When choosing a Greek island to visit you probably think about your priorities on vacation. Whether you prefer silent calm walks in the mountains or a vivid nightlife in ancient towns, the combination of Mykonos and Delos islands gives you the opportunity to have everything in one place. The choice can be made once you’re here.
In fact, when coming to Mykonos you may find it difficult not only to find time to try everything it offers but also, hard to leave without doing so. There is a little bit of everything so that everyone can be satisfied. Archeology sites and museums for history lovers, rocky landscape and trademark views for those passionate in photography, scenic sunsets for every kind of a dreamer and, of course, plenty of beaches for those who need to rest and enjoy the particularity of Cyclades’ climate.
The very special thing about Mykonos is its cosmopolitanism and an amazing offer of nightlife activities. When you go to a party, you can barely feel that you’re on an island, or even less in an ancient city.
It is an amazing place of encounters, where you can feel as if you had been living here forever. You may be sure that people you meet here are on the same wavelength as you are, although they all come from different parts of the world! Holidays on Mykonos are a little like going on a student exchange program, although you don’t have any classes to attend to. You can almost say that you only get what is the best in it! The trips, the cultural exchange, the parties, the museums, the local food and even the water sport courses. Indeed, the windy weather of Mykonos makes it a perfect place to start or to practice sports like kite surfing or windsurfing. For any sporty person out there it is just the best opportunity to stay in shape! Water, wind, sun and a good atmosphere are already here. After a day spent in water or in the sun there is always a good way to make a day even better by going to the center for a delicious Greek meal and traditional ouzo. Many restaurants and bars are located in a charming Chora, typical of Cyclades’ architectural style.
Chora – Mykonos Town
The capital of the island is an essential visit, even if you are not a specialist in the field of art or architecture. The heart of the city and its surroundings give you a perfect picture of what a typical Greek, Cycladic village looks like. The extremely narrow streets create a labyrinth between whitewashed walls and colorful doors and windows. A walk across the town may have two completely different facets. In the morning you will get the peaceful and sunny time on almost deserted pathways, meanwhile in the evening you will meet music, laughter and a crowd of people having a good time. Numerous cafes and boutiques are there for you to take advantage of your holidays.
A part of Chora located on a peak of land, actually standing on the edge of the island. It is considered the most beautiful quarter of the town – with two-storey colorful Venetian houses somewhat squeezed into one another with their balconies and wooden porches. Cafes and bars that you can find in Little Venice are unique by their charming settlement giving you an impression you can touch the sea beneath you.
A place really worth visiting is the church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Paraportiani that you can find on a hill of the old Venetian castle next to Chora. Indeed, it is a one amazing piece of architecture for it looks like a very original modernist design, although it dates from 14th century. The trick is quite simple for Panagia Paraportiani is actually made of 5 churches constructed and reconstructed gradually along centuries next to one another. Keep in mind that it is one of the most photographed churches in the world – you wouldn’t like to miss it.
The Windmills of Mykonos
A trademark of the island, considered one of the windiest of the Cyclades, the windmills are essential to create the Greek vibe. Their silhouettes are like static and peaceful guardians of the land so that looking at them makes you just as calm as they are. You can usually find them on hills around Chora and a few of them in and around Alevkantra.
If you are a big mythology fan or maybe you need a day off from your usual holidays’ activities, you should definitely take a trip to Delos – the island situated just next to Mykonos. This UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site will give you chills! And it will have nothing to do with the cold wind, although in the evening it goes very strong and chilly indeed. This place is an enormous archeological site and remains uninhabited, if not taking into account the archeologists themselves, who spend their days discovering and picking up the pieces of once monumental antiquities.
As the effect of its size, in spite of the number of tourists getting here every day, you can get a moment alone to admire the remains of the Ancient Greek Culture. The calm you get by avoiding the constant noise of other people talking, laughing and running wild to see everything, is just priceless. The peacefulness of the island and its sadness of the forgotten grandeur will surely make you thoughtful, but also happy to be here. It is an island where everything is history! Besides the little snack shop which is not that owls. This is the exact place, where you can really feel like a part of a much bigger story. You can not only see and touch it, but also experience it yourself. Please, mind that you don’t only have one site; you have the whole island with an amazing past and significance.
The Sacred Island of the Living
In fact, Delos, also called the Quail Island (Ortygia), is believed to be the place of birth of twins Apollo and Artemis – respectively the god of music, poetry, medicine and prophecy; and the goddess of the hunt and the moon. According to the Greek mythology, Zeus seduced a mortal named Leto. When Hera, in the jealous rage banned Leto from all parts of the earth Zeus’ brother, Poseidon, revealed this small island from beneath the seas for Leto to give birth at. This is how Delos gained its name (Delos – gr. revealed) and became the Sacred Island. At about the same time, the whole group of islands floating around the Aegean Sea got their common name – the Cyclades. One may wonder why so? It is quite simple and the answer comes in shape. The Delos island can be found in the center of the Cyclades, with all the others surrounding it and lining up in the shape of a circle (cyclad – gr. circle).
The more the island gained in religious importance, the more laws concerning it were put in place. During 5th century BC the burials of the dead were forbidden. Later on, no man could be born or die on Delos. Pregnant women on the brink of childbirth and any person approaching the death were banned from it and all the existing tombs were moved to Rhenia. And so this neighbor island became a necropolis, as Delos was transformed into an important commercial and spiritual center. It gathered great temples, sanctuaries and a big port pointing out its importance in the Hellenic world. Every 5 years a big ceremony in favor of Apollo took place making Delos another big pilgrim destination on the Aegean Sea.
The spirit of the island is unique, not only due to the authenticity of everything you can find here, but also due to its spiritual past. Like it or not, after all these years Delos remains the most important uninhabited island on the Aegean Sea, where no one can be born nor die. How curiously powerful is that?