Some say that Mykonos is worldwide known for its amazing sunny beaches while others insist that people rush to this beautiful island of the Aegean Sea mainly because of its wild nightlife. But those who have been there long enough and have discovered many of its secrets will tell you that the real difference for Mykonos is made by its contrasts that shine under the sun like the many shining sides of a rare diamond.
Myths and Realities
The history of Mykonos is full of old myths and legends that go back to the very beginning of humanity. Take for instance the nearby island of Delos that was declared by the ancient Ionians as the religious and political center of the Cyclades. According to the Greek mythology, Delos was the birthplace of Apollo —god of music and light— and his twin sister Artemis — goddess of the wilderness, of animals and hunting. Later on, together with Mykonos, it became home for the pirates who owned the Aegean. Legend says that they were heavy drinkers and used to party until dawn; a habit that was bequeathed to every new generation, thus giving Mykonos the name of the ‘party island’. A day trip to Delos by boat —a 30-minute ride at the most from the port of Mykonos— is an absolute must for the visitor!
On the other hand, there is the reality of an island whose permanent residents are happy, genuinely openhearted people, very down to earth as far as the art of hospitality is concerned. They constantly work to build state-of-the-art facilities and provide their clientele with the best available services, both in the top luxury and the most ‘common’ level. Most important, they are proud of and love to show the endless beauties of their island; and if passing through a village, you stop to ask for directions, they will most probably offer you a glass of iced lemonade or —even better— a small bottle of tsipouro; a local tasty and usually homemade strong alcohol drink.
A Place of Contrasts
Yet these are not the only reasons why Mykonos is loved by the international jet set as one of the few top destinations for a perfect holiday. As noted before, it is the place of spectacular contrasts; the whitewashed houses with the vividly colored red, green or blue doors and windows. The cosmopolitan beaches that feature all sorts of seawater activities for families and the most ‘crazy’ ones, where the party starts in the early afternoon and lasts until early next morning. A perfect spot for strolling around picturesque sea-washed neighborhoods like Little Venice or for windsurfing in windy beaches that attract watersports professionals from all over the world. Top clubs and ancient monasteries, strong winds and beautiful windmills, smart yachting or donkey rides, luxury resorts or sleeping on the beach under the stars…