Mykonos is one of the classic tourist sites in the Greek Isles. We wanted to visit this site early before the summer crowds arrived. Because of this early visit in the winter, we had some grey skies, rain, and where not able to get a boat to the adjacent island of Delos which is thought to be one of the major archaeological sites in Greece (which is saying something). The weather broke on the Sunday and presented us with beautiful blue skies and the turquoise blue sea which Mykonos is known for.
The city has an ordinance that all construction needs to be native stone or white-wash walls. This maintains its historical integrity and some of the beauty and charm of the city. Another wonderful characteristic of the city are the windy allies that are just about two people wide that honeycomb the entire city in a chaotic pattern. There are small shops dotted throughout these alleyways which make them fun to explore and see what is around the next corner.
We found an excellent hotel called the Harmony Boutique Hotel that was on one side of the bay so that you could look around at much of Mykonos city. The hotel was a beautiful property that climbed up the hill giving views of the sea. Its white washed walls and tiled floor tiles made a very attractive place to stay. One of my favorite things about our lodging was the buffet breakfast in the dining room that overlooked the bay.
Another great find in the winding alleyways of Mykonos is the Mandarini Sweet Shop where we found the best Baklava we have ever had. This place turned into a necessary daily visit.
Mykonos is also know for its 16th century windmills which were well preserved. They where built be Venetians to mill wheat and where used until the early 20th century. They are currently not in use, but make a beautiful landmark in the town of Mykonos.
Just down the street from the hotel was the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos which had many artifacts from burial sites related to Delos Island. I particularly liked this series of geometric era designs that show the interfering waves, which I could imagine could be motivated by rain drops in water. This particular clay vessel dated to the 9th century BC. Delos itself was often the treasury of past Greek civilizations and a religious cultural center from 900 BC through AD 100. It was at the center for the Cyclades Islands and considered a wealthy market. A recent excavation even unearthed a goldsmith’s shop near the market street. I hope that we can return to Mykonos and make it to visit Delos during our stay, although we have so much to see, that it might be hard to make it back here.