Mykonos Sightseeing

Mykonos town -or Chora- is the capital town of Mykonos island where one can find the most important sightseeing spots, the most commercial streets and shops, the most popular bars and restaurants. Chora’s architecture is typical of Cyclades, all white-washed cubic houses with blue windows, charming narrow streets with pebble-stoned pavements and little white chapels with sky-blue cupolas. A walk through Chora, the old port, Little Venice and the Castle, will put in your way the most significant places to visit in Mykonos and will allow you to take the most characteristic Mykonos polaroids!

Chora: The Windmills

Mykonos Windmills, with their distinctive form and white figure, have been a landmark of the island since the 16th century. Due to the strong winds that have always been present in the region, as well as the privileged geographic position of the island as a trade crossroad, Mykonos used to be a major supplier of refined grain and flour. What used to be a main part of the island’s activity and a force of the local economy, became a sightseeing attraction after the mills stopped working around the middle of the 20th century, courtesy of the industrialization.

There used to be a total of 20 windmills on the island, most of them built in or around the main port, the town Chora and Alefkantra neighbourhood. Around half of those were still in good function during the first decades of the 20th century and today only 7 still stand as proud reminiscent of their past. Geronimos Windmill (of private property) remained in operation until 1960’s and is still today in very good shape with a great part of its machinery intact.

Chora: Lena’s house

"Lena's House" is open daily from 1st April till 30th October, between 19:00- 21:00 Telephone: +30 22890-22591, 22748. No admission charge.

Gifted by G. and M.Drakopoulos on 1970, "Lena's House"( a branch of the Mykonos Folklore Museum) is situated at Tria Pigadia in the town of Mykonos. It is an authentical middle-class Mykonian residence of the 19th century and represents a typical internal arrangement of space. It contains a spacious drawing room, two bedrooms and two courtyards and a dovecote. Of particular interest are the rich antique furnishings, such as large frames containing splendid prints, the tapestries, the wood carvings, old mirrors, painted plates, etc. It was named "Lena's House" after it's last owner Lena Skrivanou."Lena's House" is open daily from 1st April till 30th October, between 19:00- 21:00 .Telephone: +30 22890-22591, 22748. No admission charge.

Chora: Archaeological museum

The Museum is open every day from 8:30 a.m to 3:00 p.m, except Mondays and on major public holidays.

The Archaeological museum of Mykonos is located in Mykonos town next to the harbour and is home to marble sculptures, ceramics, jewels and utensils, all findings from the excavations in Delos, Rhinia and Mykonos itself. Built in 1900, the museum was initially destined to house the findings from the excavation of the “purification pit” in Delos dating from the 5th century and the necropolis of Rhinia. In the winter of 426/425 b.c, the Athenias decided to “purify” the island of Delos.

They opened up all the tombs on the island and transferred all remains of the deceased and all offerings buried with them to a large pit in Rhinia. Then they declared Delos a sacred island and said that no one was allowed to be born or die on Delos. Pregnant women, citizens struck by serious illness or injury and old people were to be moved to Rhinia also. The “Purification Pit” was discovered and excavated by Dimitris Stavropoulos in 1898-1900 and all findings are exhibited in the museum.

The museum is also famous for the great collection of vases, representative of the distinctive Cycladic ceramic art, some of which date back to the Geometric period back to the 6th century b.c. A special reference has to be made to the “Pithos of Mykonos”, a 7th century vessel with relieved decorations representing scenes from the Trojan wars.

Chora: Mykonos Folkloric Museum

Open from April to October 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily except Sundays.

Located in the Venetian castle (called Kastro), the Folklore Museum of Mykonos was founded on May 1958 and is housed in the 18th century house of a sea captain and displays a rich collection folklore items. There are six main exhibition halls which house collections of antique furniture, Byzantine icons, Folkloric ceramics, historical commemorative plates, decorative prints and gravures, as well as embroidered and hard-woven fabrics, locks and keys, weights and measures, a lovely collection of model boats, and other historical artifacts. There are also import archives of manuscripts and printed matter, photographs, maps and a significant library.

Chora: Aegean Maritime Museum

Open, April to October, daily, 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Displays models of a collection of ships from the pre-Minoan period through to the 19th century and nautical and ancient artifacts related to the history of shipping on Mykonos. Located by the Three Wells, next door to Lena’s House, this museum displays scale models of various rowing boats, sailing vessels and steam-powered ships which, in turn, from Prehistoric times until the present, have traversed the Aegean.

Also there is a rich collection of maps and other engravings can be seen a collection of reproductions of ancient gravestones, carved with sea-themes; there, as well, is the tower with the mechanism of the Armenisti Lighthouse (1889). The “EVANGELISTRIA”, a traditional sailing vessel belonging to the museum, is moored every summer in the old harbor where it may be boarded by interested visitors.

Chora: Little Venice (Alefkantra)

Between Kastro and Skarpa, on the east side of Mykonos harbour, there lies one of the most picturesque places in Greece. Alefkantra, also known as Little Venice, was built around the mid 18th century as a neighbourhood for rich merchants, sailing captains and boat owners. During pirate raids, very popular at the time, Little Venice was used for sailors to quickly load and unload goods onto the boats, and the narrow streets were made with a maze-logic in order to confuse the pirates that managed to set foot on the island!

With a very characteristic architecture, wooden balconies that hang over the waves, colourful walls and a very privileged view of the sun setting on the sea, Little Venice has inspired over the years countless romances and works of art, as no soul can resist the beauty of this scenery. Some of the old houses are now bars, tavernas and clubs, where visitors can enjoy the sunset sipping on their favourite cocktail, and a few remain as private residences.

Chora: Petros the Pelican
One of the “animate” attractions of the island, and a total celebrity in Greece and abroad, Petros has been the official mascot of Mykonos since 1954, when a storm obliged this pelican to leave behind its migrating plans and settle on the island. A favourite amongst locals and tourists, Petros was deeply mourned after its death around 1985, and soon was replaced by a proud successor. In the meantime, Jackie Kennedy had donated a female pelican named “Irini” to the island, for Petros to have companionship and in later years another young pelican by the name of “Nikolas” fell on the island and made it its home. Nowadays, there are 3 pelicans running around the island, posing for tourists’ snapshots only when they feel like it!

Chora: Paraportiani Church
Paraportiani Church is one of the most interesting architectural structures in Greece, located near Mykonos harbour entrance. This peculiar construction is actually a complex of 5 churches. The first 4 were built between the 14th and the 17th century, forming a base on top of which the 5th one, Panagia Paraportiani (dedicated to Virgin Mary) was then built. The name Paraportiani means “the side door” and refers to the fact that the original church was next to the north-west side door of the medieval walls that used to surround and protect the “Kastro” ( the castle area), the old town. An emblematic monument of Mykonos, the Cyclades and Greece, Paraportiani church is responsible for some of the most idyllic pictures ever taken on the island!

Delos Island

The small island of Delos, birthplace of the god Apollo and a sacred land according to the Ancient Greeks, is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. Situated at only 2 km from Mykonos (less than half an hour by boat), Delos remains under the jurisdiction of Mykonos for administrative matters and has been declared a monument of World Heritage by UNESCO since 1990.

Delos can only be accessed from the main harbour of Mykonos, with little boats “kaikia” that make daily excursions. However, no one is allowed t stay on the island after the sunset without a written permission. The guided excursions on the island and around the archaeological sites usually last 3 hours and the last boat from Delos back to Mykonos leaves at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Make sure you catch it!

The Armenistis Lighthouse

The Armenistis Lighthouse is located at the north-western side of Mykonos and it was built in 1891 after the tragic sinking of the English steamboat VOLTA in 1887, when 11 members of the crew drowned. Overlooking the narrow pass that separates the island of Mykonos from the island of Tinos, it is indeed beautiful scenery to visit, due to its location high up and the unique view that it offers.

The Lighthouse is an octagonal cylindrical tower built out of stone, with a lantern, a gallery, and a total height of 19 meters (62 ft). Its focal plane is 184 meters (604ft) with a white beacon that flashes every 10 seconds. The original lens was a Sautter Lemonier lens that was actually awarded with a prize at the World Exhibition in Paris and remained in place and working until 1983. Nowadays, it is on display for the public at the yard of the Aegean Maritime Museum in Mykonos Town (Tria Pigadia location).

The Lighthouse is located at 6 km from Mykonos town and can be reached by taking the coastal road towards the north, passing by Agios Stefanos village (follow the signs towards Agios Stefanos village, not the Agios Stefanos beach), continue towards Houlakia Beach and follow the little street towards the lighthouse. The amazing view of Tinos island opposite will reward you...

Christmas in Greece is an experience in itself as it is a holiday celebrate...
Read more