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Why Should I Visit Mykonos?

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Mykonos at a glance

The legendary island of the international jet set since the 1950s, the star of glamorous fashion editorials, and the capital of uninhibited fun, Mykonos is synonymous with a cosmopolitan luxury lifestyle.

When you first see Mykonos it is love at first sight. The “Island of the Winds” leaves visitors spellbound with its unique scenery and architectural tradition, a perfect arrangement of white and blue that is surrounded by golden sands and exotic turquoise seas, and bathed in the dazzling Greek sunlight.

Look for the itineraries of ferries to Mykonos, as it is the most famous Aegean island, offering generous hospitality to lovers of fine living, exclusive luxury and eccentric celebrity. At the same time, it also casts its spell over those who yearn for freedom, simplicity, and an alternative lifestyle. Charmingly multifaceted, both frenetic and serene, Mykonos promises unique experiences and feelings.

10 reasons to visit Mykonos
  1. To discover Mykonos town, one of the most dazzling destinations in the Cyclades, a maze of narrow whitewashed streets, perfect for exploring, steps and terraces, white houses with brightly painted doors, balconies with bougainvillea, flower pots, and old churches.
  2. To admire the unparalleled beauty of the Virgin Mary Paraportiani, a cluster of five 16th and 17th-century churches that stand imposingly on two levels between the sea and the small gate (paraporti) of the medieval castle of Mykonos, from which they take their name. Worn smooth by time, like a sculpture, they are a true work of art and a monument of folk architecture in the Aegean.
  3. To visit the sacred island of Delos, one of the largest places of worship in ancient times and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bathed in light, the shimmering ancient site, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, radiates a mysterious energy from every corner.
  4. To fall in love with “Little Venice”, the picturesque quarter of Alefkandra, with its 18th-century captains’ houses and painted balconies that appear to hang over the sea. Most of them are now cafés, bars and restaurants, where you can relax with a drink and a view of one of the most beautiful sunsets in Greece.
  5. To take a selfie in front of the Mykonos windmills, a symbol of the island and one of its most famous sights, just to the south of the town. These seven cylindrical giants with their thatched roofs stand on a hill south of Alefkandra, where they have proudly surveyed the sea since the late 18th century. Until the early 20th century, the island’s wheat was milled here. They are even more striking at night, when they are illuminated.
  6. To explore the picturesque mountain village of Ano Mera, in the middle of the island, with its classic Cycladic architecture and narrow whitewashed streets. The magnificent Monastery of the Virgin Mary Tourliani stands in the centre of the village. Built in the 16th century, the monastery boasts a marble bell tower with carved decorations and a baroque wooden icon stand made in Florence.
  7. To watch the sunset from the Armenistis Lighthouse, one of the most romantic spots on the island, with wonderful views of neighbouring Tinos. The impressive structure, one of the tallest lighthouses in the Aegean with a focal height of 184 metres, was built in 1891.
  8. To take a stroll around the cosmopolitan Matoyannia, one of the world's most stylish shopping locations, and long a place where international celebrities have paraded, certainly a convincing reason to book a ferry to Mykonos.
  9. To celebrate the summer full moon at the archaeological site of Delos, an utterly transcendent experience.
  10. To discover a modern mecca of haute cuisine and multi-starred gourmet experimentation that has garnered a host of international awards.
The top 5 beaches

Psarou: Sheltered and absolutely idyllic, with fine golden sand and shallow emerald waters, Psarou is one of the island’s most beautiful and well-appointed beaches, with luxurious bars and restaurants, excellent by-the-sea service, and opportunities for water sports. Its thousands of admirers include stars and celebrities from all over the world.

Super Paradise: Its golden sand and crystal-clear emerald waters make this one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. This is the beating heart of Mykonos, welcoming wild parties, a frenetic pace and eccentric lifestyles. It is a favourite of young people and the gay community, and one of the main reasons why most people book a ferry ticket to Mykonos.

Kalo Livadi: A large, cosmopolitan beach with plenty of sand and shallow blue-green waters on the southeast coast of the island. It has straw umbrellas, comfortable sun loungers and bars offering good on-beach service and great music. It is particularly popular with people from the world of fashion, but also families with young children.

Elia: The island’s largest beach has endless golden sands and is very well-organised, with facilities for all kinds of water sports. It is extremely popular with families, but also has a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Kapari: A small cove of almost exotic beauty west of Mykonos town. This natural paradise of fine sand and crystal-clear emerald waters, surrounded by smooth white rocks, is perfect for would-be castaways and lovers of tranquillity. It offers a stunning sunset with views of Delos.

Don’t leave Mykonos without…
  • Discovering the uninhabited neighbouring island of Rineia, with its unique virgin beaches, emerald waters, and mysterious caves.
  • Going diving in the magnificent waters and stunning sea caves of the tiny rocky islets of Tragonisi and Chtapodia, a refuge of the Mediterranean monk seal.
  • Enjoying a movie while sipping a frozen margarita at the Cine Mando summer cinema, an oasis of palm trees, pines and cacti in the heart of Mykonos town.
  • Making a stop at the legendary Gioras, Mykonos’ oldest working bakery with a wood-fired oven (17th century), situated in the area of Lakka (on Ignatiou Basioula Street). It is worth taking the weight off your feet in the small café to sip an iced cappuccino and sample one of the delicious pies.
  • Exploring the Mykonian countryside with its beautiful “villages” (actually small scattered farmhouses) and hundreds of red-roofed churches dating from the 17th to the 19th century. The most beautiful of these farm-villages are located in the areas of Lino and Chalara, east of the airport.
  • Going for a morning stroll on the quiet seafront as local fishermen and farmers display their catches and produce on the marble stalls of the outdoor market. You will come across some of the island’s real characters, and of course the famous pelicans, the official mascots of Mykonos.
  • Visiting the Archaeological Museum to admire the magnificent collection of pottery and ceramics dating from prehistoric times to the late Hellenistic period. Don't miss the huge 7th-century-BC Mykonos Vase, a storage jar with stunning depictions of the Trojan War.
  • Taking the equestrian club’s horses out for a ride on a deserted beach or in the countryside.
Tasty experiences
  • Take the ferry to Mykonos and try famous local delicacies such as PDO (protected designation of origin) kopanisti (a creamy cheese with a spicy, peppery taste), aromatic louza (pork meat flavoured with herbs and spices and dried in the sun and the wind), bouboulo (a small louza made from the choicest tenderloin), and xinotyro and tyrovolia cheeses.
  • Sample the famous local sausage, often served as a delicious, aromatic meze with ouzo.
  • Cool off with an iced soumada almond drink.
  • Enjoy a mostra, one of the best known Mykonian mezes, consisting of kopanisti cheese, tomato, olive oil and (optionally) oregano, capers and olives served on a barley rusk.
  • Don’t miss the local kremmydopita (onion pie) and melopita (honey tart).
  • Book a table at one of the tavernas on the square in the village of Ano Mera. This is the best known place on Mykonos for roast and grilled meat.
  • Discover the secrets of fine seafood at the island's picturesque seaside tavernas: from sea urchins in an oil and lemon dressing and charcoal-grilled cuttlefish to steamed mussels and clams, and the famous lobster linguine.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with the local rafiolia (crescent-shaped parcels of dough filled with cream cheese, which are fried, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and drizzled with honey) and kalathakia (almond tartlets).
  • Seek out the local amygdalota (almond sweets) in the traditional confectionary shops in Mykonos town.
Trivia

“If you haven't seen the houses of Mykonos, you can't be considered an architect. Whatever architecture has to say, it says it here [...] Now I know that nothing that I have built was worth the effort.”

Le Corbusier

“Mykonos is a miracle. A miracle! Jerusalem, Mykonos and Moscow! These are the three places that left me amazed.”

Nikos Kazantzakis

"The truth is that on this island, Mykonos, whether we are talking about a house, a church or a chapel, windmills or pigeon houses, walls, terraces, paved courtyards, or streets both large and small, wherever you look, quality and good design are everywhere to the fore, like a guiding principle. Every building, every piece of architecture, is like a thought, a deep reflection, a poetic act, in a world that cannot be merely rational when it can also be beautiful […].”

 Aris Konstantinidis – Architect

MAP OF MYKONOS
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