Historian, clubber, archaeologist, foodie, sunworshipper, architect, religious pilgrim, sports enthusiast, seafarer, zoologist or couch potato… Mykonos offers 360 degrees of possibilities!
That’s the beauty of Mykonos: you can make your own Mykonos… be it quiet or hectic; early mornings or late nights; exploring antiquities dating 3000 years old or sunning it at the poolside with a luscious cocktail; listening to local folk music or grooving to the playlists of internationally renowned Disc Jockeys; clubbing in lux venues or attending a local church festival where the musicians play traditional instruments, Mykonos offers all this and more.
It may be a small island -just 12 kilometres across- but you’ll never be bored, so budget your time well and can enjoy the unique experiences that “the Rock” of the Aegean has to offer.
For the Architect
The building probably holds the Guinness World Record for the most photographed church on the planet, located in the “Kastro” area (the initial fortress on the island)! It is not actually a single church, but five. The Agios Efstathios church holds centre stage in the complex, and is surrounded by the Agios Anargyros, Agios Sozon and Agia Anastasia churches.
What would the “windy island” be without its windmills? Conspicuous in appearance, these constructs are snow-white, spherical shaped with the customary pointed roof made of the finest variety of wood. You’ll find them everywhere, but the largest conglomeration sit on the shore just above Little Venice, where they catch the full strength of the north wind pushing across the water to turn its sails to grind grain. Despite no longer being operational, they continue to be a symbol of Mykonos’ rich past as they seem to stand guard over the town.
The houses, like Venice, are built along the waterline of the town’s southwest coast. Most have balconies or Enclosed Turkish balconies that hang out over the water. Primary reds, blues and greens vary the spectrum of painted wood that hangs above the sea; its the perfect time to appreciate the structures is early morning. Largest crowds regularly gather at sunset to watch the sun disappear beyond the horizon in a blaze of pinks, purples, oranges and blues.
The most unusual building you’ll find on the island is at the forefront of the harbour. The Town Hall is the only building on the island with the orange terra cotta roof; all the other buildings have flat roofs that reflect the building ordinances that preserve the island’s architectural heritage. This two-story building is a Chora focal point and was initially constructed to become the residency of a Russian earl during the Russo-Turkish war (1770-1774). It was subsequently used as the island’s Town Hall, maintaining its initial classic architectural form.
For the Zoologist
Petros, The Pelican
You will spot him where you least expect, within the narrow walkways of the islands’ labyrinth, with crowds gathered around trying to take selfies or just get a snap of him. In the mornings, he waddles around the waterfront near the fishmonger’s market. He is Mykonos’ local celebrity: a friendly feathered pelican with a snapping yellow beak that comes before everything else. The original Petros was rescued by a Mykonian fisherman in the late 1950s. The injured bird recovered on the island and chose never to fly off. Mykonos has its third generation of Petros.
For the Seafarer
The Aegean Maritime Museum
The Aegean Maritime Museum, in the heart of Chora, displays scale models of various rowing boats, sailing vessels and steam-powered ships that, in turn, from Prehistoric times until the present, have traversed the Aegean.
The Armenistis Lighthouse was built in 1891, following the sinking of the British steamboat Volta in 1887. It offers breath-taking sea views and makes for a real treat watching the sun set over the surrounding islands. Be warned, there is no public transport to the lighthouse, perhaps making it one of the best kept secrets on the island!
For the Water Sports Enthusiast
Mykonos is the ideal place for a variety of water sports. Whether you want to swim, kayak, windsurf, water ski, paddle board, canoe, snorkel, wind surf, scuba dive or rent your own boat or hire a boat, the world’s your oyster.
For the Foodie
Hippie Fish is a beach restaurant that specialises in casual elegance, at Agios Ioannis, with perfect views of the historic island of Delos. Seafood and vegetables are the stars of the menu, but this doesn’t mean carnivores will be disappointed. They also offer fantastic sushi options!
As you walk into Chora from the old port you can’t help but noticing a marooned wooden caique painted red with blue and yellow markings, complete with rigging to hoist the sails. Welcome to Mykonos and to Baboulas Ouzeri. Baboulas has specialised in seafood and fish since it first opened in the 1990s, and the ouzeri also has a wonderful view of Mykonos town. Try the seafood risotto!
A half hour drive over rough terrain, navigating alongside cattails and landscape that resembles Mars, follow the path along one of Mykonos’ reservoirs leading to the north-eastern beach of Fokos and its traditional taverna Fokos, run by the Taboulchanas family. Here you’ll find unique, delicious salads, grilled meats and seafood and a cosy rustic atmosphere.
For those seeking tranquillity
The Hamlet of Ano Mera
Ano Mera is the island’s number two village, just 8 kilometres away from Chora. Its central square is bordered by traditional tavernas, a kiosk and an impressive monastery. This Cycladic village remains authentic and tranquil.
The Monastery of Panagia Tourliani
The monastery was originally built by two priests and dedicated to the Virgin Mary in 1542. Today, the “Panagia Tourliani” owes its name to a carved icon of the Virgin Mother in the now new port area of Tourlos in 1767. The intricately carved wooden altar screen is the work of Florentine artists, around 1775.
For the Sommelier
Mykonos Vioma Vineyard
Mykonos Vioma was established in 1994. Along with the wine, vinegar, vine leaves, grape’s molasses and table-grapes are produced. The vineyard also plays host to 20 beehives, which produce pure organic honey on the farm. Mykonos Vioma offers tours by appointment, as well as wine or local product tasting.
For the Archaeologist
Delos is the Sacred Island of Ancient Greece, a 30-minute boat ride from Mykonos. The whole island is an archaeological park, steeped in archaic divinity and Greek myth. The island came to life and started to gain popularity in 1873 as the French Archaeological School of Athens began excavations. The tiny island has many, well-preserved ruins of one of the largest, most significant, and best-organised ancient Greek settlements. It is a UNESCO heritage site and is the largest archaeological site in Europe.
For the Historian
The Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum, which overlook the city’s main waterfront, was constructed in 1900 to house finds from the excavations in Delos from the “Pit of Purification” and the necropolis of Rhenia.
The Folklore Museum
The Mykonos Folklore Museum is located in an old, two-story, captain’s house in the Kastro area of Mykonos just a few metres from the church of Paraportiani. There are six main exhibition halls that house collections of antique furniture, Byzantine icons, Folkloric ceramics, historical commemorative plates, decorative prints and gravures.
For Clubbers and Dancers
Overlooking Paradise beach, Cavo Paradiso has acquired legendary status over the years not only for the Island of Mykonos but also in the wider international clubbing community for some of the most memorable parties on the Island of Mykonos.
Tropicana is the hottest beach bar with legendary Tropicana parties that start at 4:30 every afternoon complete with DJs, champagne extravaganzas, dancers that know all the right moves and youthful, energetic staff!
A treasure trove of information, no matter what you’re into, Mykonos offers 360 degrees of possibilities. Book a flight with Volotea to explore this amazing island!