Mykonos is the epitome of Greek prettiness. The island is part of the Cyclades archipelago, adjacent to tiny Delos in the Aegean Sea. Pristine white buildings with azure blue doors and windows are set against the bluest sky. Winding alleyways lined with boutique shops, bars and restaurants festooned with fuschia pink Bougainvillea lead to tiny churches and heavenly courtyards. The sun shines and cats laze in doorways soaking up the heat. And then there are the iconic Mykonos windmills looking down over Chora (Mykonos Town), Little Venice and the clearest, bluest seas ever.
What to see in Mykonos Town (Chora)
You’ll probably arrive into Chora by the harbour in the main area of town which has a little bay busy with restaurants, shops and little sugar-cube houses tumbling down the hillside. Colourful fishing boats bob around in the bay and Agios Nikolaos Church with its blue dome sits right by the water. You’d think it couldn’t get any prettier but, actually, it does.
Head to the right and up the hill and you’ll soon see. First you’ll come to the gorgeous Paraportiani Church, the most famous church of 400 on Mykonos. It’s a cute little pyramid-shaped building made up of a conglomeration of four churches built asymmetrically together. White-washed to within an inch of its life it has a little bell-tower, dome and is topped with crucifixes which stand out against the cloudless blue sky.
There’s exploring and shopping to be done here in the tiny alleyways but first we’re going to visit the Mykonos windmills. Keep close to the waterside and you’ll pass through Little Venice. Bars and restaurants sit right next to the water, with little wooden balconies hanging over the sea. The crystal clear waves gently lap against the walls and it’s a lovely place to stop for a beer and from my shady little balcony the view over the water to the windmills was gorgeous.
The Mykonos Windmills
As you emerge from the slatted shadiness of Little Venice you can’t fail to spot the iconic Mykonos windmills (Kato Mili) standing sentry at the top of the hill. They’re old, built by the Venetians in the 16th century, for milling flour. They have wooden sails, white-washed walls and are capped with straw hats. One is now a museum and there are around a dozen on the island but these are the most famous and very photogenic!
Where to eat in Mykonos Town
Feeling hungry? Then carry on to the top of the hill,past the windmills, through the car park and meander down to a quiet little bay and the golden sands of Megali Ammos beach. It’s a ten minute walk, sometimes with no pavement, but you’ll find a lovely, chilled restaurant on the beach. Joanna’s Niko’s Place Taverna. Recommended by Elle, from A Bird in the Hand, we stopped here for a fabulous lunch of fresh, crisp Greek salad, perfect in the heat, and little marinated fish which were full of flavour and deliciously tender.
A Wander through Mykonos Town
After a late lunch I had an hour or two to wander which really is the best way to get a feel for Mykonos Town. Art galleries, hip boutiques selling artisan jewellery, cute cafes and cobblestone alleyways were explored. I’d have loved to have seen those windmills as the sun set behind the hill but we’d sailed off into a crimson sunset long before the sky turned pink. Mykonos, I’ll be back.
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Many thanks to Celebrity Cruises for sending me on this fabulous cruise. All views, opinions and new-found love for Mykonos is, as always, entirely my own.
Suzanne Jones is creator, writer and photographer at The Travelbunny. When she’s not indulging her wanderlust you’ll most likely find her enjoying coastal walks in her home county of East Sussex, UK.
Suzanne co-writes Sussex Bloggers which showcases the best of East & West Sussex.