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Mykonos

Mykonos is the FUN Island, sophisticated and glamorous, and the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, attracting visitors from across the globe. The fashionable haunt for the rich and famous, it also attracts large numbers of artists and intellectuals. It has a reputation for the uninhibited nightlife in Mykonos Town, and is popular with young couples, gays and singles; more civilized souls however can also find privacy and seclusion.

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The island’s history

Mykonos was the scene of momentous events from Greek mythology, but its earliest human settlements date back to the Neolithic. It was inhabited by many ancient peoples from Egypt, Crete, and Phoenicia, and from the neighbouring island of Delos, which was an important religious centre. It became an important commercial centre under Alexander the Great, and later under the Romans attained a peak of prosperity. The Middle-Ages saw occupations by the Venetians, the Ottoman Empire, and in the last century endured appalling privation at the hands of the German Third Reich. Thanks to its beauty, architecture, and climate, Mykonos has since then become one of the world’s favourite holiday destinations.

What to do on the island

Mykonos Town is one of the most beautiful and sophisticated island towns in Greece, with its charming traditional Cycladic architecture. Wonderful small streets wind through the immaculately whitewashed houses, churches, tavernas, and fashionable boutiques. The Little Venice area of the town is one of the most exclusive in Greece, and there are numerous characterful tall villas built right on the water’s edge. Throughout the island there are interesting archaeological museums and quaint villages to explore, and the trademark Mykonos windmills, some going back to the 16th century, overlook the coast just south of the village of Chora. The church of Panagia Paraportiani dates from the 15th century, and is actually a jumble of five different churches built together – quite a sight.

Excursions to Delos

Historically Mykonos has always attracted many visitors en route to the neighbouring island of Delos. This small island is now preserved as a museum and classical site, and one is only able to visit it as a day trip by boat. This fascinating island has a turbulent history dating back to the ancient Ionians who made Delos their religious capital. It was fought over many times and was a great trading centre. A visit to this island is a fascinating excursion back to the time of the Greek gods.

The beaches

The landscape of the island is barren and rocky, which contrasts with small fertile areas covered with wild flowers and has a special beauty. It is ringed by superb golden sandy beaches such as Agios Stefanos, Kalafati and Ornos. Elia is said to be the best beach on the island and is the last stop on the kaiki, or local water ferry. It is the island's longest beach and boasts an excellent restaurant, but is mainly naturist. Platys Gialos is a good family beach, and Psarou is a lovely beach with paths to the crazy party beaches of Paradise and Super Paradise Beach, the most famous beach on the island - expect crowds of exuberant youth. The waters around the island are wonderfully calm and safe, and Mykonos is unusual in that scuba diving is legal - in many islands it is prohibited due to loss of artefacts on the sea bed - and there are many good dive centres. There is an excellent bus service as well as a kaiki service connecting all the beaches. Ftelia on Panormous Bay is best for windsurfing.

How to get there

This island has the benefit of an international airport so you can fly directly from the UK with various charter airlines. Alternatively you can fly to Athens, and take a short internal flight on to Mykonos. Another option is to fly to Athens and then make your way to Rafina Port. There are several high speed hydrofoils each day connecting to Mykonos and the scenic trip takes about 2.5 hours.

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Delos

 

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Mykonos town

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Agio Sostis

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Agios Annis

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Anno Mera Monastery

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