Not much difference in the distance from the beaches to Town -- about 10 or 11 kilometers for each.
Kalafatis is a family beach very popular for water sports, particularly windsurfing. It can be very windy.
Elia tends to be less windy. It is the most popular beach on the island for gay tourists, but draws a mixed crowd of open-minded straights as well as gays. There is nudity.
There are good restaurants at or close to each beach.
This is great information. Thanks for your help. I heard that cabs are hard to come by. Is this true? Should we stick with the Royal Caribbean transportation?
There are fewer than three dozen taxis on the entire island. You didn't say when you're travelling, but if it's anytime in August those taxis will be in high demand and hard to find much of the time. And unless you're able to find a driver who will agree to pick you up at a time you need to return, you could have problems getting a taxi from the beach.
We are going early August. I guess our best bet would be to book through Royal Caribbean. That means we probably won't be able to see the town. Do either of those beaches have nice areas/towns around them?
<<Do either of those beaches have nice areas/towns around them?>>
No towns nearby either. Both are beach resort areas where there are several restaurants and a number of hotels and private villas, and that's about it.
Nice areas? Depends on what you consider "nice." There are scenic landscapes to see at and near each area, but that might not be what you have in mind.
At the very far right hand end of Kalafatis beach is a rustic little fishing settlement that has an excellent fish taverna (Markos). Walking distance from that is another beach area called Agia Anna.
Elia is a beautiful beach area at the bottom of some rather steep hills. You would have to walk up one of the very steep roads to the top of one of the hills to get great views of the entire Elia area, as well as views along the Mykonos coast. it can be a gruelling hike, especially if it's windy. From Elia beach itself you can walk to nearby Agrari beach. It has a good beachside taverna.
If you want to see the town, plus spend time at a nice beach, you don't have to take one of the ship's expensive excursions. If your cruise ship docks at the New Port, take one of the shuttle buses to Town and work your way to the Fabrica bus depot on the south side of town. (You will get lost trying to find it, but ask shopkeepers to point the direction to Fabrica.) From there, take a bus to Ornos, Agios Ioannis, Platis Gialos, Paraga, Psarou or Paradise. The buses leave regularly and the longest ride is less than 20 minutes. Spend some time at one of the beaches, then take a bus back to Town and explore there for awhile before returning to the shuttle bus to the ship.
If your ship anchors near Mykonos Town instead of docking at the New Port, you will be tendered ashore near the Mykonos Town Hall and will be only a 15-minute walk from the Fabrica bus station.
Bus tickets are €1.60 each way.
Doing your own beach & town tour will save you a bundle compared to what the cruise line will charge. I have recommended a do-it-yourself approach to neighbours and friends who went to Mykonos on cruises and they all enjoyed their port day doing that.
You can see dozens of photos of all the beaches, plus hundreds of Mykonos Town, on my Flickr page. Flickr is down for maintenance until 1a.m. tonight, but after that you can access the photos at this link: www.flickr.com/photos/mygreecetravelblog/
If you have questions about any of those beaches or the town, don't hesitate to ask.
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