Mykonos, Greece – Island of Windmills, Chapels and Colours

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The small cosmopolitan Greek island of Mykonos, also known as Chora, is a popular tourist destination and we found out why. Nicknamed “The Island of the Winds”, it offers beautiful beaches, a Little Venice, Greek Cuisine, windsurfing, vineyards, great photo opportunities, a few museums, a lot of churches and an incredible nightlife.

Fishing Boat. Mykonos, Greece
Fishing Boat. Mykonos, Greece

Known worldwide as a party island paradise, Mykonos attracts the rich, the famous and the wanna be rich as well as the young and the restless. Pulsing night clubs, loud beach parties, expensive restaurants and overpriced merchandise dominate the island in the summer months. But if you go in May, like we did, you get the best of everything – lower prices, great service, fantastic weather, empty beaches and quiet streets.

A dominating feature of the 86 square kilometer Mykonos are the windmills which are seen perched atop the rugged rock terrain. The most famous are the 5 whitewashed windmills standing on the bank of Mykonos City, Chora. Named the Kato Mili, the 16th century flour mills were built by the Venetians. With straw covered wooden roofs, the windmills have not been in use since the 20th century, but remain a photographers delight!

Windmills on the Waterfront. Mykonos, Greece
Windmills on the Waterfront. Mykonos, Greece

Constructed in the mid 18th century, romantic Little Venice is a beautiful setting. The houses, with their painted balconies hanging over the water were originally inhabited by wealthy merchants and boat captains. The homes afforded the men direct access to the sea through tiny basement doors as well as underground storage. Today we admire the charming postcard perfect views Little Venice offers.

Little Venice - Waterfront Property. Mykonos, Greece
Little Venice – Waterfront Property. Mykonos, Greece

We rented ATV’s and hit the road to try and catch some island views and get a general feel for the place. Although at times we found the road signs confusing, you really can not get lost in an area this small – winging it! We drove past several beaches, mostly deserted; golden sand, secluded coves and turquoise blue waters. We stopped for a glass of wine at Paraga Beach and just enjoyed the views and solitude.

Pre Season Beach. Mykonos, Greece
Pre Season Beach. Mykonos, Greece

Chapels, fishing villages, rugged farms and more beaches greeted us as we made our way along the quiet roads. Eventually we found ourselves in a small inland town called Ano Mera; with a population of around 750, this village was quaint and easy to find your way around. We parked at the outskirts, and walked in along the magnificent old monastery Panayia Tourliani.

Monastery Church Bells. Mykonos, Greece
Monastery Church Bells. Mykonos, Greece

After visiting the 16th century monastery, we made our way to the prominent town square. Restaurants and cafes surround the square in which children were playing. Feeling hungry, we settled on the Fisherman Taverna and it was not a disappointment. The incredibly friendly owner seated us, chatted with us and taught us some greek while her husband prepared our delicious barbecued food. We feasted on lamb, chicken, grilled vegetables, greek salad, washed down with a tasty Retsina; dessert was a local delight of sweet carrot (Glyko Karoto) topped yogurt.

Fisherman Restaurant in Ano Mera. Mykonos, Greece
Fisherman Restaurant in Ano Mera. Mykonos, Greece

After our fabulous lunch, we headed back towards Chora, Mykonos Town. Passing by numerous churches and chapels, fishing boats, windsurfers and windmills. We took our time and enjoyed the spectacular accent colours of this white washed island, knowing we would return.

Mykonos, Greece – Photo Album
Chapels, Churches and Bell Towers of Mykonos – Photo Album
Mykonos, Greece – YouTube
Fisherman Restaurant – Giorgos and Marina
ATV Rental – Best1 Rent a Car-Scooter
Foreign Travel Advice – UK Government
Alerts and Warnings – USA Government

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