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Mykonos: The cosmopolitan island of winds

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Mykonos: The cosmopolitan island of winds

For many decades now, Mykonos has been the meeting point for the international jet set. The most famous island of the Cyclades with its mythical nightlife, wild parties, luxurious resorts, and countless culinary options, is a dream destination for visitors from all over the world.

In the "island of the winds", the glamorous modern facilities balance with the austere Cycladic architecture - a smooth blend of white and blue. At the same time, the enchanting beaches of Mykonos are among the best beaches in the world.

This combination of a picturesque setting and eccentric nightlife makes Mykonos a fascinating contrast almost impossible to resist!

Routes & Attractions

Chora, the capital of the island, is one of the most beautiful settlements of the Cyclades. Wander through the serpentine alleys with the small churches and white houses decorated with flowers and bougainvilleas. . Explore the picturesque shops and luxury shopping shrines. Enjoy your coffee, food or drink in one of the island’s countless restaurants and bars. And, of course, don’t miss the chance to stroll along the crowded Matogiannia, the famous pedestrian street where the heart of the cosmopolitan life of Mykonos beats.

While in Chora, stop at Panagia Paraportiani.  It is a complex of five small churches, of striking Cycladic architecture, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It was named after the "paraporte", the island’s medieval castle, built close to the sea.

Do not miss the iconic Little Venice and the picturesque district of Alefkandra with its 18th-century captains' houses that seem to "hang" above the sea. This is the best spot for mesmerizing sunsets, and also where the most popular bars on the island can now be found.

In the south of Chora you’ll find the seven windmills, known as Kato Myloi, the landmark of Mykonos for the past 250 years. Until the end of the 20th century, the island’s grains were milled here.

Visit the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos, which exhibits collections of ancient vases and ceramics. The "Pithos of Mykonos" stands out, with relief representations from the Trojan War.

It is worth taking a tour in the hinterland of Mykonos and stop in Ano Mera.  The picturesque mountain settlement stands out for its classic architecture, its whitewashed alleys, and the imposing Monastery of Panagia Tourliani, with baroque architectural features, since its icon screen was made in Florence. As you explore the island's countryside, apart from the luxurious villas, you will find beautiful small farmhouses and hundreds of chapels dating back to the 17th to 19th century, especially near the areas of Lino and Halara.

Marvel at the sunset from the Lighthouse of Armenistis. Built in 1891, this 184m-high lighthouse is one of the biggest in the Aegean.

Beaches & Activities

The most famous beach of Mykonos is undoubtedly the sheltered Psarou with its golden sand  and shallow, crystal-clear waters. It is fully organized and has beach bars and restaurants that are a meeting point for the island’s secular visitors.

The sandy beach at Super Paradise is also one of the most popular attractions in Mykonos. Open almost 24 hours a day, the beach clubs vibrate with dance beats, making it the ultimate dancing spot on the island.

The southeast of Mykonos is dominated by the cosmopolitan Kalo Livadi.  This is also an organized beach, however its beach bars give a more relaxed atmosphere; this is why the beach here is much preferred by families. The same goes for sandy Elia, the largest beach on the island.

To the west of Chora, you will find Kappari, a picturesque sandy bay of exceptional natural beauty surrounded by white cliffs and resembling an exotic paradise. Its magnificent sunset and the view of Delos make it an ideal destination for those seeking tranquillity.

The organized beaches of the island offer many options for water sports. As an "island of the winds", Mykonos attracts surfers as well as divers: here you’ll find some of the most organized diving schools in the Cyclades.

Tastes of the island

Mykonos has many famous dishes and delicacies to offer. The most famous are kopanisti, a creamy cheese with spicy taste, and louza, a delicacy made from pork fillet, which is kneaded with spices, pepper, oregano and savory and kept in salt for 24 hours.

The island's appetizers include xinotyro, tyrovolia and the famous Mykonos sausages, which are ideal with ouzo. Mostra (barley rusk with kopanisti cheese, capers, olives, and olive oil) is the most characteristic meze of the island. It is also worth trying the onion pie and honey pie of Mykonos.

As a Cycladic island, Mykonos offers many fish dishes: from the famous lobster pasta and grilled cuttlefish, to steaming shells and sea urchin with olive oil and lemon. For dessert, try the Mykonian rafioli and crumpets with cheese filling (tyrovolia), sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, and honey.

To handle the Mykonian heat, enjoy a frozen soumada, the ultimate refreshing drink made of almonds.

Traditional flavours aside, Mykonos is a high-end tourism destination with many luxury, gourmet restaurants - some of which have also a received a Michelin star!

Traditions & Events

Although the island is moving at the pace of vast tourist development, the people of Mykonos maintain some of their traditions and customs. On the day of the Epiphany, the "balosia" begins, a custom of Venetian origin that marks the beginning of the Carnival. The festivities include music with local instruments - violins, tsampounes, tubakia - traditional dances and treats. On Halloween, the custom of "koukougeroi" revives with groups of locals dressing up as masquerades in old clothes, hunchbacks, and smudged faces.

Don’t miss…

Visit the ancient Greek sanctuary of Delos. The islet next to Mykonos was a great religious centre of Greece during the first millennium BC and the mythological birthplace of God Apollo. The islet is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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