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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrMykonos, a glamorous and cosmopolitan island located just southeast of the mainland was, until the 1960s, among the poorest Greek islands.
The island covers an area of barely 35 square miles. Although peace and serenity is not out of reach, it is not characteristic of the island as it's known for its rowdy beach parties and crazy nightlife.
The beaches on the south shore of the island have the best sand, views, and are protected from the wind.
The beaches situated on the north shore, like Ayia Ánna, Agrári, Houlákia, Kápari, and Ayios Stéfanos, being less organized and crowded are more suitable for those in search of a quiet spot on the island.
The island is most enjoyable in late spring and early autumn when the sea is warm enough to swim and prices for accommodation are much lower compared to summer. Strong winds called ‘meltemia’ can be a regular phenomenon in late summer, especially in August, so make sure you bring some warm clothes.
The nightlife in Mykonos is lively and vibrant - the cosmopolitan and sophisticated bars and clubs are found along the port as well as in downtown Mykonos.
What to See & DoThe main island's attractions are the beaches, where you can sunbathe, snorkel, windsurf, waterski, and even party. But there are plenty of other things to do too.
Explore the Mykonos ChoraThe island's port town and capital is a typical sample of Cycladic architecture. It is built in a flat area, in front of the harbor with narrow, whitewashed streets, and white cubicle houses with colored windows.
With its hidden piazzas, full of shops, cafés, and bars, it is perfect to wander around. The Venetian windmills, atop the hill to the south, crown the setting. Visit the Church of Panagia Paraportiani and the island's archaeological museum to learn about the history of Mykonos.
Meet the Magnificent PelicanOne sight you are almost guaranteed to see when you visit the island is ‘Petros’, the Pelican. You can get a glimpse of the big, cute bird as it strolls leisurely at its own pace through the town's many alleyways or wander around Mykonos harbor.
Pétros was found by a fisherman after a storm in 1954, and eventually became the locals’ companion. When he died, the grief for his loss was so deep that a replacement was soon found. Now, there are three birds in Mykonos Town and their favorite places to hang out are at Niko’s Tavern, Paraportiani Square, Little Venice, the Windmills, and along the waterfront.
Wander around Little VeniceLittle Venice is a collection of pastel-colored, traditional houses with their balconies made of wood hanging up above the waves of the Aegean Sea. A picturesque, 18th-century neighborhood at the southwest of Mykonos town is the town's most idyllic spot, especially in the late afternoon. Sit by the water's edge and have a drink or two while watching the magnificent sunset.
Make a Day-Trip to DelosVisit the ancient marvels on the nearby small and rocky island of Delos . The UNESCO World Heritage Site lies 30 minutes by boat from Mykonos. Excursion boats depart from Mykonos town harbor in the morning and return in the early to mid-afternoon. Delos for ancient Greeks was the most sacred place, as sun God, Apollo, and his sister, Artemis, were born here. You need to be prepared to spare a few euros for the admission at the museum and don't forget to bring some food and water – there is only a small pricey café on the island.
Where to StayIn Mykonos, accommodation is plentiful and range from simple studios to boutique hotels and luxury villas. If you are on a low budget, note that accommodation prices in Mykonos Town are on the high end, and the further you go from the town, the cheaper it is. The location you choose depends on your priorities. If you're into partying, stay in or around Mykonos Town. If you prefer to spend most days on the beach but still have easy access to nightlife, stay in Ornos. But, if it's a quiet beach resort you're after, Kalafati might be a better fit.
Food & DrinkFrom simple Greek dishes to gourmet plates of international cuisine, the choices are numerous and diverse, for every taste and every budget.
The island abounds with high-end dining establishments and even in Greek taverns, meal prices tend to be higher than those on most other islands, so do shop around before you decide to enter a tavern. However, there are lots of places where you can get gyros and souvlaki for reasonable prices.
Pepper flavored ‘kopanistí’, a soft cheese seasoned with pepper, is a must-try. If you have a sweet tooth, treat yourself with ‘amigdalotá’ - small round cakes with ground almond, rosewater, and caster sugar and honey pie.
ShoppingMykonos has a lot of shops selling souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, and accessories. The island's stores cater to its wealthy clientele and carry overpriced items, so buy some souvenir and save your heavy-duty shopping for some other time.
Getting AroundThe best way to travel around Mykonos is by renting a car or a motorbike. The island also has an efficient public bus system that connects many cities and attractions. Taxis are available but are much more expensive than bus.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Feb 09, 2015