Flamboyant Peaceful and Romantic Mykonos…”The Island of the Winds”!
A paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean, that will captivate your soul! Famous to the locals as “the island of the winds”, Mykonos is an island world famous for its beaches, nightlife, tradition and hospitality.
A whitewashed island full of magical endless beaches, breathtaking sunsets and an amazing sweet breeze to take your mind away. Not surprisingly, Mykonos ranks among the world’s best known and most desirable destinations, attracting holiday makers from every corner of the planet. The Town of Mykonos is divided into small narrow white-painted alleys. It is one of the best examples of Cycladic architecture and a spellbinding attraction for visitors. Stroll around and admire the white houses with colorful doors and window frames, bougainvillea trees in bright pink bloom and hidden churches. As stated in Greek Mythology, Mykonos was created by the petrified bodies of the giants killed by Hercules. The island got its name from the grandson of Apollo, whose name was Mykonos.
Exploring the island’s capital town
Breeze in the castle situated above the harbor. Visit the Archaeological, Folklore and Maritime Museums to take in a little history. Wander around the pedestrian shopping streets of the Town, always bright, colorful and vibrant. The most busy and glamorous street is Matoyanni Street, lined with brand name stores, charming cafés and gourmet restaurants.
Soak up the surroundings along the lively waterfront and enjoy a fleet of fishing boats casting magical reflections in the crystal blue waters. Here you will find the Kazarma building, which was the home for the soldiers of Manto Mavrogenous, a heroine of the Greek Revolution. She was a rich woman that spent all her fortune for the Hellenic cause. Under her encouragement, her European friends contributed money and guns to the revolution. The first floor served as her personal hideaway. While you’re out strolling, don’t be surprised if you come across the official mascot of Mykonos, which is nothing other than a pelican! Petros the Pelican was found by a fisherman after a storm in 1954 and eventually became the locals’ companion. When he died, the grief for his loss was so deep that a replacement was soon found. In honor of Petros, the locals have established a long tradition of pelicans wandering around the waterfront of the island, the old port, as an essential part of everyday life. So, whatever you do, don’t forget to take a picture with the successor of the famous pelican Petros!
One of the most breathtaking corners of the island is Alefkantra or “Little Venice”, an 18th century district, dominated by grand captain’s mansions with colorful balconies and stylish windows. With balconies perched over the sea, pictures of the famous Italian city, Venice, spring to mind. Relax at a waterfront café and admire the view of the quaint windmills standing imposingly on the hillside above, set against a luminous blue backdrop.
The second traditional settlement of Mykonos is Ano Mera, situated around the historic monastery of Panayia Tourliani (a 16th century church with a brilliant carved wooden iconostasis). To the north, in Ftelia, lies an important Neolithic settlement, and a 14th-13th century BC Mycenaean tomb.
Using the Town as your start-up point, set out on an adventure trip to discover the beauties of the island, in particularly its sun-kissed beaches. Along the southern coast you will find a great selection of the most cosmopolitan ones. Here, wild parties keep the crowds rocking day and night. Ornos is a spot for families and Psarou for cosmopolitans and fashionistas and big spenders. Try a visit too to Platis Yalos, with a well-organized beach where you can soak up the sun lazing on a sun lounge. Paradise and Super Paradise is full of college students that party day and night. However, if you are looking for a serene beach to unwind with a book, pick a less organized one on the northern coast of the island, like Agia Anna, Houlakia, Kapari, Agrari and Agios Stefanos.
The island is ideal for water sport lovers! As it is the “Island of the Winds”, it attracts surfers and sailors from all over the world! There is a great choice of beaches for windsurfing; however, the most secluded ones are considered to be the best. Choose from Korfos, Ftelia, Megali Ammos and Kalafatis, where surfing lessons are also available. Play tennis or mini golf at Agios Stefanos, beach volleyball at Agia Anna or try sea parachuting or jet skiing at Elia or Kalafatis. Diving fans can do a little exciting exploration of the underwater magic of Mykonos. September is thought to be the best month for diving, as the water is warm and visibility is good down at the seabed.
On the island you can find many well-organized diving centers (some of them also offer snorkeling lessons) and stores specializing in diving equipment. Explore the island on a boat and discover secluded beaches, or take a boat tour around the nearby islets, which are also ideal fishing spots.
Indulge in the local delicious food recipes
Don’t miss the opportunity to treat yourself to some local Aegean specialties! The fish is fresh and you should definitely ask for small local fish like “maridaki”, “gavros”, “sardeles”. They make them very tasty, they are famous fried delicacies. Ask for “kopanistí”, a soft white local cheese seasoned with pepper. Kopanisti is the island’s gastronomic trademark with a similar taste to “feta”, but spicier. Try it as a topping on bread or with your salad or as a sauce with your main dish. Meat lovers can ask for “louza” (cooked pork filet with spices) and tasty local sausages, sprinkled with pepper and local oregano that has been caressed by the sun and dried in the north wind. To finish off your meal you can sweeten up two exceptionally good local pastries, “amigdalota” (small round cakes with ground almond, rosewater and caster sugar) and honey pie with traditional pastry.
Take the opportunity to explore the tiny archaeological gem of Delos island, just a short boat trip away. Delos was a sacred island in ancient times, and according to mythology was the birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis. The Athenians used to hide all their treasures and gold in Delos. It has a very big historic value and it is full of archaeological monuments.
Nearest major international airport: International flights fly into Athens’ airport, Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH). From here, passengers can continue via plane or by ferry from Piraeus or Rafina to Mykonos Island.
Cars are not permitted in the town of Mykonos, but you can leave your car in a parking place on the outskirts. Buses, taxis and small passenger boats provide transport around the island.
During summer (especially in August), Mykonos is one of the most crowded islands in Greece, so be sure to plan your holidays far in advance. May, June, July and September are the ideal months to visit Mykonos!