A Greek island belonging to the Cyclades, Mykonos lies between Naxos, Paros, Syros, and Tinos.
Mykonos is famed not only for its beautiful white sandy beaches and landscapes but also for its history. It is famed for being part of the Greek mythology as the place where Hercules fought the Giants; it is also said to be where Zeus had a battle with the Titans. It was named after Mykonos who was the son of Anios, son of Apollo to nymph Rio.
Chora and Ano Mera make up the two main communities of the city.
Chora is the main town of Mykonos, thus, it is also called Mykonos Town. A stunningly picturesque town, Chora features a maze of tiny streets with churches and houses. In the Aegean region, it is one of the most crowded and most cosmopolitan towns. It is lined with little art galleries, boutiques, shops, cafes, and stylish restaurants and bars.
Despite the rapid growth and development of the island, Chora has still not lost its traditional Cycladic architectural character and style.
Our Lady Paraportiani Church is one of the favorite sights in the area. Lying on the Old Venetian Kastro hill, this complex church is also considered a national cultural museum. Among the many churches on the island, it is the oldest and most famous.
The shore in Chora leads to a place called “Little Venice” because of the high Venetian houses that come with porches in various colors and wooden balconies. During summer, many tourists come to the island for its exciting nightlife.
- Ano Mera
This small village is located in the middle of the island, 7km east of Chora. Ano Mera is the only on land settlement in Mykonos. It is here where the 1542- built monastery of Panagia Tourliani is situated.
Other communities in Mykonos are Agios Ioannis which is famous for being the setting of the “Shirley Valentine” movie; Agios Stefanos which is known for its many hotels, taverns, restaurants, and cafes; Platys Gialos which is popular for its beaches; Ornos famous for its markets and shops, and Tourlos which is known for its private yachts and fishing boats.
The geology of Mykonos is primarily composed of granite. It has very little natural freshwater – despite being surrounded by it – and thus relies heavily on the sea water’s desalination to meet its inhabitants’ need for freshwater.
To learn your way to the city, read our page on Mykonos City Guide.
Mykonos City Guide
Mykonos may relatively be not as famous as other metropolitan cities in Greece like Athens and Santorini, but the city sure offers a lot of things to tourists that are certainly more than the usual. This page will help you get your way around Mykonos with this city guide made especially for you to have a more convenient and enjoyable stay in this Greek city.
When traveling Mykonos, you don’t just research about how to get there, its top attractions, and its public transport, you also need to learn about the numbers you need to dial in case of any emergency. The following digits will come very handy on your trip:
- Police Station: 22890 22716
- Tourist Police: 22890 22482
- First Aid – Mykonos Town: 22890 22274
- First Aid – Ano Mera: 22890 71395
- Airport: 22890 22327
- Customs: 22890 22492
- Hospital: 22890 23994-7
To avoid getting lost, this map will point the way around Mykonos.
Most banks in Mykonos are open from Monday thru Friday, from 8 AM-2 PM. A number of these establishments are situated on the harbor, two blocks away from Taxi Square. There are countless ATMs placed all over town.
Mykonos’ telephone office (OTE) is located on the harbor’s north side, just beyond Hotel Leto. It is open on weekdays, 7:30 AM-3:00 PM. If you want to get connected online, there are several internet cafes in the city. However, access to the internet here is quite expensive, charging from 16€ per hour!
Generally, Mykonos is a safe island. Drunk driving is commonly the problem of most tourists here – so be careful in case you are considering renting a quad-bike or a motorbike. The roads in Mykonos are often narrow with me having sudden twists, so take extra precautions when you are exploring the place on your own with a vehicle.
At night, you need not worry about walking alone in the dark because it is generally safe to do so – and many tourists can attest to that.
Mykonos offers a lot of extraordinary things to see and experience. But wherever you are, it pays to do research before packing your bags. I hope this page was able to help you with that purpose.
Attractions In The Island
Mykonos is home to many breathtaking sights you will never find elsewhere in the world. Topping this list of attractions on the island though are the following:
This small island is one of the country’s most well-known archaeological sites. Situated 2 kilometers from Mykonos town, the whole island of Delos has been declared a national museum.
- THE ARMENISTIS LIGHTHOUSE
Lying on the northwestern tip of Mykonos, this lighthouse was built in 1891. It provides visitors an overlooking view of the straight separating Tinos Island from Mykonos. Armenistis Lighthouse was designed with an “octagonal cylindrical stone tower”. It stands 62 ft tall with a focal plane of 604 ft.
Located in Chora or the Mykonos Town, the Windmills have been a recognized landmark in the island since the 16th Century. This landmark is a remembrance of the once-great wheat and bread production in Mykonos.
- PETROS THE PELICAN
“Petros” has been the island’s official mascot for many years. The pelican became a local ‘resident’ in Mykonos when it gave up migrating after a storm in 1954. Thirty years later, Petros eventually died. The animal’s loss was deeply felt not just by the locals but by the tourists as well that when a replacement was found, the residents on the island established a tradition to care for pelicans in the waterfront in memory of Petros.
- LITTLE VENICE
The Little Venice was given to the most western part of Mykonos where the “town meets the sea”. Because it has been attracting a lot of visitors, businesses were established here and buildings were constructed on the edge of the sea. It has been said that during the 16th and 17th centuries, when pirating was rampant on the island, the Little Venice served as a loading and unloading point for goods.
This church is one of Greece’s most popular architectural structures. It lies near the main entrance of the harbor and is the central feature of the castle area, the oldest section in Mykonos. Paraportiani is a name that means, inner or secondary door. The church was constructed in 1475 and was originally a part of the five smaller churches built in the area during that time.
Of course, this list of the top attractions in Mykonos is not complete without its beautiful beaches. Among the famous beaches on the island are Psarou, Platys Gialos, and Paranga. These beaches boast of its clear cool waters and white sands.
Among the many islands in Greece, Mykonos would probably be one of those with a very interesting history as along it is a myth.
Named after Anios, the son of King Delos, the descendant of god Apollo and nymph, Rio, a myth has it that Mykonos was formed after Hercules defeated the Giants – which was one of his twelve tasks. The hero then threw the creatures in the sea which later formed as an island.
The first inhabitants of the island were the Carians. After them, the Egyptians and the Minoan Cretans followed. The coins on the island depict Dionyssos as their patron god.
Mykonos, during Antiquity, was part of the Athenian Alliance along with the other islands in the Aegean Sea. During the Hellenistic Era, Mykonos took a neutral stand. It had its own set of currencies and lived prosperously. When the Romans conquered the island in 146 B.C., Mykonos experienced another period of prosperity. However, this was stopped when Mithridatis conquered it and Delos.
In 1207, Mykonos was conquered by the Venetians. It was governed by the Gyzi brothers until 1390. In 1537, Barbarossa, a pirate, occupied and looted the island. On that same year, the Turks conquered it. During the latter’s occupation, Mykonos became a “great navy force”.
Between 1821 and 1828, Mykonos took part in the War of Independence. In that period, the island had a good number of ships maneuvered by experienced seamen. Despite this though, many of their brave soldiers died in battle.
World War 2
Mykonos’ tourism industry started to emerge between the First and Second World War. During World War II, the people in Mykonos played a role in the Greek Resistance against the conquests of the Germans.
The weather in Mykonos is well-known for wind and sunshine – but mostly sunshine. Because Mykonos is part of the island group, Cyclades, its climate is almost identical to the other islands – dry and hot summers with mild winters; very true for a Mediterranean climate.
Rain in Mykonos falls between the months of February and March. However, this is not too frequent. In the summer months, the temperature on the island can go high, but thanks to its cooler winds, the summer activities in Mykonos are not interrupted.
The temperature in Mykonos during the winter season can go about 15 degrees. Unlike the other islands from the Aegean Sea, the temperature in Mykonos is 2 degrees cooler. This is because of the city’s geographical location. With a cooler summer and warmer winter, the vegetation in Mykonos is positively affected.
There are generally two kinds of winds in Mykonos that affect it. The first is the one during winter that blow from the south. This wind often brings along electrical storms on the island. The other is known as “Sirocco” which blows during spring and sends ‘red’ rain as the sand from the Mediterranean Sea is blown.
With generally good weather all year-round, Mykonos offers to be a good tourist destination.
The people of Mykonos have a great contribution to the island’s popularity. Their hospitality and open attitude have been the remarkable qualities that were noticed by many of the tourists on the island. Because of Mykonos’ limited rainfall and rocky terrain, its people turned to the seas as their means of living. Fishing has been the main livelihood in Mykonos, but the people also engage in commercial trade which brought them in frequent contact with foreigners.
Mykonos is estimated to have a population of 11,000 people; of these though, about 4,000 are expatriates. During summer and peak seasons on the island, about 50,000 people come to the island as holidaymakers and part-time workers.
As part of Greece, the country’s religiosity and strong family values have rubbed off the people in Mykonos despite there being liberal-mindedness. They are also known for having an easy-going and laid-back lifestyle. And who can blame them? They are living on a very beautiful island surrounded by magnificent attractions, including crystal cool waters. This lifestyle of the island’s people can be seen at night when you catch the people of Mykonos having fun and enjoying their nightlife.
A trip to Mykonos is indeed incomplete without mingling with the warm and friendly people of the city. Getting to know them, will not just make your stay more unforgettable, but will also gain you more new friends.
Despite being known as one of Greece’s most expensive island, many people still choose to become expatriates in Mykonos. It probably isn’t just about the top attractions in Mykonos that they fell in love with; not even just about the warm hospitality of its people and the favorable Mediterranean weather. People coming from in and outside Greece do come to Mykonos and live to be expatriates because of the island’s vast range of opportunities – whether for business, education or retirement.
When deciding to be an ex-pat in Mykonos, there are a few things to consider though for a smooth transition.
First, you’d have to think about the real estate in Mykonos. As you will begin a new life on this beautiful island, you’d have to secure your place to live in. With Mykonos’ reputation of being a pricey place, you can expect that owning a property on the island does not come cheap – so better make sure to do your research and choose your purchase very carefully.
Another thing to consider is how you will be living in Mykonos. As an old adage say, When in Rome, do what the Romans do – well in this case, in Greece. It would help if you observe the lifestyle and culture of the people in Mykonos to help you adapt to your new environment faster. Also, before considering the life on the island, know also how it is to be moving to Mykonos. This includes learning about the requirements to get to the island, particularly getting a visa.
Finding a living in Mykonos should be another thing to think about when deciding to be an ex-pat on the island. Considering the high cost of living in Mykonos, one would really need to find jobs in Mykonos – even if you just intend to be studying in Mykonos only.
Being an ex-pat is a life-changing decision to make, thus, you’d have to carefully plan every step of your move.
Mykonos is regarded to be one of Greece’s most pricey islands, thus, when considering to buy a property here, do not expect to find anything ‘cheap’ – and why not? Mykonos is one of the favored locations of Hollywood stars and millionaires to buy properties in.
Properties in Mykonos on average start from 500,000 Euros upwards. This can be in the form of exclusive villas, living resorts, and Aegean homes. While the rich would often prefer the first and the second, the not-so-rich can settle for the last. House properties in Mykonos come in the form of house complex about 50 to 250 square meters in size. Most of these are located in Ornos and Ano Diakofti and were constructed based on the traditional materials (like ceiling trusses made from chestnut wood, forged white plaster, and planked windows) and techniques.
The details of the houses in Mykonos can be observed to have paid close attention to access and convenience. Some of these complexes even have a swimming pool integrated into the building.
Crisis in Greece
Because of the recent economical crisis Greece face today, many of the country’s properties, including those in Mykonos are offered with big discounts. The country’s economic uncertainty led to a tax hike on luxury properties, which means those who own properties costing over 400,000 Euros will face “higher real estate taxes”. This tax hike certainly deterred wealthy buyers in the country. Even the luxury properties in Mykonos are being offered at a relatively cheaper price. A half-built villa on the island, for example, is being sold at €2 million, with a €500,000 reduction.
If these economic uncertainties in Greece continue, the prices of these properties are seen to take a further dip in the price, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing for buyers/investors.