Mykonos, a gorgeous island with a peaceful look
Mykonos, the famous island of the winds in the heart of the Cyclades, is said to have been named after the hero Mykonos, the son of the king of Delos, who was in turn the son of Apollo and the nymph Rious. According to the mythological tradition, the giants killed by Hercules were buried here, so the island is sown on large rocks… Bright and airy in the daylight, charming and mysterious at night, Mykonos has established itself as a popular cosmopolitan destination world-wide, while many foreigners identify it with Greek summer, fun and good-natured.
What many do not know about Mykonos is that it is an island with a “double personality”. On the one hand it can be intense, bright and cosmopolitan, but on the other hand it is very picturesque, with paved alleys, whitewashed houses, chapels and windmills that exude calmness and tranquility. The uniqueness of the island lies in the fact that it covers all the requirements: visitors who are lovers of nightlife and intense emotions, as well as those who wish to visit sights, archaeological sites, picturesque settlements and discover the tradition of the place.
Discover the treasures of Chora
The Chora of the island, admittedly one of the most beautiful of the Cyclades, enchants the visitor from the first moment. Unlike other Cycladic capitals, it does not spread amphitheatrically but in width. Calcareous cobblestone streets, white houses with colorful doors and windows make up the fairy tale setting of a carefree walk. The village is distinguished by the church of Panagia Paraportiani, the Town Hall and the Castle located on a hill overlooking the harbor. On the beach there is the Kazarma with the arches housed by the soldiers of Manto Mavrogenous, while the upper floor was her home.
Somewhere in the picturesque harbor of Chora, where a small colorful fleet of boats and boats is lined up, you will find the “star” of the island, which is no more than the Mycenaean pelican, which tourists love to photograph! The pedestrian streets of Mykonos, most commercially known as Matogianni, are bustling with life, and there are countless shops with branded clothes and elaborate jewelery as well as lively cafes, bars and restaurants for all styles and hours of the day! In Chora you can also visit three remarkable museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Folklore Collection of Mykonos and the Aegean Maritime Museum.
One of the most picturesque and most famous corners of the island is Alefkandra or Little Venice , an 18th-century district where the mansions of wealthy merchants and captains are literally built in the sea. The magnificent architecture with colorful loggia and wooden balconies, literally bordered by the waves, give the neighborhood a strong aroma of the well-known Italian city. Arriving in Little Venice, you will see the imposing windmills, the island’s trademark, to emerge and stand angry while gazing at the Aegean. The second traditional settlement of Mykonos after Chora is Ano Mera, which develops in a large area in the hinterland around the historical monastery of Panagia Tourliani (three-aisled temple of the 16th century with a masterful wood-carved icon screen). North of Ano Mera, in Ftelia, there is an important Neolithic settlement and Mycenaean tomb of the 14th-13th centuries. B.C.
In search of a beach in Mykonos
Chora is also a base for discovering (with regular buses or other means) and the other beauties of Mykonos, including its crystal clear beaches! On the western coasts of Mykonos, there are the holiday villages of Tourlos and Agios Stefanos, which extend around the homonymous coasts. South of Chora are two of the most crowded beaches of the island, Ornos and Agios Ioannis, as well as the settlement of Platis Yialos and Psarou, one of the most popular beaches on the island. Other beautiful beaches are Paradise and Super Paradise (famous for the wild parties organized!), Paraga, Agrari, Agios Sostis, Choulakia with the big pebbles and the impressive granite formations, Elia, Kalo Livadi, Panormos, Agia Anna, Kalafatis, Ftelia and Kapari.
Diving, surfing, sailing
Mykonos gathers every summer many surfers and sailors who take advantage of the strong winds of the island. You can choose dozens of beaches for surfing, however the best are considered the most desolate. Choose between Korfos, Ftelia, Megali Ammos and Kalafatis where you can also take classes. Excite yourself by playing tennis and mini golf in Agios Stefanos, beach volley in Agia Anna or by paragliding and jet ski in Elia and Kalafatis. For diving friends, Mykonos is also a favorite destination. The best month is considered September due to the appropriate water temperature and high visibility at the bottom. On the island there are organized diving centers (also offering snorkeling seminars) and diving shops. Explore Mykonos by boat and discover hidden beaches that can not be reached by car and many rocky islands, which are also good fishing grounds!
Flavors to enjoy
Do not forget to try out excellent samples of Cycladic cuisine. Mykonos copanist, a soft cheese with a strong pepper flavor, is the trademark of the island. A wonderful ouzo meal, which is very common in Mykonos, is the “mokra tis Kopanisti”, where is the mykonian nut, wet with a little water or some olive oil and spoiled with a “smoker”, over which we have tossed tomato. From October to Christmas we also have the “piglets” in Mykonos – every time.
Products based on the local hunter’s tradition and associated with sows are Mykonian sausages, made from pork meat, sun-dried with lots of spices and baked in salt. Selected mezedes of pigs are “louza”, pork tenderloin with roasted pork, oregano and salt, fried pan with eggs, chicken boiled with cabbages and sesser or sygli (pork chips kept in their glove). A sweet finale in your meal with extra-mucky almonds, pastels or melon is definitely a must!
If you are in Mykonos, do not miss to visit Delos, which, although one of the smallest Aegean islands, was the most sacred island in antiquity since Apollo and Artemis were born according to the myth, to explore an extensive, unique archaeological site space.
How to get there
In Mykonos you can reach by airplane from most of the country’s airports, by ferry from Piraeus and Rafina and by speedboat from Rafina. The island is connected with ferries and speedboats with most of the Aegean islands.
Inside the island, there are buses, taxis, rental cars and motorbikes, as well as boats running regularly for the longest beaches.
The article is translated from http://www.visitgreece.gr