There are some 6,000 islands in Greece, 227 of which are inhabited and most of them absolutely stunning. These have long been considered to be a popular tourist destination and it is not hard to understand why. But there is more to these islands than just modern day beauty.
These islands can combine fascinating history, extraordinary beauty and modern day amenities including some superb Mykonos hotels, meaning that they have something to offer for every traveller. As for history, in the case of Mykonos, an island located in the famed Cyclades archipelago, this has been inhabited for more than 3,000 years.
Appearing in ancient Greek mythology, this is the site of a battle between Zeus and the Titans. Due to its location, it became a highly prized maritime trading post over its history. The great Mediterranean powers of their age - ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans - have all laid claim to Mykonos for a period in time. In 1830, the Greek War of Independence saw the island once again fall back into Greek hands, where it has remained thereafter.
A Potted History of Mykonos
Anyone who is interested in the island’s history merely needs to take a look at the architecture that is scattered all over its green scenery. Two picturesque examples being the centuries old Venetian built windmills that decorate the seaside hills and the ancient streetscape of Chora, with its maze like structure which was originally designed to confuse and bamboozle looting raiding pirates.
However, the obvious historical artifacts to visit are the numerous churches. All across Greece you will find many churches, chapels and monasteries and Mykonos is no different. While these are mainly all Greek Orthodox, they are all still unique and different, ranging in terms of size, age and design. One of the most famous churches in Greece is the Panagia Paraportiani which is actually five churches in one and was built between the 15th and 17th centuries.
Each and every church in Mykonos has a unique history and story attached to it regardless of its style or the time it hails from. These buildings all provide the thoughtful traveller with a bit of quiet and reflection as well as bringing respite from the hot sun or the hustle and bustle of the villages. While it is important to never interrupt a service, you are never far from a church here, with one almost on every corner.
Sun Seekers Welcome
Anyone looking to go to Mykonos in search of what Greece is famed for, turquoise waters and the Mediterranean sun, will find that this island will not let you down. Bargain hunters and souvenir shoppers that are willing to leave to leave the seaside will find elegant shops selling Louis Vuitton and other luxury name designer brands as well as a fine assortment of souvenirs and trinkets.
The largest town on the island is the hypnotic Chora. Here you will find out of the way back alleys which each contain tiny but charming shops selling hand crated goods such as paintings or hand-carved plates of olive wood. The gorgeous white azure color scheme of the quaint houses that line the winding streets make tracking down those bargains a delight even on the hottest of summer days.
But it’s not just shoppers that will find something to love in the village’s winding streets, food lovers too will be rewarded for exploring the town too. There are plenty of hidden gems that can be discovered when you take the time to simply wander around. Stuffed grape leaves, a staple of Greek cuisine, are common as is shrimp saganaki which is a large shrimp in a sauce of tomato, feta and wine. If that’s not for you, there are always plenty of quality and lively places to eat on the beaches. Whichever way you choose, you can wash it all down with an ice cold Mythos, a very refreshing Greek beer.
For those looking for the complete Mykonos experience, you must try the two final things that the island is famous for, its glorious beaches and its lively nightlife. Nicknamed the Capri of Greece, Mykonos boasts so many beaches that tourists exhausted of all the sightseeing are able to lounge the day away on white sand beaches and swim in the cool blue waters of the Aegean Sea.
At the end of the day, after sun set, visitors can party the night away in any of the island’s many clubs and bars which are famous for their liveliness and variety, many of which stay open until dawn so you can stay out late enough that you may even be able to see the sunrise. These can be found in most of the big towns but some are busier than others, but you will certainly be spoilt for choice by the number of clubs situated in Chora’s labyrinthine heart.
Another thing to note is that if you plan your visit at the right time to the Greek Islands - between late June and late August – you will be able to take advantage of The Yacht Week. Despite being called a week, this is lasts for two months and the festivities are held throughout the Sardonic Archipelago, a group of islands that is otherwise removed from the tourist path.
During this time you will be able to enjoy swimming, day parties, night clubs, as well as lots of socializing and, of course, yachts. So, whether or not you are traveling to an alternative Mediterranean destination or Greek island, or simply looking to plan your next getaway, make a point of visiting Mykonos. You will not regret it if you do but will definitely regret it if you don’t. Even after thousands of years, Mykonos remains a paradise on Earth.