For this edition of Six Pics, I’m sharing six images from Mykonos – a cycladic island turned Mediterranean tourism mecca. As a well established beach destination for visitors from all over the world, there is a relatively well established tourist trail in Mykonos. Historic churches, waterside cafes, and even a live-animal mascot can all be found in this seaside resort community in Greece.
The maze-like streets and alleyways of the Mykonos Old Town are impossible to navigate with a map, so most visitors keep them stored safely away. The best way to explore this part of town is to simply lose yourself in the labyrinth and enjoy the postcard-scenes around every corner. Blue shutters hang open, pink bouganvilia flowers overflow from window planters, and small tavernas serve as refueling stations or as a refuge to escape the hot Mediterranean sun.
Mascots are typically associated with sports teams and universities, but on Mykonos, they’ve adopted a mascot for their whole island. Petros (or Peter, if you prefer) is a white pelican who can be seen roaming the streets, lounging at the cafes, or watching boats pass by in the harbor.
Legend has it that Petros originally arrived in Mykonos in 1954 as an injured young bird caught by a fisherman. After he nursed the bird back to health, he intended to set it free. Upon letting Petros go, he refused to leave and remained in town until his untimely death in the 1980’s. By then, Petros had become a beloved icon of the town. The townspeople were so distraught, they sought out a new pelican to assume the role of Petros. Today, you can see the new bird (and two others – Nikolas and Petra) lounging on the streets of Mykonos.
The quintessential view of Mykonos is overlooking the Aegean Sea from the massive windmills situated just on the outskirts of the old town. Though they stand still today, these windmills were once important cogs in the commerce of Mykonos, grinding wheat and other agricultural commodities. The whitewashed exteriors are consistent with the architecture across much of Mykonos, but it is the slanted, thatched roofs that set these buildings apart.
Today, many of these windmills are privately owned, but the museum of folklore is situated in the lone windmill located on a hill directly behind Old Town and is open for visitors.
Panagia Paraportiani Church
This church, made up of five smaller chapels, is the oldest church on the island of Mykonos. Its unique construction is a result of additions made from the 14th century through the 1920’s, representing a variety of styles and architectures throughout the years. Today, the building looks like a dreamy, surrealistic structure sculpted out of marshmallow fluff, and also provides one the best sunset views in Mykonos.
On the outskirts of Old Town lies the Little Venice neighborhood of Mykonos. Here, cafes and restaurants are built right along the waterside on the western edge of Mykonos. The neighborhood was first inhabited by wealthy merchants in the 17th and 18th centuries who built their extravagant homes along the seaside. Today, it is a favorite of artists who have located their studios and homes in the scenic neighborhood.
Greek Yogurt Shops
The Greek Yogurt trend has been sweeping America over the last few years and its popularity has led to some major American brands like Dannon and Ben and Jerry’s cashing in on both the regular and frozen Greek Yogurt categories respectively. So what is Greek yogurt? Essentially it’s yogurt that has been strained, removing a high portion of the water and whey content. This leaves a richer texture when compared to unstrained yogurt that is higher in protein and lower in fat and carbohydrates.
In Greece, it’s commonly served with breakfast unflavored and unsweetened. Since the words ‘unflavored’ and ‘unsweetened’ generally aren’t synonymous with ‘awesome tasting’, I opted for the frozen yogurt dessert version, topped with blackberries.
Have you played tourist in Mykonos?
John’s Note: My trip to Mykonos was supported in part by Directline, but as always all opinions (and near-death pelican encounters) are my own. Mykonos breaks with Directline-holidays.