Picture book island in the Aegean Sea

Categories: Aegean region Mykonos Cyclades Southern Aegean Greece

The Greek Cyclades island of Mykonos has two faces: in the summer months, party tourism makes its way into the stylish designer hotels and modern clubs, while in the low season and outside the capital Mykonos, the island radiates peace and natural tranquillity. Romantic sunsets have always captivated visitors, however.
Mykonos - View of the landscape© lukaszimilena / Fotolia

Mykonos, also known as the "sun island", has been a popular travel destination since the 1950s due to its extremely pleasant temperatures and picture book scenarios. At that time, it was mainly the Greek high society around Aristotle Onassis, but also international stars like Elizabeth Taylor, who succumbed to the magic of Mykonos. In the late 80s and early 90s, however, tourism on Mykonos increasingly ebbed away. Thanks to the new ferry connections at the end of the 1990s, however, the first backpackers brought a new clientele to Mykonos: the island was opened up to mass tourism.

Mykonos is increasingly a popular destination for homosexuals as well. Over time, many chic boutique hotels and modern clubs opened for a lively nightlife. Meanwhile the island is one of the most famous party islands of the Aegean Sea, especially in the summer months July and August. Especially the Super Paradise Beach, but also most other beaches of the south coast, are popular party locations until the early morning hours.

Away from the main tourist season, however, Mykonos has preserved its natural originality. The island is then visited by far fewer tourists, the beaches are quiet and the prices are also considerably lower. Many small cosy restaurants and taverns invite to culinary delights. The typical Cycladic architecture with its white houses, flat roofs and blue doors and windows casts a romantic spell on every visitor. At the beach of Agios Ioannis on the east coast of the island it is still very quiet and contemplative.

This part of the coast is also a popular snorkeling area. A visit to the small settlement of Ano Mera is also recommended, where Mykonos has best preserved its original beauty. Numerous cosy tavernas invite you to enjoy typical food, which is very cheap here, unlike in the tourist centres. A visit to the two monasteries (Panagia Tourliania and Paleokastros) is a must.

In addition to the most beautiful beaches of the Aegean, Mykonos also offers many cultural sights. Especially worth seeing is the old town of Mykons, also called Chora. Together with the harbour it lies very picturesquely in a bay. The many narrow streets are mostly car-free. Many cozy taverns offer typical dishes of the country. Everywhere on the island you will encounter Cycladic architecture and white-blue houses, with the exception of Little Venice. The quarter on the beach promenade is entirely in Venetian style and dates back to the Venetian rule in the 16th century.

But one of the most famous sights of Mykonos is Kato Mill, the Windmill Hill. Of the original ten windmills, five are still standing today, but they are no longer in operation. The agricultural museum is located nearby. Also worth a visit is the famous Aegean Maritime Museum. On Mykonos there are also numerous churches and monasteries, but also remains from the ancient world such as temples and theatres. According to Greek mythology, Apollo, the god of arts, was born on Mykonos.
Mykonos - View of the houses and the sea© Martin M303 / Fotolia

Thanks to its pleasant climate (an average of 27°C in summer) and many hours of sunshine, Mykonos is the ideal destination for sun worshippers who want to enjoy a relaxing holiday on one of its beautiful beaches. In addition to the many party beaches, there are also very quiet beaches as well as stretches of coast especially for families. Those interested in culture will also get their money's worth thanks to the many museums, monasteries and architectural highlights.

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