For decades, this gleaming white Cycladic island has been one of the top most popular destinations in the Mediterranean.
Though it is a relatively small island, it has everything: charm, a cosmopolitan air, high-quality tourism infrastructure, a legendary nightlife and magical beaches.
Continuously inhabited since the Early Cycladic period, with important roles in various historical events, Mykonos has been a major maritime and intellectual centre in the Aegean.
Up until the '60s, the island was the favourite refuge of the Bohemian Bourgeoisie, and a popular holiday spot with famous international figures of that time. In the decades that followed, the island's tourism development was rapid and Mykonos acquired luxury resorts and hundreds of nightclubs, while still managing to maintain its Cycladic architectural style.
To this day, Mykonos remains a destination for the jet set and attracts thousands of visitors with its beauty and explosive lifestyle.
Sightseeing in Mykonos
In Little Venice or Skarpa, the houses of the old ship's captains are right on the water. The doorway to the sea was meant to facilitate the exchange between the captains and pirates, so that goods could be moved directly into the basements of the houses. The windmills that dominate the southern edge of Chora, the main town of Mykonos, present one of the most recognisable spectacles of the island. Up until the early 20th century, the Aegean winds turned their sails as they milled the grains cultivated on the island that were then used to make the famous Mykonos rusks.
A unique conglomeration of five churches (Agioi Anargyroi, Agios Efstathios, Agios Sozon, Agia Anastasia, Panagia) and an impressive remnant of the medieval architecture of Cycladic castles, Paraportiani gleams dazzlingly white in the sun. The result is not just a human creation; it was sculpted by the natural elements to give it its particularly organic appearance with the smooth curves. It took its name from its location next to a small gate, the postern door - the "paraporti" - through the medieval walls of the town. Built in the 16th century, it includes five small churches combined into a two-storey structure to create a cluster that has known a variety of uses through the centuries.
A stone's throw from Mykonos, the island of Delos - the Mecca of antiquity - is a must for every visitor. Though only 6.85 km2 in size, the island is home to one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This renowned ancient state, inhabited from the 3rd millennium BC, attracts crowds of visitors from all over the world. Boats set off daily from the old pier in Chora and after a 20-minute boat ride, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a walk or a guided tour of the "Greek Pompeii" and the archaeological museum there. In the north section of the island, you can see the porticoes and colonnades, the Agora, the Synagogue and a number of sanctuaries, including the Artemision, the Hieropoion, the Porinos Temple, the ancient theatre and the famous Terrace of Lions.
Its collection includes a wealth of findings from the "Pit of Purification" and other graves discovered on the little island of Rheneia. The Cycladic pottery decorated with scenes from Greek mythology, the Fall of Troy and others are particularly impressive.
Address: Kamnaki, Mykonos Harbour, Tel.: +30 22890 22325
An elegant house in Tria Pigadia welcomes visitors with an old canon. The museum collection includes replicas of oarsmen, and wind- and steam-powered ships from the prehistoric to the modern age. In the back garden, the old lighthouse "Armenistis" stands with all of its glass lenses intact.
Address: Enoplon Dynameon 10, Tel.: +30 22890 22700
Right next to the Maritime Museum is "Lena's House," a typical example of a late 19th century Mykonos home, complete with period furniture, cooking utensils, embroidery and other decorative and utilitarian items.
Tel.: +30 22890 22390
A sample of the traditional Aegean, with farmhouses and rustic construction, Ano Mera is an alternative for visitors to this cosmopolitan island. Ideal for a relaxed stroll and coffee on the square, or for a visit to the ancient settlement of Paleokastro where one can admire the ruins of the medieval castle, foundations of dwellings and graves. You can see the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani, founded in 1542, near the village. It is worth a visit to admire the beautiful templon, the bishop's throne, the pulpit, which is said to have been made in Florence, and the austere marble interior courtyard.