Through the right of the small aircraft window above the wing, all I can see is the sea.
Blue on blue and some landing anxiousness added. Before I know it, we’ve softly touched the airstrip and brown hues, stone buildings and white houses have invaded the blue, spots racing in the horizon.
Behind the airport’s barbed wire, I see a black jeep parked in an advantageous location for plane spotting.
Girls and boys sitting on its back, holding bottles and glasses are screaming in the ecstasy of the hot afternoon – probably after being up for 24 hours, I think.
Mykonos is one step ahead! It always has been.
And I’m in no mood to guess whether its fully functional and practical for the millions visiting Mykonos, I leave this pleasure to the journalists.
Leaving the airport, in the amazing Cycladic light, I feel happy to have arrived and ready for anything, just like the protagonists of the eighties film “Summer Lovers” appear to be feeling in the opening scenes.
In most people’s minds, Mykonos is a cosmopolitan destination with crystal clear waters and beautiful sandy beaches.
It is indeed. However, the island has more than just that. It has a long history dating back to prehistoric times and many attractions and points of interest to visit.
Start your day with a coffee in Little Venice while gazing at the mills opposite and then choose one of the beautiful sandy beaches for a swim.
Before going swimming in one of the many cosmopolitan beaches, take a mini walk to the Neolithic settlement nearby. The church of Paraportiani (17th century) in Hora and the hill of Paleokastro with the homonymous 18th century monastery (Ano Mera) are also worth a stop.
Here lies the medieval castle of Gizi with a wonderful panoramic view. The Archaeological Museum of Mykonos is housed in a 1900s building and hosts remarkable exhibits mainly from prehistoric to late Hellenistic times. The Folklore Museum and its annexes (the Agricultural Museum-Mill of Bonis in Ano Myloi, as well as the House of Lena, a representative middle-class ground floor house of the last century in the heart of Hora) are equally interesting.
Anything new, seductive, unexpected, will first happen in Matogiannia.
The entrance to the Matogiannia neighborhood is gold and silver; Choosing to go towards Little Venice, I pass jewelry stores and gift shops, mixed with bright lights, high heels, straw sandals, bejeweled busts, tattooed muscles and thick necks, a bit of sweat, since the meltemi wind doesn’t reach this place, bags from luxurious prêt-à-porter brands that are located a bit further away, underneath the lovely huge eucalyptus trees, words and phrases of dialects and languages from every corner of the earth reach my ears. Babel.
A stroll around Hora, when it’s not unbearably full of “the whole planet” is like a tribute to the diversity of this island, and any effort to compare Mykonos to any other, similar, Cycladic, white, beachy, traditional, and so on and so on islands will forever be doomed.
The reputation of the island goes beyond the Greek borders and renders it a destination for the international Jet Set. Famous for the stunning scenery, white and blue painted homes, and turquoise shimmering water, Mykonos has an undeniably-special charm. It is an island that skillfully balances luxury and simple everyday life. Posh visitors, expensive cars and celebrities co-exist masterfully with local fishermen and residents. The lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere may be the main characteristic of the island, but one can easily relax just by enjoying a Greek coffee and a friendly chat.
From the time of the glittering couples of Dassen and Merkouri, Onassis and Jackie to the parade of today’s rich and famous and from the private sunbeds with room service to the chic bars and restaurants, everything happens here will appear in other places after years.
Mykonos it is constantly changing, permanently winks at us, proposing the trend of the Aegean lifestyle.
Many years ago Mykonos was a quiet island. The first to discover it were the archaeologists who worked in Delos. Later much later in 50’s discovered by the aristocratic society of Athens.
Later on winds brought artists, politicians, convoys of unsaved boys and beautiful girls who were dancing Beatles & Hadjidaki. Grace Kelly, Richard Burton and Marlon Brando were hosted by Maria Callas.
The classic entrance to Hora, a noisy intersection, chaotic even at times, left to the orders of the civic workers who are in charge of regulating traffic. Some days in August, no vehicle is allowed entrance as the situation becomes too crazy. I have a very vivid memory of standing in the bus, back when the buses were smaller, more colorful, with the windows open, the passengers holding on straps, returning from the beach when I was younger, impatient to get to our rooms and get ready for our night out, and realizing that the person holding on to the strap next to mine was Jean Paul Gaultier.
The man next to me was Jean Paul Gaultier !!!
Inside the colorful babel of Mykonos no matter how many times you have been there, there will always be something new to catch your eye, like the moments and the moods change, like the people mix together sweetly, Mykonos the one and only!