Greek Guide

 

Mykonos Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

Most visitors to Mykonos devote their time to the beaches and night life but the island has more to offer those prepared to delve beyond its sun, sand and sex image.

While the all night revellers are sleeping off their excesses and the remaining masses are down at the beach, seize your chance to explore Mykonos Town (officially Hora) which is one of the most beautiful towns in the Cyclades. The town is relatively uncrowded during the day, even in high season, so you can stroll at leisure through its charming maze of white alleyways getting hopelessly lost but uncovering new delights at every turn.

There are plenty of shady tavernas where you take some refreshment and rest your feet after wandering the bewildering lanes which were originally designed to baffle the pirates who once plagued these islands.

If you're interested in the island's history and culture there's a good variety of museums to visit. The Archaeological Museum has a wide range of exhibits including treasures unearthed on the nearby island of Delos which is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Highlights include a collection of ceramics from the 6th and 7th centuries BC, a statue of Heracles and a Minoan storage jar. The exhibits are housed in a neoclassical building just south of the ferry port.

The Folk Museum is one of the best of its kind in Greece. It's housed in an elegant 18th century mansion, built on part of the ancient castle wall near the Delos quay. The museum has a collection of ceramics, embroidery and ancient Mykonian textiles. You can also see the original Petros the Pelican who was the island's mascot for 29 years he's now dead and stuffed and his replacement can be spotted fishing down by the quayside. One of the famous Mykonos windmills has been restored to full working order and is part of the museum.

The Aegean Maritime Museum in the centre of town has a fine collection of model ships, nautical instruments and coins from the 5th century BC. Next door to it you'll find Lena's House which gives you a fascinating glimpse into the life of a 19th century Mykonian lady. Everything has been perfectly preserved, from the furnishings down to the smallest items including Lena's chamber pot and needlework.

Visit the Municipal Art Gallery on Matogiani in the town centre to view work by local and international artists.

In the Kastro, near Little Venice, you'll find the island's most famous and beautiful church Panagia Paraportiani which is an extraordinary building, part of which dates back to 1425.

Take a boat trip over to the uninhabited island of Delos, the mythical birthplace of the twins Apollo and Artemis and now a giant open air museum. Wear sturdy shoes and if you're feeling energetic climb the 113 metres to the top of Mount Kythnos for wonderful views of Delos and the surrounding islands.

For a complete contrast to Mykonos Town, take a trip over to the unspoilt inland village of Ano Mera, 7.5 kilometres to the east. The main attraction is the 16th century monastery of Panayia Tourliani in the central square where you can see a collection of Cretan icons and an unusual 18th century marble baptism.