Culture and History
The island is reported as being named in honour of Apollo’s grandson Mykons. The island was inhabited by Phoenicians, Egyptians, Cretans and ultimately Ionians. Being at a crossroads for shipping and with its close proximity to Delos, the island flourished during the time of Roman occupation and the reign of Augustus Caesar. Mykonos fell to Venetian rule in the middle Ages and was attacked by Saracens and later the Turks who dominated the area in the 14th century. The slave trade was common and thousands of islanders were abducted. The islanders became great sailors during the Greek War of Independence, having 22 ships and a total of 140 canon; a leading figure of the time was a Mykonian heroine named Manto Mavrogenous who rallied the island’s people and financed the revolution resulting in defeating a Turkish onslaught in 1822. Greece won its independence in 1830.
During the German occupation (World War II) the island suffered greatly with starvation. However from the 1950s onwards its tourism has prospered; the island’s unique architecture, beauty and hospitality has managed to attract the rich and famous as well as tourists. Jackie Onassis helped to bring the Jet Set to the island in the 60s.
Set in a picturesque fishing village bay, Mykonos Town consists of white washed cube-like buildings built closely together to form a maze of narrow alley ways and streets while well-preserved windmills hover over the town which is interspersed with red roofed small churches: a perfect Greek ‘postcard’ setting. There are plenty of beaches to visit on the island.
Places to visit and beaches
Stroll around Mykonos Town visiting all the various shops, sit at a cafe watching the local fishermen and the small market stall with fresh fish just landed. Visit the churches and windmills in the town and explore the many beautiful shops situated in the small traffic free alley ways and passages
Join the ‘Jet Set’ at Psarou & Platis Gialos Beaches,only 3 km – Agios Stefanos is the closest and within walking distance of Mykonos Town. Orrnos Beach is a 15 minute drive; the bay is shallow and gets busy in high season – Paradise Bay is famous for its ‘exuberant’ party life; reached by taxi or boat from town.
The archeological site of Delos accessed by boat from Mykonos
This unique and uninhabited island is recorded in Greek Mythology as the birthplace of Apollo. It flourished as a sanctuary in the 7th and 6th century B.C. and later became the most attractive trading centre in the eastern Mediterranean, described by one author as ‘the Wall Street’ of the ancient world.
There are amazing mosaics, ruined statues, columns and temples almost everywhere. Other sites of interest include The House of Dianysos, The House of the Masks, The House of the Trident, The House of the Dolphins, The Shrine of Dianysos, The Sacred Lake, The Marble Lions and The Museum.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
Photo: Mykonos Town (RG) 8