“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
Mykonos – Island of winds
Mykonos – often called the island of winds – is a Greek island and an important member of the Cyclades, lying between Syros, Paros, and Naxos. The island spans an area of 85 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Santorini. Alongside Ibiza in Spain, Mykonos is also the most famous cosmopolitan island and a paradise in the heart of the Cyclades. According to Greek mythology, Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules and the island took its name from the grandson of Apollo. There are about 10,000 inhabitants, most of whom live in the largest town Chora or Hora. Chora is a traditional whitewashed Cycladic maze with hipster hotels, chic cafes, bars, and restaurants.
Navigating the island
Public transportation is hard to come by on the island with a very limited number of taxis serving the ever-growing tourist and infrequent bus schedules. This is why your best bet is to rent a car, scooter, or an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle). It is quite pleasant to drive during the off-season as the roads are quite well constructed particularly on the western side of the island. Most importantly, you save time with rentals. However, you might want to reconsider driving during the high season whereby traffic becomes crazy, and navigating the narrow roads makes it even more challenging.
Exploring the Chora town
Using the town as a starting point, we set out to seek some of the most iconic landmarks on the island. First, we stroll around the narrow marble streets and admire whitewashed cubic houses with colorful painted doors and windows. Not far from the town center sits Mykono’s most photographed chapel: Panagia Paraportiani. The iconic chapel actually comprises four small closely built chapels that were eventually merged as time went by. Next, we pay a visit to the Folklore and Maritime Museums to get to know a little more about the island’s history and rich heritage.
We then spend some time relaxing along the lively waterfront with swaying fishing boats casting colorful reflections in the azure waters. While in the town, we try to spot the official mascot of Mykonos: Pétros the pelican! But unfortunately, luck was not on our side today. Still, we had a good time with this “treasure hunting”.
With Pétros now behind us, we marched on to one of the most scenic corners of the island: Little Venice. Here we find an 18th-century district dominated by grand captains’ mansions with colorful balconies and stylish windows perched over the sea which resembles the Italian city. We took a break at a waterfront café with some desserts and Greek coffee while admiring the view of the quaint giant windmills standing imposingly on the hillside across Little Venice.
Exploring the other part of the island
Our driver escorted us to another traditional settlement of Mykonos called Áno Merá which is situated next to the historic 16th-century monastery of Panagia Tourliani. After a short stop in the village, we continue to explore further to discover the island’s famed sun-kissed beaches. Along the southern coast, you will find a great selection of well-organized beaches famous for wild parties such as Paradise and Super Paradise. Órnos is our personal favorite beach which is rather suitable for families and couples.
Another well-organized beach is Platis Yalós, where you can soak up the sun lazing on a sun lounge. However, if you are looking for a more serene beach to unwind then one of those on the northern such as Ayia Ánna and Ayios Stéfanos might be a better spot. Finally, we made our way to the old lighthouse of Armenistis which stands at about 19 meters in height and still in operation in modern times. Here we had a good view of the Aegean sea and the nearby island of Tinos!
Tips from Aegean Dreams
You will need a pair of good walking shoes, sunglasses, lip balm, and sun-block lotion. The wind is pretty strong on the island so we remind ladies to avoid scarfs, hats, or anything that will be blown away easily. And of course, bring your camera and power bank because you will need the extra juice for all the photo-taking.
What is a private island tour?
We plan and organize the tour itinerary according to your preference and our experience. The tour is exclusive and private for you and your group. Our driver and guide pick you up from your hotel and take you to IG-worthy locations that are otherwise difficult to reach by public transportation. You decide what time to depart, when to stop for a break or photo or even a swim, and have your driver drop you off at your hotel or any desired location after the tour completes.
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Photo by Maria, Queenie & Joycelyn Traveling to Greece soon? Get in touch with our travel planner today!