During our anniversary cruise we got to have one day on the island of Mykonos.
ONE DAY to fit in all the colors and tiny alleys and character of that beautiful spot.
But I have to say I think we did a pretty good job getting around…
…and getting a feel for that place that felt like we were stepping right into a storybook.
Now, I know there are some mixed reviews about this place mostly because of the CROWDS.
Especially in the summer.
But we fell completely in love with it and were able to miss the height of the summer crowds.
I think the best thing we did was to get on the island as early as possible.
We took the earliest tender boat which helped us get there before any crowds, or heat, or even before the stores opened with all their little trinkets.
And explored those narrow alleyways drenched in white with those bright accent colors.
As you can tell, even the grout between the paving stones is painted white.
I was on adrenaline guiding Dave around on the walking tour I had studied out with our Rick Steves guide book:
Old Town Harbor
We started in the Old Town Harbor filled up with our first blue-domed church: the Church of St. Nicholas.
It is estimated that there are 90 small churches in the Old Town of Mykonos.
Yow, right? They are owned and maintained by private families.
Old Venetian Quarter
I had no idea how much Venetian rule there was in Greece following the Fourth Crusade in the early 13th century.
Some ancient footings for the fortress they built sit next to this beautifully strange architecture of a church:
Let’s get a better look at that: the Church of Panagia Paraportiani:
It is five small chapels from different times kind of jumbled together, drenched with white paint.
We walked the narrow streets of that section:
Including little restaurants that looked out on the water, one of which, Katerina’s, named for the first female sea captain from Mykonos.
Loved this next little neighborhood since there was a picturesque church with bells ringing and chanting going on.
It was so beautiful.
Along the water after the church in that quarter is the line of houses along the formerly fortified seawall.
Windmills of Mykonos
From there we headed up the stairs, apparently where celebrities of the 50s and 60s posed for photos…
…before arriving at the famed Mykonos Windmills.
I LOVE what the guidebook told us about the different winds that blow through Mykonos and how they have named them: “the bell ringer,” “the chair thrower,” and the “unseater of horsemen.” Ha!
I think that last one is my favorite.
Enoplon Dinameon and Matogianni Streets
We walked these streets, complete with three wells that used to be the main source of drinking water until modern plumbing (in the 1950s).
Everything was just so beautiful filled with little shops and also high end boutiques.
Also some little museums.
Ready for a little rest after all that.
Delos – an excursion from mykonos
Now, there is a pretty big tourist attraction you can take from the island of Mykonos to some ancient ruins on a small island called Delos. According to Greek mythology, it is where Apollo the Sun God was born along with his sister Artemis, Goddess of the moon. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and I’m sure it is quite amazing.
But we did not go there. We just had so little time on the island and hey, skipping those ruins will give us something to go back for, right? Honestly we had seen so many ruins in Athens the day before we opted to explore the beaches instead.
If any readers go there, please come back and tell us what we missed!
We took a bus from the city to Ornos beach.
It was all fine and dandy, but we saw this boat taxi that could take us to see more beaches so we decided to give it a try.
I loved being on that boat taxi with people from London and Sydney, crystal clear water below, passing through armies of expensive yachts looking at those pretty beaches.
Paradise Beach on Mykonos
The most popular beach is Paradise Beach, which may have actually been eclipsed by “Super Paradise” beach.
But we stopped at Paradise to rent a beach chair and take it all in for a little while.
Then we made the trek back.
Once dropped off again at our first beach (Ornos), we took the bus on back to the port.
I will tell you, it is no joke to drive a bus around those teensy little streets! You can’t tell from this picture below how precariously close we were passing cars. And also pedestrians!
But believe me, it had our hearts racing!
We walked through the town again, this time filled up to the brim with all kinds of tourists. This made us count our lucky stars we had been there early in the cool breeze to check it all out.
This was our second favorite stop. Stay tuned for our favorite coming soon.