Queen Of The Islands – natural elegance with high-octane glamour and style
Dazzlingly white and windswept, waterless and treeless, but with superb thick sandy beaches, blue-domed chapels and churches, dovecotes and windmills and a sparkling streamlined natural architecture, the most beautiful small harbour/port in these islands, Mykonos epitomizes an ideal Greek island. But it is much more than that.
Inhabited and built up almost to the limits of its capacity, it still remains ravishing, especially on spring weekends. Artists were first and then a bohemian flood of intellectuals/writers/musicians, and now its reputation is for international socialites, gays, glitz and glamour. Crystal seas, wild nightlife, tension, beach umbrellas, jet-ski and windsurfing. Highly contagious. You either fall in love … or proceed to the next island! There is no in-between. It is simply Mykonos.
Even in high summer, if you do wake early in the day, you’ll find an almost deserted Mykonos save for the Mykonians. Fresh fish catches are sold on the harbour front, bakeries can be found if you just follow the tempting wafts from their ovens, the mobile greengrocer with his produce in his donkey’s panniers sells flowers too, washing is hung out, courtyards filled with plants are watered, and normal life continues. Tourist life wakes up in time to go to the beach in the afternoon. Sunset is time for romantic cocktails, then dinner, then late-night spots. The narrow streets are overtaken by human traffic, there are people-watchers, tourists, photographers, women and men made-up in style trailing chic aromas into the night. The air is cooler, the music louder, the bars in full motion, a rhythm is set that will carry on into the early morning hours.
Mykonos by day and night has a lure and energy to keep many coming back.
The beaches are justly famous – pristine, raked, groomed and furnished with great tavernas, deckchairs, palm-thatched umbrellas, cute waiters. But the easily shocked should avoid Paradise and Super-paradise where anything goes. Kalafati and Lia beaches are the least exotic and the most natural/sporty. On windy days, the whole island heads for the lee-sheltered beaches of which there are just enough to accommodate everyone.
The island of Delos is an oasis of peace, the ruins are beautiful and all visitors have to return to Mykonos by nightfall.
Solitude can still be glimpsed even in summer in areas like Agrari, Tigani and Faros.