Mykonos in Greece

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Mykonos in Greece.



Mykonos is located in the northern Cyclades just north of Naxos. The island has more than 10,000 permanent inhabitants, and that makes Mykonos the fourth most populated island in the Cyclades. The surface area is 86 km2. The two largest villages are Mykonos Town and Ano Mera. The two closest neighbouring islands are Syros and Tinos. The highest mountain Profitis Ilias Anomeritis measures 341 metres above sea level. Tourism is the main source of income for the islanders.

Mykonos is one of Greece's most popular islands, and also one of the most famous islands. Many people think that Mykonos Town is the quintessential image of Greece: narrow alleys bordered with whitewashed houses with blue doors and windows. It is no wonder that Greece's tourist agencies often use pictures from Mykonos when they market Greece. But Mykonos do not need any marketing because the tourists comes anyway. People from all over the world travel here to sunbathe and swim, to shop in luxury boutiques, to see and to be seen and to enjoy the vibrant nightlife. However, nobody goes here to experience the authentic Greece, because there is no such thing. It is many years ago that you could visit traditional cafes and ouzeries in Mykonos Town.

The first tourists came to Mykonos for more than 60 years ago. At that time it was the historically interesting neighbouring island of Delos that attracted, but today the tourists come for completely different reasons. The Finland-Swedish author Göran Schildt travelled for several years in the 1950s in the Greek archipelago with his sailing boat Daphne. Each trip resulted in a book, the books are very interesting and should be read by all Greek lovers. Göran Schildt wrote this (my translation) in his amazing book In the Wake of Ulysses after his first visit to Mykonos in the early fifties:

"We also discovered to our amazement a lot of tourist dressed in shorts and carrying cameras, weird animals we have not seen before in Greece. Mykonos is one of the very few tourist and holiday destinations in Greece."

Paradise beach is one of Mykonos most popular beaches.

Paradise beach is one of Mykonos most popular beaches.


Agios Ioannis or Shirley Valentine beach Mykonos.

Agios Ioannis (Shirley Valentine beach) is one of the least exploited beaches.


Shorts were probably not common in those days, nor could tourists have been particularly common. (One wonder why he describes tourists as animals?) That Mykonos was "one of the very few tourist and holiday destinations in Greece" is not strange. At that time, there were few who could afford to go on a vacation, and if they could they usually travelled to historically interesting places, perhaps to boast for their friends when they came home.

Other islands that became popular early are Rhodes and Crete, and that for the same reason as Mykonos. Tourists travelled to Rhodes to see the Old Town and Lindos, and in Crete it was mainly Knossos that attracted well-off tourists. Thus they travelled to Mykonos to visit Delos, the place that in ancient times was not only the centre of the Cyclades but also a centre of Greece. Incidentally the name the Cyclades come from the Greek word kyklas which means around. Delos was the centre and the islands around were later named the Cyclades.

Mykonos' attractiveness is nowadays of a completely different sort. Above all the magnificent sandy beaches (few other islands can compete with Mykonos) and the amazingly beautifully Chora, or Mykonos Town, attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to Mykonos every year. Many travel here on a package-holiday, others come with one of the many cruise ships calling the port every day. Some cruise ships are so big that you get dumbfounded when you see them, but worse is the sight when all the passengers in a body enter the narrow alleys of the village.

When I first travelled here (early 80s), Mykonos was one of the hottest destinations in Greece. It was by the time when Mykonos began to attract gay tourists and the island went from being a beach paradise to a chick island with exclusive hotels, fashionable fashion boutiques, trendy restaurants, bars and discos. Mykonos is still a playground within the gay culture, but not nearly as it was in the 1980s. I think that the reason why some tourists avoid going to Mykonos is due to the stubborn rumours that the island is expensive. Okay, it's not just a rumour, Mykonos is generally more expensive than most islands. But you do not have to eat, drink or stay expensively, if you do not really want to, there are cheap alternatives if you're just looking for them.

One of many cozy alleys in Chora.

One of many cozy alleys in Chora.


You can read more about Mykonos via the links at the top of this page. A short summary of the information comes here:

You can go on a package-holiday to Mykonos from many countries. If you are travelling independently you can choose to go by air directly to Mykonos, or fly to Athens and continue by ferry or domestic flight.
Read more about how to travel to Mykonos here »

There are two villages in Mykonos: Mykonos Town and Ano Mera in the centre of the island. Mykonos Town (see picture at the top of the page) is so beautiful that it almost feels unreal. Almost no other Greek village can be compared to this architectural masterpiece.
Read more about the villages here »

Mykonos has some of Greece's finest beaches. They are not only good, they are also countless. Psarou, Paraga, Agrari, Elia, Kalo Livadi, Kalafati, Agia Anna, Agios Ioannis, Agios Sostis, Panormos, Agios Stefanos, Ornos, Paradise, Platis Gialos and Super Paradise are just a few of the beaches.
Read more about the beaches here »

Mykonos Town itself is the most important attraction. In addition, there are many interesting churches, a bunch of domesticated pelicans and the super interesting island of Delos is located near Mykonos.
Read more about the sights here »

Accommodations can be found almost everywhere in Mykonos. Where to stay is a matter of taste. Many choose to stay in, or close to, Mykonos Town. The most popular places near Mykonos Town are Agios Ioannis, Agios Stefanos, Ornos, Platis Gialos and Tourlos.
Suggestions for hotels can be found here »


Agios Stefanos is the best beach near Mykonos Town.

Agios Stefanos is the best beach near Mykonos Town.

Read more about Mykonos via the links at the top of this page.




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