Mykonos: The island guide (English Version)

There are some places, some islands, that no matter how many times you visit them they always have something to give you, something new to reveal and something special and original for you to discover… there are some places you never grow tired of exploring and that each time you fall more and more in love with. Mykonos is one of those places.


By Katerina Konstantopoulou


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Little Venice took her name due to her similaties to Venice town at Italy.


Every time a different experience…
Every time I walk down picturesque Matoyiannia I feel so happy and so at home! I love window-shopping at the luxurious boutiques, saying hello to friends/owners of the restaurants, discovering all of the new hot-spots of Chora weather they are nightlife or shopping related. Each time I get in my car heading for a dip in the sea, I love that sense of dilemma… “Which beach should I go to? They are all so beautiful that I cannot choose.” That feeling when you exit your hotel room to go for a drink and you never know how the night is going to play out, is something that only those who have visited Mykonos can relate to… What do I love about Mykonos? I love the fact that the people here are happy, that as I am having my coffee in Platys Gialos the famous pelican calmly passes before me, that at 6 o’clock in the morning the group of 5 will have become a group of 15 and all together we will head to historic Thalami or the renowned Cavo Paradiso for dancing till the light of day. But I also love the fact that, no matter which beach bar I select for my day at the beach, they will make me feel like royalty. But above all I love its natural beauty, that deep blue, that white and green that dominate everywhere and are combined so harmoniously that your gaze is gripped, that gorgeous sunset that calms your soul and that infinite gold of the sand that calls out to you and invites you to enjoy it…
With Chora and Aghios Stefanos, the seaside settlement left of the new port, serving as starting ground the rest of the island’s areas wait for you to discover them. Besides the many choices in beaches, the village Ano Mera, the Ntrafaki area, Aleomandra, Klouvas, Tourlos, picturesque Ornos and “quiet” Aghios Ioannis, all have something to show; from the great choices in dining and drinking to the famous attractions and enchanting views or special corners to discover.


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A wonderful history and tradition
Most people might think Mykonos is only a party island, but if you decide to explore it you will discover many beautiful corners each with its own history, museums, art galleries and attractions that all contribute in their own way in bringing out Mykonos’ great culture. First off, on the route to Aghios Stefanos you will discover the famous Armenistis lighthouse, built in 1981 standing at 19mt. tall. The famous Windmills take first place as the ideal spot for photo shoots; the windmills Kato Myloi which are situated southeast of Chora, by the sea, between picturesque Alefkandra and the Niochori settlement, impress all visitors. Today 7 of the 10 windmills, which existed here during the first decades of the 20th century, are preserved (out of a total that once exceeded 20). In Aghia Kyriaki Square in a 1735 mansion, the Municipal Library is now housed, with around 6000 volumes of books and a collection of ancient coins and old seals. Even if you are not aware of it, if you have been to Mykonos even once you have passed through the Tria Pigadia (three wells) location. Located in the town’s centre, these wells were the principle water supply of Mykonos’ Chora, from the mid-18th century until the 1950’s. Legend has it that anyone who drinks water from all three wells will never leave the island of Mykonos or will at the very least fall in love with it and return someday. During your tour of Chora, a stop at the all-white church of Paraportiani with its majestic view, and that of Megali Panagia,situated at Alefkandra’s Square, is naturally a must. The church of Zoodochos Pigi or Megali Panagia, as the locals call it, since it is the biggest in Chora, is the cathedral of Mykonos. As you are leaving Chora, it is worth visiting the small, quaint and quiet village Ano Mera with the famous monastery and the small 15th century museum-church.
Last but not least, in the elegant 1780 building, with the distinctive tile roof, which once served as the Seat of the Russian General Consul of Archipelago, the Town Hall is now housed. To this day the building retains its original shape and form, while next to it you will find the building of Mavros, built during king Otto’s reign in 1859, which was the first public school of Mykonos.


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The famous church of Panagia Paraportiani.


Art & Culture
In Kampani Bay, you can discover the Aegean Maritime Museum and next to it the Forklore Museum and Lena’s house. A bit farther, just before Tria Pigadia, you will find the church of Aghios Georgios, built in the 15th century, and the churches of Aghia Barbara and Aghios Fanourios built in 1883. On the other side of Kampani Bay at Mando’s Square, where the statue of Mando Mavrogenous is, you will come upon the taxi station. Of course, you have to pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos, which was built in 1900-02 in Kamnaki, in a prominent location overseeing the harbour, which houses a rich collection of ancient jars, reflective of Cycladic pottery, dated from the Geometric era until the 6th B.C century as well as the Municipal Library in Kampani Square to see the ancient archives of the island with books, manuscripts and newspapers.
The art of hand-woven textiles is a big part of Mykonos’ culture, that may currently not be so popular, but until the start of the 20th century it was the main occupation of the women of Mykonos. At first it was used to cover the household needs and family clothing, but during the interwar period professional textile-weaving was developed, the products were exported and were highly competitive in the international markets. Due to the growth of tourism, from the 1950’s until the 1970’s there was a second boom in business, which lead to hand-woven textiles of the island finding their way into haute couture houses , and with them the good name of Mykonos exceeded the Greek borders and gave it worldwide fame. It is worth mentioning that during the 50’s there were 500 looms in Mykonos and the textiles were a principle source of income for the island. After the 80’s though, the demand gradually decreased resulting in the stop of mass production.


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From a lot of places at the island the view is just breathtaking!


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Traditional windmills of Mykonos is identified with a piece of history of the island.


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1.000 B.C the date when the Ionians first inhabited the island.


Discover the tasteful side of the island
Awarded restaurants, traditional taverns, Michelin Star awarded chefs and bar restaurants where the waves break… Mykonos has a variety of choices, which will cater to all tastes, while their menus are an homage to local products.
Some of the internationally acclaimed local products are the soft white cheese with the name kopanisti, the popular cold cut lountza, the marzipans and the xinotiro. Also don’t forget to taste the exquisite sausages. The sausages of Mykonos are seasoned with throubi, allspice, salt, pepper and oregano and are air dried, they contain a bigger percentage of lean meat than fat and that is why they are considered as some of the best.
Mykonos is an island that welcomes numerous people of all ages, groups of friends, couples and families “with open arms and an open heart” every year, and it has one sole purpose: to give them a taste of true Greek hospitality and to let them get acquainted with all aspects of it multidimensional personality!


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Ο πελεκάνος του νησιού είναι σήμα κατατεθέν και πολύ αγαπητός.


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IN CATEFORY: MYKONOS