A common recommendation for Mykonos (and Santorini) is to rent an ATV to get around the island. This is because there are fewer than 30 taxis on the entire island, so hailing a cab can be difficult. (For this reason I also recommend pre-booking your airport or port transfers.)
Getting the ATV
You don’t necessarily need to pre-book an ATV rental, but you should be aware that majority of places will ask you for an international driver’s license. You can easily apply for one online ahead of time and print it out – but don’t forget it!
There are plenty of places on the island to rent an ATV, but your hotel can likely recommend the one closest to you and call ahead to reserve one. We reserved one the day before during peak tourist season and had no issue, and they even came to pick us up and bring us to the rental office. Our location was Papoutsas in Kalaflatis. There are a few options depending on the horsepower you want; we opted for the middle tier and it cost us about 80 Euros plus another 10 for voluntary insurance. Helmets are included, but gas was not, and they reminded us to fill it up to where we started at the nearest petrol station (which they circled in the map). This turned out to be important since we started on empty, and filled up the tank as soon as we left. (Being from New Jersey I appreciated that the gas stations are also full service here.)
After a VERY quick tutorial on how to drive it, we were off and following along a very bare bones paper map from the office. (I recommend asking before you leave for directions to your destination so they can circle what signs you should be looking for.)
Driving an ATV in Mykonos
There is one main road on the island that goes east and west and this is what we took for the most part. When we had to turn off to get to the north part of the island for our lunch stop, I was grateful for the directions from the office because signage is pretty minimal. (Pro tip: If you don’t have cell phone service download offline Google Maps of the island and you can still use Google Maps even without service or wifi.)
Side note: if you are looking to explore other parts of the island you should absolutely check our Kiki’s Tavern for lunch. This old-school, no reservations, no electricity spot is super popular for good reason. Located on Agios Sostis beach, show up early and wait outside (there’s complimentary wine) for a great authentic Greek meal.
On the way back we drove different roads to Old Town where I was able to follow along on Google Maps, stopping at different cross roads along the way, but it got a bit confusing when we got close to town and the roads become very windy. But after only two U-turns we arrived at the parking lot in Old Port. This lot is free and the best place to park and lock your ATV if you’re going to wander through Mykonos.
Other areas on the island, especially near beaches will often have parking lots or street parking, so we just looked to see where others were parking their vehicles.
My husband did the driving while I sat on the back, but he seemed pretty comfortable driving it given it was his first time. You share the roads with cars and vespas, so we were able to either keep speed or move off the side to let cars pass us. Just follow the rules of the road and be respectful and it will be a fun adventure and convenient way to get around the island.
Our rental was for 24 hours but we dropped it off same day since we were leaving the next day. (Be sure you know the closing time of your drop off location – ours was 7:30pm.) They checked everything in a few minutes and then drove us back.
TLDR; Renting an ATV in Greece
- Before you travel, make sure you get an international drivers license online and print it.
- When you arrive, have your hotel book your preferred ATV with a company nearby (or have them provide a recommendation where to go).
- Download google maps offline if you don’t have cell service to help you navigate.
- If it’s your first time driving an ATV, pay close attention to driving instructions.
- Ask for a map if they don’t give one, and ask for directions to your destination so they can provide landmarks.
- Fill the tank at the petrol station before returning, and make sure to drop off before closing time.
- When traveling to Old Town there is a free parking lot near Old Port.