Mykonos town is just the right size to keep you interested
-- perhaps at times lost, yet always comfortable. The residents seem to
really enjoy sharing their town with the visitors. You may see an old man
greeting suntanned vacationers as he leads a donkey laden with vegetables or
flowers. Youíll see fishermen leaving the harbor in the morning and
returning in the afternoon. In the cool of the evening the residents will
promenade down the esplanade to meet their friends at the numerous cafes.
The variety of Mykonos shops, restaurants, cafes, tavernas,
and night clubs is incredible. Even in the midst of a quiet area of back
streets youíll come across a restaurant, candy shop, or boutique. If you
find one that warrants a return visit, your challenge is to decode the
labyrinthine maze again. Intermingled with the streets of homes and shops
are a large number of churches and chapels. One of the most interesting is
the Church of Paraportiani, with its conglomeration of four Byzantine
chapels on a promontory facing the sea. Mykonos Island has reportedly 365
churches and chapels. They display the signature Greek Cyclades Islands
cubic architecture with white-washed facades and blue domes.
One of the delights of our wanderings was coming
upon the sea on the opposite side of the peninsula which forms the main
harbor. From the small bay we gazed north to look upon the wall of homes and
shops called Little Venice. Then we gazed south to view the landmark Mykonos
windmills, echoes of the time when wind power was used to grind the islandís
grain. We decided to take an espresso break at one of the cafes in this area
and enjoy the bay, windmills, and sunny ambiance.
While Mykonos Town is action central for tiny Mykonos
island, its numerous bays and beaches were designed for the vacationer.
Places such as Agios Stefanos, Platis Gialos, and Psarou have resort villas
with quiet beaches. We were fortunate to stay at the Kivotos Clubhotel on
Ornos Bay. At this 30-room villa the relaxation is non-stop, with a private
beach, swimming pool, and kayaks to explore the rocky coast line. This
environment quickly spoiled us, starting with the complementary breakfast.
The nearby village of Ornos has a great sandy beach and four tavernas which
serve excellent Greek lunches and dinners.
Ano Mera is, after Chora, the most important of the older villages
on the island. Standing 8 km. to the east of the town, Ano Mera
has the interesting monastery of Our Lady Tourliani, ornamented
with fine wood-carvings . The church has a collection of valuable
ecclesiastical vessels vestments and embroideries. The courtyard
contains an interesting bell-tower and a marble fountain.