible to take a ferry ride from Athens to Mykonos, and this is actually one of the cheapest ways to reach the island. Other ferry routes connect Mykonos to places like Crete and various Aegean islands.
Ibiza also has its own airport, which has plenty of direct connections all over Europe to countries like the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Italy, and Germany.
Otherwise, you might like to take a ferry to Ibiza from coastal Spanish cities like Denia, with the fastest route taking around two hours.
In general, it’s not hard to get to either of these islands, but you might have an overall easier and more convenient time flying into Ibiza, thanks to its larger airport.
Plus, thanks to its location near Spain, Ibiza is faster to get to for travelers from places like the UK and the US.
For example, the average flight time from London to Ibiza is around two and a half hours. If you fly from the same place to Mykonos, you’ll be in the air for almost four hours.
Which Is Better For Nightlife?
If you’re weighing up a possible vacation to either Mykonos or Ibiza, there’s a good chance that you’re a party person, as both of these islands are renowned for their vibrant nightlife scenes and long stretches of bars and clubs.
The history of these islands as nightlife hotspots goes back many decades, although it was Ibiza that first laid claim to the title of Europe’s premier party hub when the first big clubs – like Amnesia and Pacha – opened up in the 70s.
In the years that followed, Ibiza’s reputation grew and grew, with its non-stop parties and ever expanding nightlife districts drawing in famous faces and crowds of young travelers from all over Europe and beyond.
Mykonos was also popular with the jet-set crowd in the 70s, with many people attracted to the island’s beautiful scenery, charming villages, and friendly locals.
In addition, it was around this time that Mykonos became known as a gay-friendly destination, and its welcoming attitude towards those in the LGBT+ community has continued right up to this day.
It wasn’t really until the 2000s that Mykonos started to emerge as a major party and nightlife hub, and now, it’s often known as the “Ibiza of Greece” and can compete with its Spanish rival when it comes to thumping clubs and wild parties.
Below we look at the nightlife of each island in more detail so you can see which could suit you more:
Mykonos: The Nightlife
When it comes to nightlife in Mykonos, most of the action is centered in two main areas: Mykonos Chora and Paradise Beach.
Arguably the most iconic club of all is Cavo Parodiso. Located near Paradise Beach, this club draws in the biggest DJs and keeps the party going through until the early hours, while also boasting amazing clifftop views.
Paradise Beach Club and the similarly-named Super Paradise Beach Club are also great places to party, with club anthems ringing out all day and colorful cocktails always flowing. Meanwhile, over in Mykonos Chora, you can enjoy equally exciting experiences at the likes of At54 and Scarpa.
The bars and clubs in Mykonos may not be quite as raucous and rowdy as some of Ibiza’s hottest spots, but there’s still more than enough here to keep the average party-goer entertained.
In addition, Mykonos has a great gay bar scene, with lots of friendly places for LGBT+ travelers.
Ibiza: The Nightlife
Ibiza nightlife needs no introduction. This island’s bars and clubs are legendary, and no matter what time of day or night it happens to be, there are always parties happening around Ibiza’s main locations like Ibiza Town, San Antonio, and Playa d’en Bossa.
There are so many clubs on the island, you’d need to spend several weeks here to see them all!
But if you’re only around for a short trip, Amnesia is one of the must-see spots, famed for its gigantic dance floor and exciting ice cannons. Hi Ibiza is another amazing nightlife haven, boasting performances from the biggest stars of EDM and luxurious VIP spaces.
Even the older clubs on Ibiza, like Eden Ibiza and Pacha, have their own unique charms and world-class sound systems, and places like Ushuaia are ideal for daytime raves and major artist performances.
The list of great clubs and bars goes on and on at Ibiza, and you can also find parties and lively vibes all over the island’s hotels, resorts, swimming pools, and beaches. It’s one of the liveliest places in the world, arguably better than Mykonos.
Which Is Better For Beaches?
When you’re not partying the night away, you might like to simply relax and soak up the sun on one of Mykonos or Ibiza’s many beaches.
Both of these islands have long coastlines, with many miles of sandy and rocky shores, and a lot of the beaches in both locations are well-developed, with amenities, bars, and nearby resorts.
Since both Ibiza and Mykonos have plenty of sunshine and warm weather, you can enjoy the beaches of these islands almost any time of year, although it’s worth noting that Ibiza does have slightly higher air and water temperatures, on average, along with a little less chance of rain.
Since Ibiza is the bigger of the two islands, it has more miles of coastline and a greater quantity and range of beaches.
However, some would say that Mykonos’ beaches are the more beautiful, with truly stunning blue waters and awe-inspiring scenery.
Below we take a closer look at what the beaches in each have to offer!
Mykonos: The Beaches
Mykonos has over 20 popular beaches that are well-developed and maintained, providing plenty of room for crowds of tourists to party, sunbathe, or splash around in the sea.
Psarou Beach is one of the top spots to go, with row upon row of cozy sun loungers and local restaurants offering gourmet-grade meals.
Ornos is another top beach for visitors to Mykonos. It has pleasant waters that are quite family-friendly, along with a resort-style vibe and big crowds.
And, of course, there’s the famous Paradise Beach, which certainly lives up to its name and stands out as one of the best beaches to party – the action usually starts towards the end of the afternoon.
For something more relaxed, you can head west along the coast to Agios Ioannis. Or, if you really want to stretch out, Elia Beach is the longest in all of Mykonos, and it’s almost entirely covered with sunbeds and umbrellas.
Overall, Mykonos has a super selection of beaches, especially if you enjoy having nearby amenities and comfortable sunbeds to lie back on.
However, a lot of the beaches follow a similar format, being dominated by crowds, sun loungers, and party vibes, so some travelers might find themselves wishing for something a little quieter and more secluded.
Ibiza: The Beaches
With more coastline, Ibiza has more beaches and a greater variety of beach shapes and sizes than Mykonos. There are large, sandy expanses for swimming and partying, like Cala Conta, as well as smaller and more romantic spots like Cala Gracioneta – one of Ibiza’s best locations for snorkeling.
Visitors can also enjoy pebble beaches at Ibiza, like Cala Jondal, along with wide, long beaches that seem to stretch on all the way to the horizon, such as Cala Tarida.
There are even secret, secluded bays like Sol d’en Serra – surrounded by mountains and greenery all around, it feels like a little piece of paradise.
Cala Benirras is another gorgeous spot where crowds of tourists from around the globe often gather to soak up the sun’s rays, while Cala Boix backs onto beautiful scenery, surrounded by unspoiled pine forests.
In short, the beaches here are extremely varied. You can find party-friendly beaches with bars and clubs right around the corner, family-friendly resort-style spots for swimming and games, as well as quieter and calmer areas where you can just sit back, relax, and forget all your troubles.
Which Is Best For Activities?
As well as parties, bars, clubs, and beaches, Mykonos and Ibiza have several other activities to enjoy and fun things for travelers to do, from visiting historical sites to shopping in markets and boutiques.
Here’s how the activities compare on each island.
Mykonos: The Activities
Most travelers to Mykonos will spend a lot of their time in the main town of Chora, where you can enjoy the traditional sights and sounds of the Cyclades, like whitewashed houses and charming, narrow alleyways.
While here, you might like to take a tour of the Little Venice area, where rows of homes, bars, and even the odd gallery look out over the sea. You can also visit the famous Mykonos windmills, which stand in a line above the town.
Mykonos is also a terrific place to shop, especially if you love luxury brands, with lots of haute couture boutiques dotted about the main town.
Or, if history is more your thing, you can check out local landmarks like the 18th century library or Armenistis Lighthouse.
To learn even more about the island’s past, head to the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos or the Folklore Museum – its intriguing collection of model ships, cannons, and tombstones could be just what you need to keep kids entertained if you’re visiting as a family.
If you’re looking to get off the main island for a moment, you can arrange a day trip to Delos, a small island just a short boat ride away. This island has a lot of history and some amazing ruins, complete with some startlingly well-preserved mosaics.
Ibiza: The Activities
Ibiza also has more than its fair share of landmarks and attractions to check out. The island’s main town (known as Ibiza), for example, has its own historic district – Dalt Villa – complete with cobblestone streets, ancient walls, and a 14th century cathedral.
Other intriguing historical sites include the Sa Caleta Phoenician remains, as well as the fascinating Cueva de Es Culleram, an extraordinary cave system that was used as a sanctuary many centuries ago – hundreds of terracotta figures and artifacts were found here in the early 20th century. And you can see some of them at the Archaeological Museum of the City of Ibiza.
Ibiza also has several towns to explore, each with their own vibe. The main town of Ibiza is always lively and vibrant, but you can find quieter environs over in Sant Antoni de Portmany on the west coast, which is also a nice place for some casual shopping.
Speaking of shopping, while Mykonos may be known for its upscale brands, Ibiza has a wider variety of places to shop at, from budget souvenir shops to indie boutiques and local markets, too.
There’s so much to do all over this land, and once you get out of the main town and party zones, you can find gorgeous countryside to explore, forests to hike in, and Bohemian villages to enjoy.
There are also some super yoga and Pilates studios to try, along with boat tours and watersports for thrill-seekers.
Just like Mykonos, Ibiza also has a small, neighboring island that you can visit by boat: Formentera. The smallest of all the Pityusic Islands, Formentera has a hippy vibe and is known for its nudist beaches, white sands, and laid-back vibe. It’s an ideal place to get away from the music and parties for a little while.
Which Has the Best Places to Stay?
Of course, you’ll need a place to stay during your visit to either Mykonos or Ibiza, and both of these islands have no shortage of hotels and resorts. However, there are some key differences in terms of the accommodation options on each island.
On Mykonos, visitors will mostly find an assortment of boutique hotels and high-end resorts. There are some cheaper guesthouses, too, but you really need to book in advance if you’re traveling on a budget, as the more affordable places tend to sell out quickly, especially during the peak summer months.
As with most of the other categories on this list, Ibiza has the bigger and more diverse selection when it comes to accommodation.
From small, romantic guesthouses to massive, five-star resorts with multiple pools and spa facilities, you can find almost anything here, and with so many more options, it’s usually easier to get a good room at a decent price.
Where You Should Stay According To Your Budget
Budget: Finding a gorgeous hotel complete with pool and seaviews on a budget is hard in Mykonos, but that’s exactly what Hotel Tagoo is. Not only that, it’s situated in a great location too. See photos and rates!
Luxury: With a huge infinity pool overlooking the sea, rooms with hot tubs and private pools, and world-class service, the five-star Anax Resort & Spa is the perfect resort for someone looking to holiday in style. See photos and rates!
Budget: With gorgeous sea views, stylish suites, and a pretty outdoor pool and terrace area, Sol Bahia Ibiza Suites probably has the best price/quality ratio on the island. It’s little surprise then that it’s often booked up. See photos and rates!
Luxury: You can expect classy rooms and celebrity treatment when staying at the five-star OKU Ibiza. The pool and terrace are photogenic and stylish, and the overall vibe is just special. See photos and rates!
Which Is Cheaper?
Following on from the previous point about the cost of accommodation, we’ll now take a look at the general cost of a trip to either Mykonos or Ibiza and examine which of these two islands is usually the cheapest.
Obviously, the price you pay for any vacation will depend on a lot of factors, like your accommodation, activities, food, and so on. However, trips to Mykonos will typically cost more than vacations in Ibiza.
While the prices for bars and clubs are similar in both of these locations, Mykonos is more restricted in terms of its shops, food, and accommodation, so you may have to spend more than expected on things like your hotel and evening meals here.
With cheaper eats and more accessible low-cost hotels on Ibiza, it’s usually significantly easier to plan a budget-friendly trip on this island. Although you’ll still need to spend a lot if you want to visit the main clubs and bars on a regular basis.
Which Has The Best Food?
This is another area in which these locations differ greatly, and it’s important to think about your own tastes and preferences, as well as how much you’re willing to spend on meals, when choosing between the two.
In terms of pure quality, Mykonos might just have the edge. It has a very impressive lineup of high-end restaurants for visitors to enjoy, primarily specializing in Greek and Mediterranean dishes, like M-Eating and Bagatelle.
Here, you can enjoy unique takes on some of the classics of Greek cuisine, like mousakka or pastitsio. You can also sample local specialties like kopanisti mykonou cheese, which has been made in Mykonos for over three centuries, as well as louza – a variety of cured pork.
Mykonos does have some cheaper eateries here and there, but, just like how the fancy boutiques tend to dominate the island’s shopping scene, gourmet-grade restaurants take up a large part of the island’s culinary landscape.
Over on Ibiza, there’s more variety. You can still find expensive restaurants on Ibiza, like Nobu Ibiza Bay, but there are also lots of more affordable options selling typical fast food fare like kebabs and pizzas, perfect for travelers on a budget.
Since it’s part of Spain, Ibiza is also a terrific place to enjoy the best in Iberian dishes and drinks, like paella and sangria.
There are some terrific seafood spots along the coast, too, and if you head further inland, you can find countryside farm restaurants serving up meals made with local Ibizan meats and veggies.
Which Is Easier To Get Around?
If you plan to explore either Ibiza or Mykonos, you’ll want to know about the local roads and transport systems. This is another area in which both islands differ.
In Mykonos, most travelers spend the majority of their vacations in and around the town of Mykonos Chora. Here, you can walk around quite easily, but if you want to go elsewhere, you’ll likely need to rely on the island’s bus network.
The buses in Mykonos connect the main town to various landmarks and locations, like the famous Paradise Beach party hub on the island’s southern coast, or the resort village of Platis Gialos.
You could also rent a car, but roads around Mykonos can get quite congested, and parking isn’t always easy. In addition, with only around 30 taxis on the island, you’ll generally have to rely on buses or your own two feet to make your way from place to place.
In Ibiza, taxis are much more numerous, making it easier to get a private ride to a specific destination, although the fares can quickly add up. The island also has a good bus service, and many travelers like to rent a car or hire a scooter to make their way around.
In general, the public transport is better in Ibiza and there are more ways to travel across the island. With that said, Ibiza is a much bigger place, so you’ll need to be prepared to spend a while on the road if you want to get from one side of the island to the other.
Mykonos vs Ibiza: Which Is Better?
Picking the best island between Mykonos and Ibiza is no easy task. While they have similar party vibes and atmospheres, these islands are still worlds apart in terms of things like food, culture, activities, and scenery.
Overall, the only way we can pick a winner is by honing in on the island that has a wider selection of things to offer and can therefore appeal to a bigger and broader range of people, and that island is Ibiza.
Not only is Ibiza more accessible, there are also so many ways to spend your time here, and the wider range of food and accommodation should allow more people to have a fabulous vacation, regardless of their budget or tastes. Plus, even though Mykonos might be a great place to party, the nightlife in Ibiza is still on another level compared to anywhere else in Europe.
With that said, there’s still a lot to love about Mykonos. It’s a place of beauty and indulgence, where magical memories can be made – make sure to watch the sunset from Little Venice for an experience you’ll never forget. It also has sublime beaches and is the more romantic destination, with greater appeal for couples.
Ultimately, if you love parties and living life to the fullest, you can’t go wrong with either of these islands. They’re both some of the hippest and hottest places on Earth, and you’re sure to have a super time no matter which one you choose.