MYKONOS: MAJESTIC, MARVELLOUS AND MADLY MEMORABLE
Mykonos is a world class tourist destination and is particularly renowned for its pulsating nightlife and entertainment. Although slightly more expensive in comparison to other Greek islands, yet Mykonos is worth a visit.
We were told that the island of Mykonos has evolved into one of Europe’s top ranked tourist destinations. Mykonos belongs to the Cycladic group of islands located in the azure blue Aegean Sea.
One has to bear in mind that Mykonos’ freshwater is scarce and the island relies to a large extent on seawater, which is scientifically desalinated for use by its residents. At the end of the beautiful narrow streets of Mau, is where the Mykonos dam is located, constructed to meet the water needs of the island.
With a population of 6200 as per the 2002 census, the residents of Mykonos have a warm and friendly attitude towards the tourists. The town of Hora is the principal town of Mykonos, located strategically on the island’s western border.
With the rapid growth of tourism
in the last few decades, Mykonos has a rather cosmopolitan ambience that lures international jetsetters to this picturesque island. Mykonos, with its pristine beaches, chic tavernas, a pulsating nightlife and numerous touristic sites is the favorite haunt of Hollywood celebrities, including many who have set up their summer retreat in this beautiful island. It is quite natural to sight renowned stars strolling along Mykonos’s meandering streets without any bother from the paparazzi. I never imagined in my wildest of dreams that I would come face to face with Brad Pitt and Richard Gere, which is exactly what happened with me in one of the secluded beaches in Mykonos.
Our well-informed guide Sylvia was of the opinion that if you haven’t seen Mykonos you have missed out on something fabulous. Mykonos is the great glamour island of Greece and happily flaunts its sizzling St-tropez-meets-ibiza style and party-hard reputation. The highseason mix of hedonistic holidaymakers, cruise-ship crowds (which can reach 15,000 a day) and posturing fashionistas throng Mykonos Town (aka Hora), a traditional whitewashed Cycladic maze, delighting in its authentic cubist charms and its chichi cafe-bar-boutique scene. But do visit some of the villages, little harbors and its magnificent, remote beaches like Kalo Livadi, Kalafati and Aghia Anna.
Mykonos’ golden-sand beaches in their formerly unspoilt state were the pride of Greece. Now most are jammed with umbrellas and backed by beach bars, but they do make for a hopping scene that draws floods of beachgoers. Moods range from the simply hectic to the outright snobby, and nudity levels vary. Without your own wheels, catch buses from Hora or caïques from Ornos and Platys Gialos to further beaches. Mykonos Cruises has an online timetable of its sea-taxi services.
The nearest beaches to Hora were overtaken by the construction of the New Port. That leaves little Agios Stefanos (4km north of Hora), within sight of docking cruise ships. There’s a tiny strip of sand in town, Agia Anna. About 5km southwest of Hora are family-oriented Agios Ioannis (where Shirley Valentine was filmed) and Kapari. The nearby packed and noisy Ornos and the package-holiday resort of Platys Gialos have boats for the glitzier beaches to the east. In between these two is Psarou, a magnet for the Greek cognoscenti.
Approximately 1km south of Platys Gialos you’ll find Paraga Beach, which has a small gay section. Party people should head about 1km east to famous Paradise, which is not a recognised gay beach but has an action-packed younger scene, a camping resort (www.paradisemykonos.com) and nightlife that doesn’t quit. Down a steep access road, Super Paradise (aka Plintri or Super P) has a fully gay section (including the Jackieo’ beach club) and a huge eponymous club.
Mixed and gay-friendly Elia is a long, lovely stretch of sand and is the last caïque stop. A few minutes’ walk west from here is the secluded Agrari. Further east, Kalafatis is a hub for water sports (including diving and windsurfing), and Lia has a remote, end-of-the-road feel.
North-coast beaches can be exposed to the meltemi (dry northerly wind), but Panormos and Agios Sostis with their golden sand are fairly sheltered and less busy than the south-coast beaches.
For out-of-the-way beaching you’ll need tough wheels to reach the likes Fokos and Mersini on the northeast coast.
Panoramic shot of Mykonos harbour
Balmy beach scene
aa Mykonos is the most glamorous island in Greece
View from the hotel balcony
The sun sets over traditional Greek houses in a village in Mykonos
The bustling jetty in Mykonos