The island of Mykonos is one of the most popular islands in all of Greece, but it’s also one of the least safe. Regardless, the small island receives more than 675,000 arrivals by plane alone each year, and many more people arrive by ferry.
Mykonos is most popular as a party island. It has world-famous party beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise, and electronic music festivals all year long.
For those who don’t want to join the young crowds partying, there is still plenty to do. But while Mykonos may be beautiful, is it safe? Here’s our take.
Is Mykonos Safe to Visit in 2024?
Yes and no. While Mykonos is safer than many other tropical destinations (especially party islands), the crime rate is higher than that in the rest of the islands in Greece.
You will have to worry about crimes common in crowded tourist destinations and party islands around the world, such as petty theft and alcohol-related crimes. Regardless, most of Greece is overall a safe country.
Most countries, such as the United States, only advise their citizens to exercise normal precautions while visiting Greece.
Many of the problems that countries include in their travel advisories for Greece are not present on Mykonos. For example, Canada warns its citizens to prepare for demonstrations and strikes as they are common in Greece.
However, Mykonos is a small island with little political significance and demonstrations in Greece tend to occur in bigger cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki.
Travel advisories for Greece also tend to mention the risk of terrorism. However, the risk of terrorism in Mykonos is extremely small.
There have been no recent incidents, and the island is not a likely target due to its relative political unimportance. The most common concern in Mykonos is crime. The island does have an elevated crime rate compared to other parts of Greece.
Criminal incidents that occur include:
- Bag snatching
- Other forms of petty theft and scams
- Alcohol-related crimes
- Organized crime
It’s important to be aware of these incidents before heading to Mykonos, and it’s true that these crimes sometimes target tourists.
However, the likelihood that any or all of these problems will happen to you while on vacation is fairly small. It’s also easy to avoid that problem with precautions (which many visitors to Mykonos forget to take).
Another problem that you should be aware of when planning your trip to Mykonos is the weather. If you visit during the summer, which is the tourist high season, be ready for Greece’s hot, intense summers.
Take precautions to protect yourself from heatstroke by drinking lots of water and spending time indoors during the hottest part of the day. Summer in Greece is also wildfire season.
Summer 2023 was devastating for Greece, with wildfires affecting many parts of both the mainland and the islands. The UK government warns visitors to be careful of traveling to wildfire-affected areas in its travel advisory for Greece.
The good news is that Mykonos hasn’t been affected by the Greek wildfires in summer 2023.
However, this can change at any moment in the summer. When you visit Greece during the hot, arid summer season, make sure that you follow weather reports and news alerts. Obey any evacuation orders as the fires can be devastating.
Crime in Mykonos
The island has an elevated crime rate compared to much of the rest of Greece, and many criminal incidents affect tourists.
According to Numbeo, the island has a serious crime problem. The island scores a 77.78 out of 100 on the site’s crime index, which is a high value.
Respondents also reported high levels of concern about individual categories of crime, such as break-ins, robberies, theft from vehicles, assault, petty theft, and even armed robbery. However, there are a few caveats around these statistics.
Numbeo reports its crime statistics using surveys of expats and residents, not official police numbers, which means that its numbers are based more on perception than on hard crime statistics.
Plus, Numbeo includes the caveat on its site that it had only a few respondents from Mykonos, meaning that results may not be the most accurate.
Despite these caveats, it is true that Mykonos has an elevated crime rate compared to the rest of Greece. It is often mentioned in travel advice, expat relocation sites, and forums for the island. In a lot of ways, it’s the victim of its own success, since its high tourism numbers go hand in hand with higher crime rates.
The high levels of property crime in Mykonos are directly correlated to the large tourist crowds. The big crowds make it easier for pickpockets to blend in. They often pose as fellow travelers to gain the trust of people before stealing their valuables.
The large income gap between tourists and most seasonal workers and residents also creates social conditions where theft thrives.
Mykonos’s status as a party island also contributes to the high crime rate. The many clubs and parties attracted a large network of drug traffickers and dealers, drawn by the demand of hard-partying tourists.
Although the Greek police are cracking down on drug trafficking networks, they often lack the resources to do so (and corruption levels are high).
Finally, the island’s status as a lucrative investment location due to the high volume of tourist traffic has attracted the presence of organized crime.
There are frequent cases of mafia-related assaults on the island, such as the attempted murder of a real estate broker that blew the whistle on real estate corruption on the island or the assault on an archeologist whose discovery of ancient remnants threatened a lucrative real estate development project.
Most mafia violence is targeted at people who the organized crime syndicate regards as threatening to its activities, not random civilians (especially not foreigners).
While this is a frustrating part of life for locals, it is not a problem that affects many tourists, especially if you make sure not to get involved in shady activities in Mykonos.
It is true that Mykonos has a problem with crime. However, crime is also easily deterred on the island. As long as you take basic precautions to protect yourself and your valuables, you can avoid most crime incidents.
The most common crime in Mykonos is petty theft. Common forms of petty theft include pickpocketing, bag snatching, and theft of unattended items.
It is so common that local entrepreneurs even started a safe deposit box rental business so people have somewhere to put their valuables while walking around town!
You don’t have to rent a safety deposit box to be safe while exploring Mykonos — basic precautions are usually enough to deter most thieves. The Canadian government includes advice for preventing theft in its travel advisory for Greece.
The best precaution you can take is only taking with you what you need for the day and locking up your other valuables safely in your safe deposit box.
As you walk around town, make sure that you take precautions to protect your valuables. That means not leaving your bags unattended, even for a split second.
At the beach, try to avoid taking your phone or credit cards with you. Don’t put your valuables in places where they can be stolen, such as on the table in a restaurant terrace or in your back pocket.
Unfortunately, more violent crimes can sometimes happen in Mykonos. The Australian government warns about the risk of sexual and physical assault on both Mykonos and other islands.
Most assault incidents are connected to the nightlife scene. Physical assaults happen after drunken bar fights escalate. While in Mykonos, make sure that you are watching your limits when it comes to alcohol and other consumption.
Drink a little less than you would at home to make sure that your wits are about you.
Sexual assault unfortunately also happens around the island’s clubs, often by fellow tourists. The UK government warns travelers about the risk of assault against tourists in popular tourist areas.
If you are checking out the nightlife, make sure that you take precautions such as going with a group, not letting anyone from your group wander off alone, and taking a taxi home instead of walking through unfamiliar areas.
Many assaults happen after a victim had their drink spiked (this can happen to both men and women, although female travelers are the most frequent targets). Make sure that you always keep your hand over your drink and never accept drinks from strangers.
Avoiding Bad Areas
Although parts of Mykonos have higher crime rates than others, there are no areas that you need to completely avoid. Touristy, crowded parts of Mykonos have higher rates of pickpocketing and other forms of property crime.
Keep an eye on your stuff in Mykonos Town and Little Venice.
Crime rates overall tend to be higher in popular party areas, so be careful on party beaches such as Super Paradise and clubs such as Cavo Paradiso.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other safety tips to ensure that your trip to Mykonos goes off without a hitch:
- Break-ins are also common. Take precautions to secure your accommodation. Always lock your room door and close any windows and balconies while you are sleeping or before you head out for the day or night. Burglary rates are higher for rental villas or private homes, so ask your host about security precautions they take.
- Be careful on the roads. The roads can be twisty and narrow. Plus, there are many inexperienced (and inebriated) drivers thanks to the popularity of scooter and ATV rentals on the island. Make sure that you drive defensively and wear your helmet if you are renting a vehicle as well and look both ways when crossing the street as a pedestrian.
- Wear flats, not heels. Heels may look good, but you can severely injure yourself on the cobblestoned streets!
- Ask locals about where to swim. They can recommend beaches that are less crowded and advise you on precautions you need to take. Mykonos has quite strong winds, so depending on the direction of the wind, you can’t swim on certain parts of the island.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions that other travelers have asked before visiting Mykonos:
Is it safe to walk at night in Mykonos?
The answer depends on what time of night you go out and where you go. People in Mykonos tend to eat dinner very late, around 10 or 11 PM, so you’ll even see families with young children walking around at night.
However, in the very late night and early in the morning, it’s best to walk with a group and stick to well-lit areas.
What should I be careful of in Mykonos?
In Mykonos, be careful of pickpockets and high rates of street crime. You should also be careful of dangers when you head out to the nightclubs.
Is it safe to go to Mykonos?
Mykonos is generally a safe place to visit, although it may be dangerous by Greek standards. As long as you take basic common-sense precautions, you should have a safe time.
What is the crime rate in Mykonos?
The crime rate in Mykonos is moderate to high. However, most crime incidents are petty theft and other minor property crimes, or drug offenses.
Is five days in Mykonos too much?
If you like relaxing on the beach and exploring different nightclubs, then five days in Mykonos is perfect. However, if this is not your vacation style, you may get bored after about three days.
So, Is Mykonos Safe to Visit?
Mykonos may seem dangerous by Greek standards, but it’s not as bad as the statistics may lead you to believe. As long as you take basic precautions to protect your valuables, you should have a good time while you are in town.
So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Mykonos has to offer. Happy travels!