Undeniably Greece’s most cosmopolitan destination, the island of Mykonos oozes with glitz and glamour worthy of the glossy pages. But as one of the five Cyclades islands, there’s a lot more to Mykonos than just looks.
According to mythology, the island of Mykonos was formed on the backs of petrified giants, slain by Hercules himself. Archaeology and geomorphology on the other hand tell a different, although no less intriguing story. The five Cyclades islands were once one large volcanic island, until several thousand years ago, it experienced the biggest volcanic eruption ever known, creating a vast crater in the centre of the island, which the sea filled, leaving only five fragments of land above water.
Much of Mykonos is geared towards the lifestyle of the rich and the famous. Catamarans and gorgeous sail boats for private hire line the waterfront and idle in the crystal turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. Boutiques abound where catwalk brands and the finest jewellery are on offer, and bubbly is often the drink of choice at the many upmarket beach bars and night clubs. But despite this, the island has managed to hang on to its charismatic Greek island charm and proud history.
The island is home to an interesting mix of historical attractions, including the Panagia Paraportiani, a stunning whitewashed Byzantine church with five chapels that dates back to 1425. Another historical must-see is the 18th century monastery of Panagia Tourliani, with its marble bell tower and intricate folk carvings. A visit to ‘Little Venice’ doesn’t disappoint either, offering beautifully maintained medieval houses and a host of romantic spots to enjoy the island’s unforgettable sunsets. Mykonos is also home to six museums, most notable of which is the Bonni Mill, a fully restored 16th century windmill.
But when you think of Mykonos, you think of beaches, and there are some truly spectacular ones to choose from, too many perhaps! The beaches of the island’s south coast are the most popular, offering powder-fine white sand, warm Mediterranean water, and a host of beach comforts including loungers, umbrellas and water sports. Here, the majority of beaches are also lined with upmarket beach bars, cafés, shops and restaurants, which come alive in true Mykonos style when the sun goes down. If you’re looking for a quieter sunbathing experience, the beaches on the east coast are for you.
The island also offers a number of fun and fascinating tour options. A favourite is a trip to the stunning uninhabited island of Delos nearby, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island is one of the most important historical and cultural sites in the world, with evidence of human inhabitation from the 3rd millennium BC. Take a trip on a glass-bottomed boat and get a glimpse of the fascinating life beneath the waves, or go a little deeper and explore some of the interesting Scuba diving sites the coast has to offer, including shipwrecks, colourful coral reefs and spectacular rock formations.
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