|Island of Mykonos, Greece
Welcome to Greece's most famous cosmopolitan island, a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades. Although one of the smallest islands of the Cyclades complex, Mykonos is definitely the most famous, thanks to its treasure of natural beauty, rich history, cosmopolitan character combined with a wild nightlife, as well as plenty of local color. A dry, arid island, it is covering an area of barely 90 square kilometers and it is situated in the middle of the Aegean, about 94 nautical miles from Piraeus port. The island's landscape is a symphony of blazing bare rock, blinding white peasant architecture and, in contrast to its small size, numerous lacy stretches of the most beautiful sandy beaches, all these accentuated by the wonderful Mediterranean light and set against the deep blue background of the Aegean. Today it is estimated that the population amounts to 11.000 people (4,000 are foreign residents), who have a reputation of being friendly, tolerant to the island's wild lifestyle, and very adaptable to changes. According to the mythology, Hercules, in one of his twelve tasks, killed the Giants and threw them into the sea where they petrified and turned into huge rocks, forming the island of Mykonos. During ancient times, Mykonos, due to its proximity to Delos, which was then highly populated, became very important as a supply island. The short 2-kilometer distance between the islands was frequently travelled, since religious rules specified that no one should be born or die on Delos. Around the time of Alexander the Great the island became a commercial centre for agriculture and maritime trade. In 1207, like the rest of the Cyclades, Mykonos came under Venetian rule which lasted until 1537, when the Turks dominated the islands along with the rest of Greece. The inhabitants were great sailors, so they provided important help to the Greek Revolution against the Turkish yoke, in 1821, offering 22 ships, crew and ammunition. After the country's independence in 1830,the island's economy and commercial power were slowly but steadily reestablished. In the period between World War I and II, visitors were attracted here mainly by the archaeological site of Delos. During the '50s, modern-day tourism started to grow, along with the island's population, but it was in the following two decades of the '60s and the '70s that, thanks to the likes of Jackie O and numerous other jetsetters, the island was turned into one of the most cosmopolitan holiday resorts of the Mediterranean, if not of the world. Set out on a journey to discover a fascinating world where glamour meets simplicity. On Mykonos celebrities, college students and families mingle together to celebrate the Greek summer. Whether you are an entertainment junkie out for a real good time, or a visitor who wishes to explore the island’s history and tradition, Mykonos will certainly meet your expectations.
|The island’s capital town
IIn contrast to other Cycladic capitals, the capital town (Hóra) of the island is not built in the shape of an amphitheatre but instead spreads out over a wide area. It is one of the best examples of Cycladic architecture and a spellbinding attraction for visitors. Stroll around its narrow marble streets and admire whitewashed houses with colourful doors and window frames, bougainvillea trees in purple bloom and hidden churches. Pay a visit to the church of Panayia Paraportiani, the Town hall and the castle situated above the harbour. Don’t forget to visit the Archaeological, Folklore and Maritime Museums to take in a little history. Wander around the pedestrian shopping streets of the Hóra, always colourful and busy. The most glamorous of all is Matoyánni Street, lined with brand name stores, charming cafés and stylish restaurants.Soak up the atmosphere along the lively waterfront and admire a fleet of fishing boats casting colourful reflections in the azure waters. This is where you will find the Kazármabuilding, which served as accommodation for the soldiers of Manto Mavrogenous, a heroine of the Greek Revolution. The first floor served as her personal residence. While you’re out strolling, don’t be surprised if you come across the official mascot of Mykonos, which is nothing other than a... pelican! Pétros the Pelican was found by a fisherman after a storm in 1954, and eventually became the locals’ companion. When he died, the grief for his loss was so deep that a replacement was soon found. In honour of Pétros, the locals have established a long tradition of pelicans wandering around the waterfront as an essential part of everyday life. So, whatever you do, don’t forget to take a picture with the successor of the famous pelican Pétros!
Location, log/Lat: 37.446718,25.3288623
Ano Mera is the second bigger village after Mykonos Town and is one of the oldest villages of Mykonos. It offers a few luxurious hotels and some rooms and studios for rent. It is a quiet village where locals are continuing their every day life without being interrupted by a crowd of tourists, as is happening all the time in the capital. Near Ano Mera is the interesting monastery of Panagia Tourliani which main church houses a superb collection of icons made by a Cretan painter and holy vessels and vestments. The wonderful bell-tower and marble fountain are in the courtyard of the monastery and are worth-seeing.