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Ein Blick auf den Hafen von Mykonos, Bild: Pawel Kazmierczak / shutterstock

Mykonos – the party island of Greece

Mykonos belongs to the Cyclades archipelago and is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean region. The island is known as a party stronghold or the Ibiza of Greece and is a popular destination for homosexuals, celebrities and the super-rich. All this is exclusive to the high season during the months of July and August, when the party-loving crowd conquers the beaches of Paradise and Super Paradise and the most famous DJs in the world play in the capital’s clubs. Away from these party locations, Mykonos is much quieter and thanks to the beautiful beaches, the island is also suitable for normal tourists.

The capital Mykonos or Chora

Mykonos Cafe
Image: Pawel Kazmierczak / shutterstock

During the season, the town is the Mecca for stars and starlets as well as for holidaymakers who simply like to turn night into day. No matter where on the island someone spends their Mykonos package tour , a walk through the labyrinth of alleys of the picturesque Chora with the whitewashed houses and the blue-painted doors and shutters is a must.

Here, the picture-book cliché of the Cyclades is perfectly served. Every visitor should stroll along Matayianni Street at least once with its chic cafés, expensive boutiques and noble galleries. The atmosphere with the small wooden balconies above the heads and the colourful blossoms of the bougainvillea on the dazzling white walls is unique. In contrast to this typical Cycladic architecture, the Little Venice district stands on the harbour promenade.
This remnant of the Venetian era captivates with colorful houses and small balconies that seem to float directly above the water on the sea side. In this postcard idyll, one fish tavern with delicious specialties follows the next. In general, the price level on Mykonos is much higher than on all other Greek islands – this applies to food, cocktails and also to sun loungers and umbrellas on the trendy beaches.

The most important sights in Mykonos

The landmarks visible from afar and one of the most popular photo motifs of Mykonos are the five windmills from the 16th century, which are enthroned on a hill above the town. A walk up the small hill is worthwhile in any case, if only for the view.
If you are interested in the history and culture of the island, you should visit at least one of the museums of Chora. The Archaeological Museum exhibits antique jewellery and ceramics, among other things – if you are not enthusiastic about them, you may choose the exhibitions in the folklore or the Nautical Museum.
The most famous church on the island is the Panagia Parapatiani Church from the 15th century, which is probably one of the most photographed sacred buildings in Greece due to its extraordinarily charming location in Little Venice and its unique architecture. The façade is asymmetrical, as it is originally composed of four small chapels. Unfortunately, the church cannot be visited from the inside at the moment due to the risk of collapse.
A day trip to the sacred island of Delos, which according to mythology was the birthplace of the gods Apollo and Artemis, should not be missed by any tourist who spends their holidays in a hotel in Mykonos. Delos is only about 2 km away from Mykonos and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. On an area of 3.4 km², even the biggest culture grouch will feel captivated by the very special atmosphere. Today, Delos is a pure museum island, where only a few archaeologists and museum guards live – you are not allowed to spend the night here. Maybe that’s why you feel like a time traveler in the midst of all these excavation sites. Delos is home to one of the most important archaeological treasures in the entire Mediterranean.

The most beautiful beaches in Mykonos

The main party beaches, Paradise and Super Paradise Beach, are located in the south of the island – this is where stars, starlets and regular tourists meet to party in July and August. During these months, the beaches are crowded and loud music can already be heard in the morning from the trendy beach bars, which attract the jet set and wealthy tourists.
Every year in August, the XLSIOR Festival, which is specifically aimed at a homosexual audience, takes place here. Mykonos also offers beautiful beaches that are perfect for holidaymakers and families seeking peace and quiet. If you rent a car, you can discover the various bays in the north, which generally always offer enough space.
Agios Sostis is one of those dream beaches that invite you to relax – there are only a few small taverns waiting for hungry bathers. Mass tourism has not yet arrived in the southeast of Mykonos either. Kalo Livadi, for example, is a recommended, child-friendly stretch of coast and can be fully recommended for a family holiday in Mykonos. The same applies to Kalafati Beach in the east and Psarou Beach in the south – here everyone can relax undisturbed and without the hustle and bustle.

Culinary specialties

Oven-baked casseroles, such as moussakas and pastizio, are very popular among the Greeks themselves and should definitely be tried. The most important drink in Greece is water – if you like to drink wine, you should order the local country wine here, which goes best with the local food. For the small appetite in between, a mezedes appetizer plate is recommended.

This so-called Pikilia consists of tiny portions of sausage, cheese, vegetables and olives and is actually only the accompaniment to ouzo, which undoubtedly tastes much better with a view of the sea than in Greek restaurants in Germany. Typical of Mykonos is kopanisti, an extremely spicy cheese cream with an intense aroma and louzes, boiled pork that is thinly sliced and then fried with various spices.

If you don’t plan your Mykonos vacation in the absolute high season and have informed yourself well about the conditions beforehand, you will spend an unforgettable stay on this island with its many beautiful beaches and the pretty capital. Accommodation is available all over the island and whether you choose a small guesthouse or a 5-star villa with a private pool, chef and butler is only a question of aspiration and budget. A Mykonos apartment is a good choice for tourists who like to be independent.