Mykonos is a Greek island, part of the Cyclades, famous for attracting an international crowd like a magnet since the 1960s and has been voted a top summer holiday destination time and again for good reason. Exceptional beaches, award-winning restaurants, legendary parties, expensive yachts, dreamy villas, luxury hotels, and 5-star service. Mykonos’s nickname is “The Island of the Winds”, due to the very strong winds that usually blow on the island. The island has a hot semi-arid climate because of the low overall rainfall, although it has lots of Mediterranean characteristics and is highly influenced by the Mediterranean Sea. The sun shines for up to 300 days a year.
At the very first sight visitors are impressed and captured by Chora’s (means the Town in Greek) stunning position and wonderful architecture. The Aegean sunlight, the austerity of the Cycladic landscape, and the playful frolic between shades of white and cyan still enchant the visitors. Even though there has been a great tourism development in the area, Chora still maintains its Cycladic characteristics and its traditional features.
White, cubic settlements are shining under Apollo’s light, perfectly located in the numerous, whitewashed & cobbled alleys. A little further, the windmills perched on the hill, stand still for centuries creating a fantastic scenery combined with the Greek Church belfries. At the port, a colorful group of wooden sailing boats accentuates the unique atmosphere of the island.
What would the island of the winds be without its windmills? And windmills there are plenty, but the largest conglomeration sit on the shore just above little Venice, once catching the full strength of the north wind pushing across the water to turn its sails to grind grain. Today they remain stoic reminders of the past as they seem to stand guard over the island’s main town.
The houses, like Venice, are built lined along the water, the town’s southwest coast. Most have balconies or Enclosed Turkish balconies that hang out over the water. Some of the bars along this line of buildings often cater to customers who drive their boats right up to the windows! Primary reds, blues and greens vary the spectrum of painted wood that hangs above the sea. Perfect time to appreciate the structures is early morning. The largest crowds gather at sunset to watch the sea swallow the sun in a blaze of pinks, purples, oranges and blues—sunset varies depending upon the time of year—anywhere between 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
You will spot him where you least expect, within the narrow walkways of the islands’ labyrinth, with dozens of folks gathered around trying to take selfies or just get a shot of him. In the mornings, he waddles around the waterfront near the fishmonger’s market. Mykonos has its own celebrity—a friendly feathered pelican with a snapping yellow beak that comes before everything else.
Church of Paraportiani
The building probably holds the Guinness for the most photographed church on the planet. It is not actually 1 church but 5 in total. It is located in the “Kastro” area (the initial fortress on the island). Panagia Paraportiani consists of five small churches that were built one on top or next to the other.
Mykonos is world-famous for its beautiful golden sandy beaches and transparent waters. There is a beach for every taste and mood. Nudists, round-the-clock party people, families, and those seeking a break from the madness of Mykonos will all be able to find a beach that fits their taste.
The monastery of Panagia Tourliani
The monastery, originally built by two priests and dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the year 1542, took its current name “Panagia Tourliani” after a carved icon of the Virgin Mother was found in the area of Tourlos in 1767. Once you are through the walled courtyard, having passed through ancient doors that could protect a fortress, the church façade, embellished in carved marble to the top of the bell tower, is striking. The intricately carved wooden altar screen is the work of Florentine artists, circa 1775.
This beacon of both light and history dates back to the middle 1800s. It is perhaps one of the best-kept secrets on the island, however in recent years the municipality has worked diligently to refurbish the ailing structure, that is under the auspices of the Nava, Ministry. Most recently the ministry has approved a plan for the refurbishing of the lighthouse to serve as a museum and an exhibition gallery. In the past few years, there have been concerts set at sunset there.
Delos is the Sacred Island of Ancient Greece, a 30-minute boat ride from Mykonos. According to mythology, the island was revealed among the waves of the Aegean to Leto, pregnant by Zeus, and hunted by his jealous wife, Hera; Delos became the refuge where she gave birth to Apollo and Artemis. The tiny island has many well-preserved ruins of one of the largest, most significant, and best- organized ancient Greek settlements. It is a UNESCO heritage site and is the largest archaeological site in Europe.