Visit Mykonos, the most cosmopolitan island of Cyclades attracting the international jet set, well known for its beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters and the vibrant nightlife. The island of the winds, as they call it, is situated almost in the centre of Cyclades islands being ideal for island hopping. Mykonos is the finest example of the Cycladic architecture totally harmonised with the modern tourist facilities to offer a variety of options in terms of accommodation and outdoor activities.
Although the island is very lively with its vast tourism developments it is still a beautiful, picturesque island with its white-washed buildings, windmills, secluded churches, having a long rich history along with the neighbouring island of Delos with its unique archaeological sites.
Mykonos is the queen of fun and tolerance where vacations translate to an endless party. However relax or even family holidays are also an option when discovering dessert beaches and quiet villages.
Mykonos can be accessed both by air or sea. The Mykonian airport is one of the busiest around the country with plenty of regular flights from Athens throughout the year, while during the summer period a large number of chartered aircrafts land on the island. For island hoppers, a number of flights also connect Mykonos with some Greek cities or other islands of the Aegean.
Due to the popularity of the destination, Mykonos can be reached by sea from the port of Piraeus as well as the port of Rafina both situated in Attica. Travellers can choose between ferries or high speed catamarans, which also connect the island with most of the islands of Cyclades, Dodecanese and Crete. Also plenty of cruises include the port of Mykonos to their scheduled routs.
Strolling around the centre of Mykonos gives the visitor an insight on the Cycladic architecture with the traditional picturesque cube-shaped white houses with blue shutters and colourful wooden balconies. At the most western part of the town where the buildings meet the sea, there is the area known as Little Venice. Here the buildings have been constructed over 100 years ago right on the sea's edge with their balconies overhanging the water, being the most recognizable spot in the island. Pretty from afar are the completely renovated Wind Mills as a reminder of the Mykonian merchandizing activity with Venice as their main grain refiner due to its strategic position and the year round supply of wind. Although today only a fraction of the numerous mills previously positioned in or around the main port have remained, they are well worth a close visit as one of the islands landmarks. Of striking beauty and historical interest are the medieval houses of the Fortress, which form a wall to the west above the sea.
Mykonos has probably the most famous beaches in Greece. Beaches for all kinds of taste, cosmopolitan and party beaches, suitable for families or nudists, remote ones and even beaches in the town, all with gold sand, umbrellas, sun beds, water sports, bars and restaurants. Enjoy the beach of Psarou popular amongst Greeks, the beach of Platis Gialos mainly family oriented, Paraga, Paradise beach the ultimate party lovers' destination, Kalafatis, Ornos, Elia and the quiet one, Agios Ioannis.
SIGHTSEEING AND MONUMENTS
Visit the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos hosted in a fabulous 1902 building to discover the rich history of the island through artefacts dating back to 426-425 B.C., stunning sculptures, art, and items that have been recovered from the Purification Pit.
Only 2 kilometers to the west of the island, easily accessed by regular boat trips is the island of Delos. Once being the center of the Athenian Empire, as a great sacred and commercial center is nowadays covered with ruins dating back to over five thousand years, and therefore one of Greece's most famous archaeological sites. No wonder why the entire island has been declared as a national museum.
One of the most famous architectural structures in Greece is the church Paraportiani, positioned near the main harbor entrance. The church dates back to the middle of the 15th century A.D, as it was build right next to the entrance of the Medieval castle in Mykonos town, which unfortunately has been completely destroyed. What makes this church so unique is its construction which is an asymmetrical conglomeration of 4 churches into one. Notice the 4 different architectural styles mixing Byzantine, vernacular, traditional and western style.
THINGS TO DO
Other than visiting the must see spots of the island, relaxing on the beaches or just partying, Mykonos offers a variety of outdoor and sports activities with fully equipped sports centers. Actually Mykonos is one of the very few Greek Islands ideal for Scuba Diving to prove that there is as much breath-taking beauty below the azure water as there is above. Divers will be amazed while exploring the beautiful coral reefs as well as the unique shipwrecks positioned all around the island. Less adventurous visitors can enjoy the beauty of the underwater by Snorkeling which can be great fun for all age groups. Guided bike tours, along with exercise that can accommodate various fitness levels, provide the chance of getting a close look at the history of the island through visits on major sites.
Although being highly touristic offering a large range of international cuisines, Mykonos prides itself for its local products served in most of the Greek taverns or restaurants of the islands. Worth tasting is Louza, the Mykonian delicatessen prosciutto made of the pork fillet meat, the local sausages being famous across the country as extra tasty and low fat and Kopanisti, a spicy soft cheese made of cow milk, or a mixture of cow, lamb and goat milk, ideal for spreads.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Airport of Mykonos: +30 22890 79000
Port Authorities of Mykonos: +30 22890 22218
Mykonos Police: +30 22890 22716
Mykonos Tourist Police: +30 22890 22482
Mykonos Buses Services: +30 22890 23360, +30 22890 26797
Mykonos Health Care Centre: +30 22870 22700