Mykonos is a small Cycladic gem, floating in the Aegean Sea with its beauty being renowned till the ends of the Earth! It is the most famous island of Greece, with cosmopolitan culture and impressive ancient history. The island took its name from “Mykonos”, Apollo’s grandson and descendant of Dionysus. (This is an explanation about why music and fun never stops in the island!) In the ancient times the citizens of Mykonos worshiped Dionysus, god of entertainment, Demeter, goddess of the Earth, Neptune, god of the sea, the brave Hercules and of course Zeus, father of all the Olympian gods.
In each and every stone you will raise in Mykonos, you will find out a charming, ancient history. This happens even for the mountains! Legend says that the rocky formations of the island are the mythological creatures of Giants, killed by Hercules during gigantomachy.
In the modern Greek history, Mykonos was a rich island with residents who were renowned for their seagoing experience (while some years before, they were also pirates!). From the island, the ships had refuel time, and also Mykonos was famous for the production of nuts, bought by sailors. The windmills you will find in Mykonos Town are just a few of the many mills that existed on the island for flour production ….
A point milestone in its history was the period of Venetian rule, from the late 12th century until the early 17th. During this period, Mykonos constituted and base of the famous pirate Barbarossa.
When the growth of organized tourism began in Europe in the early 19th century. Mykonos was the first to be benefited and guess why …! Because it was very close to the small island of Delos, which was a magnet for the rich antique collectors throughout Europe. The rest; Is history…
In Greece, the main town of each island, that is inhabited both in summer and winter, is being called “Chora” (town)! You will hear the locals call the main village of the island “Chora of Mykonos”. Since Mykonos became a world-class tourist destination, Mykonos Town has tripled in size. Although it remains beautiful and scenic, with serpentine streets and buildings in white and blue shades. The windmills of Mykonos is the trademark of the island and with the white Cycladic houses, Chora is shimmering under the bright Aegean sun. One of the windmills of Mykonos, has been restored and turned into a museum (Boni’s Windmill).
In high season, from afternoon until dawn, Chora is full of life. Tourists returning from beaches visit the countless stores, restaurants, cafes, clubs located in the narrow streets and continue the fun until the morning. It is worth sacrificing a few hours of sleep and wake up in the morning to enjoy the town in all its splendor. When tourists are sleeping, locals go to their jobs, the itinerant greengrocers sells their products etc. Everything is working on a peaceful Cycladic style and you can enjoy all the authenticity of the city in all its glory.
From Gyalos, you can also take the boat to have a day trip in Delos, which is a classic habit for visitors of Mykonos.
Besides the windmills, there are three points of Mykonos Town that you should definitely visit:
Matogiannia (or Matogianni)
This is the main mall-street of the island, where you will find the best shops in Greece, with clothes and jewelry that are truly pieces of art.
The Little Venice
The neighborhood with the colorful houses built literally over the sea, called little Venice because it is reminiscent of the famous Italian city of Venice. Along with windmills, it is the most photographed spot on the island. Famous for its bars with delicious cocktails, where you can sit and enjoy a beautiful sunset.
It is the most famous of the 600 churches that exist on the island. Besides its unique beauty, it is very special in architecture manners, since it is a church that sits like a dome over a base of four other churches. Discover in Chora, next to the Wall. In one of the two small churches behind the main church, on top of a rock, they say it is buried the last Greek pirate, the famous Manolis Mermelechas.
A less known but beautiful spot on the island is the lighthouse of Armenistis in the northern side of the island. Constructed in 1891, Armenistis has a height of 19 meters. The lighthouse keeper lived there some years before, and was responsible day and night for the operation of the lighthouse. Today, the lighthouse Armenistis works automatically, like all the lighthouses in the Aegean. But the beauty remains untouched by the passage of time. Especially, when the Cycladic winds are blowing, and the waves beating the rocks where the lighthouse stands, the scene is cinematic. You can discover and enjoy there an amazing sunset, looking toward the island of Tinos. If you choose the service of a 3-hour tour offered by Anemos Rent a Car & Bike, be sure to ask your guide to include Armenistis Lighthouse on your route.