Mykonos: More than a Party Island

Mykonos was named after its first ruler, Mykons, the son or grandson of the god Apollo and a local hero. The island is also said to have been the location of a great battle between Zeus and Titans and where Hercules killed the invincible giants having lured them from the protection of Mount Olympus.

Today, Mykonos is more the natural home of Dionysus, the god of wine and crazed dancing and over the years it has grown to be a great party destination.

So you want to visit Mykonos but going wild all night and nursing hangovers all day is not on your agenda. Is it then a worthwhile stop? YES, totally and here why:-

  1. Streets of Chora

Chora is a series of twisting streets in the main town on Mykonos. Some say the designs of the town is to deflect the lethal winding coming from the Aegean sea while others say it’s to disorient the pirates. For me I’d say mornings are best times to explore Chora and mainly because the party goers are in the hotel nursing their hangovers from the night before and allowing the town to return to its native inhabitant state -widows in black tending to their potted geraniums and bougainvilleas, and the elderly men looking after the tiny Byzantine chapels scattered through the town.

Its whitewashed houses with wooden colorful doors, windows and balconies and the narrow streets forming a labyrinth make it very picturesque. The beautiful churches, lovely chapels and purple bougainvilleas contrasting with the bright white of the buildings walls made it a great highlight for me. Chora can be easily explored on foot. Scooters and cars not recommended due to its narrowness and at certain time of the day, they are actually forbidden.

       2. Little Venice

One of the most beautiful parts of Mykonos in my opinion; it is located on a peak of land, like a small peninsula and is the most photographed landmark of Mykonos. The name Little Venice came about after it was changed from Alefkandra to appease tourists and also since it resembled Italy’s Venice by directly lining the waterfront with rows of 18th century fishing houses with balconies that look out to the sea. There are a great restaurants and bars that line the water front and also provide a great spot for “people watching” and great sunsets. It is easy to fall in love with Little Venice. Its whitewashed edifices against the backdrop of the azure blue Aegean Sea is simply marvelous. The air of nonchalance that prevails in Little Venice disarms the most discerning of travelers.

If you are lucky you can get to see the famous Perto the Pelican having a stroll on the streets of Little Venice

  1. Mykonos Windmills

The famous whitewashed windmills are a trademark of the island, the main windmills stand on a hill overlooking the city and from where one can enjoy a magnificent view over the Little Venice. Built in the early 1900’s on the southeast of Chora, the first windmills of Mykonos were a major asset to the island’s economy from the 17th to the 19th century. However, after World War I, the technological development halted the use of the windmills and they have since remained a well-known landmark in Greece and other parts of the world.

There are other windmills across Mykonos town and people can see at-least one regardless of what part of the town they are.

  1. Beaches

Mykonos beaches are famous all over the world for their golden sand and the crystal waters in different shades of blue. The beaches are organized with many tourist facilities, from hotels, beach bars, restaurants and water sports centers. The best organized beaches in Mykonos are found on the southern coast and they do get overcrowded during peak season – Super Paradise and Paradise are the most common and are also the party beaches.

On the Northern coast, the beaches are less organized and ideal to enjoy some calm moments. Nude beach moments are more common on this end as well.

We opted for Paraga an organized beach on the southern coast that offers a good mix of swimming, sun bathing, good restaurants and a couple good bars. This was also the beach where we had our near death Greek week moment where we almost drove into the sea.

  1. Day Partying

So if you are like me and the idea of a day time party sounds better than dancing into the wee hours of the night, then Mykonos will would very ideal for you. At Paradise and Super Paradise beaches the beach clubs have parties that ran day and night. We opted for Tropicana Mykonos for our day partying location and was great fun. They start off with coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning and at lunch turn to tasty tropical cocktails and delicious food, and progress to wild music, dancing on tables and hundreds of other party people having a great time.

  1. Delos

Delos is a tiny island 20 minutes boat ride from Mykonos Harbor – it was the most sacred island in ancient Greece and the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Today, its only inhabitants are the dragon lizards that were brought from Africa by the ancient Greeks to honor Apollo’s divine title of the “Lizard slayer”. The island’s ruins are dated to the Roman period when the greatest treasures of Delos –five crouching, roaring stone lions– were carved. I did not make it there but it is said to be worth a visit.

At the end of the day, Mykonos is great for all travel styles. Be it staying up all night and partying wild, enjoying some peaceful holidays filled with sun and sea, or a mix of both. You will not be disappointed. The warm hospitality of the locals, the good food, the beautiful white houses and the blue color of the sea will leave you care-free and content… and don’t forget to watch as many beautiful sunsets as you can while on this heavenly island.

How to Get There

Mykonos is accessible from Athens or other islands like Santorini. From Athens, it can be accessed by direct daily flights or by Ferry. Fares for Athens to Mykonos ferries cost from 20€ to 40€ and the journey takes between 2 and 5 hours. The cheapest ferry from Athens to Mykonos is the Blue Star. The fastest ferry is the SeaJet. We opted for the Blue Star Ferry It departs Athens at 7:30am every morning and takes about 5 hours from Athens to Mykonos and the ferry arrives at Mykonos at 12:45pm.

Where to Stay

The variety of accommodation varies quite much and in the summer the prices are quite high. We stayed at Mykonos Unique Apartments which is not in the main town thus quite quiet and not too far from Chora. We did rent a car which allowed for us to explore Mykonos quite easily.

Light & Love,

Lea

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