|White shoreline buildings are a hallmark of Mykonos|
“I’d like tell you that I don’t always look like this, but I do,” said Amaryllis, our lovely 20-something guide on the Greek island of Mykonos, whose long dark hair kept whipping across her face. It didn’t take long to understand what she meant as we struggled to keep our own demeanor during gale-force gusts that blew almost constantly across the island.Still, wind from the Aegean Sea helps keep the climate moderate—and it adds a distinctive appeal to this old port town located five hours from Athens by ferry but only 40 minutes by plane.
Mykonos is the smallest of the group of islands known as the Cyclades, which are prominent in stories from Greek mythology. The nearby island of Delos, touted as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and now an uninhabited UNESCO site, has developed as a sacred center and archaeological site with remarkable Greek ruins, sights that bring many people to Mykonos.
|Streets wind in a maze through town.|
Despite its reputation as a cosmopolitan island, Mykonos has steadfastly avoided common traps of overpopulated destinations. You’ll find no fast food restaurants or neon signs on the island. Streets are narrow and curvy—to confuse pirates and protect homeowners in the old days—so it’s easy to lose your bearings.
We chose a guided walking tour through the maze. For three hours we followed Amaryllis—think Sophie in Mama Mia!—whose British accent belied her life-long residency on Mykonos. After navigating safely through the city’s maze with her help, we felt confident to set off exploring on our own.
Southern beaches sport golden sand and crystal clear water, calm and sheltered from the winds. These may be family-oriented or cater to those looking for less--clothing optional. Gusty northern beaches tend to attract adventurous types like wind surfers or folks who prefer peaceful, unoccupied beaches. Plentiful quaint shops and restaurants accommodate tourists and have helped build the island’s reputation for nightlife and partying.
|Churches have the same look--white washed with a blue dome.|
|Little Venice section of Mykonos|
|Stunning white churches have a long history on Mykonos|
Whether you love soothing, old-world tradition or seek exciting contemporary fun, Mykonos can be your paradise.
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier