Blogger Mal enjoying a renting car in the Greek islands.

Renting A Car In Mykonos: 2024 Ultimate Guide + Tips

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Renting a car in Mykonos Greece opened up a whole world of possibilities that wouldn’t have been possible if we’d relied on public transport. 

Author’s Note: Robin is our car expert, and a seasoned driver who has driven everywhere in Europe, from the narrow roads of the Cycladic Islands to the winding mountain passes in the Albanian Alps. Robin’s extensive experience behind the wheel ensures you get the best advice for your road trips.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this island paradise without a vehicle – far from it! The bus system is solid, and you can rent ATVs to get off the beaten track. Having a car, however, just adds a layer of convenience and comfort to the whole holiday.

We’ve visited Mykonos twice, but it was only on our second trip that we decided to rent a car. Honestly, it was awesome to discover beyond the old town, checking out places we’d completely missed the first time around, like the idyllic inland village of Ano Mera and the peaceful Merchia Beach.

In this post, we’ll cover the requirements for renting a car and share a few practical driving tips, as well as explain how to get around Mykonos without a car for people who decide that driving about this Greek paradise isn’t for them.


Should I Rent A Car In Mykonos? Pros & Cons

Blogger Robin visiting Mykonos Old Town thanks to hiring a car in Mykonos.

Is renting a car in Mykonos worth it? To help you make that decision, here are a few key pros and cons to consider:

βœ… You’ll be able to explore more. Having a car will allow you to discover less-visited beaches and attractions that aren’t on the main tourist trail.  

βœ… There’s greater flexibility. Rather than being tied to public transport schedules, you can set your own itinerary every day. If you decide to sleep in, you don’t have to worry about when the next bus departs – or if it’s going to be full.

βœ… It can sometimes work out cheaper. Once you tot up the cost of 3 or 4 people paying for taxis and tours, having your own car might actually save you money.

⚠️ Vehicles entail additional expenses. Aside from the basic cost of renting a car in Mykonos and purchasing insurance, you’ll also have to fork out for petrol. If you don’t plan to do much travelling, it might not be cost effective.

⚠️ Many of the roads are narrow and hair-raising. After our own experience, we can definitely say it’s not for the faint of heart!

⚠️ Parking can be a challenge, especially during high season.

Renting A Car In Mykonos Greece: Logistics 

Blogger Mal in Mykonos.
Blogger Robin visiting old town with his rental car in Mykonos.

Before we decided to rent a car in Mykonos Greece on our last trip, there were a handful of things we wanted to know first. Here, we’ve basically summarised the answers to those burning questions.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Mykonos?

The price varies enormously depending on the season, the type of car, the rental provider, and how far in advance you book.

We always use Discover Cars to scope out the costs, partly because they offer a good overview of all the options but also because we like the full coverage insurance package.

From our experience, it’s possible to get a small vehicle for about $35-40 during the height of the summer season on a short-term rental. For a 4Γ—4 from Hertz, however, you’d be paying about $100 a day. 

Outside of the busy summer period, you can expect significantly cheaper prices. In some cases, you’ll pay just over half.  

Is it difficult to drive in Mykonos?

Hiring a car in Mykonos allowed bloggers Robin and Mal to drive around the Island.

One of the reasons we discussed the price of a 4Γ—4 just now is that some places are inaccessible unless you have 4-wheel drive. Several of the most isolated beaches we visited were at the end of dirt tracks.

Another big thing to consider is that a lot of the roads in Mykonos are winding and narrow, not to mention steep. Especially in more rural areas, you can also throw potholes into the mix. Then there’s the profusion of people on quads and scooters who weave in and out of traffic.

That might sound like quite a lot to deal with, but we don’t want to put you off getting a hire a car in Mykonos. These aren’t insurmountable difficulties, and for the most part, driving in Mykonos is actually a rather pleasant, scenic experience. It just helps to be prepared!  

Is parking easy in Mykonos?

Honestly, not particularly, but again, a little bit of prep goes a long way.

In the town of Mykonos, we found that the best chance to park our car for free was at the so-called “City Parking Mykonos,” which is a parking lot about 10-15 minutes’ walk to the north of the centre. 

Most of the parking at the beaches is free, but we advise getting there before 10 a.m. Otherwise, during high season, the spaces fill up quite rapidly.

Rent a car in Mykonos Airport

Deciding to rent a car at Mykonos Airport is the best option for convenience. If you’re flying into the island, you may as well organise your vehicle hire to start as soon as you touch down, particularly if you’re not staying in the main town or a major resort where public transport links extend.

There’s no scenario where we would advise renting a car on the fly. Prices are always cheaper in advance, and you won’t be at the mercy of fluctuating availability, which can be a serious issue on Mykonos.

Rent a car in Mykonos Port

Ferries run to Mykonos Port from Piraeus (the port for Athens), as well as from Rafina on the eastern side of the Greek peninsula and numerous nearby islands.

Catching the ferry from Athens is usually cheaper than a flight, which makes it an attractive option if you plan to explore the Greek capital’s historic sights before taking a beachy break.

There are several companies that supply a rental car in Mykonos from bases beside the port. As with the airport, the key is to book in advance. 

Mykonos Car Rental: Requirements

Blogger Mal at Mykonos.
If you rent car in Mykonos you van visit beyond the old town.

If you do decide to hire a car in Mykonos, the four things you’ll need are:

βœ… A valid driver’s licence.

βœ… An additional form of ID like a passport or identification card.

βœ… Insurance.

βœ… Your rental voucher.

Is My US Driver’s License Valid In Greece?

Yes, US driver’s licences are valid in Greece. Since a law change in 2021, no additional permit is required for American citizens who want to rent a car on the mainland or on the islands.

Can I Rent A Car In Greece With A UK Driver’s License?

Yes, you can get a rent car in Greece with a UK driver’s licence. Like US citizens, UK folks don’t have to have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP), even after leaving the EU.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that while it’s not currently a legal requirement (as of 2024), some rental companies may specify that UK and non-EU drivers possess an IDP. Make sure to check the terms and conditions of your contract beforehand.

Do I Need Insurance For Renting A Car In Mykonos?

Yes, anybody at the wheel of a rental car in Mykonos is obliged to have insurance. Most rental cars here will come with the legally required level as standard, as well as a collision damage waiver (CDW). 

We usually also add on Discover Cars’ full coverage option, just so we reclaim any charges made if there are accidental scuffs to the exterior of the vehicle.

Do I Need A Credit Card To Rent A Car In Mykonos?

No, you don’t always need a credit card for car hire in Mykonos, though you will usually have to leave some form of deposit. Depending on the company, this deposit can be taken from a credit card or a debit card.

Hiring A Car In Mykonos: Practical Tips

Car hire in Mykonos allows visiting places like the lighthouse.

Now we’ve covered the basics, here are a few tips we think everyone should know before renting a car in Mykonos.

βœ”οΈ Get Full Insurance Cover

For peace of mind, make sure your insurance policy covers as much as possible. It’s just so easy to damage a car, often through no fault of your own.

Just by way of an example, on one of our road trips around a Greek island, a lady opened her car door into us while we were parked. The massive dent she caused cost €900 to fix! Fortunately, we were able to claim it back through our full coverage from Discover Cars.

Whatever policy you purchase, make sure to read through the fine print, including details of any excesses, limits, and exclusions. That way, you can feel confident you know where you stand ahead of time.

Of course, getting insurance beyond the bare minimum adds to the overall cost of your holiday. We’d say it’s a worthwhile expense, but ultimately, it’s up to you. Just remember that Mykonos’ roads aren’t always smooth driving!

βœ”οΈ Book Your Car In Advance

Rental cars in Mykonos get booked out quickly between May and September, especially if you want an automatic. There’s a disparity between vehicle supply and demand on the island, so it’s definitely a good idea to make your plans in advance, even if it does put a dampener on your spontaneity.

In any case, we would almost always book a car in advance to get the cheapest price. On very few occasions, would you expect to pay less on the spot? 

βœ”οΈ Use Credit Card For Deposit

Even if we are given the option to use a debit card for a deposit, we always go for the credit card option – and would advise anybody else to do the same. 

If you use a credit card when hiring a car in Mykonos, a hold will simply be placed on the deposit amount for the duration of your rental, then instantly removed once the car is returned undamaged.

When a debit card is used, on the other hand, the total deposit required will be deducted from your account, and then refunded after you return the hire car. This can cause cash flow issues and/or affect your daily withdrawal limit. 

Blogger Mal in Mykonos.

βœ”οΈ Record The Condition Of The Car

This is a tip that holds true regardless of whether you’re renting a car in Mykonos, in Malta, or in Mexico. Always carefully inspect your hire vehicle for dents, scratches, cracks, or any other issues when you pick it up. Ensure all of these are documented on the paperwork by the rental car employee who accompanies you before you leave the lot.

There may be some existing damage that is noted in the paperwork, which is fine, but we’d still take copious pictures and even a video before setting off, just to cover our backs.

Pay particular attention to problem spots like the windshield, headlights, and rear bumper, which are where a lot of damage occurs – and often where people forget to check.

βœ”οΈ Drive On The Right Side

Like the majority of places in the world, people in Mykonos drive on the right side of the road. If you’re used to driving in the UK, India, Australia, or South Africa, however, you’ll need to make a little adjustment.

βœ”οΈ Watch Out For Potholes

Driving in Mykonos, you won’t encounter potholes very often on the main roads, but you will find them in less-visited parts of the island – the very parts that you probably rented a car to see! 

The situation isn’t horrendous. Just keep your eye peeled for sudden dips, especially if you’ve rented a compact car.

βœ”οΈ Have Your Documents Always With You

At the risk of stating the obvious, the local authorities will expect you to always have your driving licence on you. You should also keep the car rental agreement handy, as well as proof of insurance.

βœ”οΈ Book Accommodation With Parking Space

We’ve already noted that parking can be a challenge on Mykonos, so renting a place that comes with a parking space will just make your life so much easier. You might still have to scrap for a spot by the beach, but at least there will be a guaranteed home for your vehicle at your lodgings.

Naturally, parking availability will only be one of the factors to consider in your accommodation deliberations, but it’s worth having on the radar.

Best Places To Visit In Mykonos By Car

Car rental in Mykonos Greece opens up the number of places you can conveniently visit. Here are some of the places we enjoyed the most.

πŸ“ Ano Mera

Renting a car in Mykonos will allow you to visit places like Ano Mera.

Mykonos’ second largest habitation, Ano Mera is a rarity on the island because it’s one of the only places people visit away from the coast!

The town is essentially just a handful of white-washed houses scattered amidst rugged hills. We found it almost mournfully pretty in its quiet isolation, miles from the beaches and associated parties that have made Mykonos such an appealing destination.

Ano Mera’s Panagia Tourliani is probably the most interesting part of town we saw. This monastery was originally constructed in the 16th century but has been restored a couple of times since then. Inside are some stunning pieces of gilded woodwork, as well as the icon of the Virgin Mary that gives the building its name.

Once you’ve had a little wander, head to one of the tavernas around the main square for some mutton stew or a refreshing Greek salad.

Just a little further to the northwest of the village, we stopped at Vioma Organic Farm to try some of their wines, made from unique Greek grape varieties. If you haven’t eaten, the owners can also whip up some simple meals to go with the booze.

In case you were wondering, the blood alcohol concentration limit in Greece is 0.05% (roughly two small glasses of wine), but you can always swirl and spit!

πŸ“ Armenistis Lighthouse 

Mykonos rent a car and visit the island.

Up on the northwesternmost point of Mykonos, the Armenistis Lighthouse has been warding off ships from the jagged shoreline since 1891. It’s only 19 metres tall, but thanks to its prominent location, it stands out a mile from both the land and the sea.

While we didn’t find the building itself all that impressive to look at (and you can’t clamber up to the top), the surrounding area is a scenic place to gaze out across the ocean, with the island of Tinos visible across the Aegean Sea.

This spot is particularly beautiful at sunset, when the orange orb of the sun burns brightly over the water. Get here in good time to secure a parking spot in the evenings.

πŸ“ Agios Sostis Beach 

Agios Skiotis Beach

One of the main reasons to invest in car hire in Mykonos is to get to out-of-the-way beaches.

Agios Sostis was one of the nicest ones we visited. Up on the north of the island, it was relatively quiet when we drove up, probably because there’s no way to get here using public transport. 

Since it’s not a resort area, you don’t have the sea of umbrellas that are common to Platis Gialos or Paradise. On the flip side, that means that if you want somewhere to get out of the sun, you’ll need to bring your own shade!

A lot of the northern shoreline is pretty rocky, but Agios Sostis has a very decent stretch of sandy shoreline with lots of space to throw down a towel and relax. There’s even an area for nudists if you want to let it all hang out.

While you’re in the area, don’t miss out on a trip to Kiki’s Tavern. This scenically located eatery is perched above the beach and serves up some delicious seafood dishes.

They don’t take reservations, so you’ll probably have to queue for a bit to get a table – but at least they’ll give you a wine while you wait! 

πŸ“ Merchia + Saint Nicholas Church

Renting a car in Mykonos will allow you to visit places like Merchia Beach and Saint Nicholas Church.

Drive all the way across Mykonos from the old town to the other side of the island and you’ll find Merchia Beach, a slice of shingled shoreline that’s almost always next to empty.

The waves are a little wilder here and there are small stones underfoot as you step into the sea, but if you crave seclusion, this is the place! 

There was nothing in the way of facilities or restaurants when we visited, so you’ll want to make sure to bring your own snacks and drinks. 

Nearby, there’s a rather quaint little orthodox church that’s worth a brief visit if you want a short walking break from sunning yourself on the beach.

Incidentally, this part of the coastline may be about to get a little busier, as there’s a brand-new luxury resort literally just about to open nearby, featuring a restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef. Might be one to add to the driving itinerary!

How To Get Around Without A Rental Car In Mykonos

Hiring a car is the easiest way to get around Mykonos island.

Can you get around Mykonos without a car? Sure! There are a few transportation options for people who don’t fancy getting behind the wheel.

By Bus

The main alternative to hiring a car in Mykonos is to take the bus. KTEL runs several routes across the island, most of them around the west and south.

If you’re staying in the town of Mykonos, buses leave from either the Old Port in the north or Fabrika in the south. Both stops are within walking distance of the centre, and even in the heat we didn’t find it too onerous.

The island’s airport and the New Port, where the ferries arrive, have hourly connections with Mykonos town during the high season from May to September. 

As for beaches, some of the most popular sandy hangouts like Platis Gialos, Paradise, and Ornos all have buses setting out to them every half hour.

ATV/Buggy Rental

Mykonos ATV

ATVs are one of the most fun ways to explore the island. There are a lot of places that rent them around Mykonos, particularly near the town. 

Just like cars, you’ll need to have a full driver’s licence, and it’s a good idea to book in advance in high season.

Quality varies quite a bit between the different providers, so make sure you check the Google reviews before booking. 

ATVs can be a lot cheaper than renting a car, especially if you just plan on a day trip here and there. They do come with additional safety risks, so stay aware of any bad weather conditions that might make a ride more dangerous.

If you want the added safety net of a guide to escort you about the island, there are also a couple of companies that run ATV tours.

By Taxi

Taxis parked in Mykonos old town.

Taxis are theoretically the most convenient means of travel, but the reality is that they’re very hard to come by. Between the first and second time we visited Mykonos, we did seem to see more taxis, but they weren’t much easier to catch!

Although you can technically hail a cab on the street, mostly people head to the taxi stands in hopes of getting a ride. You can also call or order one through an app, but there’s no guarantee of prompt service.

Are taxis expensive in Mykonos?

Taxis are metred in Mykonos, so the price depends on the distance travelled. As a rough guide, we pre-ordered a car through Aegean Taxi from the airport to our accommodation near the Old Port and it cost €36. It’s probably a little pricier than if we had hopped in one from the stand, but we didn’t want to hang around.

What is the best area to stay in Mykonos without a car?

If you don’t want to hire a car in Mykonos, we’d suggest staying in the main town or in a resort area that has a ton of its own facilities. That way, you don’t need to travel much but can rent an ATV or buggy for a day out.

Given the lack of taxis, it also helps to be on the bus line. Places like Paradise, Ornos, Platis Gialos, and Elia are all connected by KTEL routes.

Renting A Car In Mykonos: FAQ

Blogger Robin renting a car in Mykonos and driving around the island.

What is the best mode of transportation in Mykonos?

If you want to get off the main tourist trail, we’d say that renting a car in Mykonos is a smart choice. If you don’t mind sticking to the most popular beach areas, the public bus service is super convenient and runs quite regularly. 

How many days in Mykonos is enough?

That depends on how long you like to spend lying on the beach during the day and partying at night. There’s not a whole lot of exploring to do on Mykonos, which is fairly small as Greek islands go, so we’d say 3 to 4 days is enough. Then again, can you ever really get enough of sun, sand, and sea?

Is Mykonos walkable?

Not really. You can easily walk around the town, exploring the famous windmills and the local nightlife scene, but the island is a little too large for you to cover the distance between the various beaches on foot. Having a car shrinks everything to within half an hour.

Renting A Car In Mykonos: The Wrap-Up

Considering the great weather and the gorgeous seaside, we could hardly blame you if you wanted to spend your entire holiday lying supine on the sand. The beauty of renting a car in Mykonos is that you can vary the location of your lazy lounging day by day, going from the silky-soft sands of the island’s south to the romantic rocky expanses of its northern shores. 

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