What you need to know
According to mythology, Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules. And did you know that the island took its name from the grandson of Apollo, “Mykonos”?
In contrast to other Cycladic capitals, the capital town (Hóra) of the island is not built in the shape of an amphitheatre but instead spreads out over a wide area. It is one of the best examples of Cycladic architecture and a spellbinding attraction for visitors.
Stroll around its narrow marble streets and admire whitewashed houses with colourful doors and window frames, bougainvillea trees in purple bloom and hidden churches.
Pay a visit to the church of Panayia Paraportiani, the Town hall and the castle situated above the harbour.
While you’re out strolling, don’t be surprised if you come across the official mascot of Mykonos, which is nothing other than a… pelican! Pétros the
Pelican was found by a fisherman after a storm in 1954, and eventually became the locals’ companion. When he died, a replacement was found. In honour of Pétros, the locals have established a long tradition of pelicans wandering around the waterfront as an essential part of everyday life.
Don’t forget to visit the Archaeological, Folklore and Maritime Museums to take in a little history. Wander around the pedestrian shopping streets of the Hóra, always colourful and busy. The most glamorous of all is Matoyánni Street, lined with brand name stores, charming cafés and stylish restaurants.
One of the most scenic corners of the island is Alefkántra or “Little Venice”, an 18th century district.
The second traditional settlement of Mykonos is Áno Merá, situated around the historic monastery of Panayia Tourliani (a 16th century church with a brilliant carved wooden iconostasis). To the north, in Fteliá, lies an important Neolithic settlement, and a 14th-13th century BC Mycenaean tomb.
The island is a paradise for water sport enthusiasts! It is only natural that the “Island of the Winds” attracts surfers and sailors from all over the world!
There is a great choice of beaches for windsurfing; however, the most secluded ones are considered to be the best.
When it comes to food, olive oil and olives are featured in many dishes.
They serve to enhance the fresh local cheeses and produce, which are also heavily represented in Mykonos restaurant menus.
Don’t miss the opportunity to treat yourself to some local Aegean specialties! Pepper flavoured kopanistí, a soft cheese seasoned with pepper, is the island’s gastronomic trademark.
Try it as a topping on a round rusk spread with grated tomato, a favourite local mezés (appetiser). Meat eaters can sample “loúzes” (cooked pork filet with spices) and tasty local sausages sprinkled with pepper, and local oregano that has been caressed by the sun and dried in the north wind.
To finish off your meal you can sample two exceptionally good local pastries, “amigdalotá” (small round cakes with ground almond, rosewater and caster sugar) and honey pie.