In the wealth of ancient Greek mythology there are two references to Mykonos. The first tells us that the island took its name from the hero Mykonos and the other that it was on Mykonos that Hercules slew the Giants and that the large rocks which lie scattered about the island are their petrified corpses.
Today Mykonos is the beloved place of VIPS and the dream place of all young people seeking full entertainment. Mykonos is possibly the most well-known Greek island worldwide; not without reason. The visitor can fulfill here every desire and realize every vision for unforgettable holidays. The sea and the beaches are among the most beautiful in the world. Mykonos is a grand example of unique Cycladic architecture set around a picturesque fishing-village bay. Totally whitewashed organic cube-like buildings fit closely together to form a kind of haphazard maze of narrow alley ways and streets. The earthen colors of the bare hills which surround the town's gleaming whiteness is set between the aura of an incredibly blue sky and even deeper blue sparkling sea. Its many well preserved windmills and hundreds of tiny red-roofed churches adds a flavor of culture and custom to the scene, enhanced even further by many museums and the historical ancient site of Delos. Together with being friendly and open people, the locals have a healthy understanding of what it means to have a good time. Put this together with all the island's other qualities and it is no wonder Mykonos has been often named "the jewel" of the Aegean Sea.
As well as catering to the demands of its summer guests with an infrastructure that has been well developed over the years, an off-season tourist industry has also emerged making it possible to visit in comfort during the non-summer months. Frequent air and sea connections together with heated rooms and good taverns in and around the main town, allow the adventurous traveler to properly experience the island's natural beauty.
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. During ancient times, Mykonos, due to its proximity to Delos, which was then highly populated, became very important as a supply island. . For religious reasons it was said that no one should be allowed to be born or die on Delos. If this were true and this culture center so sacred, it may suggest that Mykonos had its roots as a vacation island long before modern times.
As the island of Delos began to develop as a sacred center, Mykonos was swept along with the influences of people who would come to control the region . The Phoenicians, Macedonians and Athenians left their mark but it was not until the coming of Alexander the Great the fate of Mykonos took a turn for the better by becoming a commercial center for agriculture and maritime trade.
Due to its geographic location as a crossroads for shipping and it's close proximity to Delos, the island's future continued to flourish reaching a state of enormous wealth during the time of Roman occupation .
During the Middle Ages Mykonos fell under the rule of the Venetians and in the years that followed found themselves to be victimized by the Saracens and latter the Turks who dominated the area from the 14th century. . The Greek War of Independence, which ended with its liberation from the Turks in 1830, spawned the Mykonian heroine Manto Mavroyenous who rallied the island's people and defeated a Turkish onslaught in 1822.
. During World War II Mykonos while experiencing German occupation suffered greatly through starvation. It took until the mid 50's for tourism to rise .
Due to the islands unique architecture, relative seclusion and hospitality it soon became a haven for the rich and famous.
Today Mykonos enjoys a success unparalleled in its history by having become one of the worlds most famous vacation islands
The Greek island of Mykonos is situated in the center of the Aegean Sea 150 kilometers east of Athens and is part of the group of islands known as the Cyclades.
Although it is the most famous of this group it is actually the smallest covering an area of just 90 square kilometers.
Despite its small area, part of Mykonos' fame comes from the fact that it has over twenty accessible sandy beaches earning the name "Capri of Greece".
The two most common elements of climate for which Mykonos is famous are sunshine and wind. Rainfall is infrequent, generally falling between the months of February and March, allowing the sun to shine for as many as three hundred days of the year. Because of this arid condition natural vegetation is limited.
During the summer months the temperature may occasionally reach the upper 30's but due to the cooling factor of the frequent winds an average of 28°C can be expected. Winters on the island are mild with an average temperature of 15°. It is only on very rare occasions the thermometer may reach freezing. Due to the moderating influence of the surrounding sea the island's temperatures are usually 2 degrees warmer in the winter and 2 degrees cooler in the summer than mainland Athens. Of the winds that effect the island two kinds are most common.
During the winter months heavy winds from the south arrive and often bring with them electrical storms. Of these the most famous wind is the "Sirocco" which every spring brings sand from the deserts that boarder the Mediterranean in the form of red rain. As the season heads toward summer the north wind takes over and with various degrees of strength, blows daily. The most notable of these winds is the "Meltemi" that during July and August will blow steady throughout the day and then reduce its velocity during the night.
One of the factors that has contributed to Mykonos' international popularity is it's people. The open attitude and hospitality of the Mykonians are qualities that have been with them for centuries. Because of the island's rocky terrain and limited rainfall the locals turned mainly to the sea for survival. Fishing and commercial trade brought frequent contact with foreigners resulting in an openness to visitors not as often found on other self-supporting agricultural islands. During the 50's modern-day tourism started to develop and as the island's popularity grew, so did its population. Today it is estimated that Mykonos is the home of 11,000 people, of these 4,000 are foreign residents. During the summer months and the height of the tourist season the island supports over 50,000 holidayers, locals and part-time workers. Over 80% of the island's work force is understandably involved in the service industry with the remainder spread between fishing, farming and construction
The lifestyle of the islanders is for the most laid-back and easygoing, always quick to recognize a good time. Taverns and particularly cafeneons on the harbor play an important role in their social lives as it is here most meetings for business and pleasure are centered. On Mykonos old traditions are upheld through local festivals and religious celebrations which occur regularly throughout the year. At these public gatherings homemade culinary delicacies in the form of cured meats, cheeses, wines, breads and pastries can be readily sampled, local folk musicians complete the scene playing their traditional melodies into the night. Even with the coming of technology and the influences of tourism the Mykonian people today still reflect their past in daily life. The fishermen continue to display their catch and mend their nets and farmers still sell their produce of vegetables and flowers from the backs of donkeys as they wind their way through the narrow streets of the village.
Along with its share of monasteries, convents and cathedrals the island is very well known for its abundance of small family churches. Originally built as a tribute to aid in the safe return of the island's sailors, the celebrated number of these chapels is told to be 365, one for each day of the year. In reality and lately more of a sign of affluence these churches which curiously are all built to face west, number closer to 500 in total.
MODERN DAYS POPULATION
Beaches of Mykonos Island
Easily accessible by bus from town and a regular boat service from Plati Yialos, Elia beach is the largest of the south chain of beaches. Good restaurants, hotels and bungalows provide beach-side refreshment and accommodation with the added attraction of the islands only water park situated just back from the beach and only minutes away. In designated sections nude bathing is allowed
Agios Sostis Beach
Taking the road beyond Panormos beach and facing east onto the bay, Agios Sostis is one of the more remote beaches on the island. Void of accommodation and crowds this beautiful beach offers not only peace and quiet but a very good small restaurant. Access is limited to private vehicle and taxi.
Kalo Livadi Beach
Situated at the lower end of a long open valley, Kalo Livadi is part of another group of southern beaches reachable only via the Ano Mera road. Regular bus service from town allows access to this medium sized quiet location where good food but a minimal amount of accommodation is available.
Situated within walking distance and just to the right of the Plati Gialos bus terminus, Psarou is one of the earliest established beaches. This medium size well-sheltered beach offers good accommodation, restaurants and various water sports which include a diving school.
Probably the most popular beach on the island, Paradise developed its fame and contemporary name through its discovery by the "Hippies" and other world traveling backpackers of the 60's. Nude sunbathing tolerant, this beautiful large expance of beach caters primarily to the young set offering a well organised cafeteria, snack bars, beach bars, night clubs, professional diving center , camping facilities
Super Paradise beach
Virtually void of hotels and without local bus service, the exclusivity of Super Paradise beach has made it a favorite for gay visitors to the island for many years. Nude tolerant, this beautiful beach set in a small but deep bay has good restaurants and bar discos that echo throughout the day the energy of the town's nightlife. Access to the beach is reached by taxi, private vehicle and a regular boat service from the Plati Yialos dock
One of the earliest established beaches, this beautiful bay and long sweeping Kalafatis beach has become famous to wind surfers who enjoy a good offshore breeze. Hotel accommodation is available together with various water sports including diving with access to the beach made easy from town through a regular bus service. Many small restaurants can be found in the area often specializing in local seafood dishes
Set in a picturesque landscape the restaurants and music beach bars on Paraga beach help to create a holiday atmosphere for not only its daily visitors but for those who chose to stay in its hotels and well organized camping facilities. Public transportation to the beach is supplied by a regular bus service from town and a frequent boat service from Plati Yialos beach.
On the north side of the island and facing east onto Panormos Bay is the long and beautiful Panormos Beach. Two restaurants and one hotel serve this otherwise remote area, reachable only by private vehicle or taxi. Nude bathing tolerant, this beach because of its location is best suited during periods of southerly wind.
is accessible only by private vehicle or taxi . Lia beach is a perfect place to escape the crowds. Its undeveloped state and single but upscale restaurant make it possible to enjoy the natural cycladic landscape surrounding this beautiful beach.
Mykonos is an island with very little vegetation, it has an area of 85 sq. km., a shoreline of 80 km and a population of 5,500. The island can be reached by air from Athens or by ferry from Piraeus or Rafina . The trip by ferry from Piraeus takes about 6 hours.
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A unique 5 Bedroom / 6 bathroom luxurious villa in Mykonos, Greece
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Mykonos is not only another tourist destination , it is an experience that you need to live it to believe it!
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