Mykonos lies in the middle of the Cyclades islands, to the east and south of the Greek mainland. Over the years it has become the prime spot in the Greek Islands, and is the most crowded place during the hot summer months. The endless sun shines on whitewashed houses with blue rooftops, with red flowers intensifying the blue doors and windows.
The maze of the cobbled streets of the Mykonos Town (or Chora) is a joy to explore. The confusing street layout was intentionally built in days long gone when the island was often raided by pirates.
You’ll get lost in tiny alleys, only to emerge and enjoy a fantastic view of the sea, all with a backdrop of blue skies and endless sun.
The island is well known by its party atmosphere, and it gets extremely crowded in July and August.
Panorama of Mykonos
As the season lasts from late April to September, think about visiting in the quieter months to avoid the rush, if you’d prefer to enjoy the calm.
Mykonos has some great beaches, party ones and family/secluded ones, and offers a truly memorable experience – a typical postcard-type town, combined with beautiful sea and beaches.
As everywhere in Greece, you can’t escape mythology here either.
Nearby island of Delos is a huge ancient site, and is believed to have been the birthplace of twin gods Artemis and Apollo. Mykonos itself is said to be the battleground where Zeus defeated the Titans.
A Little Bit Of History
Mykonos is named in honor of the son of the Delos’ King, Mykonos. According to Greek mythology, Hercules fought against the Giants. He killed and threw them in the sea, where they petrified and turned into huge rocks, forming the island of Mykonos.
A street in Mykonos
During ancient times, Mykonos was an important supply hub to the densely populated Delos Island. For religious reasons it was ordered that no one should be born or die on Delos, so the short 2 km distance between the islands was traveled frequently.
The Neolithic Cares tribe dating back to 3000 BC were the first settlers of Mykonos.
Its proximity to the Delos Island attracted many people like the Phoenicians, Macedonians and Athenians who reigned and left their marks on the island.
However, it was with the arrival of Alexander the Great that the island became a commercial center for agriculture and maritime trade. Its geographical location helped the island to flourish during Roman occupation and the reign of Augustus Caesar.
During the Middle Ages, the island fell under the rule of Venetians, Saracens and the Turks. Slave trade was common at this time and thousands of islanders were abducted.
The Greek War of Independence brought an end to the Turkish rule in 1830. This spawned the Mykonian heroine, Manto Mavroyenous, to rally the island’s people and defeat a Turkish onslaught in 1822.
The Cycladic Islands were a natural breeding ground for piracy and this port city had its share of influence, which lasted until the 19th century.
Colorful Architecture of Mykonos
The steamships brought the first signs of tourism to the island, but during WWII, Mykonos was occupied by the Germans and the island suffered greatly through starvation.
However, the island recovered economically and tourism flourished again in the mid 50’s.
Some of the famous religious and cultural events of this island are: Feast of Agioi Apostoloi, celebration of Agia Paraskevi, Summer Festival, Gay Festival and Harvest Festival. Along with these, many concerts, theatrical performances and artist’s exhibitions take place on the island.
Mykonos boasts a number shops selling local textiles, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, shoes, souvenirs and handicrafts.
Where is Mykonos?
- 105 miles/ 169 km from Athens, Greece
- 211.8 miles/ 341 km from Rhodes, Greece
- 166.5 miles/ 268 km from Heraklion, Greece
- 31 miles/ 50 km from Paros, Greece
- 2.9 miles/ 4.8 km from Mykonos Island National Airport, Greece
- 101.2 miles/ 163 km from Athens International Airport, Greece
Things to See
- Panagia Paraportiani Church
- Archeological Museum
- Little Venice
Little Venice Area in Mykonos
- Aegean Maritime Museum
- Lena’s House
- Folklore Museum
- Armenistis Lighthouse
- St Mary’s Cathedral
- Paraga beach
- Paradise and Super Paradise beaches
- Megali Ammos
- Sail to Rhenia
- Tinos Island
The stunning natural beauty, picturesque villages, rich history, unique architecture, relative seclusion and wild nightlife of Mykonos have made it a haven for the rich and famous, island hoppers and families as well.
In any case, this island will transport you into a different dimension, a different era in fact – an experience not to be missed.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!